The transition from high school to college is an exciting but challenging time for young adults. While many students progress from high school to college with ease, some struggle and require additional support.
Choosing the right college, geographic location, and area of study will help a student to make the most out of the college experience. In addition, approaching the transition with a plan that takes into account a student's unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses, along with his/her individual learning style, allows for a foundation to build upon for future success. Unlike purely academic assessment, the neuropsychological evaluation takes into account the whole person. In addition to intellectual assessment, assessment of maturity level, motivation, personality, and psychological functioning are core aspects of the evaluation.
The pre-college neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of a young adult's strengths and weaknesses across all of the critical areas of everyday living. While all students can benefit from the information provided by the evaluation, the pre-college neuropsychological assessment can be particularly useful in the identification of previously un-diagnosed learning, psychiatric, or attention difficulties.
With the help of a supportive family, a structured high school classroom, and less challenging course work, bright students with problem areas can go undiagnosed throughout their entire education. For this reason, areas of weakness may not cause problems until after the student leaves for college. Because it is much more difficult to obtain accommodations for students who were not formally diagnosed prior to college, the pre-college assessment often provides the critical documentation in support of academic modification (e.g. extended test time, priority registration, note-taking services).
The best time for a student to take part in a pre-college evaluation is at the very beginning of the college search (usually during his/her junior year in high school). Not only does the evaluation provide diagnostic information, it also provides a foundation to begin the search for an optimal post-high school learning environment.
The pre-college assessment is made up of four components. In the first, a student's prior academic/medical/psychological records are reviewed. Next, the student and his/her parents take part in an extensive interview. Third, a neuropsychological evaluation is performed. The last component is a comprehensive feedback session with the student and his/her parents. During the feedback session, the evaluation results are presented in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. Students are made fully aware of their strengths, as well as areas in which additional help may be needed.
The following information is provided:
- A comprehensive conceptualization of the student's areas of strength and weakness
- Recommendations for academic accommodations/modifications to be provided by the institution (if needed)
- An individualized study strategy that maximizes the student's unique learning style
- Recommendations for areas of study in which a student is likely to excel
- Identification of potential barriers to success and strategies for addressing these concerns
- Recommendations for services by other educational, psychological, and healthcare providers (e.g. Counseling, tutoring services, consideration of pharmacological treatment).
Following completion of the evaluation, a comprehensive report is prepared. When deemed useful by the patient or his/her family, the doctor will be available to review the evaluation results with personnel at the institution's learning center.