Welcome to WWU Viking parents and family members! We recognize this is a big transition not only for your student, but you as well. Some of our staff know the struggle, having sent their own children off to school. They understand that it's hard as parents to let go and that you want the best for your child, just as we do.

The biggest piece of advice we can offer you is to stand behind your student, not in front of them. Our goal is to help them become strong, confident, self-assured, self-advocating, productive citizens of their community. To do that, they need to master the life skills that will help them excel. We appreciate that it can be difficult to step back and watch them have times of success and failure, but those moments will create a more resilient, creative, outstanding student overall.

Differences between K-12 and Higher Education Accommodations

Many students we serve are used to K-12 accommodations that are based on an IEP. The accommodations that we are able to offer at the higher education level can be very different from the ones they are used to because we are not governed by IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), we operate under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all applicable sections under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) of 1990.

The other major fundamental difference is that in K-12, the school district attempts to identify students who many need extra assistance to succeed whereas at the college level, students are expected to self-identify and be their own advocates to they can acquire the skills needed to propagate their own success. Our role becomes one of a partner that assists the student rather than a leader making decisions for them.

What does this mean?

This means that we are obligated to work toward creating as even a playing field for your student as possible without creating fundamental alterations to necessary coursework for graduation once they have come to us for assistance. It is very important that it is your student that begins the dialogue with us. We listen to what they have to say about their needs and partner with them to create strategies for success and inclusion at the higher education level.