Practical Information

General Information about LSS Services

Learning Support Services offers academic support for students with documented disabilities, as well as for those students who are struggling with study skills such as time management, test-taking, test anxiety, reading comprehension and fluency.  All of the services we offer are optional to the students, and we have no mandate to force their acceptance of the support.

All faculty members should announce on the first day of class the desire to speak confidentially with any student with special needs as soon as possible, and course syllabi should include a statement about students with disabilities. Please use the following syllabus statement:

Office of Disabilities and Learning Support Services:

It is the policy of Villanova to make reasonable academic accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. Go to the Learning Support Services website (http://learningsupportservices.villanova.edu) for registration guidelines and instructions. For physical access or temporarily disabling conditions, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 610-519-4095 or email Stephen.mcwilliams@villanova.edu. Registration is needed in order to receive accommodations.

An announcement of this type will help preserve the student’s privacy, demonstrate your willingness to provide assistance, and encourage an early identification for accommodations. When a student with a disability does request an accommodation, please feel free to consult with the Office of Learning Support Services for assistance in providing the services.

It may also be helpful to include a syllabus statement announcing that assistance is available to all students at the Learning Support Services Center.  Here is an example:

 “Learning Support Services (LSS) provides academic support services and workshops for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students at Villanova University.   Workshops and one-on-one sessions are available in university-relevant skills such as time management, study strategies, academic reading, learning styles, test-taking, and test anxiety.  Students of all abilities, including successful students who want to enhance their academic skills and students who are struggling, are welcome to use these services.  There is no extra charge for these services and they are open to all registered Villanova students.”

  • Support from faculty is critical to ensuring that students with disabilities receive accommodations necessary to reach their potential.
  • It is important to remember that accommodations are not advantages, but are a means of providing each student with full access to Villanova's programs.
  • Standards for academic credit should not be modified for students with disabilities. They may need accommodations in testing, but the content should not be changed.
  • It is not necessary to rewrite a course to accommodate students with disabilities; simply modifying the presentation of materials may make it fully accessible.  Many modifications will benefit all students.
  • If one student with a particular type of disability had difficulty with a specific task, do not assume that the next student with the same type of disability will experience similar problems.
  • Some textbooks are also available in other formats -- such as large print versions, e-books, or media with closed captioning -- that may be more accessible for students with disabilities. Faculty are encouraged to select texts that are available in alternate formats.  E-text can be helpful to most students, and not just those with disabilities.
  • Students with disabilities are frequently sensitive about their disabilities, so faculty members should make every effort to treat these issues sensitively and confidentially.

This one-on-one assistance focuses on time management, study strategies, priority setting, organization, etc. We stress this service to new freshmen, but it is available for all students. Nancy Mott, Lynn Burke, Nicole Subik, and Emily Harris provide the coaching in weekly thirty-minute sessions. The number of students involved in coaching varies each semester.

LSS offers study groups for General Biology and Anatomy & Physiology.

Many students with dyslexia require their texts in audio format. Our resources in obtaining an alternate format are: Bookshare, Access Text, or obtaining publisher permissions to scan the material purchased by the students. All of these options take a great deal of time, so students need to access their titles well before the start of the term. Requesting new textbooks that are available in an alternate format from the publisher is an ideal approach for students with reading issues.

Students will often come to LSS with concerns that they have some type of learning disability. Occasionally these visits lead to a suggestion that the student be evaluated; however, evaluations are not done on campus. In the majority of cases the student just needs to learn study strategies that will work for them. We have a brief learning style instrument (45 minutes) that provides a good starting point in determining the best way for the student to read, take notes, study, etc. It is geared to college students and provides some practical, immediate applications.

Occasionally it may be necessary to take an exam in the LSS Office due to schedule conflicts, the need for a reduced-distraction setting, etc. If eligible for extended time and a student has back-to-back classes, the exam will need to be taken at a different time. In most cases, the student will work this out with the professor, with the possibility of taking the exam in their office, department office, another classroom, or in the LSS Office. This is something that needs to be arranged in advance with the professor and with the LSS Office.

If a student needs to take a test in the LSS Office, they will need to create a test request in ClockWork. Once a student books a test through ClockWork, the professor can log into ClockWork for Professors to edit and confirm the test request and specify any requirements for the test. 

**Please note that students must create these test requests in ClockWork at least 3-business days in advance of the scheduled test to ensure there is proctoring coverage and space at a specified time.  This is especially critical during midterms and finals.  Our space is limited so students will need to reserve a space early.

The Office of Learning Support Services encourages you to refer any student who may be struggling with study skills, time management issues, test-taking skills, reading skills, and test anxiety regardless of whether or not they have documentation.  Please complete the Student Referral Form so that we have some background information before we meet with the student. If you have any questions, please contact us at 610-519-5176 or at learning.support.services@villanova.edu.

Assistive Technology

Students Eligible for Alternate Text Formats

The Learning Support Services (LSS) Office will work with eligible students in obtaining recorded texts or E-Text for course material. Eligibility is determined by the documentation submitted to the LSS Office and we must verify this documentation with the alternate text provider. If students are not eligible for alternate text formats, as a member of the Villanova community they are still able to download the Read and Write Gold software program from our website.

Qualified students must fill out an alternate format request form. Ideally, students should submit this form prior to the start of the semester since obtaining books in alternate formats can be a lengthy process. If the text is unavailable from the publisher, Access Text, Bookshare, or other providers, LSS may be required to scan the text.

**For ALL alternate text arrangements:

  • The student must purchase the textbook.
  • Requests will be handled in the order they are received. The closer to the beginning of the semester, the longer the wait time. It is best to put in your requests as soon as you register for classes.

Students who are not eligible for alternate text formats based on their documentation are still welcome to utilize the software package through LSS. Read & Write Gold has text-to-speech capabilities.

Students Eligible for Recording Lectures

Students with documented auditory processing disabilities and/or those with visual motor difficulties may need to record lectures.  This is usually done with a laptop computer, the Livescribe PulsePen, or AudioNote.

 

Contact Information

Office of Learning Support Services:
Villanova University
Learning Commons in Falvey
Suite 212
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.5176
Fax: 610.519.8015
Email: learning.support.services@villanova.edu

Hours of Operation:
Summer hours: Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Fridays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Meet Our Staff

Directions to campus and Campus Map (PDF)