PALS (Program for Alternative Learning Styles)
Limestone College offers a comprehensive support program, PALS (Program for Alternative Learning Styles), for students with learning and attention challenges. PALS students meet weekly with PALS staff and have access to an organizational coach and learning specialist. PALS is a fee-based program. In some cases, the Office for Vocational Rehabilitation will assist in funding the student’s participation. Please contact your local VR office or speak with your high school counselor to obtain contact information. PALS is only offered during the regular academic year and only at the main campus of Limestone College in Gaffney, SC.
86% of PALS students had a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater for the Spring 2015 semester!
PALS offers a broad spectrum of resources to meet specific needs, including:
- monitoring student progress
- scheduled consultations to promote organization and time management skills
- a 1- credit study strategies course each semester
- secondary academic advisement with attention to student's specific learning needs
- workshops on writing, studying, organization, etc.
- supervised study halls
- weekly and mid-term progress reports
- personal test proctors
- individualized tutoring sessions
Students who are interested in PALS must follow these steps:
Be admitted to Limestone College either by full/provisional acceptance. Send a copy of their most recent psychological report to the Director of PALS at Limestone College (please refer to the section on "Documentation" for specific guidelines). Arrange for an on campus interview with the Director of PALS. The purpose of this interview is to inform the student and his/her parents what will be expected of the student as well as what the program will and will not do for the student.
Students seeking support services from PALS on the basis of a diagnosed disability which may adversely impact educational performance are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of ensuring that evaluation reports are appropriate to document eligibility. The Director of PALS is available to consult with diagnosticians regarding any of these guidelines.
Preferred testing should be comprehensive. Domains to be addressed should include (but are not limited to):
- Aptitude. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) with subtest scores is the preferred instrument.
- Achievement. Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics, and written language are helpful. The preferred instruments are either the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery-Revised: Test of Achievement, or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test.
- Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long term memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed) may be assessed. Use of subtests from the WAIS-R or the Woodcock-Johnson tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable.
- Testing should be current. It is in the student's best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to assist in decision making about the student's need for accommodations in a college environment, which is academically very competitive. Updates to non-current testing will be considered.
- Testing must give clear and specific evidence and identification of a disability. Individual "learning styles" and "learning differences" in and of themselves do not constitute a learning disability.
- Testing should include scores/data.
- Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities must be qualified to do so. Experience in working with an adult population is beneficial. Diagnostic reports must include the names and titles of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing.
- In the event that obtaining the above information would become onerous, other appropriate documentation, 504 plans, IEPs, disability verification forms, accommodation history, specialist letters, etc., will be considered in an interactive process involving the student and PALS staff.
- Preferred testing should be comprehensive. Domains to be addressed should include (but are not limited to):
PALS is a comprehensive service provided for an additional fee. The cost of the program is $2500 per semester. Fees may be reduced when students reach certain benchmarks, as well as demonstration of self-advocacy skills.
PALS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the nature of the support offered by PALS?
Students meet regularly (one or more times a week) with PALS staff. Students are required to participate in a minimum of ten hours per week of study hall. All study hall facilitators have college degrees and are there to help students. Students work with PALS staff to develop and implement strategies in areas such as reading, writing, note-taking, time management, organization, and test-taking. PALS works to motivate students to achieve, provides a needed accountability factor, and provides structure, support and feedback. Students who have the accommodation of testing outside of the classroom are assigned a personal test proctor. Tutors are assigned to students in content areas at the student’s request. PALS staff maintains contact with the student’s instructors throughout the semester. Student also have access to a Learning Specialist.
What percentage of Limestone’s total population participates in PALS?
Generally, PALS students account for 2-3% of the day student population. Approximately 10% of day students are registered with the Accessibility office.
Are there any modifications to the course work/course requirements?
Course requirements are not compromised for PALS students. PALS students are required to complete the same course and graduation requirements as non-PALS students at Limestone College.
Does PALS provide support for social skills issues such as those associated with Asperger’s Syndrome and/or some nonverbal disabilities?
PALS was developed to support students with specific learning disabilities and/or ADHD. It is limited in its ability to support difficulties in social settings, independent living skills, and daily decision-making. PALS does not offer training in social skills. Students with needs in these areas are generally not appropriate for PALS.
Does PALS provide support for students with Traumatic Brain Injury, psychiatric disabilities, sensory or motor impairments, or other disabilities?
PALS is not designed to support students whose primary disabling condition is other than a specific learning disability and/or ADHD. Students who are accepted to Limestone College who have such conditions are eligible for reasonable accommodations as defined by various federal and state laws through Accessibility. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-488-8377.