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Access (Accommodation) Services and Academic Success Services - Students with Disabilities

Roles and Scopes of Access and Academic Success Services for Students with Disabilities

Hiring and Working with an Academic Strategist

Interviewing and hiring an Academic Strategist:

Once you've found a potential Strategist, here are some questions you might want to ask:

  • Have you provided learning strategy services to students taking this discipline before?
  • What is a typical strategy session like? For example, it's more helpful to have someone watch as you work through problems and ask you questions that make you think about your process than it is to have someone show you how to arrive at an answer and assume you understood their process.
  • What is your availability? How often will we be able to meet?
  • How much do you charge? How do you accept payment (i.e. e-transfer/paypal, etc) and how/when do you provide a receipt for payment?
  • Do you charge for cancellations and what is the minimum notice period to cancel?

Consider requesting the individual's resume and related references.

Arranging to meet:

If you hire a Strategist, make sure you both are clear about the terms of the arrangement. Keep in mind that you can end your strategy agreement with appropriate notice if you do not feel it's working for you. Here are some tips for establishing clear terms:

  • Discuss where your first meeting will take place. All sessions should occur in public areas such as the library or online.
  • Decide how often you will meet and what you will do if you or the Strategist needs to cancel a meeting.
  • Exchange contact information. Ask that the Strategist contact you if they are running late and be willing to do the same. Be clear about what types of communication the contact information should be used for.
  • Be respectful of each other's time. Come prepared to work as soon as the strategy session begins. Ask that the Strategist do the same.
  • Prepare for your first session. Remember the learning is ultimately up to you as the student. Bring with you any materials, questions, and ideas about what you want to focus on. Be prepared to do your own work, with guidance from the Strategist, to learn the strategies that will assist you to maximize your learning.

Funding:

If you are funded through provincial disability grants, have a method to keep track of the number of strategist hours you have used per course, keeping in mind your semester strategist hours maximum approved by the government granting agency. In BC, this is the Ministry of Advanced Education/StudentAid BC. You and your service provider will be required to provide signed receipts for services paid for consistent with the services your grant has funded.

Receipts explained: 

For example, similar to you purchasing a good or service from a store, the store issues you a receipt detailing/verifying the good or service they sold you, the quantity and the date provided.  Your service provider would do the same using the service provider receipt form required by Student Aid BC for services applied for and approved through the Canada Student Grant for Students with Permanent Disabilities for Services and Equipment.

Occasionally there are reasonable circumstances that occur where students work with their service provider on dates/times within the term that do not correspond to the Student Aid BC grant for services approval letter. In such circumstances, you can request your CAL Instructor to provide a letter to explain the variance to Student Aid BC . That letter can be attached to the service provider receipt form you send back to Student Aid BC, accounting for your services/expenditures.