Student Services
 
 
Special Services: Frequently Asked Questions
 

1. Do I qualify to receive services from the Department of Special Services?

To qualify for services from the Department of Special Services, a student needs to have been diagnosed with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines disability as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning or working.

2. What must I do to register with the Department of Special Services?

Students who are interested in receiving special accommodations and/or auxiliary aids need to provide documentation specifying a disability. The documentation provided should include the following information: a diagnosis of a current disability, the date of the diagnosis, how the diagnosis was reached, the credentials of the professional, how the disability affects daily activities and/or how the disability affects academic performance. We also ask our students to fill out an information packet. To receive an information packet in the mail, please fill out the form located on the request packet link.

3. How do support services differ from high school to college?

In high school, a student with a disability is required to have an IEP. The student in high school may be required to be in special education classes and may not be fully mainstreamed with non-disabled students. In college, students with disabilities are fully mainstreamed with students who do not have disabilities. There are no special education classes. There are some basic skills classes for students who require remediation in reading, writing and/or math. These courses have students who may or may not have disabilities. When a student registers with the Department of Special Services, there is nothing in the student's transcripts indicating the student received special accommodations or auxiliary aids. Students are encouraged to visit the Department of Special Services and request accommodations, such as extended time on tests, note takers, tape recorders etc.

4. What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of student educational records.  From the time a child enters preschool until the child completes 12th grade, the parent has certain rights regarding their children's education records. Once the student turns 18 or once they are enrolled in a post-secondary school, those rights are transferred from the parent to the student.

For the student who is enrolled at GCC this means:

The student has the right to inspect and review their educational records.

The student has the right to request a school correct records he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading.

There must be written permission from the student allowing information to be released to a 3rd party. This means we cannot disclose information about the student's grades, attendance, course load, financial aid status, etc. without the written permission of the student. Parents who wish to be informed of their children's progress at GCC need to communicate directly with the student or have written permission from their child allowing the release of information.

More information about FERPA can be found on the department of Education's web site - http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

5. What is an ADA/504 Officer?

The ADA/504 officer is a designated person to be contacted for issues concerning discrimination based upon a disability. The ADA/504 officer at GCC is Dennis Cook, dcook@gccnj.edu .

6. What is the ADA?

The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It is Public Law 101-336 (PL-101-336). The purpose of the ADA is to prohibit discrimination based on disability in employment, State and local government services, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

7. What is Section 504?

Section 504 is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is Public Law 93-112 (PL 93-112). The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination based on disability in federally-funded programs and activities.

8. Who is protected under Section 504?

A "person with a disability" includes "any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities; (ii) has a record of such an impairment, or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment" including, but not limited to:

  1. blindness or visual impairments
  2. cerebral palsy
  3. AIDS
  4. arthritis
  5. cancer
  6. cardiac disease
  7. diabetes
  8. multiple sclerosis
  9. muscular dystrophy
  10. psychiatric disabilities
  11. deafness or hearing impairments
  12. drug or alcohol addiction (former users and those in recovery programs and not currently using drugs or alcohol)
  13. epilepsy or seizure disorders
  14. mental disabilities
  15. orthopedic impairment
  16. specific learning disability
  17. speech disorder
  18. spinal cord injury
  19. traumatic brain injury

9. This is my first time at GCC. How do I get supportive services from the Office of Special Services?

First time students are responsible to:

  1. make an appointment by calling 856-415-2265
  2. bring in proof of disability
  3. submit your schedule, if you have already registered
  4. fill out an intake packet
  5. notify the Office of Special Services, if your schedule changes
  6. notify the Office of Special Services, if you have a note taker and will be absent in class

10. This is not my first year at GCC, so the Office of Special Services knows what I need, doesn't it?

Not necessarily. Every semester, continuing students are responsible to:

  1. make an appointment for continuation of services
  2. submit your schedule
  3. notify the Office of Special Services, if you schedule changes
  4. notify the Office of Special Services, if you have a note taker and will be absent in class

11. What support services are available?

Support Services include:

  1. advisement
  2. advocacy
  3. interpreter for the deaf
  4. note Taker
  5. reader
  6. scribe
  7. test taking with additional time
  8. test taking in separate area

12. Does Gloucester County College or the Office of Special Services provide transportation for students?

No. GCC and the Office of Special Services do not provide transportation for students. However, NJ Transit bus #463 comes onto the campus. Students who are physically challenged should contact NJ Transit Access Link.