Transition to College at College of San Mateo - Advice for Mental Health Professionals
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Transition to College

Advice for Mental Health Professionals


  • If possible, begin contact with Disabled Students Services (DSP&S) in the summer.
  • Go with your client to their initial visit to the college campus.
  • Do a “walk through” with bus schedules and routes.
  • Bring along your client’s Rehabilitation Plan.
  • Help your client to coordinate their Educational Plan (IEP) with their Rehabilitation Plan.
  • Ask for placement testing accommodations.
  • Take advantage of priority registration as offered DSP&S.
  • Facilitate academic programming that incorporates your client’s unique needs and challenges.
  • Suggest that your client keep a unit load that is low at first (six units).
  • Avoid a one-day per week schedule. It is not consistent enough to assume the student role.
  • Secure accommodations, texts, and materials early.
  • Ask for a campus tour that includes all support programs.
  • Assist your client to identify places on campus to study and “hang out”.
  • Discuss issues related to disclosure.
  • Provide educational coaching regarding the student role.
  • Monitor your client’s progress continually during the first semester.
  • Be aware of the college calendar including add, drop deadlines.
  • If academic problems occur, encourage your client to reduce their unit load rather than drop out of school.
  • Be aware that there are “late start” classes that will allow for flexibility if an academic program adjustment is required.
  • Become familiar with the college catalogue including certificate degree, and transfer requirements, the student code of conduct, academic probation, and various appeal procedures including a “petition for late withdrawal” from classes.