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Porterville College

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Learning Disabilities (LD) Program

The purpose of this program is to provide students who have learning disabilities (either through prior documentation or through the LD evaluation process at Porterville College), a support system to assist them in attaining their academic goals. We provide counseling for clarification of issues related to learning disabilities, make recommendations for accommodations, and foster self-advocacy in students.

What is a Learning Disability?

A person with a learning disability (LD) has an average to above-average intelligence, yet has significant differences in how they take in, remember, understand, and express information and/or have significant differences in their ability to learn versus their academic achievement levels. Learning disabilities can affect reading, writing, oral language, and mathematics, and is lifelong.

Common Characteristics of LD College Students

Following is only a partial list of difficulties that LD college students often experience. These problems persist even though the student has had adequate academic instruction or remediation.

  • Slow reading rate
  • Poor comprehension and retention
  • Difficulty identifying main ideas
  • Poor mastery of phonics, de-coding difficulties
  • Difficulty integrating new vocabulary

  • Incomplete mastery of basic math facts
  • Reverses numbers, confuses symbols
  • Copies problems incorrectly one line to another
  • Difficulty recalling sequence of operational processes
  • Inability to understand or retain abstract concepts.
  • Difficulty with word problems

  • Difficulty with sentence structure
  • Frequent spelling and/or grammar errors
  • Inability to copy from book or blackboard
  • Poor penmanship

  • Time management difficulties
  • Slow to start and complete tasks
  • Difficulty following oral and/or written directions
  • Lack of overall organization in notes and essays
  • Short attention span/inability to listen to lectures

  • Inability to concentrate on and/or comprehend language
  • Difficulty orally expressing ideas which he/she seems to understand
  • Written expression is better than oral
  • Cannot tell a story in proper sequence

Frequently Asked Questions for LD Assessment:

How do I get evaluated for Learning Disability?

Schedule an appointment with Disability Resource Center (DRC) 559-791-2215 to complete a screening. Once you have completed a screening and it is determined you are a candidate for testing you will be provided with the intake packet. This packet asks questions pertaining to the students learning difficulties and how it is impacting their academics. You will then schedule an appointment to meet with the LD Specialist who will determine if assessment is appropriate.

How is it determined who will be tested?

The LD Specialist will review the intake packet with the student. Whether a student is recommended to continue with the evaluation process is based on many factors including; history of difficulties, effort versus results, repeating classes and many other factors. If further assessment is the appropriate next step, the student and the LD Specialist will schedule an appointment to begin the assessment process.

How long does the testing take?

The process can take up to 7 hours over the course of the semester (usually 6 weeks). Appointments include; the Intake Packet review session, LD assessments, and a final results appointment to review testing results. If recommended, an assistive technology appointment will also be scheduled and support courses suggested.

Do I have to do the assessment all at once?

No, the assessment is done in 1.5-to-2 hour intervals over the course of several appointments. The LD Specialist completes all of the assessments on a one-to-one basis. Appointments are made for the assessment sessions by the LD Specialist in agreement with the student.

What is the benefit of testing?

A student will find if she or he qualifies for services as a student with a learning disability. The LD Specialist will review the assessment results with the student, including the student’s areas of strengths and weaknesses when learning. If eligible for services, strategies will be reviewed and individual accommodation recommendations will be provided. You will receive your accommodation letters and a review of our processes and procedures regarding testing accommodations and responsibilities. Appointments with our Assistive Technology Specialist will also be scheduled, when appropriate. A follow-up appointment may be made to update Student Educational Planning, if warranted.

If you suspect you have a learning disability, or have prior learning disability related documentation, contact the Disability Resource Center at 559-791-2215 or