Beacon College

Beacon College appears in these rankings:

15 Best Value Colleges for Dyslexic Students

20 Best Value Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities 

 

Beacon College is a small, private college located in Leesburg, FL, and is the first accredited college to offer four-year degrees exclusively to students with learning disabilities, or who learn differently. Founded in 1989 by visionary parents and currently serving less than 300 students annually, Beacon College provides a learning environment designed for the success of all students who learn differently. Going beyond the usual accommodations offered in a standard college forum, resources at Beacon include smaller classroom sizes and individual learning specialists assigned to each student upon admission, with the common end goal of having each student at Beacon succeed and thrive rather than simply get by.

Beacon College Accreditation Details

Beacon College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). This accreditation provided Beacon's ability to award associates and baccalaureate degrees through its various major and minor programs. While there is not a specific Beacon College dyslexia program, this particular learning challenge is considered and included when customizing the learning experience of each individual student and creating the programs that lead to earning the degrees offered here.

Beacon College Application Requirements

Applications for admission to Beacon College are accepted on a rolling basis, so students can apply whenever they are ready, although the college recommends do so as early as possible to avoid being placed on a waiting list or missing out on scholarship opportunities. The application form for Beacon can be completed online, and the $50 application can either be paid by check or credit card. Online credit card payments are accepted through Paypal.

In addition to the application form, prospective students need to supply official high school transcripts or GED transcripts showing that the student earned either a standard high school diploma or a GED. If students have attended any colleges prior to Beacon, college transcripts are also required. In addition, three letters of recommendation are needed from teachers, professors, or guidance counselors who are familiar with the student, and a personal interview needs to be completed before admission is determined. The interview can be arranged in person, over the phone, or via Skype. Standardized test scores for the SAT or ACT may be submitted but are not required.

Because of the focus of Beacon College in exclusively serving students with some form or learning challenge, a recent psychoeducational evaluation, no more than three years old, is also required. The report must show evidence of a specific learning disability and include a cognitive assessment conducted by a qualifying professional such as a licensed psychologist or certified school psychologist.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at Beacon Colleges is billed as all-inclusive for a semester load of 12 to 15 credit hours. For this full-time schedule, tuition costs $18,894 per semester. Students taking less than 12 credit hours are assessed tuition at ta rate of $1,260 per credit hour, and students wishing to take credit hours beyond 15 are assessed the additional amount of $898 per credit hour for each hour beyond the initial 15.

Because of the unique nature of Beacon College as a forum specifically for students with learning disabilities, tuition may be offset somewhat by a federal medical tax deduction or through state vocational rehabilitation funding. In addition, more standard financial aid options include scholarships, grants offered at both the federal and state level, and student loans. Students seeking financial aid to help pay the costs of higher education should begin by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and specifying Beacon College as a school of choice.

Beacon College Dyslexia Program

Beacon College offers six majors and 12 minors to choose from, in the form of Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management with a choice of focuses, Anthrozoology, and Computer Information Systems, again with a choice of focuses, to Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts degrees in Human Services, Studio Arts, Psychology, and the Humanities. Although there is not a specific area titled Beacon College Dyslexia program, the college Success Services incorporates resources, techniques, and support for students with dyslexia, just as it does for students with other learning challenges.

The Success Center at Beacon College offers both Education Support Services and Student Support Services to ensure that every student has the chance to succeed and reach his or her highest potential. The Educational Support Services include not only the individual Learning Specialist assigned to each student through the Center for Student Success, but also peer tutoring for most classes, as needed, and coordinated through this same center as well.

Students also have access to a Mathematics Lab, providing individualized assessments of each student's strengths and weaknesses and resulting in a semi self-paced course of study that is tailored to provide additional instruction and support where the student needs it most. The program used is available 24 hours per day, and the lab also has instructors and peer tutors on hand at specified hours each day.

The Success Center also provides a Writing Center that helps students with critical thinking skills necessary for mastering college level writing and provides assistive technology for both reading and writing, something that is particularly appropriate for students with dyslexia. Beyond the Educational Support Services, students have access to life coaching support, counseling, and career development assistance through the Student Support Services.

For students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, college can seem like an unattainable goal, even with standard accommodations offered at most institutes of higher learning today. But with Beacon College's vision of helping such students not only survive but thrive, students with learning disabilities of all sorts can feel empowered and successful in their postsecondary choice of college. Beacon College boasts more than 70% of students successfully graduating on time and more than 80% successfully transfer to gainful employment in their fields or into graduate studies. For students with learning disabilities, however severe and however insurmountable they may seem, Beacon College now offers a clear option for success in higher education.