Reaching Out for Help

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Accessibility Resources helps students in need of special accommodations achieve their goals

BY: PAIGE ANDERSON paige.anderson@go.mnstate.edu

With a nearly 200 student caseload, Director of Accessibility Resources Kari Klettke has been busy making sure all students are getting the accommodations that they need. 

The Accessibility Resources department is here to provide students with “equal access to student education.” They provide a variety of services including help with note-taking, recording lectures and approving emotional support animals on campus.

Klettke said that their most commonly utilized resources are exam accommodations. Along with the scribes, they can provide extended time and quieter rooms.

The application process starts online with a student information questionnaire, and proper documentation of why the student requires resources. Following the application, the student will meet with Klettke for a self-report where the student can express their concerns.

When it comes time to make the accommodation plan, it’s a group effort between Klettke and the student. The student’s professor will then receive a letter providing details about the “specific accommodations” the student needs to be receiving. 

Along with the plan created for class, all students that qualify for resources also have access to an academic coaching program. 

Klettke oversees a group of five graduate students whose sole job is to work with students who need additional support. Coaches meet with their students weekly to check in and provide accountability. 

Coaches aren’t tutors or advisors—their role is to assist in creating realistic academic goals, study skills, time management and more. 

Satisfaction surveys have shown that students love the coaching program, and they’re seeing increased GPAs.

Klettke said she feels that more students should be using their resources. She believes the biggest obstacle students face is needing to self-identify and ask for help. They may be unaware of the services offered, or they might not want to ask for help.

“They go to college, and they really want to try themselves. They don’t want to ask for help,” Klettke said.

She assured that the application is not overwhelming, and the department will work with you to find proper documentation.

While MSUM does not provide any testing services, they can refer you to outside doctors or to the MSUM Counseling Center for things such as anxiety and depression. Accessibility Resources is aware of mental health needs and will work with students to provide the assistance they need.

If you need or think you may need any accommodations or resources, please reach out to Accessibility Resources.

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