DASS Student FAQ
Academic Coaching at DASS
Typically, first year students with ADD/ADHD, a learning difference, and/or ASD are encouraged to meet with a DASS staff member once a week for forty-five to fifty minutes during the fall semester. However, depending on the student’s needs and schedule, appointments can be scheduled less frequently either on a regular basis, or on an “as needed” basis.
Please use the Appointments tab on DASS Link to schedule an appointment.
We ask students who are unable to make their appointment to cancel in advance, so that the time slot can be made available to other students.
Differences Between High-school and College-level Accommodations
Eligibility and Requesting Services
Graduate School Entrance Exams
The American Bar Association's Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law has released two web features to primarily help law students with disabilities and prospective law students with disabilities:
- Requesting accommodations for the LSAT:
- Law School disability programs directory:
For those interested in taking the GRE, their website details the process for registering: https://www.ets.org/gre/test-takers/general-test/register/disability-accommodations.html
The GMAT provides instructions on requesting test accommodations at their site here: https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat/before-the-exam/register-for-the-gmat-exam/register-as-a-test-taker-with-disabilities.
The MCAT provides detailed information about accommodation eligibility for the exam here: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/accommodations
Notifying Instructors of Your Accommodation Needs
During your initial Intake Appointment with your DASS Coordinator, in most cases, your letters will be made available for you and your instructors to view on DASS Link. If you are not enrolled in classes at the time of your intake, only a sample copy of your letter will be created and shown to you, and you will be given instructions on how to request the letters be sent to your instructors once you do enroll.
In following semesters, you are responsible for using your DASS Link account to request letters of accommodation for the classes in which you need accommodations. On DASS Link, this is called a Semester Request. The letters will be available for you and your professors to view on DASS Link.
After your accommodation letters are made available on DASS Link, you are still responsible for communicating with each instructor, preferably in a brief, face-to-face meeting, to decide how your accommodations will be implemented in that class. See our Communicating with Professors about Accommodations guide for tips and a script to help you with this important part of the accommodation process.
Reduced Course Load
Second Language and Math Requirements
Tardiness, Absences, and Medical Withdrawals
Departments and instructors may handle testing accommodations differently from one another. For example, Dedman Law students have their testing coordinated by one of the Deans. Exams given by Cox School of Business instructors are coordinated by a specific administrative assistant. All other students will likely be tested directly by their instructor or at SMU's University Testing Center (UTC).
First, if you're not taking a Dedman Law or Cox Business exam, meet with your instructor about your testing accommodations. Together, you will work where and when you will take the test. We encourage you to test with your class and have the professor provide you with your accommodations, if possible. If you receive extended time, for example, you might arrange with your professor to start early, stay after in the classroom, or take the test in an office or empty classroom.
The instructor can also request that you take your test with the UTC. Instead of going to the classroom, you would go to the UTC on the day of your test. You must schedule this test with the UTC at least 2 days prior to the test in order for the UTC to make the necessary arrangements.
Note that if you have a reader or scribe accommodation, you will set up your exams 7 days in advance using the UTC portal, but take your exams with DASS in the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC).
See the Current Student Test Proctoring page of our website for more details.
A key tenet in disability services is confidentiality. Information shared by a student with the Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) team is held in strict confidence. This information can include the original request for services, documentation submitted for review, conversations between students and DASS personnel, and arrangements for DASS-provided accommodations like test proctoring. Except for emergency reasons, information is exchanged only as necessary to provide services, or with specific individuals and/or offices for which the student has provided written permission. DASS may, at times, communicate with on-campus offices or individuals without written permission, if there is a clear educational need.
Disability-related records are maintained confidentially in electronic format in DASS Link and are accessed by the DASS team. After students leave SMU, their records are archived.
For more detailed information, see the DASS Policies and Procedures page, specifically sections 9.0 Privacy and 5.2 Student Data.