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Support & Wellness Center

The Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center houses counseling, disability, and student health services and is located on 8th Avenue behind Fritz-Conrad and beside the sorority houses. The Cornerstone House focuses on a wellness based model and provides services to support the bodies, minds, and emotional well-being of LRU students. All students are eligible to use the services within the Cornerstone House with no additional fees or costs.

Statement of Inclusivity

As a health and wellness center, The Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center is committed to promoting social justice and supporting individuals of all sexual orientations, gender identities/expressions, and religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. We encourage you to contact our office if you (or someone you know) would like support and want all on campus and in our community to know that the Cornerstone House is truly a Safe Place for all.

Student Support

Student Health

After Hour Care Options

Catawba Valley Family Medicine - North Hickory
212 29th Ave. NE, Suite 1
Hickory, NC 28601
Monday - Friday: 7:30 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm

Catawba Valley Family Medicine - Viewmont
1205 N. Center St.
Hickory, NC 28601
Monday - Friday; 8 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 5 pm

Catawba Valley Family Medicine - Sandy Ridge
2820 16th St. NE
Hickory, NC 28601
Monday - Friday: 8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm

Urgent Care
Catawba Valley Urgent Care-Piedmont
2972 N. Center Street
Hickory, NC 28601-1159
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 7 pm
Saturday/Sunday/Holidays: 9 am to 5 pm

CVS Minute Clinic
1504 2nd St NE
Hickory NC 28601
Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 7:30 pm, Saturday; 9 am - 5:30 pm,
Sunday: 10 am - 5:30 pm

Catawba Valley Medical Center
810 Fairgrove Church Rd. SE
Hickory, NC 29602
Always Open

Frye Regional Medical Center
420 N. Center St.
Hickory, NC 28601

Health Forms

1 - undergraduate/Health Care Graduate student Health Forms
2 - graduate student health packet
3 - high school programs health Packet

Traditional Undergraduate Students, RIBN Students, as well as the following Graduate Programs: Athletic Training, Dietetic Internship, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, and FNP/DNP use Health Packet 1.

Non-Traditional Part-Time Undergraduate Students, Continuing Education Students, as well as all other Graduate Programs not mentioned above; including students enrolled at the Asheville and LTSS/Columbia campuses use Health Packet 2.

The High School Enrichment Program, High School Scholars Academy, and University Christian High School students use Health Packet 3.

Mary Frances Sears

Physician Assistant, Cornerstone Health & Wellness Center

Counseling Services

Individual Therapy

Individual and couples counseling (as long as both individuals in the couple are students) is available to all current Lenoir-Rhyne University undergraduate & graduate students. Counseling center staff and graduate level interns can work with students on a wide variety of issues. Counseling services are available on all LRU campuses. Face to face counseling services are available on the Hickory campus and face to face and teletherapy are available to students on the Asheville (with Jennifer Drum) and Columbia (with Jenny Smith) campuses.

Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention
Counselors, as well as, other appropriate staff or community resources assist students in times of crisis or other emotional difficulties. If you are in need of an immediate appointment, during regular office hours, contact us. If you are in crisis and unable to reach one of our Counseling Center staff, please contact our administrative assistant, Kylie Hutchinson at 828.328.7959. If you are in crisis after hours you may contact Catawba County Mental Health's Mobile Crisis Unit at 1.877.327.2593.

Referral Services

Students who require additional support or specialized help will be referred to local resources. The Counseling Center has information for mental health providers in the Hickory, Asheville, and Columbia, SC areas. Off-campus costs are the responsibility of the students.


Counseling often involves the disclosure of personal information. State laws and professional ethical codes dictate that the information discussed during the counseling session will be strictly confidential, if you are 18 years of age or older. The counseling records are not kept as part of your academic or administrative records. Furthermore, the fact that you have used our services, and the information that you share in counseling will not be disclosed to university officials, faculty, staff, parents, outside agencies, or anyone else without your written permission.


Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) is an interactive program that provides students with therapy assistance online, as an additional resource to Counseling Services. There are self-help groups students can enroll in, as well as a large amount of topics that students can utilize to help support their own emotional wellness and personal growth.


Jennifer Drum MA, LPC

Titles: Counselor, Adjunct Instructor, Counseling
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7957

Monique Peoples

Titles: Administrative Assistant, Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7959

Mary Frances Sears

Titles: Physician Assistant, Cornerstone Health & Wellness Center
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7958

Jenny Smith EdS, LCSW, LISW

Titles: Associate Dean, Students, Director, Counseling, Adjunct Instructor, Counseling
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7252

Michael Spivey MA, LPC-A, NCC

Titles: Counselor
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7298

Disability Services

Disability Services and the office of Support Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students is located in the Cornerstone House and is available by appointment only, Monday-Friday.

What do we provide?

The Disability Services Office strives to provide the highest quality service to each student with a disability through appropriate accommodation of University policies, practices and procedures. It is the mission of the department to ensure that every student with a disability has an equal opportunity to benefit from University programs. Furthermore, the office emphasizes personal independence and responsibility, on the part of the student, in the provision of all services. Additionally, the Office provides information and guidance on physical accessibility issues to University personnel so students with physical disabilities can be fully integrated into the LR community. The Office also serves as a campus and community resource for information about people with disabilities and the issues that affect them.

Services to students with disabilities may vary, depending on the type and nature of the disability. Possible services may include but are not limited to:

  • extended testing time;
  • note taking;
  • books on tape/e-text;
  • alternate testing arrangements;
  • adjustable furnishings;
  • assistive technology;
  • preferential seating;
  • referrals to other campus support services.

For students with physical disabilities, we will relocate classes or activities to accessible locations as needed.

Students, who wish to request accommodations to courses, or to other University programs, services or activities, must provide appropriate documentation of their disability to the Director of Disability Services as soon as possible. After appropriate documentation is received, the Director of Disability Services will evaluate the documentation and notify the student of approved accommodations.

All documentation provided to the Director pertaining to a student's disability will be kept confidential.

It is the policy of Lenoir-Rhyne University to provide accessibility for people with disabilities. The standard by which accessibility to our programs, services and activities will be measured is one of overall program accessibility. That means, while not all University facilities are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities, the programs, services and activities of the University are accessible. Examples of providing accessible programs, services and activities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Reassignment of courses to an accessible location if the original classroom is not accessible,
  2. Offering a first floor residence hall room for a student who is unable to use stairs , or
  3. Structural alterations such as the installation of grab bars in restrooms or installation of a ramp over a step at a building entrance.

Area Resources

DISCLAIMER: This listing is provided for informational purposes only. The agencies listed below are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by Lenoir-Rhyne University. It is up to the individual reading this list to pick or choose to use the services of a specific establishment.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation-Hickory Office
Phone: 828.322.2921
Toll Free: 1.855.820.1113


Frye Regional Medical Center
Main Phone Number: 828-315-5000
Emergency Number: 828-315-3190
Physician Referral: 828-315-3391

Catawba Valley Medical Center
Main Phone Number: 828.326.3000
Emergency Number: 828.326.3850
Physician Referral: 828.324.2273


CVS Pharmacy
2701 South NC Hwy 127, Hickory
Phone: 828.294.1644

CVS Pharmacy
2441 N. Center Street, Hickory
Phone: 828.267.2097

CVS Pharmacy
2507 Springs Road NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.256.6456

Rite Aid Drugs
2659 South NC Hwy 127, Hickory
Phone: 828.294.7056

Rite Aid Drugs
1160 16th Street NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.256.9816

Rite Aid Drugs
10 29th Street NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.328.5323

Wal-Mart Super Center
2525 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.327.7891Walgreen Drug Store
2915 North Center Street, Hickory
Phone: 828.358.4614

Walgreen Drug Store
2427 Springs Road NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.358.4416

Viewmont Pharmacy
53 13th Avenue NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.1816

Medical Center Pharmacy, Inc.
124 North Center Street, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.7717

Hickory Family Pharmacy
1501 Tate Blvd SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.324.4630


Piedmont Medical Supply, Inc.
752 4th Street SW, Hickory
Phone: 828.327.6970

Services: Wheelchair repair on a case-by-case basis, loaner chairs available.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Specially Transportation, Inc.
3744 Springs Road NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.441.2000

Oxygen Supplies, etc.

James Oxygen & Supply Co.
30 Hwy 321 NW, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.5438

Lincare, Inc
1262 25th St. Pl. SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.304.4441
Services: Oxygen, respiratory therapy, C-Packs, wheelchairs, hospital beds.

Medi-Home Care
261 2nd Ave. SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.304.4466

American Home Patient
1929 Tate Blvd. SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.324.4504

Local Psychologists and Counseling Centers:

Brian Hissom & Associates
321 7th St. NE Suite B, Hickory
Phone: 828.485.2195

Cornerstone Counseling Center
263 3rd Avenue NW, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.4941

The Counseling Group
106 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.8736

Family Guidance Center
17 Hwy. 70 SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.322.1400

Family Net of Catawba County
1985 Tate Blvd. SE, Hickory
Phone: 828.695.6500

Indenbaum, Gary S., Ph.D.
321 7th St. NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.324.6397

Solutions of Hickory
326 2nd Ave. NW, Hickory
Phone: 828.328.4313

Local Psychiatric Physicians:

Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare
327 1st Ave. NW, Hickory
Phone: 828.695.5900

Catawba Valley Psychiatric Services
1120 Fairgrove Church Road, Hickory
Phone: 828.326.2828

Hickory Psychiatric Center
24 2nd Ave. NE, Hickory
Phone: 828.324.9900

Online Resources

High School/College Transition

North Carolina colleges and universities are open and accessible to students with disabilities. They are committed to providing assistance to enable qualified students to accomplish their educational goals as well as assuring equal opportunity to derive all of the benefits of campus life. Too often freshmen with disabilities struggle to make a successful transition to college. It's easy to understand why the transition can be so difficult. The laws are different and so is the accommodation process. The North Carolina Association on Higher Education and Disability (NC AHEAD) wants to provide information which may ease the transition and provide a successful beginning to university life.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are very different. In high schools for example, under IDEA, special education program procedures may apply primarily to Learning Disabilities. High school students who are in wheelchairs, may fall under a subpart of Section 504. Individual Education Plans (IEP's) are developed for these students simply because that is the procedure required under the IDEA mandated program. The misunderstanding comes from the practice of assuming that the 504 Plan or the IEP developed at a high school will be binding on a college or university.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Civil Rights Restoration Act Civil

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Civil Rights Restoration Act

High School Responsibilities

Understanding the differences between the responsibilities of high schools and colleges is critical to successful transition.

High School Responsibilities:

  • Identify students with disabilities.
  • Provide assessment of learning disabilities.
  • Classify disabilities according to specified diagnostic categories.
  • Involve parents or guardians in placement decisions.
  • Provide certain non-academic services.
  • Place student in programs where they can benefit (in any way) by placement committee with parent participation and approval.
  • Structure a large part of the student's weekly schedule.
  • Modify educational programs.
  • Prepare IEP's.
  • Provide a free and appropriate education.
  • Provide appropriate services by the school nurse or health services.

University Responsibilities

University Responsibilities:

  • Protect a student's right to privacy and confidentiality.
  • Provide access to programs and services which are offered to persons without disabilities.
  • Inform students of office location and procedures for requesting accommodations.
  • Accept and evaluate verifying documentation.
  • Determine that a mental or physical impairment causes a substantial limitation of a major life activity based on student-provided verifying documents.
  • Determine whether a student is otherwise qualified for participation in the program or service, with or without accommodations, and if so, whether a reasonable accommodation is possible.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for students who meet the above qualifying criteria.
  • Provide reasonable access to program and service choices equal to those available to the general public.
  • Inform students of their rights and responsibilities.

Universities are NOT required to:

  • Reduce or adjust the essential requirements of a course or program.
  • Conduct testing and assessment of learning disabilities.
  • Provide personal attendants.
  • Provide personal or private tutors.
  • Prepare IEP's.

Other Differences may exist for universities which provide housing programs, health services, psychological counseling services, and extensive international programs.

Student Responsibilities

In contrast to the K-12 educational experience where many of the responsibilities are assumed by the school, student responsibilities at a university also change.

It is the Student's Responsibility to:

  • Act as independent adults.
  • Self-identify or disclose their disability.
  • Provide verifying documentation.
  • Obtain assessment and test results and provide them to the University.
  • Arrange their own weekly schedules.
  • Contact the Disability Services Office regarding requests for accommodations.
  • Arrange for and obtain their own personal tutoring.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Program and Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

In 1977, Lenoir-Rhyne University implemented comprehensive support services which would afford deaf and hard-of-hearing students the same educational opportunities as their hearing counterparts. The program was established as a complement to Lenoir-Rhyne's former Deaf Education Teacher Training Program.

The primary goal of the program is to fully integrate deaf and hard-of-hearing students into the academic, co-curricular, social and residential life activities of LRU. The success of the program is evident in the active involvement and wide acceptance of the students into the campus community.

Since the program's inception, approximately 200 students have received services from the program. Students have earned a variety of degrees which have led to employment as accountants, computer analysts, teachers, college professors, biographics specialists and business counselors. Currently, the deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled at Lenoir-Rhyne represent a geographic cross-section of the country.

Accommodations may include:

  • Sign language interpreting (academic and co-curricular)
  • Cued language transliteration (academic and co-curricular)
  • Two sets of notes per academic class
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Co-academic advising
  • Visually equipped rooms in each residence hall
  • Sorenson VPs
  • On-site Captioning Services

Interpreters are RID Certified and licensed by the State of N.C. (N.C. General Statute 90D).

Residence Life

Students are housed in residence hall rooms equipped with visual fire alarm lights and doorbell lights.


Sherry Proctor

Director, Disability Services
Hickory Campus


Sarah Caudill

Titles: Visiting Instructor of Computing Sciences, Technology Specialist of the Cornerstone Student Support & Wellness Center
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7418

Sherry Proctor

Titles: Director, Disability Services
Phone Numbers:
School: 828.328.7296

Documentation Guidelines

Physical or Psychiatric Disability

Students at Lenoir-Rhyne University who request special accommodations on the basis of a physical or psychiatric disability must submit appropriate documentation of the disability. Decisions regarding eligibility for reasonable accommodations can be reached only after appropriate documentation of the diagnosis and supporting data are on file with the University.

  1. Students must submit a written statement from a licensed physician or licensed therapist describing the disability.
  2. This statement MUST include: diagnosis, treatment plan, limitations caused by the disability, possible medical complications, and prognosis for improvement.
  3. The documentation should list associated lab, and test data, when appropriate.
  4. Documentation must also include recommendations by the physician or therapist concerning SPECIFIC accommodations that may be needed for housing and classroom/academic activities at Lenoir-Rhyne University. (Justification for each recommended accommodation must be included if not evident in the information listed in #1).

All submitted documentation will be kept confidential.

Learning Disability

Students who are requesting accommodations to courses or University policies and procedures from the Lenoir-Rhyne University Disability Services Office are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A diagnosis of a disorder/impairment alone does not automatically qualify an individual for specific accommodations under the ADA.

The following guidelines are provided in the interest of ensuring that submitted documentation is appropriate and complete:

Guidelines for Documentation of a Specific Learning Disability:

  1. Appropriate documentation to support the existence of a Learning Disability would be a full psycho-educational evaluation, performed by a licensed psychologist, licensed psychological associate or other professional who is credentialed to perform such testing. A specific learning disability must be stated within the documentation submitted. If another diagnosis is applicable, it should also be stated. The diagnosis of a specific learning disability should ideally be presented in multiaxial format, as illustrated in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR or V). A statement should be included indicating current status of the learning disability and the functional limitations of the student as a result of the learning disability and how those limitations affect the student in an educational setting.
  2. The evaluation must have been completed within the last three years for students just graduating high school. It is preferred that individuals who are seventeen years of age or older be tested using diagnostic instruments normed for adults. If the entering student has graduated from high school more than 24 months prior to enrolling at Lenoir-Rhyne, and the documentation is in excess of three years old but less than five years old, the documentation may be accepted if the documentation clearly shows the Learning Disability has been stable over a period of time and clearly indicates present functioning.
  3. Average broad cognitive functioning must be demonstrated on an individually administered intelligence test. Subscale/subtest scores should be listed. One of the following instruments is acceptable: WAIS-R; WAIS Ill; Stanford-Binet IV; WISC-R; WISC-Ill.
  4. Specific cognitive processing strengths, weaknesses, and deficits should be discussed. Clear documentation of deficit areas is necessary in order for the university to provide appropriate, reasonable accommodations. Please discuss the following processing areas:
  • Visual special abilities
  • Memory (auditory and visual; short-term and long-term)
  • Fine motor/dexterity (speed/sequence of motor patterns)
  • Executive functions (verbal and nonverbal). It is also helpful to know about the student’s cognitive flexibility and automaticity with cognitive tasks.
  • Selective attention/perception (auditory and visual)
  1. Oral language skills should be assessed and discussed. Formal instruments or an informal analysis of a language sample are appropriate. Universities are primarily interested in whether or not a student's learning disability is impacting oral language and/or if a separate speech disorder is also present.
  2. Social-emotional assessment is required in order to rule-out a primary emotional basis for learning difficulties. Social-emotional status should be assessed and discussed. Formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interview are appropriate. If applicable, a mental health diagnosis should be clearly stated. Universities need to know differential diagnoses of psychological disorders that impact upon academics from learning disabilities. Higher Education is typically quite stressful for students who have learning disabilities. In an attempt to better serve students, it is helpful to know about their personality characteristics, psychological welfare, self-esteem, and ability to respond to stress.
  3. Significant specific achievement deficits relative to potential must be documented. Assessment results must be provided across the following areas:

a) Written language (spelling and written expression) -If a written language sample is available to review, this is most helpful. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age appropriate norms]: BODER; WJ-R (Achievement); TOAL-3; informal writing sample; TOWL-3 (for high school students only); SATA; or WIAT/WIATII.

b) Reading (decoding and comprehension) -Please indicates the student's ability to comprehend longer passages, more typical of university texts than some assessment instruments provide. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age appropriate norms]: WJ-R (Achievement); Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests-Revised (for high school students only); SATA; WIAT/WIATII; or Stanford Diagnostic Reading Tests-4th edition.

c) Mathematics (applied [word problems] and calculations) -Please indicate whether or not the student was successful with algebra problems. Scores rarely provide this. For example, students can score within the low average range on the WRAT-Ill without attempting any of the algebra problems. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age appropriate norms]: SATA; WJ-R (Achievement); Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Tests-4th edition; KeyMath-Revised/NU; or WIAT/WIATII.

d) Oral expression -Please indicate the student's ability to convey information in a detailed, organized manner. Examples of acceptable tests include [please use age appropriate norms]: Informal assessment during evaluation or WIAT/WIATII.

e) Listening Comprehension -Please indicate the student's ability to comprehend complex verbal material or information. Examples of acceptable tests include (please use age appropriate norms): Informal assessment during evaluation or WIAT/WIATII.

8. The documentation must include the following information:

Name of the assessment instrument(s) used

Quantitative and qualitative information which supports the diagnosis

Severity of the learning disability and impact in and out of the classroom

Recommendations for specific accommodations

Notation of medication(s) prescribed if any, and potential impact on learning

Additional observations or recommendations, which could assist us in adequately serving the student.

The name(s), title(s), credentials, address(s), and phone number(s) of the evaluator(s), as well as date(s) of testing. The material should be on letterhead of the individual professional or the agency/firm of which the professional is employed.

For students wishing to request entrance into LR’s cultural enrichment program to satisfy the foreign language requirement, the evaluator must clearly state that as a result of the diagnosed impairment the student is unable to learn a foreign language. Merely showing that learning a foreign language will be difficult or challenging is not sufficient for entrance into the cultural enrichment program, as the study of a foreign language can be difficult or challenging for non-disabled students. Also, being exempted from foreign language in High School under the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does not automatically mean the student will be exempted from the study of a foreign language in a post-secondary institution. Please contact the Director of Disability Services for details about the cultural enrichment program.

The aforementioned guidelines are provided so that the Disability Services Office can respond appropriately to the individual needs of the student. In regard to the evaluator(s) recommended accommodations, the evaluator(s) recommendations will be considered, however, the Director of Disability Services will make the final determination regarding what accommodations will be provided based on the severity of the diagnosis and whether the requested accommodation will fundamentally alter the nature of the course/assignment or the program. Additionally, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the university can deny a requested accommodation that poses an “undue” financial or administrative burden on the institution.

**Note: All documentation submitted will be retained in the Disability Services Office and will be considered confidential information.

Please send documentation along with the Request for Accommodation form to Sherry P. Proctor

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In order to establish that an individual is covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, documentation must be provided that indicates that a disability substantially limits some major life activity, including learning. The following documentation guidelines are provided to assure that documentation of ADHD demonstrates a significant impact on a major life activity and supports the request for accommodations.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain the documentation and present a copy to the Disability Services Office. Any correspondence regarding the adequacy of the submitted documentation will be sent to the student. It is the student's responsibility to obtain additional information or clarification.

Qualifications of the Evaluator

The name, title, and license/certification credentials of the evaluator must be stated in the documentation. The following professionals are considered qualified provided they have training in the differential diagnosis of ADHD and direct experience with an adolescent or adult ADHD population: A licensed/certified psychologist (e.g., clinical or school psychologist) or a member of a medical specialty (e.g. psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist. neurologist or relevantly trained medical doctor) who has expertise in evaluating the impact of ADHD on an individual's educational performance. A diagnosis of ADHD by someone whose training is not in these fields is not acceptable. All reports must be on letterhead, dated, and signed.

Documentation Should Be Current

Evaluation should be no more than three years old; however older documentation may be considered under appropriate circumstances, and on case-by-case basis. Current documentation is particularly important because reasonable accommodations and services are based on the assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic performance. If the documentation is not adequate in content or does not address the individual's
current level of functioning and need for accommodation(s), a reevaluation may be requested by Disability Services. In some
cases changes may have occurred in the student's performance since a previous diagnosis or new medication may have been prescribed or discontinued. In such cases it may be necessary to have a reevaluation. The update should include a detailed assessment of current impact of the ADHD.

The examiner should also include an interpretive summary of relevant information from the previous diagnostic report. Documentation must specifically address and substantiate the need for accommodations based on the student’s current functioning in an educational setting.

Documentation must be comprehensive

A comprehensive evaluation must include a clinical interview, evidence of early impairment, statement of presenting problems, evidence of current impairment, rule out of alternative diagnoses, assessment of attention difficulties, and a diagnosis of ADHD using all DSM-IV-TR criteria.

A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 Accommodation Plan is insufficient documentation to support a student's eligibility for accommodations but may be included as part of a more comprehensive report.

Clinical Interview

ADHD is by definition first exhibited in childhood and manifests itself in more than one setting; as such, relevant historical information is essential. A student's academic history should be included. Medical, developmental, and social histories should be investigated and reported, along with any family history of educational medical or psychosocial difficulties. A description of the individual’s presenting attentional symptoms should be provided as well as any history of such symptoms. A family history of ADHD and the student's medication history also are important.

Statement of Presenting Problems and Evidence of Current Impact

A statement of the presenting problem as well as a history of the individual's presenting attentional symptoms should be provided. This should include evidence of ongoing impulsive/hyperactive or inattentive behaviors that significantly impair functioning in two or more life activities.

Rule out alternative diagnosis

The evaluator should include any assessment data that supports or refutes a diagnosis of ADHD. It is imperative that the evaluators investigate and discuss the possibility of a dual diagnosis. This process should include exploration of alterative diagnoses and medical and psychiatric: disorders as well as educational and cultural factors affecting the individual, which may result in symptoms that mimic ADHD.

Assessment of ADHD

Assessments such as checklists and rating scales are very important, but checklists, surveys, or subtest scores should not be used as the SOLE criterion for a diagnosis of ADHD.

Diagnosis of ADHD Using DSM-IV-TR Criteria

Individuals who exhibit general problems with organization, test anxiety, memory and concentration alone do not fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Likewise. A positive response to medication by itself does not confirm a diagnosis of ADHD. The diagnostician should use direct language in the diagnosis of ADHD. Avoiding the use of terms such as "suggests", "is indicative of ", or "attention problems". A specific statement that the student is diagnosed as having ADHD with the sub-type and the accompanying DSM-IV-TR criteria are required for services and accommodations.

It is important to determine the current impact of the disorder on the individual's ability to function in multiple settings. As such, the evaluator must describe the substantial limitation(s) to academic learning, emotional and psychological functioning, interpersonal relationships, and independent living skills. All data must logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the individual is requesting accommodation.

Recommendations for Accommodations

The diagnostic report should include specific recommendations for academic accommodations. It is important to reflect upon the functional impact and limitations of the disorder on the student's ability to learn in the classroom. A history of accommodations does not in itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations. If accommodations are not identified specifically in the diagnostic report, the Disability Services Office must request and receive this information before services can be provided. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodation rests with the Disability Services Office.

A summary of diagnostic findings is a valuable component of the report. The summary might include an indication of how patterns of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity validate the presence of ADHD, elimination of alternative explanations for academic problems (e.g., poor study habits, lack of motivation, psychosocial or medical problems), and a rationale for the academic accommodations requested.

*These guidelines; have been developed with the assistance of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Psychology Clinic and adapted from The Consortium Guidelines for Documentation of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adolescents and Adults (1998).

Checklist Prior to Attendance

It is recommended prospective students begin exploring options prior to the senior year. Delaying this process can impact college selection.

  • Identify sources of college/university information.
  • Develop a tentative list of universities.
  • Research services offered by the institution(s).
  • Research academic and social competencies needed for success in a university setting.
  • Inquire about documentation of disability requirements.
  • Discuss special testing arrangements for the SAT/ACT.
  • Plan college/university visits.
  • Apply early.
  • If accepted, contact the Disability Services Office at the institution for specific information.

Source: This material was developed by the NC Association on Higher Education and Disability

Frequently Asked Questions

Should students submit original copies of documentation?

No. Students should only submit copies of documentation. The student should retain the originals for their records.

Will disability related documentation have to be updated while a student is enrolled at Lenoir-Rhyne?

No. Lenoir-Rhyne University does not require students to update their documentation while they are enrolled. However, if an accommodation is requested that is not supported by the student's existing documentation, additional documentation will need to be submitted.

Additionally, testing agencies such as the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and the PRAXIS (for education majors) may require that documentation meet their own criteria. For example, a student with a learning disability who submits documentation to the Director of Disability Services that is two years old when they enter as a freshman will in all likelihood need to be re-tested for their learning disability if they want accommodations on an ETS administered test taken during their senior year. This is because ETS requires that learning disability documentation be no older than five years old. While LR does not require that students be re-evaluated to receive services, students may have to be re-evaluated to be eligible for accommodations in other organization's services or programs.

Does Lenoir-Rhyne provide diagnostic testing for students who may have a learning disability or for students who need to update their learning disability related documentation?

No. Lenoir-Rhyne University does not provide diagnostic testing. However, we do keep an up-to-date listing of agencies in the area that provide diagnostic testing.

Will a student with a disability receive the same accommodations they received in high school?

Not necessarily. Postsecondary institutions are under very different obligations than high schools. Universities look at how an accommodation will affect the nature of the class and can deny accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a class or institutional program or service. Additionally, universities do not have to provide accommodations that will pose an undue administrative or financial burden.

How do professors know a student is to receive disability related academic accommodations?

Each semester that a student wishes to receive academic accommodations he/she needs to meet with the Director of Disability Services to request accommodations. The Director will provide the student with letters that state the accommodations the student is to receive in class. The student then gives these letters to each of his/her professors.

If a student has a class with a professor that is already aware of the student's disability, do they still need a modification letter at the beginning of the semester?

Yes. Don't assume the professor will remember what types of accommodations a student is eligible to receive. Also, if the student does not present the letter to the professor and the student does not get the accommodations they need from the professor, the student will have little recourse, as they never requested a modification in that class.

The modification letter is verification that a request for a disability related modification was made by the student and approved by the Director of Disability Services.

If a student with a disability begins a course and does not request accommodations but has difficulty later in the semester, can they request accommodations and re-take prior tests with accommodations?

No. Accommodations are not granted retroactively. However, if the student in the above scenario is approved for accommodations during the semester, he/she will receive the approved accommodations from that point forward.

Are all learning disabled students allowed into the foreign language substitution courses?

No. All requests for entry into Lenoir-Rhyne's cultural enrichment program are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Students who wish to enter the cultural enrichment program to fulfill the foreign language requirement of the core curriculum will need to provide clear documentation from an appropriate professional that illustrates that as a direct result of the diagnosed impairment they cannot learn a foreign language. Merely showing the presence of a disabling condition, or that foreign language courses will be difficult or challenging, is not sufficient to enter the cultural enrichment program as foreign languages courses can be difficult or challenging for all students.

Does LR provide 'un-timed testing' as an academic modification?

In general, the answer to this question is, no. As with all accommodations, the request for additional testing time is made on a case-by-case basis. Most students who receive additional testing time as an accommodation receive time-and-a-half. This means if the in-class test or quiz is to take 50 minutes, the student approved to receive time and a half would be allowed to use up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Students with severe disabilities may receive double time to use when taking in-class tests or quizzes if their documented disability is such that double time would be needed to ensure equal access to the test.

Remember, as with all accommodations, additional testing time is used as a reasonable accommodation to provide disabled students equal access to the test. The provision of extended testing time does not guarantee a student will be able to complete the test. This is because, in classes where tests are timed, non-disabled students may or may not be able to complete the exam.

Does the Disability Services Office provide note taking services?

Yes. Note taking services are available for students with learning and physical disabilities. Note takers are volunteers from within the class the student with a disability is taking. Note takers can be obtained in one of two ways; either the student with a disability can ask another student if they would act as a note taker for them, or the Director of Disability Services can speak to the professor of the course and ask him/her to assist the student in identifying a note taker. Once a note taker is found the Disability Services Office can provide the student with carbonless note taking paper that can be used for this service.

Can students with disabilities tape record classes?

There has never been an instance where a student wanted to tape record a class and was told they couldn't by the professor. If however, this unlikely event would happen, and the student's documentation supported the use of a recording device in class, the Director of Disability Services would contact the professor and ask that the student be allowed to tape record their classes as a reasonable modification due to the student's disability.

Are textbooks available in E-text or Audio format?

Yes, for students with documented reading impairments textbooks are available electronically. However, there are times when particular books may not be available.

Some publishers provide E-Text materials for students with disabilities. The Director will try various outlets to locate books electronically. Also, text to speech programs are available for student use.

For more information, contact the Director of Disability Services immediately.

What other campus resources are available for students with disabilities?

Students with disabilities have access to the same support services that are available to all students.

The Lohr Learning Commons provides assistance with writing, public speaking, course-specific tutoring, math tutoring lab, and general learning strategies.

The Writing Center uses peer Consultants to assist students in improving their writing ability.

The Career and Personal Development Center educates students and alumni about effective career decision-making and planning as well as dedicated to giving short-term, problem-resolution therapy for students for such as Test Anxiety, General Anxiety, Depression, Grief or Substance Abuse.

Cornerstone Hours

The Cornerstone House:
Monday - Friday: 8 am to 5 pm

Student Health:
Monday - Thursday: 8 am - 12 pm; 1 pm - 5 pm
Friday: 8 am - 12 pm


Monique Peoples

Administrative Assistant, Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center
Hickory Campus