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College Access Program
For Students with Language-Based Learning Disabilities

In 1978, Montgomery College established the Learning Center Program through Disability Support Services on the Rockville campus. Now known as the College Access Program (CAP), it serves students with specific language based learning disabilities who have the potential and motivation for success in college classes, but who first require a developmental program in language skills.

The College Access Program (CAP) helps students with language based learning disabilities develop reading and writing skills, learning strategies, and study techniques, so they are better prepared to succeed in college classes. Students in the program receive assistance through designated sections of developmental classes in English and reading, laboratory and tutorial sessions, and counseling support.

About CAP:

The primary objectives of the program are to improve students' reading and writing skills and to teach academic coping strategies. The program's ultimate goal is to teach students academic and study skills that will enable them to function independently, both in the classroom and in the job market.

College Access Program (CAP) counseling and instructional faculty and staff work as a team to monitor the students' progress at Montgomery College. They serve as liaisons between students and faculty members. In addition, the staff assists students in their transition to a four-year institution or career.


A team of CAP faculty reviews each applicant; eligibility includes:

  • Diagnosis of a specific language based learning disability
  • Average or above average intellectual ability
  • Reading comprehension level of at least sixth grade
  • Motivation to commit the time and effort necessary to complete the program
  • Absence of an emotional or behavioral disorder as the primary disability

Qualified students who do not meet the above criteria or who apply after the program is full may still be eligible to receive support services and authorization for classroom accommodations from Disability Support Services.


Students may enter the College Access Program in either the Fall Semester (September) or the Spring Semester (January). We do not have a summer program.

Application to the program involves the following steps:

Since space in the College Access Program is limited, candidates are encouraged to apply early. A team of College Access Program faculty reviews and evaluates information compiled on each candidate and selects eligible applicants. After notifying students of their acceptance into the program, CAP faculty recommend course placement. The entire selection process takes several weeks to complete. Students accepted to the program after classes are filled will have their names placed on a waiting list.


There are six College Access Program classes; four are designated sections of non-credit developmental classes in English and reading. These designated sections have the same requirements as other sections, but they are smaller, have classroom assistants, use individualized and small-group instruction, and use a multi-sensory approach to learning. Mandatory tutoring sessions and an individual skills laboratory designed by the learning and reading specialists support classroom instruction. The remaining classes are designated sections of one-credit Student Development courses that are especially adapted for students with language based learning disabilities and taught by counseling faculty. 

EN001 - Basic English (no credit - 5 contact hours)
Reviews basic principles of English usage including grammar, punctuation, mechanics, sentence structure; provides an introduction to writing short paragraphs and brief essays. Five hours class time, plus two hours required in Learning Center each week.

EN002 - Basic English II (no credit - 5 contact hours)
A more intensive review of English usage including sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and techniques of writing well developed paragraphs; emphasized writing college-level essays. Five hours class time, plus two hours required in Learning Center each week.

RD095 - College Reading Skills I (no credit - 5 contact hours)
Develops ability to read and understand simple paragraphs, including reading for main ideas and supporting details, recognizing patterns of organization and reading for inference. Students develop strategies for word attack and for building vocabulary. Five hours class time, plus two hours required in Learning Center each week.

RD099 - College Reading Skills  II (no credit - 3 contact hours)
Continues to build upon the skills or RD089. Emphasizes developing an ability to read and understand college textbooks, developing critical reading skills and effective study strategies. Three hours class time, plus two hours required in Learning Center each week.

DS102 - Study Habits Development (one credit hour)
Develops positive attitudes to learning and improves basic learning habits. Instructs and provides experience in test taking, note taking, highlighting, and study techniques. Emphasizes organizing materials and using time effectively. Three hours lecture per week for five weeks.

DS 107 - First Year Experience (one credit hour)
Assists students in adjusting to college. Includes an orientation to available academic and student services. Addresses study techniques and educational and career planning. Three hours lecture per week for five weeks.


The prescriptive specialist develops an Educational Profile for each student enrolled in the College Access Program classes. The Educational Profile includes the student's educational evaluation; information about the student's strengths, weaknesses, and learning style; and recommended strategies, materials, and activities for classroom instruction, tutoring sessions, and Individual Skills Lab.

Regularly scheduled individual peer tutoring sessions to reinforce the reading and English classes are required. Tutors, either student assistants or community volunteers, participate in ongoing, in-depth training and are supervised by the College Access Program faculty and staff.

Regularly scheduled weekly sessions of Individual Skills Lab to support specific skills and strategies presented in class are required. The learning and reading specialists establish the content of each lab session.

A well-equipped Assistive Technology Laboratory with computers, educational and disability-specific software, and assistive equipment is available to students enrolled in CAP classes.

DSS offers academic, personal and career counseling services by appointment and on a walk-in basis. Counselors work with individuals and classes to address student adjustment to and experience at Montgomery College. Academic advising is available through individual appointments, walk-in times and pre-registration workshops. New student orientations are offered at the beginning of each semester.

Each semester if a student requests accommodations, a College Access Program counselor composes an Accommodation Letter for each of the student's instructors. The letter provides information about the student's specific disability and authorizes appropriate classroom and testing accommodations. The student delivers the letter directly to the instructors and discusses arrangements for accommodations. When necessary, College Access Program faculty will personally contact an instructor. Although academic adjustments may be necessary based on a student's documentation, instructors maintain the content, requirements, and standards of a course or curriculum.


For an information packet,
Call DSS: 240-567-5058, TTY 301-294-9672,
Email DSS:
Print out the information packet from the DSS website,
or write to:
Disability Support Services,
Counseling/Advising Building, Room 122
Montgomery College
51 Mannakee St.
Rockville, MD 20850. 

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Content Manager: Janet Merrick,, 240-567-5061