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College Programs to Support Students with Learning Differences: The FLY Program

In my last blog entry, we examined Ohio Wesleyan University’s new “Bishop ACCESS Program,” a fee-based academic coaching program designed to help students with learning differences who need an additional level of academic and out-of-class support. In today’s blog, we will look at Bowling Green State University’s “FLY Program.”

BGSU’s FLY Program is only a few years old, but has grown rapidly. It assists students with learning differences and attention challenges while providing a supportive and structured academic environment. Students in the FLY Program work with a Learning Specialist one-on-one. The Learning Specialist provides academic coaching, accountability, and triage. The Learning Specialist may connect the student with other university services that he or she might need such as counseling or disability services. They additionally help students stay aware of grades, manage assignments, and exercise time management. They also coach students on how to activate accommodations as needed. The program is housed in the “Learning Commons” located in the University Library.

Services included:

  • 60 minutes of coaching per week with a dedicated Learning Specialist
  • One hour of focused tutoring for each enrolled course
  • Access to a writing coach, math coach, and research coach through BGSU’s “Learning Commons”
  • Bi-weekly e-mail or phone updates provided to parents with student permission
  • Ongoing workshop access on topics including test taking, motivation, organizational skills
  • Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI)
  • Secondary advising support

Similar to Ohio Wesleyan University’s Bishop ACCESS Program, the FLY Program is a fee-based optional offering and costs an additional $2,500 per semester. The program is currently working to design a “Level 2” option that would provide less services and cost around $1,200 per semester. Enrollment is currently 57 students and the FLY Program is excited to graduate its first class in 2020!

Students apply for admission to the FLY Program after achieving admission to the University and providing documentation (such as IPE and ETR) to the Disability Services Office. Admitted students often have a primary diagnosis of a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, or autism spectrum disorder. The ideal candidate is motivated to take advantage of academic support, has performed academically in the past, and can self-advocate. The program is not designed to support social skill development.

The FLY Program is impressive and should be investigated by families interested in identifying resources to support their student with learning differences. Next week we will look at one of the oldest and most established of our unique academic support programs. Don’t miss it.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA) – a Columbus, Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 18 “fit factors” and helping students clarify co-curricular and major options while exploring colleges that specialize in them.  College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas. Check us out at or check out what we can do for you here: