Challenging for the students, but also to colleges and universities, hidden illnesses that students cope with with getting college degrees drastically impact how they deal with their studies, an IowaWatch/Simpson College journalism report in late spring 2015 revealed.
These stories, by Simpson College students before they graduated and took full-time work in journalism, explain the problem and possible solutions.
Katie Anthony had to take a medical leave from college before returning this spring to Iowa State University as a part-time graduate student and teaching assistant. To date, the 25-year-old woman from Cedar Rapids estimates she’s missed almost half the term balancing her studies with debilitating bouts of cyclic vomiting syndrome. Read the story.
College Students in Iowa Reveal Their Hidden Diseases, Struggles,
by Kate Hayden
For some students, being sick is a major hurdle to clear while getting a college degree. For still others, it’s everyday life.
This leaves colleges and universities with challenges, dealing with student disabilities rarely encountered but which drastically impacts the amount of engagement students can put into courses.
Professors Have To Adapt To Students With Hidden Illnesses, by Megan Quick
Professors at Iowa colleges and universities may teach the same class over and over but each semester brings a new experience with all kinds of students. Ambitious students, quiet students, lazy students, disruptive students.
They also teach students with illnesses and disabilities that, in some cases, are not easy to see but to which faculty have to respond.
Mental illness is the most common invisible illness students deal with when trying to get a college education.
Sometimes the stress can be related to being on a block plan, under which students take one course for three-and-a-half weeks, take four days off and then start a new class. Students feel they have to intensely cram one course into a short amount of time and manage this type of routine.
When Donna Musel started work as Buena Vista University’s disabilities coordinator 14 years ago only two students with illnesses requested classroom accommodations to help them do their college studies.
“Now I have quite a few more than that,” Musel said this spring.
Musel works with 64 students at Buena Vista’s main campus in Storm Lake and 26 students registered across the university’s 16 satellite campuses who receive some sort of accommodation for a physical or hidden disability.
Podcast: Hear the IowaWatch Connection radio report on this project: