Guidelines for Psycho-educational Evaluation Documentation

  • Our goal in requesting a psycho-educational evaluation is twofold: a) to obtain documentation of a specific Learning Disability, and b) to develop appropriate accommodations which will best serve our students. Therefore, while an older or incomplete evaluation may document a disability, it does not clarify the need for appropriate accommodation. Similarly, reevaluations, which merely restate previous test results, do not provide clarification of current needs. Please do not send IEPs or NORAs, nor do we wish to have more than one adult assessment.

    1. Evaluations must have been performed within the last three (3) years.
      1. A specific learning disability must be stated within the documentation submitted. If another diagnosis is applicable, such as Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, it should be stated. Please state the DSM-IV axis and code number when available.
    2. Evaluations should include measurements of broad cognitive functioning, demonstrated on individually administered intelligence tests, including subtest scores. Suggested evaluation tools include the Wechsler Adult Scales or Woodcock Johnson Batteries.
    3. Specific cognitive processing strengths, weaknesses, and deficits should be discussed. Clear documentation of deficit areas is necessary in order for IUP to provide the appropriate accommodations. Please discuss the following processing areas:
      1. Visual spatial abilities
      2. Memory (auditory and visual; short- and long-term)
      3. Fine motor/dexterity (speed/sequence of motor patterns)
      4. Executive functions (verbal and nonverbal reasoning)
      5. Selective attention/perception (auditory and visual)
    4. Specific achievement deficits relative to potential must be documented. Suggested evaluation tools include the Wechsler Scales or Woodcock Johnson Batteries. Assessment results must be provided across the following areas:
      1. Written language
      2. Reading (decoding and comprehension): Please indicate the student’s ability to comprehend long reading passages (i.e., those which are typical on college exams).
      3. Mathematics (applied (word problems) and calculations)
    5. Oral language skills should be assessed and discussed. This office is interested to know if a student’s learning disability or psychological disorder is impacting oral language and/or if a separate speech disorder is present. Please indicate if foreign language is a specific problem area.
    6. Social-emotional status should be assessed and discussed. Formal assessment instruments and/or clinical interviews are appropriate. The college experience is typically quite stressful for students who have learning or attention deficit disorders. In an attempt to best serve our students, we need to know about their personality characteristics, psychological welfare, self-esteem, and stress level.
    7. Utilization of assessment instruments with age-appropriate norms is required. All standardized measures must be represented by standard scores or percentile ranks based on age-appropriate, published norms.
    8. Specific accommodations, appropriate to the diagnosis, should be offered. These accommodations may include, but are not limited to: part-time enrollment; substitution of required courses; alternate examination formats, including extended time, isolated exam administration, oral exam administration, or other formats deemed appropriate to the student’s specific learning disability or psychological disorder; aids or assistance with reading, writing, note-taking, test-taking, proofreading, and transcription or typing; disability related counseling; priority registration; and liaison with faculty, staff, and community agencies.
    9. Comments and questions regarding these guidelines may be directed to the IUP Advising and Testing Center at the address above.
    10. Note: We reserve the right to request additional documentation and to determine appropriate accommodations based upon documentation, your request, and our professional experience.

    Updated April 2011