“Going to College With Diabetes”: A Guide
Leaving for college is a milestone: For many young people, it’s their first taste of adulthood, away from Mom and Dad. For college students with diabetes, however, it poses new challenges: managing their condition without parents or their usual diabetes care team at their side. “Going to College with Diabetes: A Self Advocacy Guide for Students,” a free online resource from the American Diabetes Association, aims to ease that transition.
The 64-page printable guide is the ADA’s first publication directed specifically at college students. In it, students can learn to navigate everything from the admissions process to life with diabetes on campus.
Katharine Gordon, an ADA staff attorney and a coauthor of the guide, says the Association’s focus on advocacy in elementary and secondary schools has helped students with diabetes succeed in and out of the classroom, better preparing them for college. Now, the guide will help these students prepare for working with college instructors and administrators so that they can manage their diabetes well at college and fully participate in campus life. The guide also outlines what students might need or expect from their schools regarding testing, housing, meal plans, and even labs and internships.
Unlike other ADA publications on diabetes care at school, Gordon says this guide is designed for students, and not primarily their parents, though parents may find it informative, too. “Because college puts the emphasis on students asking for what they need and advocating for themselves, this is a tool for students,” Gordon says. “It’s not designed for litigation, but instead so students can get the tools they need at the beginning, before problems arise, and have a good relationship with their university.”
“Going to College with Diabetes: A Self Advocacy Guide for Students” is available online at diabetes.org/collegeanddiabetes along with other post-secondary school resources.