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A learning disability is a permanent, cognitive disorder that affects the manner in which individuals with average to above average intelligence take in, retain, and/or express information.


  • Poor comprehension and retention
  • Poor mastery of phonics

Written Language

  • Multiple spelling errors, difficulties with grammar and sentence structure
  • Inability to copy accurately 

Oral Language

  • Poor concentration and comprehension
  • Problems with correctly expressing ideas


  • Number reversal and confusion with operations signs
  • Difficulty with sequencing or abstract concepts

Organizational & Study Skills

  • Difficulties with oral or written instructions
  • Problems organizing work
  • Difficulties in organizing time

LD Services

Services are available to any qualified student with a learning disability, according to Title V regulations that govern the California Community Colleges.  The determination of appropriate accommodations is made by the Learning Disabilities (LD) Specialist based on a complete learning disabilities assessment to determine the following:

  1.      Average to above average intellectual ability
  2.      At least average achievement in an educational or work setting
  3.      Significant discrepancy or difference between ability and current achievement
  4.      Difficulty processing, understanding or using certain types of information

Students with LD have strengths and weaknesses.  Some may learn well by listening, while others are visual or hands-on learners.  Reading and writing could be difficult for some, while math or organization may be affected for others. It is important to identify what learning disabilities are NOT:

  • Not related to physical disabilities, including CP, acquired brain injuries, vision or hearing disabilities or seizure disorders
  • Not due to psychological or emotional disabilities
  • Not the result of cultural or language differences
  • Not because of limited educational opportunities
  • Not determined without comprehensive cognitive and achievement testing

Referral and Assessment

Students seeking information about learning disability services should schedule an appointment with a Learning Disability Specialist through the DSPS office. Students may refer themselves, or they may be referred by an instructor or counselor.

All California Community College students must meet the same learning disability eligibility requirements.

The steps/requirements for assessment:

  1.      Schedule an appointment by calling 831-755-6760,  or by coming in to our office in Building B, Room 107. 
  2.      Meet with an LD Specialist for an Intake interview (1 hour)
  3.      Must be a current student at Hartnell College
  4.      Assessment of academic achievement (2 hours)
  5.      Assessment of cognitive ability (2 hours)
  6.     After the assessment is completed, the student meets with the Learning Disability Specialist to review the results of the assessment (1 hour). During this meeting, courses and other recommended services will be discussed.

This process can take 3 to 4 weeks to complete.