Ready Set Go College

Comprehensive Assistance for Students with Learning Challenges from Middle School through the End of the First Year of College.

1. Preparing students to more effectively manage the academic demands of college
2. Assistance with College Choice/Application
3. Positive College Transition/Advocacy



Every student deserves the opportunity to reach her/his potential in life. College is the portal to success. Our mission is to provide students who have learning challenges with the indivdualized instruction and guidance necessary to level the playing field leading to college success.

Why Ready Set Go College?

In order to be competitive in the current labor market it has become increasingly important for individuals with disabilities to receive a college degree, primarily because having a four year degree is positively correlated with employment rates.  (Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability).

Students with disabilities are more likely than their non-disabled peers to have difficulty in the following areas:  study/test taking skills; note taking; listening comprehension; organization; social skills; self-esteem and reading/writing (Junco, 2002).

The abilities that students bring to the college experience as well as the postsecondary academic setting significantly impact their ability to succeed.  (Astin, 1998).

Unfortunately, only 41% of students with disabilities complete college once they start, (Huffington Post 2014).
  1. Middle School Students   
  2. High School Students  
  3. Transitioning College Students

Serving students who have educational challenges:
  • With no diagnosis
  • SLD
  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • Communication Disorders
  • Social/emotional
  • Mobility impaired
  • No matter how bright, students can lack the skills to be effective learners and productive in their academics
  • May or may not have formal diagnosis but difficulty managing schoolwork
  • Students who are not achieving their academic potential
  • Students who have difficulty managing their academic and social demands
  • Students who have gaps in basic reading, writing, and math skills
  • Students who are easily distracted
  • Students for whom school causes stress
  • Students with diverse learning styles
  • Students whose disorganization negatively affects their grades
  • Students who are apprehensive about their ability to prosper in college
  • Students who procrastinate excessively and have difficulty initiating tasks such as writing assignments
  • Students who have difficulty persisting with tasks
  • Students who have difficulty controlling their emotions in school
  • Students for whom time management difficulties interfere with school and home life
  • Students who need to learn study and test taking skills
  • Students who have test anxiety




Most students with disabilities have gaps in their preparedness for college living and academics.  Areas that require assistance may be related to academics, executive functioning, independent living, or social/emotional skills.  

  • In order to gain insights into what is getting in the way of their meeting their potential and develop a personalized coaching plan
  • Talk with students and parents to learn the reason for interest in RSGC 
  • Establish both student and parent concerns regarding readiness for college
  • Appraise students’ strengths and challenges academically and social/emotionally
  • Use questionnaires to probe student interests 
  • Test for learning style strengths 
  • Discuss student high school, college, and post-college goals 
  • Discuss parent high school, college, and post-college goals for their child
  • Review any supporting documentation - Psycho-educational reports; current and past IEPs; K-present school portfolio if available; present and former report cards; scored written assignments in any subject areas; math tests.  
  • Gather input from any teachers possible 
  • Determine coaching priorities
  • Set comprehensive goals and short term objectives for coaching

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  • For all parents, preparing for and transitioning a child to college is stressful.  When your child has educational challenges, that stress can become overwhelming.   Ready Set Go College can be there to any extent you require.  Diane has been in the special education field for many years and understands that parents most often require both educational expertise and emotional support.   She will be there to advocate for your child during a contentious IEP meeting or as a compassionate shoulder to cry on.  
  • Work as a team to overcome challenging issues   
  • By building an ongoing individualized and family-centered program, RSGC is uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive supports to parents and their children.  Diane wishes to collaborate with parents on all issues and keeps lines of communication open through telephone and email.  I
  • IEP collaboration with schools
  • guidance and support for parents throughout the middle/high school and college transition process
  • Advocate with teachers at both the middle/high school and college levels 
  • Collaborate with school, psychologists and other support agencies 
  • Attend school meetings and act as Advocate at IEP meetings.  Diane has current Virginia certifications in Special Education as well as School District Superintendent and PK-12 Principal.  Having spent many years as a Special Education Administrator, including District Director of Special Education, she has expertise in educational law in addition to a deep understanding of student educational needs.  
  • Regularly communicate with parents regarding child’s progress



  • Individualized college preparation and transition for students with learning challenges
  • Close Academic gaps in reading, writing and math.
  • Develop strategies for academic challenges
  • Learn work habits that will be necessary in college
  • Provides students with tools and strategies for academic and social success.
  • Assistance in developing middle/high school and college program of course work
  • Improve self-management skills
  • Set comprehensive goals and short- term objectives
  • Practice training in effective study skills
  • Learn effective work and study habits that will be necessary in college
  • Empower young people to manage themselves effectively
  • Lasting and significant changes in the way they work and manage their lives
  • Assist students in becoming more confident learners
  • Train students to recognize and incorporate their personal motivational triggers and break requirements
  • Learn how to manage distractions, maintain attention, and stay on task
  • Develop personalized organizational systems
  • Identify and learn to use technology that improves productivity
  • Build positive academic and social independence
  • Learn to apply strategies to stay on task and maintain attention
  • Learn to organize work space
  • Design test taking strategies
  • Develop social/friendship skills as they relate to college life
  • Increase time management skills
  • Learn to prioritize work and social life


College Selection and Application

Finding the best fit college is a daunting process for any family.  But above the normal priorities, for students with disabilities there are a myriad of variables that require particular scrutiny including:  college disability services (accommodations differ greatly among colleges!); professors' training in teaching students with disabilities; flexibility in scheduling; housing/room options; tutoring; advisory system; transportation; extra-curricular options; classroom technology; assistive technology; class size; and general commitment of the college to insuring that their students with disabilities are successful.

Diane identifies the needs of each student and assists the family in matching colleges with the best fit.  She is available to accompany the family on college visits.


Diane coaches students through essay writing and assists with the application process.
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College Transition

For students with disabilities, transitioning to college presents challenges in an overwhelming number of areas.  There are many changes to be dealt with including:  the move from protections under IDEA to ADA/Section 504; assessments and documentation of disability; accommodation qualifications and decisions; the move to self-advocacy including educational advocacy; legal autonomy; financial accounting; social independence; and self-care including medications.

College Advocacy

Once the student has accepted an invitation to enroll, Diane can begin advocating with college teachers and administrators regarding housing priorities/needs, transportation, counseling, course requirements, tutoring. assistive technology, etc.  Diane's background in educational law and administration, combined with a comprehensive understanding of special education, enables Diane to be a strong educational negotiator.

College Student Support

Advocacy and supports can continue as long as the student wishes.  This assistance can take place via email, text or other social media as well as Diane personally visiting the college.

It is Diane's goal to insure that each of her students experiences success and happiness from the first day of college until graduation!
Generally sessions are in the convenience of your home.  If you prefer, coaching can take place at your public library or at Diane’s home-office in Bluemont, VA.

Ongoing follow-up work and college guidance can take place via Skype, phone, or email.
Since this is a personalized program, instruction is designed to fit individual students’ interests and needs.   Although some desk work is necessary, most of the work will be interactive with varied instructional strategies.  There will be role playing, games, use of technology, and movement.
Young people generally lead hectic lives, and it is essential that these sessions not cut into activities they enjoy.  That said, scheduling is difficult. The sessions are each ninety minutes.  Parents and students set the time and frequency to the greatest extend possible.
Billing is for direct coaching  time only.  Planning and travel times are not charged. The cost is $85.00 per hr.  Packages are available for: 5 hrs. for $400 ; 10 hrs. for $750.  

Diane Wood, MA has been working with students with academic challenges for over thirty years. She is currently Virginia Department of Education certified as a District Superintendent and PK-12 Principal as well as in Special Education.  Diane has a Masters in Communication Disorders, certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Education Aministration and has completed all but dissertation for a Doctorate in Education Administration from Boston University.  

Diane's professional background includes having been the Director of Special Education for a school district, teacher in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Vermont, and School District Director of Federal and Special Programs, and Curriculum Coordinator at a school for students with Autism.  Much of Diane's work has included Special Education Law.

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  • OFFICE LOCATION: Foggy Bottom Road Bluemont VA 20135