PAL - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the nature of the support offered by PAL?
A: Students meet regularly (two to three times per week) with a PAL professor - a learning specialist who is also a Curry College faculty member - in a combination of individual and/or small group classes. Students are helped to understand their learning styles and, based on that understanding, to develop and implement strategies in areas such as reading, writing, note-taking, time management, organization, and test-taking.

Q: What are the criteria for acceptance into PAL?
A: PAL admits students with language-based learning disabilities and/or AD/HD, who have intellectual ability ranging from at least average to superior, and who can understand and interact with college level material (i.e., analyze and synthesize abstract concepts). Further, students must have independent living skills and be motivated to participate as full partners in their learning (as revealed by attendance and commitment to PAL and other classes).

Q: My testing does not provide a specific diagnosis. Should I still apply to PAL?
A: Yes. We can usually determine on the basis of the diagnostic information you submit whether your disability meets our criteria. The special education professionals at your school may also be able to help you answer this question.

Q: Can I submit testing that is older than is specified by PAL?
A: Certain circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally, testing should be current (within the past three years) so we know exactly what your ability and skill levels are at the time of entrance to college. We welcome older testing along with current testing, if available.

Q: My high school is unwilling to do updated testing and/or is unwilling to administer the tests you require. What do I do?
A: Many private educational consultants, children's medical centers, and psychologists will conduct testing for college admissions purposes. Curry's Educational Diagnostic Center (EDC) also provides testing for a fee (please contact 617-333-2314 for more information). This testing is also likely to be used for more than just one purpose in the student's future so it is worthwhile to have current testing, indicating adult ability levels, on hand.

Q: Does PAL provide support for social skills issues such as those associated with Asperger's Syndrome and/or some nonverbal learning disabilities?
A: PAL was developed to support students with language-based learning disabilities. It is limited in its ability to support difficulties in social settings, independent living skills and daily decision-making. PAL does not offer training in social skills. Students with needs in these areas are generally not appropriate for PAL.

Q: Does PAL provide support for students with Traumatic Brain Injury, psychiatric disabilities, sensory or motor impairments, or other disabilities?
A: PAL is not designed to support students whose primary disabling condition is other than a specific learning disability and/or AD/HD. Students who are accepted to Curry College who have such conditions are eligible for reasonable accommodations as defined by various federal and state laws through the Disability Services Office ( Please contact Christopher Kennedy at 617-333-2385 or for more information about these services.

Q: Can I be accepted into the College but not into PAL?
A: Yes. In some instances it is decided that the program is not well suited to your needs; however, you may be accepted into the College without PAL services based on standard Admissions criteria.

Q: Is an interview required?
A: An interview with both PAL and the Admissions Office is strongly recommended, and some applicants may be called for an interview. To schedule an interview with PAL, please contact the PAL office at 617-333-2250 or are also invited to attend an Open House event for the entire college in October or November. (Call 617-333-2210 or email for additional information.)

Q: If I am denied to PAL may I appeal the decision?
A: Yes. To do this you would submit a request in writing within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision. This request must be accompanied by new or additional information. Appeals not accompanied by new or additional information will not be considered.

E-Mail your comments and questions about the PAL program to:

PAL Director - Dr. Laura Vanderberg - 617.333.2270 or
AL Admission Coordinator - Dr. Nancy Winbury - 617.333-2314 -

PAL Professor Diane Webber Receives Whiting Foundation Fellowship

Dr. Diane Webber recently received a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation. Dr. Webber will travel to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in June 2016 to confer with Scandinavian colleagues about Bringing Active Learning to the College Classroom at the Universities of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Bergen.

Meet Ivan Marchany '16 - IT, PAL

Like many high school kids, Ivan Marchany '16 was very much into video games. But little did he realize that his boyhood hobby would turn into a career path in cyber-security. Because of a learning difference, Ivan's college search led him from his home in Puerto Rico to the Curry College PAL program, where he has thrived academically as an IT major, turning his once-perceived weaknesses into strengths.

Institute on Learning Differences Gives Special Education Majors Unique Opportunity

The Institute on Learning Differences, a successful venture between the Education department and the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL), gives students the opportunity to tap into the resources and knowledge of PAL faculty members and outside specialists to better understand the unique educational needs of students.

Apply to PAL
Campus Image

Apply today to be a part of a structured support program providing assistance to bright, college-able students with specific learning disabilities and/or AD/HD.

Video: The PAL Program

Students, alumni and faculty share success stories and discuss the advantages of the PAL program at Curry College.


Campus Calendar

Campus events, game days, important dates, deadlines and more.

Directions & Maps

Find directions to Curry College, along with helpful campus maps.

Meet Our People

Meet the outstanding students, faculty and alumni of Curry College.

Follow Us

Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Watch us on YouTube...and more!


© Curry College 1071 Blue Hill Ave, Milton, Massachusetts 02186 | 617-333-0500