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EIU Student Disability Services

FOCUS Program

The FOCUS program is a free, one-on-one mentoring program in which students with disabilities meet individually with a student mentor from the Office of Student Disability Services. The purpose of the FOCUS program is to provide participants with the skills and supports they need to achieve academic success at the college level. Mentors help participants expand their understanding and awareness of their disability as well as their academic strengths and weaknesses. Participants will learn compensatory strategies, various study techniques, and test-taking strategies. 

What Will You Learn?

Discover your strengths as a student.

  • Learn strategies and skills to help you compensate for academic challenges.
  • Learn how to organize your materials so you can easily locate what you need.
  • Learn effective study skills to be prepared for classes and tests.
  • Learn how to effectively use Panthermail, D2L, PAWS, and on-line library tools.
  • Learn to effectively advocate for yourself and communicate appropriately with professors.
  • Gain confidence to be successful in many facets of life.
  • Learn how to manage your time to be a successful student and still have time to have fun, relax, and enjoy your college experience.
Where and When?
  • Participants meet one-on-one with a student mentor in McAfee 1347.
  • Meetings are once per week lasting 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Meetings vary based on individual needs and mentor availability.
  • Weekly meeting times are chosen to fit into both the mentor and student’s schedules.

In order for the FOCUS program to be beneficial, you must be committed to the program.  Please do your best to attend all weekly meetings. In addition, be open with your mentor and communicate when  a strategy is or is not working, or if you would like to try something new.  The mentors want to work with you to  help you reach your goals. 

What Spring 2017 Participants are saying about FOCUS:
  • FOCUS has helped me realize my full potential.

  • The Focus Program is truly helpful.  It provides someone to help me learn the strategies which help improve my studying strategies through understanding my learning style.                                                                                           

  • FOCUS has helped me develop a comfortable mode of communication with my professors on campus when I need to talk to them about my accommodations and extra assistance.

  • My mentor has been extremely helpful this semester.  She helped me to improve my time management and organization skills.  She helped me to understand how to better hold myself accountable.

  • FOCUS helped me realize that I always had the "tools" necessary to be successful in college.  I just needed to know how to use them best.

  • FOCUS is a great program to learn tips and strategies for study skills and note taking.  I felt comfortable talking with my mentor about my disability.  There was never any judgment involved.

  • The Focus Program helped me to be more successful in my classes. For example, my mentor helped me to make sure I was “on top of” my assignments and that I turned them in on time. Also, my mentor helped me with organizational skills and study tips. 

To learn more about FOCUS, contact Student Disability Services at 217-581-6583 or

Related Pages

Contact Information


McAfee Gym, Room 1272
Fax: 217-581-7208


Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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