The Arch Learning Community at Dean College helps students with diagnosed learning disabilities or differences by offering cohort classroom learning, customized coaching, weekly seminar classes and specialized advising.

Arch Learning Community

The widely regarded Arch Learning Community program at Dean College is designed to provide comprehensive support to students with diagnosed learning disabilities and/or other learning differences, such as attention and memory difficulties, who would benefit from additional academic support while taking part in a traditional college curriculum.

Through individual academic coaching, Arch-designated courses and specialized success and career advising, students will work within the program to acquire the skills necessary to be successful in their degree program.

Students who are accepted into the Arch Learning Community may choose to enroll in the program for one or two years, or for the duration of their time at the college. With a 98% retention rate from the fall to spring semester, this program has been proven to be an invaluable experience to those who participate.

Arch at Dean

Here is what your first semester will look like:

  • Two college core courses taught by Arch instructors 
  • One introductory course in student's major
  • One general elective
  • Three hours of one-on-one academic coaching each week
  • A one-credit Arch Dean Career Advantage (DCA)  
  • Specialized full-time success and career advising through the Learning Center
  • A three-day orientation prior to the start of the semester

Support continues in the second, third and fourth years as students continue to receive individual and group support.

Enrollment Criteria

We accept students with a wide range of learning disabilities. To apply to Dean College and the Arch Learning Community program:

  • Complete the Dean College admissions application or Common Application. Answer “yes” to the question that asks if you would like to apply to the Arch Learning Community.
  • Complete the Arch Learning Community program online application.
  • Submit official high school transcript(s) from all schools attended.
  • Provide documentation of a learning disability. Testing must be recent (within the past three years), completed by a qualified evaluator and include aptitude and achievement tests. All testing must be uploaded online to the Dean College Accessibility Services office for evaluation.
  • Have a full-scale IQ of 90 or above, determined by testing through assessments such as Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition, Woodcock
  • Johnson-III-Tests of Cognitive Ability or Stanford Binet IV (preferred). Ideal Arch candidates are students who have a discrepancy between measured intelligence and achievement that is directly related to their diagnosed disability.
  • Demonstrate the ability to live independently in a college campus environment.
  • Register for an Arch admission interview.

Successful Arch students possess the desire to understand their academic challenges and participate actively in the program to develop individual learning strategies, in addition to making good use of all programmatic and campus resources.

Arch By the Numbers


The table below is the cost breakdown for the Arch Learning Community. 

Cost Year
$7,200 Arch Year 1
$6,400 Arch Year 2
$4,600 Arch Year 3
$3,500 Arch Year 4


Additional Services

In addition to the fee-based Arch Learning Community, free support services are available to all students at Dean.

Services include:

  • Discipline-specific tutoring with faculty and trained peer tutors
  • Math Center
  • Writing Center
  • Accessibility Support Services
  • Counseling and Health Services 

Assistive technology, including:

  • Read & Write
  • Smartpens
  • FM Systems
  • Zoom Text
  • Bookshare
  • iPad apps
  • Dictation software
The exterior of the Green Family Library Learning Commons.

Morton Family Learning Center

Address 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038