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Office of Disability Services

How are High School and College Different?

Transition Guide

For in-depth information on the transition from high school to college, visit the U.S. Department of Education Transition Guide.

High School vs. College

Applicable Laws

High school students are accommodated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Accommodations provided for students are designed to ensure student success.

Accommodations at the college level are provided for under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and are designed to provide access to the curriculum.

Documentation of Disability

In the K-12 system (kindergarten through 12th grade), the school system is responsible for identifying students with disabilities.

College students must self-identify and provide documentation of their disability.

Instruction, Homework, and Tests

Amongst a wide variety of accommodations in the K-12 system, modification of curriculum, shortening of assignments, or reduction of work might be part of a student's IEP.

Accommodations at the college level provide access, but the curriculum, work load, and expectations are the same as students without disabilities.

Parental Role

Parents are highly involved in all aspects of an IEP or 504 Plan and communicate frequently with teachers.

Students are entitled to FERPA protections. The student is the only person teachers and ODS can communicate with directly without explicit permission, and teachers and ODS do not regularly communicate regarding a student. If a student has an issue or concern, they must approach the appropriate supports for assistance.

Student Responsibilities

As a college student (including CCP students under 18 years of age), the student is responsible for their educational experience. They can choose to register with Disability Services and to utilize accommodations each semester.