Differences Between High School and College

Major Differences Between High School and College Disability Services

High School College
I.D.E.A. Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). A.D.A (Americans with Disabilities Act).
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act. Section 504, Rehabilitation Act.
Accommodations ensure success. Accommodations ensure equal access.
Required Documents
IEP (Individual Education Plan) or 504 Plan. Documentation must provide current information on specific functional limitations for each category of disability and show a substantial limitation (IEP/504 Plan alone, is insufficient).
School provides evaluation at no cost to student. Students must provide the evaluation at his/her own expense.
School retests over time. Additional accommodations and/or a change in the impact of the disability may warrant additional documentation.
Student Role
Student is identified by the school. Student self-identifies to the Disability Services Office.
School sets up the accommodations. Primary responsibility for sharing Accommodation Plan belongs to the students; students must initiate contact with instructor to utilize approved accommodations for specific courses.
Parental Role
Access to student records. No access to student records without the student’s written consent.
Participation in accommodations. Student requests accommodations.
Mandatory involvement. Students will be expected to exhibit self-advocacy and to communicate their own needs for reasonable accommodations in work or educational environments.
Teachers prompt students about grades, assignments, and due dates. Student must monitor own progress and manage their time.
Use of multi-sensory approach. Not required. Lecture is predominant.
Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter curriculum and pace of assignments. Not required to modify curriculum or alter assignment deadlines.
Attendance is legally mandated. Attendance is the student’s responsibility. Student accepts consequences of non-attendance.
Tests & Grades
IEP or 504 plan may include modifications to test/material format and/or grading: grades may be modified based on effort. Grades reflect the work submitted; curriculum & technical course standards may not be altered.
Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material. Grading and test format changes are generally not available. However, accommodations on how it is given may be available. Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
Teachers often take time to remind students of assignments and due dates and are willing to extend deadlines: make-up tests are often available. Instructors expect students to know the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out what is expected, when assignments are due, and how grading will be done. Depending on the circumstances, accommodations may or may not be reasonable or required.
Study Skills & Responsibilities 
Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as a part of an IEP or 504 plan. Tutoring typically is not considered an accommodation because it is available to all students: therefore students with disabilities must seek out tutoring and study skills resources.
Outside class study time may be as little as 0-2 hours per week; the majority of the work is completed within class time. Students may need as much as 2-3 hours per class outside of class time to complete work; the majority of the work is completed outside of the classroom.
Disruptive conduct may or may not be accepted. Students who are disruptive and are unable to abide by the institution’s code of conduct are deemed “not qualified” and can be dismissed.
Differences in Summary
I.D.E.A is about Success. A.D.A. is about Access.
High School is mandatory and free. Postsecondary is voluntary and expensive.