Differences between High School and College

Major Differences between High School and Postsecondary Disability Services

High SchoolPostsecondary
I.D.E.A. Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)A.D.A (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Section 504, Rehabilitation ActSection 504, Rehabilitation Act
Accommodations ensure successAccommodations ensure equal access
Required DocumentationRequired Documents
I.E.P (Individual Education Plan) or 504 PlanDocumentation 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 studentStudents must provide the evaluation at his/her own expense
School retests over timeAdditional accommodations and/or a change in the impact of the disability may warrant additional documentation
Student RoleStudent Role
Student is identified by the schoolStudent self-identifies to the Disability Services Office
School sets up the accommodationsPrimary responsibility for sharing Accommodation Plan belongs to the students; students must initiate contact with instructor to utilize approved accommodations for specific courses.
Parental RoleParental Role
Access to student recordsNo access to student records without the student’s written consent.
Participation in accommodationsStudent requests accommodations.
Mandatory involvementStudents 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 datesStudent 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.
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 materialGrading 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 availableInstructors 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 and ResponsibilitiesStudy Skills and Responsibilities
Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as a part of an IEP or 504 planTutoring 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.
Disability Service Provider RoleDisability Service Provider Role
School seeks out students and reminds/creates/coordinates additional resources as needed.DSO determines eligibility for reasonable accommodations under the ADA and Section 504
Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the schoolDSO does not duplicate resources found elsewhere on campus. Refers students to resources as students identify potential need
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 SummaryDifferences in Summary
I.D.E.A is about SuccessA.D.A. is about Access.
High School is mandatory and free.Postsecondary is voluntary and expensive.