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Disability Resources & Educational Services

Transitioning to College

As students transition from secondary to post-secondary education, there are some major differences that the student needs to keep in mind. These differences include the following:

  1. Identification
  2. Privacy
  3. Placement and Accommodations
  4. Eligibility for Services
  5. Instructor Awareness
  6. Time Management
  7. Reminders and Deadlines
  8. Discipline
  9. Time Spent in Classroom
  10. Time Spent on Homework
  11. Preparing for Exams
  12. Tutors
  13. Grade Changes
  14. Altering Courses and Programs


  • High School: Students are identified by the school districts.
  • College: Students must self-identify by registering with the Disability Services office.

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  • High School: Information is shared with parents/guardians.
  • College: Every student's right to privacy and confidentiality is upheld.

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Placement and Accommodations

  • High School: Placement and accommodations include parents/guardians.
  • College: Placement and accommodations do not include parents/guardians.

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Eligibility for Services

  • High School: Eligibility for services is driven by falling below grade norms.
  • College Eligibility for services is driven by the impact of the disability on major life activity(ies).

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Instructor Awareness

  • High School: Special Education teachers may know the student and be aware of specific difficulties or concerns, including strengths and weaknesses.
  • College: Students will need to initiate discussion and make concerns known to college instructors, advisors, and disability resource facilitators.

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Time Management

  • High School: School district structures a student's weekly schedule.
  • College: Each student is responsible for their own time management.

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Reminders and Deadlines

  • High School: Teachers remind students of exam dates and assignment deadlines.
  • College: Students are expected to know exam dates and assignment deadlines by referring to course syllabi.

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  • High School: Students are disciplined for skipping class.
  • College: Students are not disciplined for skipping class.

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Time Spent in Classroom

  • High School: Time spent in classroom averages about 40 hours per week.
  • College: Time spent in classroom is approximately 13-16 hours per week, with additional hours put in outside of class.

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Time Spent on Homework

  • High School: Time spent on homework is often substantially less than in college.
  • College: Time spent on homework is usually 2 hours for every hour spent in class.

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Preparing for Exams

  • High School: Preparing for exams usually involves memorization and identification of information.
  • College: Preparing for exams involves application of information.

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  • High School: Tutors and/or extra instruction are/is provided by teachers.
  • College: Students must go to the instructor/teaching assistant during office hours or seek out their own tutors to get additional information on specific course content.

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Grade Changes

  • High School: Instructors might retroactively change grades by allowing a student to retake an exam.
  • College:In general, grades are not changed retroactively.

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Altering Courses and Programs

  • High School: Courses and programs can be fundamentally altered.
  • College: Courses and programs are not fundamentally altered.

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