There are some fundamental differences between high school and college and it is important for you to know and understand these differences. Review the links to the right and the information below as you prepare to transition to college:
High School -Documentation focuses on determining whether a student is eligible for services.
College -Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations.
High School -Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers.
College -Student must self-identify to the Disability Resource Center.
High School -Primary responsibility for advocacy typically belongs to the parent or school.
College -Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student.
High School -Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance.
College -Professors are typically open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.
High School -Parent has access to student records and can participate in the accommodations process.
College -Parent does not have access to students' records without the student's written consent.
High School -Parent advocates for student.
College -Student advocates for self.
High School -Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter curriculum pace of assignments.
College -Professors are not required to modify instruction or alter assignment deadlines.
High School -Students seldom need to read anything more than once; sometimes listening in class is enough.
College -Students need to review class notes, text and material regularly to do well in a class.
Grades and Exams
High School -IEP and 504 Plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading.
College -Grading and exam format changes are not generally available. Accommodations for HOW exams are given are given and supported by disability documentation.
High School -Testing is frequent and covers small portions of material.
College -Testing is typically infrequent and may be cumulative covering large amounts of material.
High School -Make-up tests are often available.
College -Makeup exams are seldom an option.
High School -Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates.
College -Professors expect you to read, save and consult the syllabus (course outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you; when things are due, and how you will be graded.
High School -Tutoring and study support may be a service provided by an IEP or 504 plan.
College -Tutoring does not fall under college disability services. However, students are encouraged to seek out this resource on their own, as it is available to all students.
High School -Your time and assignments are structured by others.
College -You manage your own time and complete assignments independently.
High School -You may study outside of class as little as 0 - 2 hours a week.
College -You need to study at least 2 - 3 hours outside of class for each class hour.
Information from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Pembroke NC 28372-1510