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6 Fascinating Facts: The differences between high school and college

by Center on Transition Innovations

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1 Laws: There is no Individualized Education Program in college. Educational rights covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act do not apply to postsecondary education. Colleges must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The accommodations you receive in college will depend on your individual needs and will be based on your disability documentation.

2 Accommodations: Some of the accommodations you used in high school may not be provided at college. Books in alternate formats, extended time on tests, access to early registration and taking tests in a limited-distraction room are some of the common college accommodations.

3 Advocating: One important difference between high school and college is that you will have to seek help when you need assistance and advocate for yourself. Instructors will expect to talk to you, not your parents, when learning about the accommodations you need in their class and when an issue arises.

4 Classes and grades: While in high school, your classes are smaller, school personnel generally determine your schedule and your grades are based on more assignments. In college, you may have larger classes, meet less frequently and have less interaction with instructors, and your grades for a course may be determined by fewer assignments.

5 Structure of classes: The structure of your classes will also be different. Depending on how many days per week you meet, classes might last from 50 minutes to three hours.

6 Responsibilities: In general, you will have a lot more freedom in college, but you will also have many more responsibilities in this new environment.