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Transitioning from High School

Things to do your Junior and Senior year to ease your transition to college:

  • Research the difference between high school and college so you know what services are provided
  • Know and understand what your disability is and how it affects you in the classroom
  • Know your academic strengths and weaknesses
  • Actively participate in your IEP or 504 meetings
  • Research and visit each school you are interested in and make an appointment with the access or disability office
  • Learn what accommodations are appropriate in college and try using only those accommodations
  • Participate in any available study skills, time management, or assertiveness workshops that are available
  • See what services are offered in your community that you might qualify for (ex. Vocational Rehabilitation, SILC, LINC etc.)

How services differ

Services in college differ significantly from services in high school and are impacted by legal rights as well as the parents’ role in the educational process.

Legal rights

High School

  • The student’s rights are protected by IDEA
  • Teachers and Administrators use IEPs or 504 Plans
  • Guarantees success
  • The school is responsible for identifying students and initiating services
  • Parents are highly involved
  • The school organizes and provides updated testing
  • Decisions about the student’s education are made by the IEP team


  • The student’s rights are protected by SECTION 504 and the ADA
  • IEPs and 504 plans are not used
  • Ensures equitable access by providing reasonable accommodations
  • The student is responsible for identifying themselves and contacting the Educational Access Center to set up services
  • Parents only have access to what the student allows
  • The student is responsible for organizing and obtaining updated testing
  • Decisions about the student’s education are made by the student

Role of parents

High School

  • Teachers speak openly with parents about their student’s progress in the classroom
  • Parents receive and sign progress reports
  • Parents can request meetings with their student’s teachers at anytime
  • Parents are expected to be an advocate for their student


  • Professors and other staff members cannot discuss the student’s academic progress with their parents without written consent from the student
  • The college or university does not provide parents with progress or attendance reports
  • If the student needs to meet with a professor, the student must request the meeting
  • The student is expected to be their own advocate