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A department within Student Affairs

School Personnel

For High School Teachers and Counselors

Transitioning from high school to college is challenging for any student, but it presents some unique challenges for a student with a disability. As an educator it is extremely important that you assist students prepare for the transition early to ensure maximum opportunities for success. High schools and universities follow different laws and different procedures with respect to students with a disability. Here are a few steps you can take to help your students better prepare for their transition:

  • Students become their own primary advocate in the university setting. Involve students in their IEP/504 meetings and make sure they are knowledgeable about the functional impact of their disability as well as the accommodations that are most helpful.
  • Colleges are not obligated to conduct diagnostic evaluations. Make sure students have a recent comprehensive evaluation and give a copy of the report to the student before graduation.
  • Encourage students to visit the disability service offices at their prospective colleges to learn about the resources that are offered and how to access them.
  • Help students request testing accommodations for the SAT/ACT exams.
  • Teach students to develop their study skills, time management, organization and academic skills.
  • Students are often living on their own for the first time in college. Help students develop independent living skills while they are still in high school.
  • Encourage students to obtain part-time jobs or volunteer positions so they gain valuable workplace experience and develop social skills.
  • In college, students with a disability are held to same entrance and exit requirements as all other students. Modifications like reduced coursework, test-retest, reduced multiple choice answers on tests, waiving requirements courses (e.g., math) may prevent a student from developing skills necessary for college.
  • Help students understand the differences between high school and college so they are better prepared for the transition to higher education.

Resources that maybe useful:

Rights and responsibilities
Differences between high school and college
Common questions