Transition from High School to College

As you transition to college you will notice two key differences in the process of determining reasonable accommodations.  First, you, the student, play an active role in the process.  Second, accommodations provide access to educational environments and processes; success is the responsibility of each student.  Other key points are listed in the table below (* identifies tasks to complete with the Disability Resource Center):

Process High School Expectations College Expectation

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Subpart D of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act apply. IDEA is an entitlement law intended to guarantee students with disabilities free and appropropriate education.

IDEA focuses on promoting students’ success and allows for special instruction and fundamental alteration of courses.

The Americans with Disabilities Act As Amended (ADAAA) and Subpart E of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act apply.

These laws establish equal opportunity requirements for student access and nondiscrimination. The college is not required to modify essential course and program requirements.

Accommodation Process School staff identify students with disabilities and determine modifications, services, and classes needed for the student to be successful.

Students are responsible for seeking out services* related to their disability and requesting accommodations to access programs or courses.

Students are expected to gain understanding of preferred learning styles and instructional formats in order to select courses.  The disability office can provide referrals to appropriate resources*

Course and Program Requirements The student’s IEP and section 504 plan may be used to create an individualized curriculum that may or may not correspond to general graduation requirements.

The student must meet the admission requirements of the college/program expected of  all students with or without disabilities.

Students are expected to meet course and program requirements with or without accommodations.

Documentation School staff  are responsible for providing assessments to develop an IEP/504 Plan. Students are responsible for providing documentation from a qualified professional with their accommodation request.*
Advocacy It is the responsibility of school staff to arrange accommodations and advocate on behalf of the student.


It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the accommodations process by contacting the disability office.* Disability office staff will provide guidance and support to the student in their self advocacy. 

Parent Role Parents are actively involved in the accommodations process and have regular contact with the school and instructors.

The student is responsible for working with the disability office to arrange accommodations.* 

Privacy laws prevent the college from releasing disability-related information without the student’s consent.