Differences Between Secondary and Post Secondary Education and Disability


High School-Students are identified by the school districts
College-Students must self-identify by registering with the Disability Services office


High School-Information is shared with parents/guardians
College-Student's right to privacy and confidentiality is upheld

Placement and Accommodations:

High School-Placement and accommodations include parents/guardians
College-Placement and Accommodations DO NOT include parents/guardians

Eligibility for Services:

High School-Eligibility for services is diagnosis driven
College-Eligibility for services is driven by severity and impact on major life activity(ies)

Instructor Awareness:

High School-Special Education teachers know you well and are aware of your specific difficulties or concerns, and know your strengths and weaknesses
College-Students will need to initiate discussion and make your concerns know to college instructors, advisors and disability resource facilitators

Time Management:

High School-School district structures a student's weekly schedule
College-Student is responsible for their own time management

Reminders and Deadlines:

High School-Teachers remind students of exam dates and assignment deadlines
College-Students are expected to know exam dates and assignment deadlines by referring to their syllabi


High School-Students are disciplined for skipping class
College-Students are not disciplined for skipping class

Time Spent in Classroom:

High School-Time spent in classroom averages about 40 hours per week
College-Time spent in classroom is approximately 13-16 hours per week (DON'T LET THIS FOOL YOU!)

Time Spent on Homework:

High School-Time spent on homework if oftentimes substantially less than in college
College-Time spent on homework is usually 2 hours for every hour you spend in class

Preparing for Exams:

High School-Preparing for exams usually involved memorization and identification of information
College-Preparing for exams will involve application of information


High School-Tutors and/or extra instruction is provided by teachers
College-Students must seek out their own tutors to get more information on specific content information

Grade Changes:

High School-Instructors might retroactively change grades by allowing a student to retake an exam
College-Grades aren't usually retroactive

Altering Courses and Programs:

High School-Courses and programs can be fundamentally altered
College-Courses and programs ARE NOT fundamentally altered

The Center for Academic Enrichment and Disability Services is here to discuss any of the above concerns with transitioning from high school to college.