Texas Tech University

Transition from High School to College

For any student, there is a transition from High School to College. Students face the transition from parental supervision to independent living, structured days to non-routine days, and transitioning to new sets of friends. Students with learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorders must also understand the transition from high school to college with their disability regarding laws, services, and self-advocacy well.

Below is a chart that addresses these issues and the difference in the student's self-advocacy through high school and college:

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High School vs Post-Secondary Education

Laws IDEA, P.L. 94-142, Section 504 - promotes student success ADA - promotes student access to programs and services
Basis of services IEP, school assessments IEP not acceptable, recent documentation required from licensed professional that identifies student's limitations to learning
Student's relation to the school Dependent, uninvolved in educational contract, open discussion among staff Expected to: know when to get assistance, understand their disability & needs, know & use campus resources/services, be a self-advocate
Services Entitled to services, resource room, course waivers, test/grade modifications Appropriate services determined based on documentation & justification of functional limitations
Relations with parents IEP developed with parents, reports to parents, parents informed when student is in trouble Parents generally excluded because of FERPA/Buckley Amendment, discussion possible only with authorization signed by student
Structure & accountability Teachers & parents very involved More freedom & responsibility, community policies & consequences
Time In class all day, after- school time structured Less time in class & varies each day, more free time, many social opportunities
Classes Directed by teacher, work done in class, in class all day Attendance optional, out-of-class reading & assignments, 4-6 classes each semester, expected to be an independent learner

TECHniques Center