The Difference Between High School & College
There are many differences between high school and college, including laws pertaining to students with disabilities, student responsibilities (social, academic, personal), and adjustment to a new environment.
|High School||Postsecondary Institutions|
|Covers ages 3-21 or until regular high school diploma requirements are met||Covers students with disabilities regardless of age; schools may not discriminate in recruitment, admission, or during enrollment, solely on the basis of a disability|
|Schools are required to identify students with disabilities through free assessment and the individualized education program (IEP) process||Students are required to submit documentation establishing their disability and need for accommodations. Services are only provided once a student self-identifies and provides appropriate documentation. Postsecondary institutions are not required to evaluate or test students|
|Students receive special education and related services to address needs based on an identified disability||Formal special education services are not available|
|Services include individually designed instruction, modifications, and accommodations based on the IEP||Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide equal access and participation|
|Progress toward IEP goals is monitored and communicated to the parents and/or student||Students are required to monitor their own progress and communicate their needs to appropriate personnel|
Adapted from Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, September 2003
Here are some considerations as students transition to UConn:
- Students have new freedoms and new responsibilities and must make decisions on their own.
- Students must manage their own time and arrange their own schedules.
- Students must seek out assistance and campus resources.
- Students must develop strategies and learn how to advocate for themselves.
- Accommodations provided in high school may not necessarily be appropriate at the postsecondary level.
At postsecondary institutions students have the responsibility to:
- Self-identify or disclose their disability to the designated office for disability services.
- Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
- Act as independent adults and use appropriate self-advocacy skills.
- Arrange for and obtain their own personal assistants, tutoring, and individually designed assistive technologies.
Postsecondary institutions are not required to:
- Reduce or waive any of the essential requirements of a course or program.
- Conduct testing and assessment of learning, psychological or medical disabilities.
- Provide personal assistants.
- Provide personal or private tutoring.
- Prepare Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).