High School Transition

Differences between High School and College

(Information from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Pembroke NC 28372-1510)

Applicable Laws

High SchoolCollege
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
IDEA is about SUCCESSADA is about ACCESS

Self-Advocacy

High SchoolCollege
Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers.Student must self-identify to the Disability Services Office.
Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school.Primary responsibility for self- advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student.
Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance.Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need

Required Documentation

High SchoolCollege
IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and/or 504 PlanHigh school IEP and 504 are not sufficient. Documentation guidelines specify information needed for each category of disability.
School provides evaluation at no cost to student or family.Student must get evaluation at own expense.
Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in IDEA.Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations.

Parental Role

High SchoolCollege
Parent has access to student records and can participate in the accommodation process.Parent does not have access to student records without student's written consent.
Parent advocates for student.Student advocates for self.

Instruction

High SchoolCollege
Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter curriculum pace of assignments.Professors are not required to modify instruction or alter assignment deadlines. Colleges provide academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services to accommodate the functional limitations of qualified students with disabilities, as indicated in the appropriate documentation.
You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed and often re- taught in class.You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing that may not be directly addressed in class.
You seldom need to read anything more than once; sometimes listening in class is enough.You need to review class notes, text, and material regularly.

Grades and Tests

High SchoolCollege
IEP or 504 Plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading.Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available. Accommodations to HOW tests are given (extended time, distraction reduced environment) are available when supported by disability documentation.
Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates.Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.

Study Responsibilities

High SchoolCollege
Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an IEP or 504 Plan.Tutoring DOES NOT fall under college disability services. Students with disabilities must seek out the tutoring resources that are available to all students.
Your time and assignments are structured by others.You manage your own time and complete assignments independently.
You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute preparation.You need to study at least 3 to 4 hours outside of class for each hour in class.

Classes

High SchoolCollege
You spend six continuous hours each day – thirty hours a week – in class.You often have hours between classes; class times vary throughout the day and evening.
The school year is thirty-six weeks long; some classes extend over both semesters.You spend twelve to sixteen hours each week in class.
Teachers carefully monitor class attendance.The academic year is divided into two fifteen-week semesters, plus a week for finals.
Classes generally have no more that thirty-five students.You arrange your own schedule in consultation with your academic advisor.
You are provided with textbooks at little or no expense.Professors may not take attendance, but they are still likely to know who attended.
You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate.Some classes may number a hundred students or more.
 Textbooks can sometimes cost more than $200 each semester.
 Graduation requirements are complex and differ for different majors. You are expected to know those that apply to you.

Teachers

Teachers in High SchoolProfessors in College
Check your completed homework and remind you of incomplete work.May not always check homework, but will assume you understand.
Approach you if they believe you need help.May not remind you of incomplete work.
Often available for conversation before, during, or after class.Open and helpful, but expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.
Provide information you missed when you were absent.Available during scheduled office hours.
Present material to help you understand the textbook.May not follow the textbook but will still test on reading assignments.
Write information on the board to be copied in your notes.Expect you to identify important points of lectures in your notes and obtain notes you’ve missed.
Remind you of assignments and due dates.Expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.

Studying

High SchoolCollege
You may study outside the class zero to two hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation.Need to study at least three to four hours outside of class for each hour in class.
You often need to read or hear presentations only once to learn all you need to know.Need to review class notes and text material regularly.
You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed and often re-taught in class.Assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class.

 

Tests

High SchoolCollege
Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. A particular course may have only two or three tests in a semester.Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. A particular course may have only two or three tests in a semester.
Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them with a very substantial and valid reason. The professor will decide to allow this or not.Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them with a very substantial and valid reason. The professor will decide to allow this or not.
Professors usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities.Professors usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities.
Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions.Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions.
Mastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you’ve learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems.Mastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you’ve learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems.

 

Grades

High SchoolCollege
Grades are given for most assigned work.Grades may not be provided for all assigned work.
Consistently good homework grades may help raise your overall grade when test grades are low.Grades on tests and major papers make up most of the course grade.
Extra-credit projects are often available to help raise your grade.Extra-credit projects cannot, generally speaking, be used to raise a grade.
Initial low test grades may not have an adverse effect on your final grade.Watch your first tests. They may account for a substantial part of your course grade.
You may graduate as long as you have passed all required courses with a grade of D or higher.You may graduate only if your average meets the departmental standard — typically a 2.0 or C — but higher for other departments.