Accommodative services provided in high school and in college differ in several ways. The following information highlights the differences.

Self-Advocacy

High School

  • Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers
  • Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school
  • Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance

College

  • Student must self-identify to the ACCESSibility Services Office
  • Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student
  • Instructors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance

Required Documentation

High School

  • I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) and/or 504 Plan)
  • School provides evaluation at no cost to student
  • Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in I.D.E.A.

College

  • The High School I.E.P. and 504 may not be sufficient.
  • Additional documentation may be needed to support the need for services
  • Student must get evaluation at own expense
  • Documentation must provide information on specific functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations

Parental Role

High School

  • Parent has access to student records and can participate in the accommodation process
  • Parent advocates for student

College

  • Parent does not have access to student records without student’s written consent
  • Student advocates for self

Instruction

High School

  • Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments
  • You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class
  • You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough

College

  • Instructors are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines
  • You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class
  • You need to review class notes and text material regularly

Grades and Tests

High School

  • I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading
  • Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material
  • Makeup tests are often available
  • Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates

College

  • Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available
  • Accommodations on HOW tests are given (extended time, test proctors) are available when supported by an accommodation letter
  • Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material
  • Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them
  • Instructors 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 School

  • Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an I.E.P. or 504 plan
  • Your time and assignments are structured by others
  • You may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation

College

  • Tutoring DOES NOT fall under Disability Services.
  • Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources as they are available to all students
  • You manage your own time and complete assignments independently
  • You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class

Last Updated 1/14/2014. Modified from West Chester University Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.