High School -vs- College
College and high school are very different settings. Understanding some of the key variations between high school and college is important for success at UMass Dartmouth.
|Success vs. Access
|IDEA is about educational success.
|The ADA AA is about access. Passing courses is not guaranteed.
|Modifications to Courses and Programs
|Fundamental modifications of programs and curricula are required.
|No fundamental modifications are required – only reasonable accommodations.
|Student Rights in Education
|Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals.
|Higher education is not a right. Students must meet certain admissions and/or program criteria and/or standards. Students must remain qualified to attend.
|The school district develops Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) to define educational services.
|The student must provide disability documentation and request services. The college will then determine what accommodations would be reasonable and effective.
|The school district provides free evaluations.
|The student must obtain an evaluation at his/her own expense.
|Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school.
|Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student (who may seek assistance from CAS).
|Personal services for medical and physical disabilities are required (i.e. personal care attendant).
|The University is not required to provide a personal care attendant.
|Parents advocate for the student.
|Student must advocate for his/herself.
|The student needs the parent’s permission in most instances.
|The student is an adult and responsible for making his/her own well informed decisions.
|A main planning office exists as the center of activity for the school.
|The student is responsible for knowing where to go to obtain information and services.
|School Year Schedule
|School year runs from September – June.
|School year is divided into semesters: from September to December and January to May.
|Typical Class Length
|The average length of a class is 35-45 minutes.
|Classes vary in length from 50 minutes to 3 hours.
|Assignments and Due Dates
|Teachers usually take time to remind student of assignments and due dates.
|Professors expect student to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); this tells the student what is expected of him/her, when it is due and how it will be graded (grading criteria).
|Whatever it takes student to do homework, 1-2 hours per day.
|Rule of Thumb: 3 hours of study time for every 1 hour of class!
|High school is paid for by tax dollars that go to the school district.
|The student is responsible for applying for financial aid or arranging some type of payment.
|Structure defines the day most of the time. Limits are set by parents, teachers, and other adults.
|The single greatest problem most college students face – students choose how long and often they study, eat and sleep.
- deBettencourt, L. (2002). Understanding the differences between IDEA and Section 504. TEACHING Exceptional Children 34(3).
- Madaus, J. & Shaw, S. (2004). Section 504: Differences in the regulations for secondary and postsecondary education. Intervention in School and Clinic 40(2).
- Shaw, D. & Rein, B. (2006) Disability laws – Applications in the schools. Adapted from: Brinkerhoff, L., McGuire, J., Shaw, S. (2002). Postsecondary education and transition for students with learning disabilities, Austin, TX: PRO-ED.