Transition to Postsecondary Education

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know your Rights and Responsibilities 
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has developed several online resources to assist students and high school educators in understanding their rights and responsibilities as it pertains to higher education. This resource is geared for college-bound students. A few key points from this link focus on: differences between high school and college in regard to the law; example of academic accommodations; disability documentation typically requested; and discrimination policy. While this website has been created for students to understand their rights and responsibilities as a college-bound student, parents may find the information beneficial. 

Helping Students with Disabilities Successfully Transition to College 
Elizabeth Hamblet, a learning specialist at Columbia University (NY) has many years of experience working with students with disabilities transition to college; she has worked at the high school level and at other higher education institutions.  On this website viewers can find a wealth of resources such as information for families and students and current college students.

Going to College – A Resource for Teens with Disabilities
This website was created by Virginia Commonwealth University. Going to College is a comprehensive online learning tool that students, who are considering a postsecondary education, can use while they are in high school. High school educators can incorporate this tool into their students’ transition goals on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Parents or other family members supporting their college-bound student can encourage and talk about many of the activities included in the modules. Going to College is broken into three distinct sections – 1. My Place; 2. Campus Life; 3. Preparing for College. Students can complete various activities and watch videos of college students sharing their experiences as a student with a disability. This website allows students to learn how multi-faceted the college experience can be - from deciding on a college to having the right tools and strategies in place to successfully complete a college education.

Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training – Planning for Life after High School
The Wisconsin Department of Public Education created an inclusive handbook for students with disabilities, parents, high school teachers, and counselors. The handbook provides information from considering a college education to characteristics of college students who flourish in this academic environment. This website provides step-by-step suggestions for students to reflect on from the beginning of their high school career leading up to their first-year of college. High school teachers and parents can utilize and encourage their students to use the resources in preparing students interested in going on for further education.

Disability Disclosure in an Academic Setting – After High School 
This resource offers information to assist individuals with disabilities in making decisions about disclosing their disability to disability services providers and other college faculty/staff members.

University of Massachusetts, Boston (Disability Services, Ross Center) 
This link provides a short video of a college student having a conversation with her professor about academic-related accommodations.  Often, when college students request and are approved for academic accommodations through the disability services office, they are encouraged to speak with their professors about this.  Accommodation needs might differ depending on the class and materials provided by the professor for all students to access. 

Faces of Learning 
Faces of Learning is an interactive website students can utilize to gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Students will also be able to discover their unique learning style, and as a result, “better ways to work and learn.”

Postsecondary Educational Options – Information Sheet
The Learning Disabilities Association for America (LDA) created an information sheet for individuals interested in exploring their post high school options. Many options for advancement for high school graduates exist besides the traditional college route; several of those options are listed on this website from vocational schools to adult basic education classes.  In addition to the information in this link, visitors to this website can also search for LDA state and local affiliates. 

Children’s Resource Group (CRG) – Transition to College and Adulthood 
The Children’s Resource Group, located in Indianapolis IN, is a multi-specialty behavioral health practice that serves children, teenagers, adults, and their families. The professionals at the center work with individuals who have a variety of disabilities. Although the center is located in Indiana, this particular section of the website is a helpful resource for students with disabilities anywhere in the country who are considering attending college. The resource provides some statistics about individuals with and without disabilities who receive a college education. Obstacles to success along with characteristics of self-determined college students are described, as well. Resources are provided with links on the differences between high school and college and another on various academic study skill strategies.

College – Preparing for College and Succeeding in College 
The Washington Do-It site provides useful information on concepts such as Universal Design or examples of possible accommodations for students with various disabilities. Many people – college professors, disability service coordinators, students, parents - can benefit from using the resources available on the University of Washington’s Do-It site. The College Resource section of the website provides information specifically for students on preparing for college and succeeding in college. Like many transition-related websites, high school teachers and parents may encourage their students to take advantage of the tools available on this website. Not only are resources about transitioning from high school to a four-year university or college listed, suggestions on a successful transition from community college to a four-year school is provided. Disability Service providers at the community college could recommend that students connected with their office review this website.

Transitioning to College and/or Work 
The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) provides an array of resources for children, teenagers and adults with LD. Parent and teacher resources are also included on the website. One section of the website has a page devoted to transitioning to college and/or employment. This page has a list of links that direct users to many topics including different types of colleges; easing the transition to college or work; types of college support services; and a comprehensive checklist to bring along when visiting college.  Students, parents and high school teachers would benefit from accessing many, if not all, of the links on this page. While NCLD’s emphasis is tailored to individuals with LD, the links on this page in particular could assist students with other disabilities.

Pacer Center - Champions for Children with Disabilities - ADA Q &A: Section 504 and Postsecondary Education 
Many changes occur for students when they transition from high school to college. One significant difference is the changes in the law. This page provides questions and answers pertaining to the differences between ADA and Section 504, accommodations, and disability disclosure. Students and especially parents are familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but not so familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This page offers information regarding what to expect at the postsecondary environment that both parties should be aware of.

Transition Services Liaison Project (TSLP) – Catch the Wave 
The Transition Services Liaison Project (TSLP) based in Central Pierre, South Dakota, provides handouts that students can apply in their daily lives as they transition out of the high school environment and into the college setting. “Catch the Wave” is a one-day orientation where students from various high schools and technical schools can learn how to prepare for college and what expectations they should have if they are considering attending college. Handouts suggested for use by students is on this website and divided into three steps (On your Mark; Get Ready; Go) with links relevant at each step. Students and high school teachers might appreciate using this website because of its user-friendly style. Although the college search from beginning to end can be overwhelming, handling the experience in steps like this page presents might make students less anxious. High school teachers and parents could certainly assist their students in using the resources.

College of Charleston, Center for Disability Services 
The College of Charleston’s Center for Disability Services has developed a very helpful point-by-point comparison on the differences between high school and college.

Resources for Students and Parents 
The Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) is the premiere professional association committed to full participation of persons with disabilities in higher education.  This link has valuable information for students and parents from frequently asked questions about the transition to college to how to make college more affordable.

University of Vermont, Disability Services ACCESS 
This link is dedicated to parents of students with disabilities transitioning to higher education.  Information available includes key differences between high school and college and ways to support students as they adjust to the new environment of college life. 

Navigating College – Autistic Self Advocacy Network 
Navigating College is a project of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.  This book (created by people with Autism) provides new or incoming college students, particularly with an Autism Spectrum Disorder insight from individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have been to college.