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What's The Difference Between High School and College?

Entitlement versus Eligibility

LAW High School College
  Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 cover services of a personal nature, i.e. transporation, physical occupational and speech therapy, as well as, special education according toa acontinuum of increasing need. Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Colleges are only required to offer accommodations and support services and not service of a personal nature.  Tutoring not required under ADA.  Foreign language waivers and other course substitutions are automatic.
MODEL Special Education teacher or other high school personnel seek you out for services, evaluate you and the Committee on Special Education determines eligible services and/or accommodations. You must request accomodations and self identify as disabled.  The choice to identify is always the student's.
EDUCATIONAL FOCUS Remediation, instruction in compensatory strategies, tutoring Accommodations
SERVICE DELIVERY Resource Room, Special Education Different on every campus, e.g. may be the Office of Disability Support, Special Services, Disability Services, etc.
DOCUMENTATION Coordinated by the Cild Study Team.  School develops IEP/504 from test results. The student must provide proof of a disability.  College set their own guidelines for acceptable documentation.
SKILLS Textbook usage, taking notes, homework completion, preparation for exams, completing papers, etc. Independence, time management, study skills, self-advocacy


1. Learn more about your disability:
     * Chat with your parents, special education teacher, school psychologist or guidance counselor 
       to learn about your specific disabilities.
     * Understand how your disabilitiy might affect you in college
     * Understand how your disability migh affect future employment and/or career choices
     * Make sure that you have current documentation.  Request that you get reevaluated for a 
       learning disability during your senior year, as most schools require adult normed aptitude 
       measures (for which you must be 17 years old).

2.  Participate in all transition related meetings (i.e. IEP, CSE, 504):
     * Participate in self-advocacy training
     * Learn to express your current and future needs, concerns, interests and perferences
     * Remember to ask questions about anything you don't understand
     * Know what your rights and responsibilities are and what due processes are available to you
 3.  Develop a persoanl information file which contains:
     * Disability documentation 
     * Current high school records
     * Medical records
     * Immunization records
     * Copy of current IEP or 504 Plan
     * College Entrance Exam results/information (SAT/ACT)
     * Psychological records
     * Materials from colleges that interest you
 4.  Contact VESID (Vocational Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities) or CBVH (Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped).  VESID or CBVH can offer the following if you meet their eligibilty requirements:
      *An assessment for vocational rehavilitation
      * A written plan for reaching your career goals (Individual Plan for Employment-IPE)
      * Counseling, guidance and work related placement
      * Vocational training and education that improves your chances for employment upon graduation
      * Payment for tuition, books, transporation cost, etc. may be covered
      *Interpreter and reader services
      * Orientation and mobility training for those who are blind or low vision
      * Occupation licesnes, tools, equipment and inital stocks and supplies
      * Computer software and hardware
      * Personal assistance services
      * Telecommunications, sensory and other aids and devices

VESID:  333 East Washington Street
             Room 230
             Syracuse, NY 13202
             Phone: 315.428.4179
 5.  Select and Plan College Choices:
       * Select the colleges you would consider attending and plan a visit
       * Investigate what services each college provides through their disability support office or other 
         office that handles disability accomodations
       * Match your academic interests (major) with colleges in which you are interested.
       * APPLY    

For more college information, please click on that attached link:

Additonal Resources:
       Peterson's College Directory for Students with Learning Disabilities and ADD

College-Bound Student Portfolio (pdf): Complete Portfolio-Post-College Bound.doc

     College Application Calendar-Timeline
During the Summer Before Senior Year
·         Visit colleges that interest you. Call ahead for the campus tour schedule and schedule an appointment with the *disability support specialists.
·         Finalize your list of colleges. Be sure your list includes “safe” schools, as well as “reach” and “realistic” schools. 
·         Please request college applications and informational packets. Keep your materials organized using folders or files.
·         Keep a college calendar of all admission deadlines.
·         If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports and want to be eligible to be recruited by colleges, you must register with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearing house.
·         Register early for fall SAT and/or ACT tests.
·         Meet with your guidance counselor and discuss your college plans
·         If you plan to apply through an Early Decision program, get started on your application. The deadlines are usually in October or November.
·         Start working on your college essays. Write essays that focus on your experiences and make you stand out from other applicants.
·         Update your resume.
·         Ask your teachers, guidance counselors, coaches or employers for letters of recommendation.   Be sure to provide them with stamped and addressed envelopes.
·         Take SAT and/or ACT tests.
·         If you are applying under an Early Decision program, be sure to get all forms in as soon as possible
·         Submit early decision applications on-time.
·         Proofread your college essays.
·         Follow-up to be sure letters of recommendation are sent on time to meet your deadlines.
·         Mail applications as early as possible for colleges with rolling deadlines (admission decisions are made as applications are received).
·         Take SAT and/or ACT tests. Make sure your scores are sent to each one of your prospective colleges.
·         Try to wrap up college applications before winter break. Make copies of each application before you send it for your records.
·         Take SAT and/or ACT tests. Make sure your scores are sent to each of your prospective colleges
·         Early decision responses typically arrive between December and January.
·         Some colleges include your first-semester grades as part of your application folder, called the mid-year grade report. Have your guidance counselor send your grades to colleges that require them.
·         Contact your colleges and confirm that all necessary application materials have been received.
·         Don’t get senioritis! Colleges want to see strong second half grades.
·         Some admissions decisions arrive this month. Read everything you received carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.
·         Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Be sure to read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.
·         Make a final decision and mail the enrollment form and deposit check to the school you select before May 1 (the enrollment deadline for most schools).
·         If you are on the waiting list, contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the college and update them on your spring semester grades and activities.
·         Study hard for final exams. Most admission offers are contingent on your final grades.
·         Thank your guidance counselor, teachers, coaches and anyone else who wrote recommendations or otherwise helped you with your college applications.
·         Have your counselor send your final transcript to your college choice
·         If you plan on competing in Division I or Division II college sports, have your counselor send your final transcript to the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.
·         Finalize your housing plans
·         If you are planning to live away from home, arrange for transportation to new residence
·         Shop for items you will need in college
·         Register for classes with an eye towards eventually selecting your major.

Keep Track of Your Applications
Use this college application checklist and stay on top of your application tasks, paperwork, and deadlines.
Application Checklist
College 2
Request info/application
Regular application deadline
Early application deadline
Safety? Good Match? Reach?
Request high school transcript sent
Request midyear grade reports sent
Test Scores
SAT® and/or ACT required?
Send SAT and/or ACT scores
Letters of Recommendation
Request recommendations
Send thank-you notes
Write essays
Proof essays for spelling and grammar
Have two people read your essays
Send and Track Your Application
Make copies of all application materials