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Prospective Students

We welcome the opportunity to speak with prospective students and their families.  Our goal is to assist students in the pursuit of their academic and life goals while working cooperatively with all students as they develop self-determined behaviors, self-advocacy skills, and create a network of resources.  Students interested in working with Learning Support Services (LSS) should contact our office.  We are available to assist you with your requests and answer any questions you may have.  We can be reached at 503-883-2562.

Some Of The Differences Between High School And College

In High School

In College

Your time is structured by others.   You manage your own time.
You can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities. You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities.
You may study outside of class as little as 0 - 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute preparation. You need to study at least 2 - 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class.
You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough. You need to review class notes and test material regularly.
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 assistance.
Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent. Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed.
Makeup tests are often available. Make tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them.
Consistently good homework grades may raise your overall grade when test grades are low. Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade.

Thanks to Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center at Southern Methodist University for this information.

The Rules Change After High School For Students With Disabilities

The following chart outlines general differences in various areas between public high school and postsecondary education as it relates to disability laws and responsibilities.

High School

Postsecondary Institutions

Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Subpart D)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Subpart E)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Covers ages 3-21 or until regular high school diploma requirements are met Covers students with disabilities regardless of age; schools may not discriminate in recruitment, admission, or during enrollment, solely on the basis of a disability
Schools are required to identify students with disabilities through free assessment and the individualized education program (IEP) process. Students are required to submit documentation establishing their disability and need for accommodations.  Services are only provided once a student self-identifies and provides appropriate documentation.  Postsecondary institutions are not required to evaluate or test students.
Students receive special education and related services to address needs based on an identified disability Formal special education services are not available
Services include individually designed instruction, modifications, and accommodations based on the IEP Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide equal access and participation
Progress toward IEP goals is monitored and communicated to the parents and/or student Students are required to monitor their own progress and communicate their needs to appropriate personnel

Adapted from Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training, Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction, 9/2003

Choosing a College That's Right for YOU

Going-to-college (www.going-to-college.org) - This new website contains information about living college life with a disability.  It is designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities, and additional resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college.  Through several interviews, college students with disabilities from across Virginia, provided key information for the site.  These video clips offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful.  Each module includes several activities that will help website visitors explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.  Students with disabilities are encouraged to share these modules with their parents, teachers, and guidance counselors as well.

Useful Information for Students with Disabilities

Legal Rights & Responsibilities
Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities - The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education is providing the information in this pamphlet to explain the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that the school does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

ADA Q & A: Section 504 & Postsecondary Education - Many parents of students with disabilities know about rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As students and their families prepare for the transition from high school to postsecondary, they will often find they are less familiar with protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The following questions reflect those most commonly asked of the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER ) staff regarding the ADA and postsecondary institutions.