Transitioning to College
Making the transition from high school to college is an exciting time. Students who utilized accommodations with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Plans in high school often wonder how to start the process of receiving accommodations in college.
Differences Between High School and College
|Personal Aides||Personal aides may be provided in the classroom for academic or personal care issues.||Personal aides are not provided.|
|Test Modifications||Modifications to tests which include eliminating questions, unlimited time, extra explanations, ability to take tests in resource room, open book/open note tests, etc.||Accommodations related to testing are often limited to extended time, distraction-reduced environment, and readers for tests who can read the test exactly as written.|
|Homework Modifications||Modified assignments (i.e. fewer questions to answer, alternate assignments, extra time to turn in homework, etc.)||No modifications to length of assignments. Office may grant extended time for in-class assignments, but instructor has the final say about extended time for most homework submissions.|
|Resource Room||Resource room||No resource room|
|Referral to Services||Schools find students who have eligibility for services and prescribe accommodations accordingly.||Students self-refer and self-identify. Student advocates for accommodations.|
|Diagnostic Testing||Schools often pay for the process of diagnostic testing.||Students must pay for their own diagnostic testing.|
|Documentation||Documentation of disability is fairly consistent from student to student.||Documentation requirements vary from institution to institution. Students must contact the schools to determine their requirements.|
|Transportation||Schools provide transportation to and from school.||Transportation is not provided.|
|Alternative Textbooks||Schools provide free alternative textbooks using a variety of ways, including BookShare.||Students are required to purchase their books, provide proof of ownership, and then request books. Colleges may or may not use Bookshare; they may just share the files.|
Skills for College
We strongly recommend that students who are starting their college journeys practice the following skills in preparation for college.
|Self-Advocacy||The ability to speak out for your educational needs by identifying and/or discussing specific educational and/or physical challenges.|
|Discuss Accommodations||Students can speak directly with their teachers about accommodations that have been beneficial, and coordinate how their specific accommodations will be facilitated.|
|Request Re-evaluation||Prior to graduation from high school, consider asking your high school for a re-evaluation of ability to determine how your needs have changed over time.|
|Request Copies of Documentation||Ask your school to provide you with the most current copies of your IEP or 504 plan along with any psychological testing to help determine your functional limitations.|
|Talk to College Disability Offices||Talk with the college you are planning to attend to determine what their specific requirements are, and learn what their starting processes are.|
|Learn the College Process||Colleges give students approved accommodation letters which students share with their instructors. Students often coordinate the accommodation process themselves in college, as well.|
|Identify Which Accommodations Have Worked Well Before||Think about techniques, technology, accommodations, etc. that have worked for you in the past, and share these ideas with the Disability Office.|
|Practice Time Management Skills||Try different skills to determine what works best for you; consider physical planners, phone apps, folder systems, etc.|
Lansing is a vibrant community with a variety of local organizations. Many of our students work with at least one of the following organizations.
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)
Persons who are blind or who have visual impairments can partner with the BSBP to work toward employment and independence. BSBP has resources to assist with counseling, training, and adaptive equipment.
Capital Area Center for Independent Living (CACIL)
CACIL focuses on enabling persons with disabilities to make choices and have control within their own lives; they seek to assist persons with disabilities in improving their quality of life by offering referrals, advocacy assistance, peer support, and assistance with independent living skills development. CSA refers students to CACIL, as needed, and partners with CACIL on individual student situations.
Division on Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing
Part of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, this state agency assists Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing persons secure effective communication via appropriate referrals, offering guidance for specific situations, and analysis of legislative issues related to the needs of these communities. Additionally, this agency maintains the state-wide database consisting of the Interpreter Directory.
Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)
MRS works with eligible individuals with disabilities to help these persons prepare for employment. They also partner with employers to help attract and retain qualified workers who have disabilities. MRS has a presence in all Michigan counties, and interested individuals can schedule appointments with MRS staff to determine the appropriateness of services.
Peckham, Inc. is a vocational rehabilitation organization which offers a variety of programs for persons with emphasis for persons with disabilities and/or persons with socioeconomic challenges. Job seekers are given access to training on job readiness, career exploration, and job retention skills. CSA refers students to Peckham, and works with students who are employed by Peckham.