Services in K-12 vs. Higher Education: What are the Differences?

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Topic K-12 Higher Education
Special Education Yes, for students who qualify Special Education is not available for students once they graduate from high school
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Yes, meetings are held each year No, once students graduate from high school, they no longer have an IEP
Identification The school assists in identifying students with disabilities Students must self-identify in order to qualify
Evaluation District is responsible for conducting 3-year reevaluations and covering the cost Students are responsible for seeking an evaluation and for covering the cost
1:1 Aide IEP team determines if this is necessary  Not available as the ADA states this is "personal assistant"; students and family would hire their own individual
Modified Curriculum and/or Self-Contained Classroom IEP team determines students are able to participate in general education curriculum and if not, the curriculum is modified or a different curriculum is used Modifications are not allowed because it fundamentally changes the course and the competencies; students must use the same textbooks, materials, and must complete the same requirements as all students
Parental Contact Communication is encouraged and is required for the development of the IEP as well as the annual review Students must sign consent for the college faculty/staff to speak to anyone but the student; only done via USPS or in-person with a photo ID (FERPA requirement)
Test Reader May have someone read the test and define words or “re-word” the question so students can better understand Will read the test word for word; may not define words or assist in any other way
Transportation and/or specialized transportation Provided and paid for by the school district Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation as well as paying for the service
Assistive Technology School district provides it to the student at no cost; students may borrow items until they graduate Some items are available for use on campus; other items students may borrow on a first-come, first-served basis or students purchases on their own
Responsibility Parents & teachers assist students and remind students of what needs to get done Student are responsible for getting things done and for requesting assistance as needed
Collaboration Parents, teachers, and students all work together to ensure that the student is progressing, needs are being met, accommodations are being made, etc. Students work with their instructors and the Disability Services Office to implement accommodations; students are responsible for meeting with their instructors to give them the necessary paperwork
Receiving Services for a Disability Students are staffed into special education, if needed, or a 504 Plan is developed Students must apply for services and must also submit professional documentation of their disability to support their request and to be identified as a person who is eligible for services
Success Many professionals collaborate with students and parents to ensure that students are successful Success is not guaranteed; the ADA ensures that students with disabilities have equal access in college and that they are provided with the same opportunities
Textbooks If needed, alternate reading materials are used based on the student's grade level All textbooks are college-level reading materials; scanned textbooks are available for students who qualify
Documentation The district evaluates the student; they do not necessarily need to provide the school with any paperwork, although some parents may have information to share Students are responsible for providing the institution with that information; may be an IEP or 504 Plan but these cannot be “transferred” to the college; they are used to determine the history of services and what items in the document may be provided in college
Contact Person Students typically have one person at the school as a “main contact” for parents (i.e., IEP Teacher) Students may have several individuals they work with including Disability Services staff, Academic Advisors, Counselors, Instructors, etc.
Make-Up Exams and Re-Takes Some students may have this available to them as part of their IEP Instructors get to determine if they will allow make-up exams and there are no re-takes for students who fail the exam or who do not use their accommodations