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Differences between High School and College

Public High School

College*
Free and appropriate education guaranteed by law

No guarantee of college by law

Obligation by school to seek out and identify students with disabilities No obligation to seek out and identify students with disabilities.
Obligation to evaluate students for disabilities No obligation to evaluate students for disabilities
Must develop an Individual Educational Program (IEP) for students with disabilities No obligation to develop  special programs for students with disabilities
Must alter courses if necessary No obligation to alter courses
Class sizes may often be small Class size may often be large
Usually many tests and quizzes Fewer smaller tests but longer examinations
Students get support in budgeting their time and planning their school work Students are usually on their own to budget their time and plan their work
Students' progress is monitored by school staff during semester Students must monitor their own work
School will seek out students to apply modifications Students must self-identify and seek out their own modifications.
Must alter program and courses if necessary No obligation to alter courses or program
Must provide waivers and substitutions if necessary No obligation to provide waivers and substitutes
Assignments are more structured Assignments are less structured
Extra credit work may be allowed Not much extra credit work
Right to due process hearing if not in agreement with school Right to grieve but no obligation to have hearing
Family and faculty support often available Family and faculty support may not be as accessible
Courses last at least 18 weeks Courses usually last 14 weeks
Teachers trained to teach Faculty might not have trained to teach
Instruction modes may vary a lot Instruction modes are often lecture, particularly in large classes
May be allowed to retake or redo tests May not be allowed to take or redo tests

*These are  broad general differences but for further information the students should check school, department policies, state and federal laws, recent law cases and seek school and  legal counsel for further clarification.  There are large difference between colleges and universities, private and public institutions,  between departments in different schools and colleges and state and federal    laws. I am not a lawyer or a school administrator and I waive responsibility if any of the information is incorrect.

This list was adapted from Counseling Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities by Michael Koehler and Marybeth Kravets
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