Section Three: Disability Support Programs & Services Division Instruction

Academic Differences Between High School and College

Differences Between High School And College

Students coming to higher education from high school find that there are numerous differences both in the academic expectations and in disability services. Familiarize yourself with some of the following differences and allow yourself several quarters to get accustomed to the new system. Review the Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations, "Legal Aspects," and Section Four: Success Strategies, "Transition to College," "Important Academic Policies," and "Tips from Successful Students," for more on this topic.

Major differences in obtaining accommodations for disabilities:

  1. Legal protections in higher education are no longer under IDEA as in K-12.
  2. Students must (with help of Disability Support Services (DSS) staff):
    • Identify their own needs,
    • Request assistance, and
    • Provide documentation of disability upon request.
  1. Students are responsible for their own goals and progress rather than the high school ensuring that IEP goals are met.
  2. Accommodations may not alter the fundamental nature of degree applicable courses, requirements or instructional methods as were allowed in K-12.
  3. Equal access but not success is the guarantee in higher education.
  4. No transportation or personal services are provided in college.

Academic differences between high school and college:

  1. There is less time in class and more time on out-of-class work.
  2. Attendance may not be required or noted.
  3. Students are more responsible for dividing your time between study, work, and relaxation.
  4. Instructors will not spend as much time explaining, discussing, and reviewing course material and will expect students to read and study more on their own.
  5. Many classes require collaborative group projects that take a great deal of out-of-class scheduling and planning.
  6. Studying does not necessarily mean homework from the book. It means independent learning, research and review.
  7. College requires from two to three hours of work outside of class for each in class hour.
  8. Tests may be given less often, so grades are based on fewer opportunities.
  9. A ā€œCā€ is considered the lowest passing grade; if you receive anything lower you risk probation or dismissal.
  10. There are eleven weeks of class and one week for finals in the quarter system. Students will be taking fewer classes, but working more quickly and more independently.

Return to DISH Table of Contents

DISH Table of Contents

- (Quick Links)

Section One: Coming to De Anza College

Section Two: Using Disability Services and Accommodations

General / College-Wide Accommodations and Services

Instructional / Classroom Accommodations and Services:

Alternate Media Services:

Deaf or Hard of Hearing Services:

Legal Aspects

Concerns and Complaints

Section Three: Disability Support Programs & Services Instruction

Section Four: Success Strategies

Section Five: Campus and Community Life

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