Disability Resource Center

Differences Between K12 & Higher Ed

K-12 College
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
  • Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • IDEA-Designed to promote success
  • ADA-Designed to ensure access

K-12 College
  • IEP (Individual Education Plan) and/or 504 Plan
  • High School IEP and 504 alone are usually not sufficient
  • School provides evaluation at no cost to the student
  • Student must get evaluation at own expense
  • Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific IDEA categories
  • Documentation must provide information on the functional limitations and demonstrate the need for accommodations

K-12 College
  • Student is identified by the school
  • Student must self-identify at designated office
  • Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school
  • Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the student

K-12 College
  • Parent has access to student's records and participates in the accommodation process
  • Parent does not have access to the student's records without student's written consent
  • Parent advocates for the student
  • Student advocates for self

K-12 College
  • Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments
  • Faculty not required to modify curriculum, alter assignments, and/or deadines
  • Student expected to read short assignments that are then discussed and often re-taught in class
  • Substantial amounts of reading and writing is usually required
  • Attendance monitored by the teacher
  • Student is reponsible for attending class

K-12 College
  • Modifications to test format and/or grading are acceptable
  • Grading and/or exam format are generally not available
  • Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material
  • Testing can be infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material
  • Teachers often provide reminders of assignments and exam due dates
  • Professors expect students to follow the course syllabus