Worcester State University
Disability Services Office

Transitioning To College

Are there differences between high school and college disability services?

While similar in aim, postsecondary services for students with disabilities are not a continuation of earlier special education services. The kinds of support services received in high school will not necessarily be continued similarly at the college level.  There are a number of differences between high school and college which result in new roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Some of these are as follows:

·         Students must self identify directly with the Disability Services Office and provide documentation that demonstrates a substantial limitation to one or more major life activities as defined under the ADA.


·         Students are treated as independent adults and are expected to take full personal responsibility for their educational experience. Students must advocate for themselves. 


·         Students must request accommodations from the DSO in order to receive them and do so on a semester by semester basis. Primary responsibility for accommodations belongs to the student. Accommodations are not put in place automatically. 


·         Students are expected to monitor their own progress, seek out assistance, and communicate their needs to appropriate staff or faculty.


·         Students must make decisions on their own, manage their own time, and arrange their own schedules.


·         Students must meet all academic standards and requirements with or without reasonable accommodations. Postsecondary institutions are not required to reduce, alter, or waive any of the essential requirements of a course or program.


·         Students must arrange for and obtain their own personal assistants or tutoring.

Related Links

DataBridge © WSU, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: 508-929-8000