Disability Resource Center

Transition from High School


How College Students are Different from High School Students

  • College students have an adult’s right to privacy and need to be directly engaged in this interactive process.
  • Students who need additional support are expected to request it, versus wait for someone else to notice.
  • Regardless of a disability, all students are expected to earn a C average, otherwise they may be suspended.

How College Course Work is Different from High School

  • A college course tends to go quickly and deeply into the subject matter. The professor may be changing what is taught from one semester to the next. Anyone who isn’t hearing the lectures and reading the textbook probably has limited ability to help a student on lessons.
  • All students are expected to do the same course work and are graded the same way, regardless of any disability issues.
  • The reading assignments are considerably larger in college than in high school.
  • There are few tests, so the tests that do occur cover more information and count heavily. There can be test questions about reading assignments, even if the professor never discussed the reading content in class.
  • Besides tests and projects, there are few other ways to earn points for grades.
  • Because of all these things, students should be studying course material regularly, even if no test is about to occur. There is simply too much information to learn on a periodic study basis, or to cram just before a test.

How Professors are Different from High School Teachers

  • Professors don't watch individual students closely to make sure they're being successful.
  • Professors lecture during class and expect students to independently study and perform assignments on their own time.
  • Professors rarely grade on effort; grades are usually heavily based on the student's ability to demonstrate what they’ve learned.
  • Professors rarely allow students to repeat a test or assignment for a higher grade.
  • Professors may deduct more points for late assignments, compared to high school teachers.
  • If someone asks a professor how a particular student is doing many weeks after a course has begun, the professor may say, "I'm not sure, so far we haven't had any tests or assignments."

Equal Access for Students

Fostering Independence, Reducing Barriers, & Promoting Inclusion


Disability Resource Center

Secure Fax: 715.425.0742
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
123 Rodli Hall