There is no Special Education in postsecondary education, although some students may choose to participate in classes offered by SAS.
If you participated in Special Education classes in K-12, you will find that your rights and responsibilities and the services provided to you are different in college. That is because the federal law that applies to K-12 (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) does not apply to postsecondary schools.
You may want to read an article by Paul Grossman, chief regional attorney of the San Francisco Office for Civil Rights (OCR), entitled Attorney Paul Grossman on Legal Rights for College Students with LD.
Also, please see the chart below for more information about the differences between high school and college support services for students with disabilities.
|High School Support Services||College Level Support Services|
|The school district is responsible for evaluating and documenting the disability.||Students are responsible for providing current documentation of their disability to the college.|
|An IEP meeting is held to determine placement and appropriate services.||Students working with college professionals will determine if and/or what services are appropriate.|
|Once a disability is documented, services are made available and included in the student’s daily schedule.||Even after documentation has been provided and appropriate accommodations have been identified, students must request the accommodations each time they are needed.|
|Special classes or placements must be available for students.||Students, with advice from their counselors, set their own academic goals.|
|Specific goals and objectives are determined for each student receiving services.||Colleges are not required to provide special classes or programs for students with disabilities.|
|Parents are notified and must give permission for any decisions regarding their son or daughter.||Parents are not notified of services their son or daughter requests unless the student grants permission for that information to be released.|
|Teachers, administrators, and parents advocate for students.||Students must advocate for themselves.|
|Reevaluation of students is conducted by the school on a regular basis (generally every three years.)||Reevaluation of a disability is not generally required if a student remains continuously enrolled in the college.|
|Students may be evaluated using differential standards and curriculum may be fundamentally altered.||The laws mandate equal access to instruction but they do not require fundamental alteration of a program.|