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Transition to College

Welcome to Eastern! This is an exciting time as you begin your academic journey as part of the Eastern community. The Office of AccessAbility Services (OAS) is here to help you navigate through this change and guide you through the accommodation process. The OAS helps students reduce barriers and connect you with resources to empower your development and college experience.

This page serves to provide an overview of how services and supports differ between high school and the college setting. The parent role shifts to becoming a source of support while the student role shifts into self-advocacy to initiate their own needs and maximize potential and success.

All students are required to meet all course and graduation requirements as outlined and students must advocate for themselves when they need assistance. Navigating these differences may be overwhelming and the best support we can offer is to encourage students to connect with the OAS early. Students may reach out at any time but registering before the first semester is highly recommended to help transition with ease.

How Section 504 Applies to Secondary Schools

  • High School vs College

    High School


    Governed by I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

    Governed by A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

    Section 504 – Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Section 504 – Rehabilitation Act of 1973

    Students with disabilities are “Otherwise Qualified” for public education by being the appropriate age to attend elementary through high school

    Students with disabilities are “Otherwise Qualified” for higher education means a student must meet all entrance, academic, and graduation requirements, regardless of disability status

    The school is responsible for providing services, like tutors, speech therapy, or personal attendants

    Student must initiate evaluation by licensed provider at their own cost and personal tutors or attendants are not provided

    Documentation determines eligibility for services based on specific disability categories outlined in I.D.E.A.

    Documentation must be current and provides information on specific nature of condition or disability, functional limitations, and supports the need for specific accommodations

    School teams knows and plans for special education placement, communication and modifies educational program as needed

    Students choose whether they wish to disclose disability status and professors only need to know the accommodation the student is requesting

    The goal of services is to ensure student’s success

    The goal of services is to ensure student’s access

  • High School vs College

    High School


    Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers

    Student must self-identify to Office of AccessAbility Services and register

    Staff is responsible for arranging and facilitating accommodations

    Student is responsible for self-advocacy and requesting accommodations

    Regular contact with parents

    Student needs to give permission in writing to allow for parent contact

    Parent has access to student records

    Parent does not have access to student records unless specified otherwise in writing

    Staff monitors success

    Student monitors access and success

  • High School vs College

    High School


    Teachers may modify curriculum and /or extend assignments, project deadlines

    Faculty are not required to modify curriculum design or extend assignments or project deadlines

    Tutoring and study support may be provided as part of an I.EP or 504 plan

    Tutoring is not part of the Office of AccessAbility Services and is not considered an accommodation. Students may seek support booking an appointment with OAS Support Coach or with Academic Success Center

    Teachers may provide notes and/or outlines of course materials

    Students are expected to take notes independently (with approved accommodations as needed)

    Teachers may often remind students of assignments and manage content material into small amounts

    Students are expected to read, understand, and refer to the course syllabus for dates, assignments, and project deadlines, as well as course content being covered

    Makeup tests may be common

    Makeup tests are uncommon