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Introduction to Post-Secondary Transition

One of the most challenging times in any young adult's life is the transition from high school to life beyond graduation. For students with disabilities and their families, this can also be a very stressful time as they attempt to wade through all the possibilities. For most high school graduates, the options are endless: college, employment, vocational school/training, or taking a gap year. All of these can be appealing for multiple reasons. For students interested in pursuing a post-secondary education, the options to consider are a two-year institution (Community College), a four-year college or university, or vocational/trade school for a special certification. Understanding these options and how they are different is one of the first steps to designing the right pathway forward. For students with disabilities it is also important to be prepared for the changes in supports and services available to them once they graduate high school and enroll in a post-secondary institution. Knowing what supports are available and how they vary by institution is an important part of the planning process.

Post-secondary educational institutions are not held to the same standards as K-12 institutions. They are not obligated to provide the same services and resources to their students, as most students opt to attend, versus students being required to attend school for kindergarten through twelfth grade. While this is not the only reason for the variation, it is something to keep in mind while researching higher education institutions. For additional information, click here.

The following pages are designed to be guide for parents and young adults with disabilities as they navigate through the process of transitioning from high school to a post-secondary educational institution, and will provide tips and resources to help make the transition less overwhelming, and hopefully more successful for the student with disabilities.

Navigating the Waters to Post-Secondary Education:
A Guide for Students with Disabilities & Parents about How to Prepare for Transition to Post-Secondary Education

by Rachel Z. Roth, M.Ed.

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