Transition to College

Transition from High School to College can be challenging for students everywhere. For students who have had a lot of structure in high school or those with learning differences, the shift can be more difficult.

While the law requires that students with learning differences have equal access to education, that access can be hard to navigate. The offices of accessibility services that coordinate accommodations for students with documented disabilities are well-intentioned, but often understaffed and overwhelmed by demand. In the face of inadequate services, students are required to become more self-sufficient. Self-disclosure and self-advocacy become the norm even if a student does not have documentation.

Among the many new academic responsibilities of college life:

  • Think and write at a higher level than they may have before
  • Self-advocacy with their professors and accessibility support services
  • Ownership of scheduling and implementing their own accommodations on campus
  • Manage the scaffolding of schedules, assignments, projects and tests 
  • Independently navigate learning management systems like Canvas, Blackboard and Moodle
  • Identify and seek out help when and if there are problems that arise academically

Among the many new social and life responsibilities at college:

  • Initiate connection with others around shared interests  
  • Engage socially on their new campuses and communities without prompting
  • Navigate having a roommate or suitemates who are unknown to the student
  • Manage nutrition, exercise, health and wellness independently
  • Understand and utilize campus resources available to students
  • Adjust to a new, and more diverse environment, with people of different backgrounds and cultures 

The level of self-awareness and self-advocacy required for college students is of a different magnitude than that required of secondary school students. In high school, students could depend upon structure, format, prompting, and readily available assistance to support them. In other words, the school finds you. Problems are readily identified and even anticipated by schools, teachers, parents, and learning teams. In college, the opposite is true. Students have to find what they need.

This is where Focus Collegiate fills in the gaps to make a smooth transition from high school to college.