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Office of Disability Services

109-J Enrollment Services Center
121 East Second Street
Morehead, KY 40351
Phone: 606-783-5188
Fax: 606-783-9190

MSU Home :: Transition from High School to MSU

Transition from High School to MSU

Many students receiving disability services at MSU also received accommodations during elementary through high school. If this was your case, then you are familiar with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that guided your earlier education. You may have become used to a fair amount of oversight and intervention on your behalf by a team of teachers and counselors. You likely received periodic testing, mandatory progress reviews, and may have been provided with personal classroom aides.

Services at the post-secondary level work somewhat differently. Legal protections exist so that discrimination against admitting "otherwise qualified" students with disabilities does not occur. However, the University's admission criteria is the same for a person with a disability as it is for other students. Likewise, accommodations exist to remove barriers to learning and testing, but grading standards are the same for all students and accommodations must not fundamentally alter essential course or program content. 

Other Key Differences:  

  • Use of services is student-driven rather than directed by the institution or by parents.
  • Students needing accommodations must take the initiative to contact the DS office and request help. You may instead choose not to identify yourself as having a disability and thereby forego services.
  • You may decline future services at any point, even though you initially asked for them.
  • You’ll have a more assertive role when working with professors and service providers than you did in high school. Be assured though, that the DS office will at your request help you trouble-shoot any difficulties.
  • Depending upon your particular high school experience, you may notice some differences in the type and scope of accommodations available in college. Individually prescribed devices, attendants, and readers for personal use or study, are not provided by the University, although you may qualify for financial assistance through an external agency. Specific accommodations are always determined on a case-by-case basis, and you will fully participate in the process.
  • Since IEPs and 504 Plans applying in high school do not directly transfer to college, they may not be acceptable as the sole documentation of a disability; they do provide useful background information, and may be submitted as a supplement. What we will need is a report/letter from a qualified professional (e.g., physician, psychologist, licensed mental health counselor) regarding the status of your disability. Standardized test results (if used in the evaluation) or an explanation of how the diagnosis was reached, and a clear determination that the disability substantially impacts your academic performance or other major life activity should be clearly stated.
  • A diagnosis supported by testing, such as a Specific Learning Disability, should be based on adult measures. Since your teachers/counselors may be unaware that different statutes apply to colleges, you may want to clarify the status of your evaluation between your junior and senior year. If the documentation you have does not meet MSU’s standards regarding provider’s credentials, or diagnostic detail, you may be required to obtain a new evaluation before receiving services. Although the University is not obligated to provide or pay for the evaluation, the DS office can usually make an affordable local referral. 


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