High School to College-it’s a transition! Here are some things that are different:
Piedmont University is happy to abide by all of the laws that relate to all of its students. We believe that diversity helps to enrich the lives of everyone on campus. As an advocate for a college student, or if you are the new college student, it’s a good idea to get to know how ADA/504 and the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are different, and how things are the same.
What is the law?
High School: IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
College: Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
What is the intent of the law?
High School: Free, appropriate education for all students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.
College: Ensure that no otherwise qualified person is discriminated against in federally funded programs.
Who is covered under the law?
High School: All infants, children and youth requiring special education until age 21 or graduation from high school.
College: All qualified persons who meet entry criteria of the college and can document a disability as defined by ADA.
What is a disability?
High School: IDEA provides a list of disabilities and includes specific learning disability.
College: Any physical or mental health impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Who is responsible for identifying and documenting need?
High School: School districts are responsible for identifying, evaluating students, and planning educational programs.
College: Students are responsible for self-identifying to the college and providing documentation of their disability.
Who is responsible for initiating service delivery?
High School: School districts are responsible for providing special instruction, individualized instruction plans, and/or accommodations.
College: Students are responsible for requesting disability services and/or accommodations. These are provided at no cost to the individual or family.
What related services are mandated?
High School: School districts must provide rehabilitation counseling, medical services, personal aides, social work and other services as needed in the school day.
College: Colleges provide physical, academic, and program access. Related services of a personal nature are the responsibility of the individual or family.
What about self-advocacy?
High School: The parent or guardian is the primary advocate. Students learn about their disability, the accommodations they need, and ways to become a self-advocate.
College: Students are expected to be their own advocates.
Who is responsible for enforcing the law?
High School: IDEA is basically a funding statute, enforced by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the U.S. Department of Education.
College: ADA/504 are civil right statutes, enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Information above adapted from: Kay McVey, Faculty Development Specialist, PROJECT CONNECT, Henderson State University; Arkadelphia, Arkansas and from the Dakota State University website http://dsu.edu/student-life/disability-services/high-school-vs.-college
What is FERPA? The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children's education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student (“eligible student”). The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99. (U.S. Department of Education http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/faq.html)
If I am a parent of a college student, do I have the right to see my child's education records, especially if I pay the bill? As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an “eligible student's” education records to the parents of the student, without the student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).) (U.S. Department of Education http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/faq.html)