Yes, a 504 plan can transfer to college, but it may require an evaluation and updating to accommodate the student’s needs in the new educational setting.
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Yes, a 504 plan can transfer to college, but it may require an evaluation and updating to accommodate the student’s needs in the new educational setting. A 504 plan is a legal document that outlines accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities to ensure they receive equal access to education. While 504 plans are typically associated with K-12 education, they can still be applicable and valid in college.
When transitioning to college, it is important for students with 504 plans to reach out to the college’s Disability Services Office or a similar department responsible for providing accommodations. The student will need to provide documentation of their disability and their existing 504 plan. The college may require additional evaluations or assessments to determine the appropriate accommodations in the college setting.
Once the documentation is reviewed, the college will work with the student to develop an updated plan that aligns with the college’s policies and resources. The accommodations may vary from those provided in high school due to the differences in educational environments, but the goal is to ensure equal access to education for students with disabilities.
A well-known resource, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, provides guidance on the transition from high school to college for students with 504 plans. According to their website, “Colleges aren’t required to provide the exact same accommodations as high schools. The law only requires colleges to provide reasonable accommodations that remove barriers to education.”
Interesting facts about 504 plans and college transition:
The main legislation that protects students with disabilities in the United States is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires colleges and universities to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities.
Colleges and universities have Disability Services Offices or similar departments that work with students to determine appropriate accommodations and ensure equal access to education.
Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging for students with disabilities as they need to navigate new academic, social, and support systems. The transition process may involve working with disability service providers, professors, and campus resources to establish needed accommodations.
The accommodations provided in college may differ from those provided in high school due to the differences in educational settings and expectations. College accommodations are typically focused on providing access rather than specialized instruction.
Table: Example of Common Accommodations in College for Students with 504 Plans
|Extended time on exams||Allowing additional time to complete exams and assignments|
|Note-taking assistance||Providing access to lecture notes or a note-taking service|
|Use of assistive technology||Permission to use tools such as screen readers or speech-to-text software to facilitate learning|
|Flexible deadlines||Allowing for extensions on assignments or flexibility in due dates|
|Preferential seating||Providing seating near the front of the class for better visibility or hearing access|
|Accessible materials||Ensuring textbooks, course materials, and online resources are available in accessible formats such as large print or electronic text|
Renowned author, Helen Keller once said, “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” In the context of college and 504 plans, it highlights the importance of accommodating students with disabilities to ensure they have equal opportunities for education and social interaction.
See the answer to “Does a 504 transfer to college?” in this video
In the video “Does My IEP or 504 Plan Transfer to College?”, it is explained that an IEP or 504 plan does not automatically transfer to college unless required by the specific college. Although there is no legal requirement for updated testing, most colleges will ask for an updated evaluation within three years in order to provide accommodations. Students may need to seek and pay for this evaluation outside of school. It is also important to note that some accommodations received prior to college may not be available in the college setting.
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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 still protects students from discrimination when they get to college. However, they won’t get a 504 plan like they had in high school. In other words, a your daughter’s 504 plan doesn’t “travel” with her to college.
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Some families want to keep disabilities private or disagree their child has a disability. 504 Plans open the door to school disability assessments, which may contain data a parent disagrees with. These records become part of the student’s permanent record.