The transition from high school to the university setting is an exciting time for students and their families. With the support of parents, this change creates an opportunity for students to take on the role of self-advocate and can lead to a successful transition into adulthood as students learn to absorb these new responsibilities.

Transitioning Between High School and CU Boulder

Going to college can be a significant transition for both student and family. For many students this is the first time they are separating from family and moving toward independence. This is an exciting time but the transition can also bring up concerns for all involved.

Students with disabilities and their families must also understand what it means to transition to a university with a disability and what steps to take in order to receive support from Disability Services at CU Boulder, the first step being to Register with Disability Services.

The table below can be a helpful guide outlining some of the differences between high school disability services and those at CU Boulder.

High School CU Boulder
High school accommodations are about success College accommodations are about equal access
The school arranges communications with teachers about accommodations The student communications with instructors about accommodations
Student has a 504 Plan or an IEP Students get a Letter of Accommodations
Parents/guardians act as primary advocate Student is their own primary advocate

Some of the changes are in terminology: a 504 Plan or IEP becomes a Letter of Accommodations. However, the main changes involve the student at CU Boulder becoming their own primary advocate. This means the student at CU Boulder is responsible for communicating with instructors about their accommodations and contacting Disability Services to express any concerns they might have. 

Accommodations at CU Boulder Compared to High School

There may be some accommodations that look similar to what your student received in high school but accommodations at CU Boulder are determined through an interactive process with students. When evaluating requestions for accommodation, we will consider any information including: 

  • your narrative and request for specific accommodations and services
  • records of past accommodations and services from high school or another college
  • formal psychological or medical evaluations
  • letters from past health, education, or service providers
  • any other relevant information

This information is needed so that we can develop an understanding of how your student’s disability is likely to impact them at the college level. 

Access to Student Information

A student at CU can fill out a Release of Information Form giving Disability Services staff permission to share information related to the office with parents. SAS requires that the student handle any matters related to our office, including registration and accommodations. We do not work with the parent in place of the student.