Transition Information

Admission / Transition Information for New Students with Disabilities

The nature of learning changes from high school to college, and sometimes even from college to college. For students with disabilities that may need accommodations or services at Kishwaukee College to ensure equal and equitable access to all programs, services, and activities, the following information will be helpful.

The first section of information is about the procedures you can follow to inform the campus of your need for accommodations or services because of a disability.

The second section of information discusses the specific differences between high school services (IEPs/504 Plans) and the rights and responsibilities of the student with a disability at the college level.

Please contact the Disability Services staff to discuss any questions or concerns you have as you transition to Kishwaukee College.  The best decision is an informed decision and we are happy to share information with you.

Admission Procedure for New Students with Disabilities

Kishwaukee College has an open admission policy, everyone is welcome!

For students with disabilities who may have concerns about accessibility or a need for accommodations at the college level, it is important that you complete the following steps to notify the campus that you may need those accommodations as an enrolled student.  Some of the steps can occur at the same time. The most important first step for ALL applicants to Kishwaukee College is to complete step one and submit the application form and the most important step for students with disabilities is to talk about the impact of their disability and request accommodations from the Disability Services staff.

Steps to complete:

1. Complete the online Kishwaukee College Student Information Form:

Submit official transcripts to the Student Services Office.  

NOTE: College and high school transcripts should be sent to the Student Services Office at Kishwaukee College, not to Disability Services.

2. Fill out relevant Financial Aid forms:

These should be completed as soon as possible following the posted timelines, but need to be completed in advance of the beginning of the semester. Any funding from the Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) should be finalized well before the start of school. The Kishwaukee College Financial Aid office contact information is: 815-825-9328 or email:

3. Provide documentation of your disability:

Submit the documentation of your disability to the Disability Services office at Kishwaukee College. You may need to sign a release of information form with your high school, previous college, psychologist, or Division of Rehabilitation Services office to have the documentation released to the Disability Services office. The records could include psychological test results, IEP/504 Plan, medical records, or other information indicating the diagnosis of the disability, any accommodations previously used, and any other information regarding the functional limitation/impact of your disability in the learning environment. If you have copies of the documentation, you can submit a copy of the records directly to the Disability Services at Kishwaukee College. More information about specific documentation requirements can be found on the Documentation webpage.

4. Make an appointment for your placement testing:

If you don't need any accommodations for the placement test, contact the Student Services (located in C2100, phone: 815-825-9375) to set up the appointment and tell them you just need to take the placement tests.

If you need accommodations such as extended time for the writing test, individual room, audio format of the tests, or scribes for writing, contact the Disability Services to set up the placement test appointment with the additional accommodations (A1317; phone: 815-825-2931 or email:

More information about Placement Test Accommodations can be found on the tab labeled Placement Test Accommodations.

5. Make an appointment with the staff in the Disability Services:

This appointment should occur as early as possible to help ensure the accommodations and services are arranged prior to the start of the semester (four weeks in advance is suggested as timely). You may bring a parent or other personnel if appropriate. The following areas may be discussed:

               a) Your particular needs, functional limitations/impact of the disability, available resources, and reasonable and appropriate accommodations while attending Kishwaukee College.

               b) Accommodations needed for placement testing at Kishwaukee College.

               c) Resources across campus to optimize chances of success during the semester.

               d) Any information about additional documentation/testing, if needed, or helpful community resources.

6. Make an appointment with an Advisor in Student Services (room C2100):

The earlier you make this appointment the better chance you will have of finding appropriate classes to meet your needs. The following areas may be discussed:

               a) Personal, academic, and career goals and programs offered at Kishwaukee College.

               b) Review of placement test results.

               c) Plan appropriate class schedule/registration directions.

7.  Contact the Disability Services staff after registering for classes:

Once you are registered for classes, finalize the accommodations based on classes you have chosen and request letters of accommodation be sent to your faculty regarding your accommodations. The earlier you contact the Disability Services staff, the better chance that the letters and your reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be in place at the start of the semester.

Differences between High School and College/Transition Information

In order to help students who had IEPs or 504 Plans in high school understand some of the changes that occur because of the different laws that apply to the college/university level, we have provided the two tables below. One explains the differences in the disability accommodations and services from high school to college. The second table explains some general differences in course structure and faculty (teacher) expectations of students enrolled in college classes.

All students, with/without disabilities and with/without appropriate accommodations and services are expected to meet the essential requirements of a program or course/degree. Unlike high school where modification of the essential course requirements may have occurred (such as reduction in test questions or reduction in number of written pages due in an essay, etc.), the ‘what needs to be done ‘(the course requirements) remains the same for all students. The ‘how the course requirements get done’ may vary based on the accommodations a student uses (for example, use of computer to write essay instead of handwriting it; having accessible textbooks that the computer reads aloud instead of relying on print materials and reading with the eyes; etc.)

Additional information is available on the United States Department of Education agency website entitled:

Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Differences between High School and College Disability Accommodations and Services



The applicable law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The applicable laws are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

IDEA is about success

ADA/ADAAA and 504 are about access

Fundamental modifications of programs and curricula are required

No fundamental modifications are required - only reasonable adjustments/supports

Education is a right and must be provided in an appropriate environment to all individuals

Education is not a right - students often must meet certain admission criteria

The school district is responsible for identifying a student's disability

Students must self-identify

The school district develops Individualized Education Plans (lEPs) to define special educational services

Student must identify needs and request services - no IEP exists and often the IEP is not considered sufficient documentation to verify a student's disability

The school district provides free evaluations

The student must obtain evaluations at his/her own expense

Student is supported by parents and teachers

Student is responsible for seeking assistance from the Disability Services office and FERPA prevents disclosure of student information to parents without a student’s signed release

Primary responsibility for arranging modifications belongs to the school

Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and asking for accommodations belongs to the student (who may seek assistance from Disability Services)

Personal services for medical and physical disabilities are required to be provided at school cost (i.e., Personal Care Attendant)

No personal services are required to be provided at the college’s expense - however, the Disability Services office may assist the student in arranging for such services and ensuring that student is able to use such services on the campus environment

Parent has access to student records and can participate in the IEP process

Parent does not have access to any student records without student's written consent

Parent advocates for student

Student must advocate for self

Differences between High School and College Class Structure and Teacher Expectations



School year runs from September - June

School year is divided into semesters: from August to December, from January to May, plus summer sessions

Classes meet daily

Classes meet 1, 2, 3, or 4 times a week

Classes are generally held in the same building

Classes are held in many different sites on campus

The average length of a class is 35-45 minutes

Classes vary in length from 50 minutes to 3 hours

Daily contact with teachers is standard

Classes meet less frequently which will impact on access to instructors and assistance

The student needs the parent's permission in most instances

The student is an adult and parent permission is not required

Guidance counselors or other staff schedule support services for students

The student must make arrangements for support services

A main office exists as the center of activity for the building

The student is responsible for knowing where to go to obtain information and assistance

Classes consist of about 30 students

Classes can consist of up to 100 students

Teachers often take time to remind student of assignments and due dates

Professors expect student to read, save and consult the course syllabus (outline); this tells the student exactly what is expected of him/her, when it is due and how it will be graded

High school is paid for by tax dollars that go to the school district

The student is responsible for applying for financial aid or arranging some type of payment