Post-Secondary Transition Planning

A guide to the key parts of transitioning from high school into post-secondary education and what to consider when preparing for the transition.

Missouri Specific Resource Links:

Community-Based Supports

  • Specific to the College or University. Make sure to ask about specific community-based supports when applying.
  • Some community-based supports can include: clubs, religious groups, organizations, team sports, etc.


  • Use of computers, tablets, smart phones, email, course website are all useful tools to help support the student through post-secondary education.
  • Technology can also be helpful to access accommodations. For instance, using one’s phone to record lectures or using a computer read text out-loud.

Post-Secondary Eligibility Specific Links

A+ Program

  • Attend a designated A+ high school for 2 years prior to graduation.
  • Graduate from an A+ designated high school with an overall unweighted grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have at least a 95% attendance record overall for grades 9-12.
  • Perform at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring, of which up to 25% may include job shadowing prior to graduation. 2
  • Have achieved a score of proficient or advanced on the Algebra I end of course exam or a higher level DESE approved end-of-course exam in the field of mathematics.


Vocational Rehab

Pell Grant


ADA accommodations

  • accessible housing, campus buildings
  • specific to the College or University. Make sure to specifically ask for this information when applying.

Disability support groups

  • Can contact the school’s disability center to see if they can connect the student with others with similar disabilities.

Questions to ask:

What are the academic expectations for a college student?

  • Colleges expect more from students than previously expected in high school. Students need to develop study skills, be prepared for class, arrive on time, use academic resources, be engaged in their classwork, and advocate for themselves when they need help.
  • Examples of academic expectation for college students

What supports are available in high school that are no longer available when you enter college?

  • Students do not always get the same supports that they had in high school through  an individualized education program (IEP). Colleges will provide accommodations to help learn the curriculum, but they won’t make modifications to it.
  • IEP exist in high school and are for ages 3 – 21. IEPs do not go to college
  • 504 plans are something that would be available in college and can be started in high school
  • Supports that are available in college for individuals with disabilities:
  • Some accommodations can include access to notetakers, extra time on tests, alternate testing locations, use of assistive technology during tests, access to readers or scribes during tests, registering early for classes, sign-language interpreters, preferential seating, accessible seating, materials in advance, audio version of test, enlarged font on tests etc.
  • Find a college that is a good fit

More about finding the right path

  • Working and saving money
  • Enrolling in certificate program
  • Entering a technical school, community college, or university degree program.

What accommodations can be made for individuals with disabilities who are attending college?

  • Accommodations vary from school to school and students must self-identify to be eligible to receive them. Accommodations can be made in the classroom, during testing, and to help with navigating the campus.
  • Accommodation expectations and how to get in contact with disability support services in college
  • Must contact the school’s disability center and let them know you have a disability (this is called “self-identify” and is something that you have to do first).
  • They must decide if your eligible
    • Case-by-case basis
    • What accommodations you get in high school may not be guaranteed in college
  • Can typically find contact info for disability support services by searching on the university’s website.

Examples of accommodations and also good questions to ask about accommodations

  • The student’s responsibility when it comes to requesting supports in college

Daily living skills a student would need in college and how families can help their child prepare for this transition.

  • Time management- Help the student learn to build to-do lists and help them accomplish the list with a specific time frame. You can include things like homework, chores, etc.
  • Advocating for themselves- When the student brings up an issue at school or with friends, encourage them to advocate for themselves before you try to solve the issue.
  • Self-care- encourage self-care daily routines. Can make a visual schedule to help them complete the routine independently.
  • Laundry- help the student do laundry on a weekly basis. Reduce assistance as independence is shown.
  • Cooking- Have the student help make a grocery list and go grocery shopping with you. Then have them help create the meals. Once independence is shown, you can have cooking a meal a week as a weekly chore.

Additional Resources:

  • Has difference between high school and college
  • Deciding on accommodations in college questions
  • Determining which college to go to
    • Community college
    • Technical college
    • 4-year college
    • College admissions process
  • Good overall step-by-step plan
  • Has self-advocacy section