Transitioning from High School to College
The above presentation reviews how to register with ODS and covers some of the transition issues students may experience as they begin college. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has also published a student rights and responsibilities guide which is beneficial to review when preparing to transition to the college setting.
Once a student is accepted to the University, and commits to attend, it is appropriate to begin the process of registering with ODS to request accommodations.
- The process can be completed entirely online. Students will need their MyBama username and password to begin. Please review the steps in the process to Register with ODS.
- Documentation guidelines should be shared with the student’s treating provider or evaluator. We do not have a form for providers to complete – most providers will prepare a typed letter on letterhead addressing the necessary information. We recommend submitting documentation corresponding to each diagnosis for which accommodations are needed.
- We communicate with students via their Crimson email, so it is important for students to check their email regularly. We also recommend that students ensure their voicemail is set up and able to receive messages.
- Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Staff calendars fill up quickly at the start of a new semester, so we recommend that students schedule appointments in advance of the first day of classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not necessarily. ODS requires documentation of a diagnosed condition and which demonstrates functional impact.
IEPs and 504 plans are often not sufficient to determine eligibility at the college level. Educational evaluations that do not include a specific diagnosis and / or do not demonstrate that a condition rises to the level of disability are also not sufficient.
The laws that govern accommodations and services in the K – 12 setting differ from the laws that govern the college setting. Additionally, the purpose of accommodation shifts from success to access once a student enters the college setting. For these reasons, documentation that was acceptable for high school may not be appropriate for the college setting.
The ODS registration process is an interactive one using information from students’ documentation and their own self-report to demonstrate a disability-related need. During your intake meeting with an Accommodations Specialist, various academic areas will be reviewed, and you should be prepared to describe any disability-related challenges you experience. This helps the Accommodations Specialist learn more about your history and experiences so that they can recommend campus services, resources, or appropriate accommodations.
Accommodations may not always mirror those received in high school because they may not be necessary or appropriate in the college setting, or the need may be met through other services available on campus. At the end of the intake, you will know what accommodations you are eligible to receive. As an entering student, it can be difficult to know what to expect from college classrooms and academic requirements, but you may request additional accommodations at any point by contacting an Accommodations Specialist.
Placement tests are optional. Please review the math placement test information. Students typically take placement tests prior to Bama Bound, since course registration occurs during Bama Bound. If you make a request for placement test accommodations in advance, we will review your documentation and send an email to your Crimson email and the UA Testing Center to notify that extended time is approved on the placement test. Again, documentation should be sent to ODS well in advance of your Bama Bound dates if extended time is needed.
Students are required to attend Bama Bound before they are allowed to register for classes, so there is no way for ODS to provide priority registration to entering students prior to Bama Bound. However, you will receive priority registration for all future semesters once you have completed the registration with ODS. Accommodations Specialists do not serve as advisors, so you still need to meet with an academic advisor prior to course registration. Each college has a Student Services office that provides advising, and students can also locate this information by logging into DegreeWorks.
If you are approved to receive testing accommodations, you may or may not test at ODS. The ODS Testing Center serves as a proctoring location to assist faculty with providing accommodations, but there is no requirement that students test at ODS. You should talk with instructors to determine whether you will test at ODS because some instructors will provide accommodations to you within the department. Students receive additional information and instructions regarding the ODS Testing Center during their intake meeting.
ODS facilitates academic accommodations that are specific to the classroom and learning environments. We do not offer personal services such as coaching, tutoring, or personal devices or technology.
We recommend exploring available resources at UA if you have a need that is not addressed through accommodations.
ODS oversees academic accommodations, so other types of access are provided through other campus departments:
We also recommend consulting the interactive campus map to learn your way around campus, locate parking options, and review accessible entrances and routes.
ODS operates under strict confidentiality guidelines and we do not release information about you without your consent.
Information related to disability and accommodations is confidential and held separately from your educational record. This means no one will know that you are registered with ODS unless you choose to tell them. This is also why it is your responsibility to send an accommodation letter to your instructor(s) each semester.
Accommodation letters are sent by the student and include information about the student’s accommodations. No information is disclosed regarding students’ diagnoses. Instructors do not have a legal right to know your disability or diagnosis and you are not required to share this information with instructors.
ODS cannot communicate with parents, guardians, and family members without your consent. You may complete a Release of Information consent in the ODS Online Portal if you want to give us permission to speak with someone on your behalf.