Students in colleges and universities are considered adults, with privacy and confidentiality protections. College staff by law cannot talk with parents and guardians about a student's academic activities as was typical in K-12.
Eligibility for special education services in high schools is diagnosis driven. Eligibility for reasonable accommodations in post-secondary institutions, while also requiring a diagnosis, is more importantly driven by the severity of impact on a major life activity. This is why documentation for a post-secondary institution has to provide more information than just a diagnosis and must address the issue of severity of impact.
College students must structure and plan their own study time; colleges do not arrange study periods or provide for time to do homework during classes.
Professors and classes may differ regarding attendance requirement, scheduling assignment due dates and exams. The student must study each professor's syllabus for each class. Attendance may be considered an essential requirement of some courses and therefore not subject to waiver or reduction.
Students with disabilities must take the initiative to identify themselves as a person with a disability. It is considered discriminatory for the institution to ask. They must take a specific action to request those accommodations for their disabilities and must provide verifying documentation such as psycho-educational test results, medical documents and doctor's statements. The documentation must verify the disability, describe the extent/severity of the impairment and provide information regarding the functional impact of the disability, which supports the need for a specific accommodation.
For more information on the high school to college transition for students with disabilities, visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html