Transitioning to Post-Secondary Education

Transitioning to post-secondaryTo understand the importance of supporting students with LDs who wish to pursue post-secondary education, educators need only look at these discouraging statistics [1]:

  • Students with LDs drop out of high school two to three times more often than their peers without disabilities
  • Students with LDs enroll in post-secondary programs at one-tenth the rate of the general population
  • The post-secondary graduation rate of students with LDs is as low as 3.6% as compared to their peers without disabilities at 62.1%

It is critical for educators to work collaboratively with the student and all stakeholders in the transition process. Use the following Post-Secondary Transition Planning Checklist with students to plan, track, and execute a successful transition to post-secondary education.


Post-secondary Transition Planning Checklist

Click here to access the Post-Secondary Transition Planning Checklist.

Some schools are taking a proactive approach to helping students with LDs prepare for their move into post-secondary education, by working with students to create detailed transition portfolios, and hosting transition fairs where students can speak directly to representatives from colleges and universities. Watch the following video Preparing Students with LDs to Transition from Secondary to Post-Secondary, created in partnership with the Peel District School Board. In this video, educators, administrators, students, and a representative from a post-secondary institution discuss the roles and responsibilities involved in ensuring that students with LDs successfully transition from secondary school to the post-secondary institution of their choice.

Click here to view the transcript of this video.

Additional Post-Secondary Transition Resources

The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario has created a sample transition plan for students with LDs interested in pursuing post-secondary education.  Click here to open LDAO's Sample Plan for a Student with Learning Disabilities Seeking Admission to a College or University. 

The Regional Assessment and Resource Centre (RARC) at Queen's University has created the Transition Resource Guide, a new, practical, online resource for students with disabilities who are going on to postsecondary education. Click here to visit the Transition Resource Guide website.

One of the biggest differences between secondary and post-secondary education is that in post-secondary institutions the onus is on the student to disclose his or her disability and ask for appropriate accommodations. Each college or university will have its own accessibility office that helps students coordinate accommodations. To find the contact information for the disability service office at a particular institution, visit: or

[1] Machete, 2014