Transitioning to college and university is a big change for most students. It’s a new campus, new professors, different type of classes and schedule, an increased workload and expectations - a lot of change in a short time! These changes can pose hurdles for all students, and especially for those with disabilities, because there are often additional challenges in navigating the new environment, arranging accommodations and supports, and changes in self-advocacy expectations.
A transition program is a fantastic way to help learn about and navigate these changes, and to create your own transition plan. Programs vary from school to school, but generally they give you a chance to learn about your new campus and what resources are available, meet other students, get to know some of the staff that you’ll be working with, and practice using accommodations, new technology, or study strategies before classes start. Some programs let you stay in residence, get your student card, visit the cafeteria or your classrooms, all before the other students arrive.
Most colleges and universities offer transition and/or orientation programs to new students, and some schools also offer high school transition programs to any Grade 11 or 12 student in their city, no matter what post-secondary school they’ll be going to. Part of the reason transitions can be scary or overwhelming is when we don’t know what to expect - and transition programs help take the guesswork out of starting at college and university. If you’re at all nervous or curious about what to expect at post-secondary, I highly recommend finding a transition program near you!
-Alison Parker, Transition Program Coordinator