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  • Writer's pictureNorth Heights Tutoring & Consulting

Individual Education Plans (IEPs): Helping Students Thrive


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The purpose of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are to eliminate barriers for students with learning exceptionalities. These legally binding documents account for the student's learning profile- including their interests, strengths and needs. These plans also include personalized accommodations and modifications, if need be, to help see that that the student is set up for success. By following such a plan, the goal is to eliminate barriers for students with exceptionalities so that they can access their education.


While IEPs can be incredibly helpful for students with exceptionalities in elementary, middle, and high school, you may be wondering what role they play in postsecondary education.

Here, it is important to know that IEPs are not barriers to postsecondary education and can actually be incredibly helpful in helping students with exceptionalities reach their full potential. Here's why:


IEPs can help students transition to college or university


Making the transition from high school to college or university can be challenging for any student. But for students with exceptionalities, this transition can be particularly difficult if they are not properly supported. An IEP can help to ensure that students with exceptionalities receive the support they need to make this transition as smooth as possible. This may include things like connecting students with various services on campus or helping them to find appropriate housing and transportation options.


IEPs ensure that students have access to the accommodations and supports they need in college or university.

Just like in K-12 education, students with exceptionalities in postsecondary education are entitled to reasonable accommodations that allow them to fully participate in their courses and activities. This may include things like extended time on exams, the use of assistive technology, or the provision of note-takers or interpreters. With an IEP in place, students and their families can work with their college or university to ensure that these accommodations are provided and that the student has the support they need to succeed.


IEPs can help students advocate for themselves


One of the most important things that an IEP does is empower students to advocate for themselves. An IEP is a legal document that outlines a student's specific needs and the accommodations that they are entitled to receive. This can be incredibly helpful for students with exceptionalities as they navigate the complexities of postsecondary education. By having an IEP in place, students can better communicate their needs and advocate for themselves when they encounter challenges or barriers to their education.


In summary, IEPs are not barriers to postsecondary education and can actually be incredibly helpful in helping students reach their full potential. If you have a child that has been identified with an exceptionality, who is planning to attend college or university, be sure to discuss schedule a transition meeting with their school or educational team. With the right supports in place, your child can succeed in postsecondary education and reach their full potential.

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