Young Adult Transitions: College & Career
How to navigate life transitions when you learn differently and/or have mental health challenges
Senior Associate, CHC Community Connections
Nicole Ofiesh, PhD
Cognitive Behavioral Scientist
Your Questions Answered
Top questions answered by CHC experts.
Does my IEP or 504 plan transfer to College?
Question By: Anna
No, not necessarily. Unless the specific college you are applying to says that they do.
Although there is no law requiring updated testing for the college setting, most colleges will ask for an updated evaluation (within 3 years) to be submitted to receive accommodations in college.
Should I try to start college without accommodations if I used THEM in high school?
Question By: Logan
It is common for young adults to want college to be a “fresh start without disclosing my disability” and to try and make it in college without accommodations. If you have a history of using accommodations, it’s important that you continue to use them in college. Accommodations are provided under the law to people who genuinely need them to show their best work and skills. Give yourself the chance to be the most thoughtful student you can be and use the accommodations that you are entitled to receive. Learn more about evaluations for college accommodations.
Can I get accommodations at work?
Question By: Michael
YES! Many people don’t know that accommodations can continue after you leave a school setting.
If you have an identified disability, including a learning disability or mental health challenge, you are entitled to accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Check out how to get accommodations for your disability at work using the Job Accommodation Network.
When is the best time to disclose my disability at work?
Question By: Keira
There is no perfect time to tell your employer that you have a disability; some people choose to never tell their employers because an accommodation is not necessary for them to perform their job.
But we recommend that if you do need accommodations or want your employer to know that you have a disability, you should share how your disability can impact your job before a related problem arises.
See Disclosing in the Workplace: Strategies & Tips for more information.
Got a question for our experts?
Ask about your college or career transition and get advice from a CHC expert. If your question is chosen for display in the CHC Resource Library, you will be notified via email.
Tools, Tips & Takeaways
CHC Voices of Compassion Podcast
Our CHC podcast with expert insights, inspiration and creative conversations about mental health, education and family.
EPISODE 28, SEASON 2 | APRIL 20, 2022
with Anne Mellenthin & Grae Mellenthin
Growing up is a process of moving toward independence, becoming your own person and meeting your own needs. “Launching” refers to the parental role in their child’s transition into adulthood. This process looks different for everyone — a bumpier or more meandering path for some than others. So how can you best prepare your child for a smooth launch? In today’s podcast episode, CHC’s Chief Psychiatrist and Medical Director, Dr. Vidya Krishnan, shares keen wisdom and practical takeaways for sup porting your child now for life on their own, while instilling the confidence that they’ll need to fly.
EPISODE 18, SEASON 2 | JANUARY 20, 2022
with Nicole Ofiesh, PhD
The last couple of years have been all about adapting to meet evolving and elusive protocols. For students with learning differences, the shifts from online learning to hybrid to in-person (and back) have made a part of their life that is already challenging exceedingly more difficult. Adaptation is a key aspect of Executive Functioning, which can be lacking in those with learner variability. In today’s podcast episode, we sat down with Dr. Nicole Ofiesh, Director of the Schwab Learning Center at CHC, about strategies students can use to build Executive Functioning skills in high school, college and beyond.
EPISODE 10, SEASON 3 | APRIL 20, 2022
with Nicole Ofiesh, PhD
We often think of learning differences as challenges faced in school. But the reality is that learning differences impact people throughout their lives with implications far beyond the classroom: home, relationships, work and family to name a few. Therefore, it’s important to learn strategies and skills that apply throughout the lifespan. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Nicole Ofiesh, Director of the Schwab Learning Center at CHC, as she shares pro tips developed throughout decades of leveraging neurodiversity in settings from kindergarten to college, classroom to corporate. A must-listen episode for people with learning differences and those who support them!
Read our top articles helping with the college and career transition.
To help put a thoughtful plan into place should a mental health condition arise, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and The Jed Foundation have created a guide to help start the conversation. It offers both parents and students the opportunity to learn more about mental health, including what the privacy laws are and how mental health information can be shared.
The school-to-work transition can take longer for young adults with ADHD, who don’t mature at the same pace as their peers. Here’s how parents can nudge without pushing. The attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) that made Betsy Patterson’s high school years so miserable made her early adulthood a daily disaster. “My twenties was a period of going from job to job,” she says. “I was always getting fired or screwing up.”
You’re at the end of your junior year of high school with a list of colleges that interest you. You’ve also faced some mental health challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help. And maybe you wonder if your preferred colleges will meet your mental health needs.
How We Help
CHC provides life-changing services for learning differences and mental health for young adults, kids and teens.
A community of experts, parents, kids, teens and young adults who support and celebrate neurodiversity.
Sign up for CHC’s Virtual Village email list to be the first to know about new CHC expert content, events, programs and more! We’re in this together.
Unpack your brain.
Concerned you have a learning difference that warrants accommodations in college or in the workplace?
The Schwab Learning Center (SLC@CHC) offers educational evaluations to identify or re-evaluate learning disabilities and ADHD. Learn more about SLC Educational Evaluations.
Individually designed therapy for you to take charge of your own mental health and wellbeing.
The Catherine T. Harvey Center for Clinical Services at CHC provides specialized, age-appropriate mental health services to address a variety of concerns for young adults. Learn more about our Young Adult Therapy services.
Helping college and high school students with learning differences navigate school, work and life.
The Schwab Learning Center (SLC@CHC) offers Customized 1:1 Learning Strategy sessions for teens and young adults.
Work with an SLC Learning Specialist, and create a personalized toolkit with solutions designed to maximize your potential.
At CHC, we have learning and mental health experts who can help you overcome barriers to learning and help you develop skills that last for a lifetime. Real people you can talk to. People who can really help.
Erin Hoolihan, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Jessica Naecker, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Vidya Krishnan, MD
Chief Psychiatrist and Medical Director
Sharmila Roy, PhD
Special Projects CONSULTANT
Comprehensive & Integrated Services for Learning Differences & Mental Health
CHC therapists provide specialized, individualized and age-appropriate services for you to take charge of your own mental health and wellbeing. Services in California.
The SLC@CHC empowers all types of learners to adopt tools and strategies to support their unique strengths. Students and young adults with diagnosed or suspected ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities discover their gifts, strengths and potential.
Related CHC Offerings
Check out other CHC offerings for young adults transitioning to college or the workplace.
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