How is “Disability” Is Defined Differently in Federal Laws for Children & Adults?
Pathways for Disabled Students to Tertiary Education and Employment: Country Report for the United States
This document is the Country Report produced by the United States in the context of the EDPC activity on Pathways for Disabled Students to Tertiary Education and Employment. It is one in a series of Country Reports prepared by the countries participating in this activity. Each Report is published under the responsibility of the country that has prepared it and the views expressed in this document remain those of the country author(s) and not necessarily those of the OECD or its member countries.
Structure of Education in the United States
In the United States, the laws that apply to youths with disabilities in compulsory education may create distinct rights and obligations from those that apply to individuals with disabilities once they enter tertiary education and employment. Compulsory education includes primary school (most often called elementary school), middle school, and secondary school (commonly referred to as high school). Tertiary education, which is optional, is quite separate from compulsory education as far as admissions, curriculum, governance, finance, and policy. Tertiary education includes nondegree programs that lead to certificates and diplomas plus six degree levels: associate (a 2-year degree), bachelor‘s (a 4-year degree), first professional, master‘s, advanced intermediate, and research doctorate (3 to 6 years). The following website provides more information on the structure of education in the United States: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-structure-us.html .