Students with documented disabilities may request accommodations in the structure of a course or courses either prior to or after their admission to the College. The responsibility for initiating such requests always rests with the student. Students with disabilities who wish to begin the semester with course-based accommodations must submit appropriate documentation of the disability to the Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring one week prior to the beginning of the semester. The Director will review the documentation, confer with the appropriate Academic Dean or Director when necessary, and will then inform the student which accommodations and support services are appropriate and reasonable.
Reasonable accommodations are those that do not fundamentally alter the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program and do not result in an undue administrative or financial burden for the institution.
Steps for Receiving Academic Accommodations:
- Present appropriate disability documentation to Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring (e.g. a recent psychological evaluation).
- The Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring will have one week to review the documentation to determine if the student has a disability that would allow for reasonable accommodations. The Director may also choose to confer with the appropriate Academic Dean or Director to ensure that a proposed accommodation would not fundamentally alter the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program.
- The student must schedule a follow-up meeting with the Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring one week after submitting the documentation.
- The student will review and discuss reasonable accommodations with Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring.
- During the meeting, the Director of the Student Success Center/Tutoring will sign and present the student with the accommodation form(s).
- The student will sign the accommodation form(s) in the presence of the Director.
- The student will present accommodation form(s) for faculty signature(s). The Director does not notify the faculty of accommodation requests, decisions or the nature of the student’s disability.
- Once the Director of the Student Success Center, student, and faculty member have signed the accommodation form, the student must bring the signed accommodation form(s) back to the Director of the Student Success Center. A copy will be kept in a confidential file for verification purposes.
- The student will work directly with the faculty member to arrange for accommodations (for instance, if a student receives extended time in a distraction-free environment for testing, the student and faculty member will determine when the test will be available in the Success Center.)
The above process must be followed each semester for the student to receive accommodations in a course. It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations.
The Student Success Center/Tutoring will also arrange need-based academic support services outside the classroom. All specific course-based accommodations should be established at the beginning of each academic term. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the professor to arrange for the necessary accommodations. Accommodations set at the beginning of the term may be adjusted on an as-needed basis.
The common types of academic accommodations available to students in specific courses and outside the classroom may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- In Class: a tape recording of lectures, use of a note-taker, seating location, extended time for assignments, use of a computer for written work, and/or physical access.
- For Examinations: extended time, private room, and/or use of the computer in an environment with reduced distractions.
- Outside of the Classroom: tutoring, learning strategies instruction, reduced course load, and/or the use of approved computer software.
Modifications in Academic Requirements
Students with documented disabilities may request modifications in academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate against students with disabilities, or have the effect of excluding students solely on the basis of disability. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements, reduced course loads, substitution of specific courses for degree requirements, waivers of specific requirements, and/or utilization of the pass (P) grade, with a passing grade consisting of a D or higher, in courses where a disability has a discriminating effect.
Students requesting modifications in academic requirements must submit a written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs complete with the appropriate documentation of the disability. The College’s guidelines for reviewing all requests for modifications are as follows:
- The academic requirement modification must be directly related to the student’s documented disability.
- In cases involving courses for the degree, the student must pass an authorized substitute course or requirement. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the appropriate School and/or department chair, must approve all such modifications, and the Curriculum Committee must approve waivers of degree requirements.
- In cases where students have been approved to take courses on the modified pass/fail basis, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the Registrar in writing of this modification.
- Grades earned in courses identified as affected by a specific disability and attempted before the disability was diagnosed and/or confirmed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs may be converted to the pass (P) grade, and the grade-point average may be adjusted at the request of the student and with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will consult with the faculty member who recorded the original grade to verify that clear evidence exists to support the student’s claim that the disability, rather than other factors, directly interfered with the student’s ability to perform on an equal basis with other students in the course. This policy will not apply to students diagnosed with disabilities after they have completed the degree.