Policy on Student Accommodations
The College makes reasonable accommodations for students with respect to disabilities which do not impose an undue hardship on the College. If a student believes he or she requires a reasonable accommodation or has a question regarding educational services, activities, programs, or facilities that are accessible to or usable by students with disabilities, please contact the academic counselor in Academic Support Services who serves as the point person and advocate for students with learning challenges.
Students requesting reasonable accommodations with respect to disabilities must obtain and provide to the College current (within three years prior to enrollment) documentation of their disability before the start of the session in which they are enrolling and requesting an academic adjustment or services. This documentation must support both that a student has a disability as well as the necessity of the requested academic adjustment orservices. The primary purpose of this documentation is to determine a student's eligibility for accommodation and, if eligible, to help the College work interactively with a student to provide appropriate services. The College is not required, however, to provide accommodations that would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program in which the student is enrolled or seeks to be enrolled, would create an undue financial burden on the College, or which would pose a threat to safety and security. General documentation requirements include, but are not limited to:
Documentation is typically provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional/medical specialist who has no personal relationship (i.e., family member or former school teacher or school counselor) with the individual but who is knowledgeable about the individual's disability and/or condition.
Documentation be typed or printed, dated, signed and legible with the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator on official letterhead and define/explain:
* The clear description of the disability
* The description, name, and scores of the tests and assessments used, as appropriate
* How the condition was diagnosed
* The current existence of the disability and current need for an accommodation
* Functionality of the individual in an educational setting
* Expected progression or stability of the disability
* Rule-out statement that describes which academic and other functions the disability does not affect
* Recommended accommodations related to functional limitations and a rationale for how the requested accommodation remedies the functional limitation
* Date of observation
The above criteria are general guidelines only; the type of documentation will vary according to the disability. For students with learning differences, it is preferable that the student provide a full and recent psycho-educational evaluation. In addition, in some instances, a student may be requested to provide updated or augmented documentation in order to be reviewed more fully before being considered for services. It is possible that in reviewing a student's specific accommodation request or the recommendations of an evaluator, the College may find that while the recommendation is clinically supported, it is not the most appropriate accommodation given the requirements of a particular student's academic program. In addition, the College may also propose accommodations that would be appropriate and useful to the student, but which neither the student nor the evaluator have requested. The College appreciates that student disability records contain personal and confidential information. Such documentation is maintained in a confidential file in office of
Academic Support Services and is considered part of a student's education record and will only be disclosed with a student's permission or as permitted by law (e.g., in the event of a health or safety risk). However, at times, in order to evaluate and/or provide requested or recommended services and accommodations, it may be necessary for the College to disclose disability information provided by a student or a student's healthcare provider to appropriate College personnel participating in the accommodation process and who have a legitimate need to know more and review the file.
If documentation provided by a student does not support the existence of a disability or the need for an accommodation, the student will be advised and will be provided an opportunity to supplement the initial documentation with further information from a physician, psychologist, or other appropriate specialist. In the event a student's accommodation request is denied, a student may appeal that decision by utilizing the appeal process found below. Such an appeal must be submitted within 60 days of notification that submitted documentation does not support the request.
Supporting Students with Disabilities
In its commitment to ensuring that no otherwise qualified student with a disability is subjected to unlawful discrimination in the context of his/her educational experience, the College makes certain that students with disabilities are provided equal access to educational and career development programs and/or student activities. Consequently, the College will make, on behalf of qualified students with learning and physical disabilities of which the College is aware, reasonable accommodations that do not impose undue hardships on the College. Students and their families are strongly encouraged to disclose and discuss possible accommodations during the enrollment process.
If a student believes he/she requires a reasonable accommodation or has a question regarding educational services, activities, programs, or facilities that are accessible to or usable by students with disabilities, please contact the academic counselor in Academic Support Services who has responsibility for students with learning challenges. All information associated with a disclosure of this nature is confidential, and the College will communicate this information to others only on a need-to-know basis.
Appeal Process to Request for Accommodation
A student who wishes to appeal a request for accommodation that has been denied or are being withdrawn must initiate the procedure described below within 30 calendar days of the alleged occurrence. A student with an appeal related to disability services that have been requested or are being provided must adhere to the following procedure:
A. Contact the academic counselor in Academic Support Services to discuss an appeal or formalize it, if necessary. Academic Support Services will respond to the appeal within 20 days. If the student is dissatisfied with the response from Academic Support Services, the student may proceed to the next step, but only after the student has met with an academic counselor and/or other staff in Academic Support Services, either in person or by phone, about Academic Support’s response to his/her appeal. Within 7 calendar days from the date of the determination by the academic counselor or Academic Support Services that the request could not be met, a request should be made in writing to the Dean of Students and must document the student's attempt to first resolve the grievance with the academic counselor in Academic Support. With such documentation in hand, the student goes next to the Dean of Students.
B. The Dean of Students who will seek to mediate or resolve the issue, but will review what the student presents as part of his/her appeal to Academic Support. The student may present any further facts or information she/he deems relevant. The Dean of Students shall complete the review and render a decision within 20 days after the appeal is presented to him/her.
C. If, after the Dean of Students has had an opportunity to render his/her opinion, the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the appeal, the student may appeal within 7 calendar days from the date of the determination by the Dean of Students by submitting a written request to the Provost for review. If no written request is submitted within the 7-day period, the decision of the Dean of Students shall be final.
D. Upon a student's written request for a further review of his or her appeal, the Provost will confirm that a proper review of the grievance was conducted. If, upon review, the Provost determines that a proper review was conducted, the decision of the Dean of Students shall be final. The Provost may amend, alter, or revise the decision and, therefore, the Provost is responsible for the final decision. The Provost will render a decision with 30 days from the date the appeal was submitted to him/her.