Course Substitutions and Modifications

Recognizing that the nature and severity of a documented disability may preclude learning in specific courses even with reasonable accommodations, the University will permit the substitution of another course or a modification of the course as an accommodation in some instances. The University will not waive or substitute any course or requirement, which is found to be an essential component of the academic program. The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement. Students must follow the following procedures in order to request a course substitution or modification.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. The student must initially contact Disability Services to review the procedures for a course substitution or modification.
  2. The student must request, in writing, a course substitution or modification from the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean, and Department Chairperson and must include the reasons for the request and prior experiences with the subject matter as appropriate.
  3. The student must provide Disability Services with current, relevant, and comprehensive documentation of disability from qualified professionals. A complete case history is also required to document the student's history of problems in the subject area from high school until the date of petition. This case history should include a) the names and description of courses, as well as grades, indicating the student's attempt(s) to master the subject matter as appropriate and b) OPTIONAL, BUT RECOMMENDED: letter(s) from high school and/or college personnel attesting to the student's effort and diligence in attempting to master the subject matter as appropriate.

Disability Services Responsibility:

Disability Services must provide a written report to the student's Dean and Chairperson detailing the impact of the student's disability-related functional limitation(s) and how the functional limitations(s) may or may not impact the student's performance in the course in question.

Dean/Chairperson Responsibility:

The Dean of the student's college, upon consultation with the Department Chairperson, must review the student's petition for a course substitution or modification and report by Disability Services in light of the essential requirements and technical standards of the program in question. If the requirements for the course are determined to be essential to the program, then the Dean will deny the student's request. If the requirements for the course are determined not to be essential to the program, then the Dean will approve the student's request. IN EITHER CASE, the Dean will forward the student's request for substitution, Disability Services' report, and the Dean's justification for his/her decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for a final decision.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Responsibility:

The Vice President of Academic Affairs, upon reviewing the student's request for substitution, Disability Services' report, and the Dean's justification for his/her decision, will make the final decision. The student will be notified of the final decision by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in a timely manner.

NOTE: The student has the opportunity to grieve the Vice President's decision following the University's Complaint Procedure (see page 35 - 36). Any student who receives approval for a course substitution or modification is expected to fulfill the University's specific course requirements according to his/her college's guidelines.

Any substitution or modification is valid only for the curriculum in which the student is matriculated at the time of petition. Change of academic program or institution renders the action void.