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Disability Services

Course Substitution

Students who have disabilities which may prevent them from completing a required course may petition for a course substitution. However, students should know that these policies and decisions regarding substitution/waivers are not determined by Student Development. Rather, these are academic decisions, which may require input from Student Development regarding the impact of the disability on academic performance. Course substitution is not an appropriate modification if the course or content is found to be essential to the area of study and making a substitution would require "substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum." It is the university's responsibility to show that a certain class or area is essential to a certain course of study and if there were any changes in the curriculum, it would substantially alter the curriculum. This will be decided on a case by case basis. The student initiates the request through the Director of Student Development.

The student should submit a written, personal statement to the Director which indicates his/her reasons for requesting a substitution. This statement should include an explanation of the disabling condition, the student's experience in this course (or similar courses) and a description of any accommodations utilized as well as their effectiveness. The request must include or give permission for the release of relevant, comprehensive documentation which specifically explains the disability's impact on the student's ability to learn the materials of the course for which the student is requesting substitution.

The request will be forwarded to a committee consisting of the Chair or a representative from the student's major, the Chair or a representative from the discipline in which a substitution is requested, and the Assistant Director of Student Development. The chair of the committee will rotate among the academic deans and in all cases, the Committee Chair will be a dean unaffected by the request. The committee will consider the student's written statement and supporting documentation as well as the specific course in question and its relationship to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or its direct relation to licensing requirements. Recommendations will be made on a case by case basis. The committee will make written recommendations to the student's dean within two weeks of receipt of a request.

Committee decisions regarding substitutions may be appealed to the Provost by either the student or his/her dean.

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