Students with disabilities are expected to attend classes in accordance with the professor’s attendance requirements as stated in the course syllabi and with the attendance requirements established by the Registrar’s Office. In general, reasonable accommodations for attendance are possible up to 20% of class time. Above 20% attendance modification would represent a significant alteration of the educational experience. Approval of this accommodation will be made on a case by case basis and will involve the cooperation of the student, the professor, the Provost, and the Registrar’s Office.
Advanced Registration for Students with Ongoing Disabilities
Because of the personal and educational impact of some disabilities, students may under certain circumstances receive advanced pre-registration services. Students with qualifying needs include those who need specific classes, need breaks between classes, and those who need classes at certain times of the day.
Students must request advanced registration services from Disability Services prior to the beginning of the registration process each semester. Past receipt of this accommodation is no guarantee of future receipt. Once approval is granted by Disability Services, the student will receive senior registration status and may pre-register for classes with the senior class.
The student’s designated academic advisor will meet with the student to discuss his or her course selections and the Registrar’s Office will be notified for purposes of on-line registration. The student is responsible for obtaining the necessary faculty signatures and/or approvals for classes that require them.
American Sign Language
Sign language interpreters can be made available for students needing sign language for academic and co-curricular activities. All interpreters are contracted by the University. The University does not have interpreters as regular employees at this time.
Course Repeat Policy
Academic courses offered at VUSC are not repeatable unless specifically noted in the catalog. Those students who wish to retake a course due to a low or failing grade are permitted to register again for the same course during any given semester. All grades will appear on the student’s permanent academic record (transcript). When a course is repeated, both grades will remain on the transcript, but only the higher grade is computed in the grade point average. In the case that both grades are the same, only the most recent grade will be included in the GPA.
This accommodation allows the student to take an exam at a date later than the original administration and is usually implemented after an acute “flair up” of clinical symptoms. The modified administration date is established with the cooperation of the student, professor, and Disability Services. This accommodation is not intended to be ongoing.
Enlargement of Course Materials
University and course materials can be enlarged for students with visual impairments. The enlargement is facilitated by Disability Services and is provided free of charge. Enlargement of materials for personal use can be provided at cost.
Incomplete Grades Policy
Faculty may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) to students when they warrant additional time to complete coursework due to situations beyond their control (i.e., serious illness, accident, or death in the family). Incomplete work must be made up no later than six calendar weeks following the last day of the term (or other academic session). If this is not done, a grade of “F” will automatically be assigned. Extensions to the six-week limitation are made only with the approval of the Dean of the School or College in which the course is offered and may not exceed the last day of the following semester.
Lifetime Fitness & Wellness Activity Modification/Waiver
Students with disabilities who cannot meet the needed physical exertion requirements of the Life Fitness & Wellness Activity may request either a modification or a waiver of the Lifetime Fitness & Wellness Activity. The Coordinator of Disability Services will contact the Kinesiology department. After reviewing the documentation the Kinesiology department will make a recommendation. A decision approving or disapproving the Life Fitness & Wellness Activity modification/waiver will be made by the Coordinator of Disability Services based on the recommendations of the Kinesiology department.
Medical Leave is available for students who, due to documented serious physical or psychological illness, need to leave the University during the semester without completing their coursework or to withdraw from the University for no longer than two consecutive semesters. A student may request a more limited medically excused status if he or she is medically unable to complete more than 20% of the classes in the semester, but intends to return to the University at the beginning of the following semester. Students on medical leave are not regarded as having permanently withdrawn from the University and need not apply for readmission through the Admission Office; however, students must be approved for fitness to return to campus through the process described in the policy.
Medical leave is intended to enhance the opportunity for a student to maintain his or her status as a student for purposes of academic work, health insurance, income taxation, or other dependency-related matters. Individual students will need to contact their own health insurance provider for details concerning the continuation of their insurance coverage during medical leave.
Some disabilities make taking notes in class very difficult. In such cases, note-taking assistance is an appropriate accommodation. Professors are notified in the student’s Accommodation Letter that note taking assistance is to be provided. Professors may choose to either connect that student with a student who will volunteer that service or to provide a copy of his/her teaching notes or PowerPoint presentations. Making a discreet announcement in class requesting a student to come forward that could help another student with notes is adequate. A copy machine is available through the Office of Learning Assistance.
Students with primarily visual impairments may request a reader. Readers will generally be used if the student’s books and/or class materials cannot be obtained in alternate media and/or if the student’s need cannot be met by using assistive technology. Readers used during examinations should be University personnel.
Reduced Distraction Testing Environment
The ability to be given a test in a more distraction-free environment is a reasonable accommodation for some disabilities. Test proctoring is to be arranged by the student with the professor of the course. In some circumstances, tests may be proctored in the Tutorial Office. If proctored in the Tutorial Office, exams need to be received in advance; email is most convenient or delivery through the department administrative assistant.
Students with disabilities that need assistance writing answers to exam essay questions may request a scribe. This service is provided by the Office of Learning Assistance.
Time Extensions – Exams
As part of Vanguard’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for scholastic success to students with disabilities, Disability Services offers time extensions on examinations to those who are approved for this accommodation.
Once approved, the student will contact his/her professor and will provide an Accommodation Letter to the professor. This letter will indicate the amount of additional time that The Office of Learning Assistance considers appropriate. To implement this accommodation, the student and the professor may agree to one of the following:
- Have the professor arrange for the administration of the examination under extended time conditions. This may include use of departmental resources (e.g., conference room, proctoring by secretary, empty classroom).
- Have the test proctored by Disability Services or the Office of Learning Assistance. If this option is chosen, the following procedures are to be followed:
- The Accommodation Letter shall indicate the standard amount of time given.
- The student is to take the examination on the same date and time as the exam is administered to the class (as is possible).
- The professor will arrange delivery means for the examination. The examination may be hand carried by the professor or staff member, may be e-mailed to the test proctor, or may be hand carried by the student in a sealed envelope with the professor’s signature on the lip.
- The professor will also indicate the desired return means for the examination.
- When it is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation for a student with a disability, that student may receive extra time to complete out-of-class assignments, exams and projects.
Time Extensions – Assignments
As part of Vanguard’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for scholastic success to students with disabilities, Disability Services offers time extensions on assignments to those who are approved for this accommodation. Such instances when this accommodation is appropriate could include an acute flair up of clinical symptoms, an injury, or a hospitalization.
Disability Services may assist the professor in authorizing an appropriate time extension for assignments for students who request them on the basis of a disability. Once the time extension has been approved, the following procedures should be followed:
- The student will inform the professor of the need for the extension for each specific assignment and will provide the professor with an Accommodation Letter from Disability Services. If needed, the professor may contact Disability Services or the Office of Learning Assistance if a question arises regarding the appropriateness of the extension.
- The student and the professor should attempt to agree upon a reasonable date when the assignment is due. If an agreed upon date cannot be determined between the professor and student, Disability Services or the Office of Learning Assistance may be called upon to assist. Agreed upon dates are considered binding.
- The student will complete the assignment by the agreed upon date.
Formal Appeals – Academic and Non-Academic Accommodations
Students who desire to formally appeal a denied accommodation may do so by contacting the Coordinator of Disability Services. Formal appeals will involve the student making a written appeal to the Coordinator of Disability Services. The student’s appeal and a response from the Coordinator of Disability Services will be sent to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The VSPA will review the appeal in a process consistent with established appeal protocol. If clinical information from the student’s Disability Services file is needed in deciding the appeal, a qualified health or mental health professional shall be consulted to clarify clinical issues.
Faculty/Staff Dispute of Recommended Accommodations
A faculty or staff member whom objects to a recommended accommodation should contact the Coordinator of Disability Services to discuss the matter. If agreement cannot be reached, Disability Services may bring the matter to the attention of the Vice President for Student Affairs and may formally advocate on the student’s behalf.