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Course Waiver

Course Waiver Procedure

PLEASE NOTE: The Petitions Committee meets quarterly. The next deadline for submitting petitions to the committee is Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

If a student with a disability feels his/her participation in a course would be limited, even with the use of appropriate accommodations, the student may initiate the course waiver procedure.

For waivers of the foreign language requirement, typically only students who have a language-based learning disability or who are deaf/hard of hearing have petitions supported by the Office of Disability Resources. Additional testing to further document the presence of a language-based learning disability may be required for a successful petition. Students with other disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are usually not granted foreign language course waivers.

Course waiver deadlines

Students requiring a waiver of coursework as a reasonable accommodation must request this accommodation according to the following deadlines:

  • By the end of the fourth semester for students entering the University as a freshman
  • By the end of the second semester for students entering the University as a transfer student

What should you do?

  • Meet with the Director of Disability Resources and discuss the impact of your disability on learning and possible accommodations. The Director of Disability Resources will review your current documentation and advise you of possible additional testing if necessary.
  • Meet with a representative of the Discipline or area in which you think you need a waiver. The Director of Disability Resources will assist with this step if necessary.
  • Discuss with the area representative how your disability impacts your participation in class, how you use reasonable accommodations, what accommodations you could expect in class and if you feel you would not be able to fully participate even with accommodations.
  • Discuss your concerns and plans with your academic advisor so you understand how a course waiver would impact your degree.
  • Submit a written petition including your rationale for the waiver. In your petition you must clearly state the following: your experiences with previous related course work (e.g., foreign language taken in high school or at Longwood); what you are requesting (the waiver), the process you followed, who you met with from the area, what accommodations were discussed, and why you feel your participation would still be limited in class. Supporting evidence such as a letter of summary of your disability and its impact should be requested from the Director of Disability Resources.
  • The Petitions Committee will review your request and inform you of their decision. Decisions of the Petitions Committee are final.
 

Foreign Language Course Waiver Policy For Goal 10 and The B.A. Foreign Language Requirement

All students benefit from the study of foreign languages. The modern language faculty is experienced in providing accommodations for various kinds of learning disabilities and believes strongly in the importance of foreign languages in the education and preparation of citizen leaders for the common good while recognizing the limitations of a student's particular disabilities.

The following procedure is for students with specific learning disabilities which impact their ability to learn a foreign language.

Modification in a degree (e.g. BA or BS) requirements or general education requirements for any student are done through a petition submitted to the Petitions Committee through the Registrar's Office. The Petitions Committee is a standing committee of College Council that is empowered to handle appeals from students for exemptions or variations from any university-wide academic rule or regulation.

If a student is unclear about what modifications may be necessary to make the degree program accessible due to the impact of a disability, he or she should consult with the Director of Disability Resources to discuss options before beginning the petitions process.

Prior to filing a petition, the student should meet with the Director of Disability Resources, a representative from the discipline or area in question to determine acceptable alternatives (e.g. course accommodations or waiver). The student should discuss the following:

  • Full participation in the course will be limited even with all reasonable modification within the course. This requires appropriate documentation of the disability as well as a description of how participation will be limited even with the modifications.
  • The course in question is not essential to the integrity of the program of instruction the student is pursuing.
  • A plan for degree or general education modification has been developed.

In making decisions regarding the requested modifications, the Petitions Committee will use the following criteria:

  • The degree to which the student's ability to meet the requirement in question is adversely affected by the disability.
  • The skills, knowledge, abilities, and intent of the original requirement
  • Whether the modification in question will fundamentally alter the academic program.

All decisions of the Petitions Committee are final. Students may request a review based only on new information. The petition must be filed before an application for degree is submitted.

Approved by the Board of Visitors, October 1993