General Academic Regulations
Policy on Classroom Etiquette and Attendance
Learning requires the student's active involvement. Ultimately, learning is the student’s responsibility, not that of the professor. The professor’s responsibility is to help the student learn. Both the professor’s ability to help and the student’s ability to benefit from that help will be increased by the student meeting the following expectations:
In cases where extenuating circumstances such as illness exist, the student should notify the professor by phone if possible, and/or by sending an e-mail to the professor. Otherwise, a student may leave messages at the Esperanza College office prior to class time and leave a message with the Esperanza College person on duty for that day before 5:30 pm call (215) 324-0746, extension 410.
The student is accountable for all work missed because of class absence. Faculty is under no obligation to make special arrangements for students who have been absent. If a student exceeds the allowed number of absences specified in the syllabus, the instructor may either
- lower the student’s grade according to the percentage on the syllabus or
- recommend to the Dean that the student be required to withdraw from the course.
Being a student at Esperanza College demands that the student anticipates a level of etiquette and decorum in the classroom. Each professor has the ability to place specific demands of etiquette within their course syllabus. We expect Esperanza students to be able to do the following daily:
- Students are invited to use technology in the classroom. The use of technology should never be a distraction to yourself or others around you. Use of email, web browsing, game playing, and displaying streaming video is unacceptable in a classroom during instruction. Students can face academic penalty by the professor for inappropriate use of technology.
- Recording any aspect of a class or the material of a class is prohibited. No pictures, videos or audio recordings are permitted without written permission of the instructor.
- Make entry to class on time. If a student arrives late or in need of leaving early, should do so with concern for the learning environment of the class.
- All absences, tardiness, and early departures must involve legitimate excuses, such as health problems, family emergencies, or extraordinary employment-related duties. Health problems or family emergencies must be documented by a doctor or a hospital administrator (e.g., nurse, admissions office). Extraordinary employment-related duties must be documented by a letter from an employer on official letterhead stating the reasons for missing class or continually arriving to class late (15 minutes from starting time). For example, if the content course begins at 6:00 pm, the student will be marked late at 6:15 pm. These absences still count toward the content absence limit and penalties will be issued. (See chart below) The instructor will take the absences into consideration but will expect missed assignments or tests to be made up. The student is required to fulfill all course assignments for the session missed and to submit appropriate assignments to the instructor for review and grading within the following time frame:
- Student must submit missing assignments within 48 hours from the missed class.
- Student must complete their test within a week from the class session.
- Under unusual circumstances, the instructor has the discretion to extend the time for submitting the assignment or completing the test.
Absence Chart and Penalties
Listed below is the number of approved absences during a semester. Once a student has gone beyond the allowed number of absences then the final grade is reduced by the listed percentages per additional absence. Students that have accrued two absences are required to meet with their academic advisor. Students with three absences must meet with the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success.
|Class Time||Required Classes||Allowed Absences (no penalty)||Final Grade Penalty|
|Eighteen-Week course with alternate meeting weeks||9||1||4% per additional absence|
|Eighteen-Week lab courses||18||2||2% per additional absence|
Login into the class is not enough by itself to demonstrate academic attendance. Class attendance for online courses is defined as an online presence demonstrated by active participation in all threaded discussions and virtual chats as required by the instructor. Failure to fulfill requirements within the parameters of each session will result in the student being marked absent.
A student is responsible for all courses for which s/he is registered. If a student fails to attend a course for which s/he is registered, without officially withdrawing from the course, the student will receive an F for the course.
Withdraw / Add / Drop Course Policy
The process of dropping or withdrawing from a course always begins with the student discussing the matter with the professor to determine whether there are other options. To drop or withdraw from a course officially, the student must discuss the reasons with the academic advisor, who will advise the student of the consequences for further progress in the program. If it is agreed that the student should drop/withdraw from a course, the student will fill out a drop/add form or an Exception to Policy form that will then be sent to the Registrar’s Office for processing. Courses carrying a grade of W receive no credit. During the first week of the semester, the student may elect to drop a course and it will not show up on his/her record. The student may academically withdraw from a class (and receive a “W” in it) on the following schedule:
- Weeks 10 of 18-week courses
(Should a student withdraw after the above-mentioned deadlines, then s/he will receive a grade of WF for each course. The grade WF carries the same penalty as an F and will be calculated in the grade point average.)
If you have dropped or withdrawn from a class or multiple classes, you may receive a letter informing you that you have not met the “Minimum Standard for Academic Progress” when grades are checked in May. You should file the Financial Aid Appeal Form included with the notice to let the Financial Aid Office know how you plan to make up the deficiency. If you do not make up the deficiency in the required timeframe, you may be ineligible to receive any type of financial aid for the upcoming semester(s). For more information, please read “Measurement of Academic Progress” and “Grade Point Average Requirements” in the Financial Assistance section of the university catalog.
Withdraw from the Program
Students who withdraw from the program need to see their Academic advisor and/or the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success to fill out the proper forms. Special regulations apply to the refund policy for (EC) students based on the college calendar and the modular nature of our courses. The Registrar will contact the Office of Student Accounts concerning the application of these regulations to your individual case. Return of Financial Aid: When a student withdraws from the College prior to completion of a semester, aid from federal and state governments and the College will be reduced or returned according to the stipulations of each individual program. The result of this may be that you now owe money to the university. It is your responsibility as a student to inform yourself of these financial implications as you make your decision. Aid from private and other sources will be specified by the conditions of the donor(s).
An Incomplete (or a grade of “I”) may be forwarded to the Registrar Coordinator with a positive recommendation from the Professor only for illness or some unusual circumstance. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request for an incomplete and secure the instructor’s recommendation before the last day of classes. If you believe that you must apply for an incomplete, contact the Program Director and Registrar Coordinator, who will provide you with the Request an Incomplete Form to fill out. When the form(s) have been filled out, return them for approval to the Professor who will, if approval is granted, forward the form to the Program Director and Esperanza College’s Registrar Coordinator.
All incompletes must normally be made up within two months after the last final examination date of the semester. The grade “I” automatically becomes an “F” if the student has not completed the work within the allowed time. If, however, illness or other circumstance prevents the student’s from making up work within the two-month period, the Dean may authorize an extension or a “W” (Withdrawal) in those courses that the student was passing at the time he/she became incapacitated. Courses carrying a grade of “W” receive no credit.
If you are granted an incomplete for a class, or multiple classes, you may receive a letter informing you that you have not met the “Minimum Standard for Academic Progress” when grades are checked in May. You should file the Financial Aid Appeal Form included with the notice to let the Financial Aid Office know the status of the incomplete class(es). If you do not make up the deficiency in the required timeframe, you may be ineligible to receive any type of aid for the upcoming semester(s). For more information, please read “Measurement of Academic Progress” and “Grade Point Average Requirements” in the Financial Assistance section.
Request for a Grade Change
Requests for a change of grade are submitted by the professor to the Registrar Coordinator via the Associate Dean of Academics and Student Success only when an error in the original grade has been determined. Professors are not permitted to submit a grade and then accept additional work from the student to raise the grade.
Course Repeat Policy (Retakes)
A student may register for a course a maximum of two times. Grades of “W,” “F,” “WF,” and “D+,” and C- count toward the maximum of two registrations. Thereafter, a student may only register for the same class after completion and approval of an appeal based upon extenuating circumstances, such as prolonged illness. The appeal is a contract written by the student prior to the term in which he or she seeks re-enrollment. The appeal must detail the extenuating circumstances as well as an action plan to deal with the same or similar situations in the forthcoming term, including, but not limited to, outside counseling, Student Disability Services, and tutoring. The appeal must be written by the student and signed by the student, Program Director, and Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success. After giving consideration to the reasons for the student’s failure to successfully complete the course, in consultation with the student advisor, the academic dean may approve the student for a third and final retake.
Grade Appeal Policy
The Grade Appeal Policy applies only to questions of faculty evaluation of student performance. Since evaluation involves issues of judgment, action to revise a grade in the student’s favor will not be recommended unless there is clear evidence that the original grade was based on prejudiced or capricious judgment or that it was inconsistent with official university policy.
The main concern in any grievance or appeal procedure is to bring reconciliation and growth in ways that enhance community. The first approach to any appeal should be non-adversarial and open, undertaken with careful attention to fostering understanding and problem solving. The expectation is that the majority of appeals can be resolved through a flexible process at the first or second steps outlined below. Students shall have protection against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation through the publication of clear course objectives, grading procedures and evaluation methods. In accordance with Matthew 18:15-17, the process of appealing a grade or evaluative action that an enrolled student thinks has been unjustly awarded is as follows:
- Step 1. If a conversation with the instructor has not resulted in a satisfactory explanation of the grade/evaluation, a student must initiate an appeal in writing within sixty (60) days from the date of the grade or action. This written appeal should be sent to the instructor responsible for the evaluation and the Program Director. The student and the faculty member shall mutually attempt to resolve the appeal within two (2) weeks of the instructor and others receiving the appeal letter.
- Step 2. If an appeal is not resolved at Step 1, the student shall have the option of submitting within five (5) days of the completion of Step 1, a written appeal, including all necessary documentation and evidence, directly to the chairperson of the Esperanza College Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee (Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success). If the faculty member involved is a member of this committee, s/he shall not participate in the process. The Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee shall formally submit a written response to the student within two (2) weeks following the receipt of the written statement of the problem. A copy of the response shall also be provided to the instructor and the Executive Dean.
- Step 3. If no mutually satisfactory decision has been reached at Step 2, the student may submit another written appeal, with all documentation attached to the Executive Dean. Such an appeal shall be made within one (1) week following the receipt of the written response of the chairperson of the Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee. The Executive Dean shall investigate the problem as presented in the documentation and shall notify the parties involved in writing of his/her decision within two (2) weeks of the receipt of the appeal.
Students whose semester grade-point-average is below 2.0 will receive an academic warning. This warning is to be taken seriously, since continued low performance may result in academic dismissal. Moreover, students receiving a C- or lower in any of the English or Language Practicum courses may be dismissed from the program. If the student appeals the dismissal, the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Success will discuss the student’s performance with the ENGL/LANG instructor, the Academic Director of the program in which the student is enrolled, and the Director of Student Success before making a decision about continuation in the program.
Guidelines for Graduating
The following are the approved guidelines for measuring acceptable progress toward graduation for each academic classification:
|1-24 credits||1.75 grade-point average|
|25-41 credits||1.85 grade-point average|
|42-54 credits||1.95 grade-point average|
|55+ credits||2.00 grade-point average|
Students who fail to achieve the required grade-point average for their classification are placed on probation, recommended to withdraw, or academically dismissed. A student may not graduate with a GPA below 2.00. Matters related to Academic Dismissal and the Appeal Process for Academic Dismissal can be found in the University Catalog. Students graduating with an A.A. degree must have a minimum of 61 earned credits with a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Credit Hour Policies
Eastern University grants credit for academic work on the basis of the semester credit hour, which typically corresponds to forty-two (42.0) hours of faculty instruction over the course of fifteen weeks, plus a final exam period. Instructional hours in the University’s seven-week “block” term meets the same requirement in an accelerated format. The instructional requirements for a given course may be higher but never lower than this minimum standard, which is established in the federal and state requirements.
Definition of An Instructional Hour
Federal guidelines for an instructional hour are deliberately flexible. Guidance from the Department of Education states that “the regulations are grounded in commonly accepted practice in higher education, do not intrude on core academic decisions made by institutions and their accrediting agencies, and are completely consistent with innovative practices such as online education, competency-based credit, and academic activities that do not rely on ‘seat time.’” (from US Department of Education, Guidance to Institutions, 3/18/2011)
In keeping with these requirements, faculty instructional hours at Eastern University include traditional lectures but are not limited to them because, as the requirements recognize, student learning, curated by the faculty, can be achieved through a broad range of other types of student experiences. These experiences include but are not limited to internships, field trips, group projects, laboratory work, rich-media experiences, student research, and assessment experiences.
Instructional Hours in Online and Blended Courses
Courses offered wholly or partly in online learning environments must meet the instructional requirements outlined above. For the specific online instructional equivalencies, contact the University’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative Credit Pathways
The University currently offers several pathways to earn credit for student learning. For more on these options, see the course catalog for your academic program.
Matriculated students who are carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours, whose grade point average for the semester is between 3.50 and 3.74, and who are approved, will be placed on the Merit List the succeeding semester.
Matriculated students who are carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours, whose grade point average is 3.75 or above, and who are approved, will be placed on the Dean’s List the succeeding semester, and receive Dean’s List recognition.
STEM Specific Policies
Policies specific to Science, Math and Medical Assisting Students
- Students interested in the Sciences (Natural and Health), or Math programs must complete MATH 140 College Algebra before taking any other concentration classes. Tutoring will be available to students needing help.
Requirements for Natural Sciences and Health Sciences Program
- Participation and successful completion of English and/or Math Bridge is mandatory if the student needs it. Completion of MATH 108 Mathematical Perspectives for Science is mandatory if the student needs it.
- Students must attend all scheduled laboratory time.
- Tutoring/special help: For classes where tutoring or additional sessions are offered, students must attend those help sessions if their grade is currently a C or less. Other students are encouraged to attend.
- Community Service: Students are expected to complete 8 hours of community service. Reasons include giving back to the community, professional development and a competitive edge when applying for jobs and scholarships.
Requirements for Medical Assisting Program
(In addition to the requirements above)
- Dress code: Student will need to order a set of scrubs from Flynn O’Hara uniforms. Only official Esperanza College uniform scrubs will be acceptable for clinical work (starting in their second semester) and externship. It is expected that when students are wearing an Esperanza scrub, they show pride and respect as they are representing our school.
- In order to secure an externship, the student needs to fulfill the following before registering for MEDA 300 Externship:
- Medical Requirements:
- Physical examination form signed and stamped by healthcare provider.
- Current vaccine record on file including Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), Varicella, Tetanus-diphtheria, COVID-19, and Hepatitis B series. Hepatitis B vaccine is a series of 3 shots that are given over a period of 6 months. All 3 shots MUST be given prior to externship. Student also needs a recent flu shot.
- Student must get a two-step PPD. Facilities require two PPD tests done within a one-month period. This needs to be done early enough to deal with any positive results.
- Urine drug screening.
- A criminal background check.
- A child abuse clearance.
- FBI fingerprint.
- Other Requirements:
- CPR certification.
- Health insurance.
- Medical assisting program requirements- student must have exhibited the desired characteristics listed in the document signed by the student at the New Student Orientation.
- Medical Requirements:
During the externship, the students:
- are required to wear their Esperanza scrubs to externship, along with clean, solid white or black shoes. Students are required to bring a 2SE Littman stethoscope.
- are not permitted facial piercings, visible tattoos, excessive jewelry, nail polish, acrylic, and press-on nails.
- are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
- should take a proactive role, be involved and helpful.
- must direct any questions or concerns in relation to the externship site to the Clinical Assistant.
- are required to arrive at their externship site 10 minutes prior to their scheduled start time.
- are required to turn off cell phones while in the facility.
- should report any absences to the school and to the externship site before their scheduled arrival time. Failure to notify the externship site may result in the student being removed from the externship. Successful completion of an internship is a requirement for graduation.
- should report immediately to the Clinical Assistant any injuries that occur at externship.
- will follow the schedule created by the Externship Site and/or Clinical Assistant.
- must have approved site staff verify and initial completed tasks in the task list and time sheet.
To become a Health Science Scholar, students will:
- Have an inquisitive spirit and a desire to learn more about health science
- Be interested in doing research
- Qualify to go into MATH 140 College Algebra or successfully complete MATH 108 Mathematical Perspectives for Science
- Successfully complete the Orientation in the Science class
The Family Educational Rights and Privay Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts affords students the right to review their education records within 45 days of the university’s receipt of the request, request an amendment of the education records that are believed to be inaccurate; and consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. A student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the requirements by writing to
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of education
600 Independence Avenue. SW
Washington, D. C. 20202-4605
Esperanza College regards students as adults in their responsibilities and their rights. Students have direct access through the secure Web portal MyEastern to their own grade reports, academic records, academic warnings, progress toward graduation requirements and notification of academic honors.
Esperanza College through Eastern University participates in the National Student Clearinghouse for enrollment and graduation verifications. www.studentclearinghouse.org
Personally identifiable “directory information” from the education records of the student in attendance at the university may be disclosed without the necessity of prior consent of the student concerned as provided by FERPA.
Directory information includes:
- Student’s name
- Dates of enrollment (beginning and ending)
- Enrollment status (part-time and full-time)
- Classification (First-Year, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate Student)
- Intended date of graduation
- Date of graduation
- Degree earned
- Honors and recognitions
- Prior educational agency or institution attended
- Participation on officially recognized activities
- Photographic and electronic images on university student identification card
- University sponsored email address.
- Confirmation of birth date, legal name, and address of record
- Confirmation of eligibility to re-register
Esperanza College discloses personally identifiable education records with the prior written consent of the student. However, the college may disclose information without the prior written consent of the student in the following circumstances:
- To school officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records
- To officials of another school, at the request of those officials, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid
- If disclosure is required by certain state laws relating to the juvenile justice system
- To organizations approved to conduct certain studies for or on behalf of the university
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions
- To either of two parents when at least one parent has claimed the student as a dependent for income tax purposes (a certified copy of the parents’ most recent Federal Income Tax Form may be required to verify dependency)
- To comply with a valid court order or subpoena or to comply with federal law
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university with respect to that alleged crime or offense (disclose the final results of the disciplinary proceeding, regardless of whether it concluded a violation was committed)
- To parents of students under the age of 21 when laws or university policies regarding alcohol or drugs are violated
- To a court or administrative agency in the event of legal action between the college and a student
Waiver of Privacy of Educational Records
Students have the right to the protection of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, students may choose to waive this right and allow information to be shared with those that they designate by completing a waiver form. This form will be given to students as they enter the College. Students may rescind the waiver or change designated individuals at any time during their enrollment by completing another form and submitting it to the Registrar Office.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Note: This is an overview of disabilities policies and procedures. Students are urged to contact CCAS for more detailed information relevant to their specific situations.
Eastern University will make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access to educational opportunities to otherwise qualified students with disabilities. It is not intended that academic standards be lowered, or essential elements of programs or courses be changed, and accommodations are not intended to ensure a satisfactory or desired grade or evaluation. In determining reasonable accommodations, consideration will be given to the student’s documented needs, essential elements of the involved courses or university activities, and institutional resources. Academic accommodations may include modifications in the classroom, in assignments, and in the way tests are administered. Non-academic accommodations may include modifications and assistance relating to physical accommodations in the residence halls and mobility and access to campus buildings. Accommodations are granted in response to student requests on the basis of determined need and documentation of disability. In the event that disagreements arise between students and professors or administrators of the university over issues of accommodation, a due process procedure has been developed to settle such disagreements.
To be eligible for accommodations for disability, a student must:
- Have an identified disability as defined by the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Submit a written request for accommodations in a timely manner to CCAS (or its designee)
- Submit appropriate and adequate documentation of disability
Procedure for Requesting & Using Accommodations
- Students requesting accommodations for disability must submit a written request form available from the Cushing Center for Counseling & Academic Support (CCAS). Contact CCAS at 610-341-5837. If students need assistance in completing the form, it will be provided by CCAS upon request. All requests for accommodations, both academic and non-academic, should be submitted on this form to the Director of CCAS (unless the student is otherwise directed). Students should submit their requests (including the request form and documentation of disability) well in advance of the semester/session they plan to attend Eastern to allow adequate time for review of the request, development of appropriate plans, and implementation of arrangements in time for the semester/session of study.
If the request involves non-academic accommodations, the CCAS Director will notify the appropriate contact person for the student’s academic program and may provide him/her a copy of the request after a review of the student’s documentation of disability has been determined that the student is eligible for accommodations.
- Documentation of disability should accompany the request form. A decision about requests cannot be made until adequate documentation is received. Documentation must come from a professional qualified to evaluate disabilities in the areas related to the student’s request, must be sufficiently thorough and recent to establish whether the condition qualifies as a disability, must indicate the extent and severity of the student’s impairment, and must address the nature and projected time frame for any accommodations needed at the present time.
- Overview of General Documentation Requirements
Note: This is not a comprehensive statement of documentation requirements. Specific requirements apply to specific disabilities. Students should contact CCAS for specific requirements for their condition.
- Documentation must be provided by a professional qualified to evaluate disabilities in the areas related to the student’s request:
- Vague and/or short statements of diagnosis (e.g., by a physician for ADHD) are not sufficient.
- Information provided by the student, parent, or others might be helpful supplementary information, but it does not constitute documentation of disability. Documentation must be on the professional’s official letterhead with date and signature. Documentation must be recent enough to establish that the condition is still present and to reflect current impairment and needs. This would typically be no longer than 3 years old for learning disabilities and ADHD, more recent for changeable psychiatric or medical conditions (e.g., migraine headaches), and longer for permanent disabilities (e.g., blindness).
- Documentation of conditions submitted as part of request for disability accommodations must include the following elements:
- Current diagnosis. A clear statement of diagnosis must be included. A clinical diagnosis in itself is not evidence of disability, however.
- How diagnosis was determined (e.g., this would typically be a psychoeducational testing battery for learning disabilities and ADHD, neuropsychological evaluation for head injury, and medical or psychiatric evaluation for other medical or psychiatric conditions)
- History of illness/condition (including how/when condition was first diagnosed and by whom, and course of illness/condition over time)
- Current symptoms (including specific nature of symptoms, frequency, and severity)
- Extent of functional impairment caused by symptoms/condition (specifically related to life realms for which patient is requesting accommodations, if possible to determine)
- Need for accommodations at the present time (include specific recommendations if possible)
- Projected time period for which accommodations might be needed
- Students should be aware that having had accommodations in high school or another setting (e.g., a 504 Plan) does not necessarily qualify them for any or the same accommodations in a particular postsecondary setting. In particular, students should be aware that an IEP alone or a short statement from a physician does not constitute adequate documentation of disability.
- Documentation must be provided by a professional qualified to evaluate disabilities in the areas related to the student’s request:
- It is the student’s responsibility to obtain and furnish the appropriate documentation. CCAS staff will assess presented documentation and make a decision. Additional documentation will be accepted, and a reevaluation will occur as documentation is received. If requested, CCAS staff can advise the student about how to obtain adequate documentation (e.g., by explaining requirements to the documenting professional).
- Overview of General Documentation Requirements
- If you have any documented special educational needs, please meet with Dr. Stephanie Brown, the liaison at Esperanza College, to discuss your needs. She will link you with the Cushing Center for Counseling and Academic Support (CCAS, 3rd floor Walton) to complete the necessary request form. CCAS then will notify your instructors regarding accommodations that can be made for you. Please consult the student handbook for more information, including a listing of possible accommodations. Dr. Stephanie Brown contact information Email: email@example.com; Phone 215-324-0746 ext. 416
- After the written request (with documentation) has been received and evaluated (either in the meeting or without a meeting at the discretion of the Director), a decision will be made within a reasonable period of time. This time period will vary depending on the extent of the requested accommodations and the time of year. In any case, students should expect that a minimum of 14 working days will be needed to evaluate requests. In some cases, an interim plan addressing the student’s needs may be put into effect (e.g., a visually impaired student may be provided with a reader while a request for a specific type of text enlarger is under consideration). An interim plan would be appropriate only in cases where the student’s disability is apparent or indisputable (e.g., obvious physical impairments).
- After the determination of eligibility (i.e., documentation shows the student has a disability), reasonable accommodations for the disability will be determined. In making the determination, CCAS staff will consult the documentation, the student, and relevant university officials (e.g., professor, Dean of Students, etc.). Essential components of courses or programs will not be changed or eliminated, but modifications in the way the student can meet these essential requirements will be made when possible. Essential components of courses and programs are listed in their respective descriptions in the Esperanza College catalogs. CCAS will consult with faculty, staff, and outside professionals when needed to determine essential elements and reasonable accommodations. Examples of essential components that will not be modified include but are not limited to: requiring that the student make oral presentations in a public speaking class, competence in dance skills in a dance class, competence in playing a musical instrument for a music performance class, and class attendance in a group dynamics class.
- In implementing the accommodations approved by the university, CCAS and/or the Dean of Students will provide written notification of the accommodations to the appropriate faculty member, administrator, or staff member. In addition, the student will be responsible to meet with all involved parties to discuss his/her needs for accommodations and to clarify how these will be implemented.
- Students who have been granted academic accommodations for a particular semester/session must update their request with CCAS prior to each successive semester/session. This will not be done automatically. This typically involves providing a list of their current classes and reviewing with a CCAS staff member whether the accommodations requested previously are still appropriate. An in-person meeting may be required by CCAS or requested by the student.
- Students who have been granted non-academic accommodations may be required to update their request every semester/session if the nature of their condition or need is likely to change. CCAS staff will advise the student of whether this will be needed at the time the initial request (or update) is approved.
- Students whose needs for accommodations change after the initial requests for accommodations have been implemented should submit additional information. For new or different accommodations for the same disability (already verified with documentation), they should submit an Updated Request for Accommodations form. For a new/additional disability, they should submit another copy of the initial Request for Accommodations for Disabilities with supportive documentation. In this latter case, the review process outlined above will recommence.
- Students are responsible to inform CCAS promptly if they encounter problems with the implementation of their accommodations (e.g., if a student approved for extended testing time reports the professor would not permit him/her to take the test with extra time). CCAS cannot adjust grades or course requirements after the fact in a case where a student reports he/she suffered academically because he/she did not receive an accommodation that was approved and did not report the problem to CCAS in a timely manner that allowed correction of the problem.
- Accommodations cannot be approved retroactively. For example, a student who reports a learning disability after taking an exam and has not previously requested and been approved for accommodations, would not be entitled to retake the exam with special accommodations. Similarly, a student cannot be excused for absences due to a disabling medical condition reported after the fact.
Students are urged to make their requests as early as possible to allow time for review of the request and planning.
Disclosure of Disability
Disclosure of a disability is voluntary. Students are not required to disclose or request accommodations for a disability. They are not eligible for any protection under the law if they fail to disclose disability and request accommodations.
Disability-related material at Esperanza College of Eastern University is considered covered by the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act. Disability information will not be disclosed or released except as needed to university agents with a legitimate educational interest, and/or as otherwise required or permitted by law, and/or as otherwise requested by the student.
Procedures for Settling Disagreements Regarding Accommodations
In the event of a disagreement between student and faculty or other agent of the university over an issue of disability accommodation, the following plan for settling disagreements will be used, affording the student due process:
- The student shall discuss his/her disagreement with the Director of CCAS or the faculty member or other involved agent of the university and try to resolve the disagreement.
- If the problem is not resolved, the student should continue to reach resolution through the lines of authority at the university:
- professor (or directly involved staff member or administrator),
- program director (or relevant supervisor of party involved in Step A),
- Associate Academic Dean (or relevant supervisor of party involved in Step B),
- Executive Dean (or relevant supervisor of party involved in Step C),
- provost (or relevant supervisor of party involved in Step D,
- Accommodations Committee whose decision will be final.
Attempts should be made to settle the dispute at the lowest level of authority possible. If agreement is not reached after a reasonable period of discussion and negotiation, appeal to the next highest level of authority can be made. The student should keep CCAS informed at all levels of the dispute. (Note: If the student believes this chain of appeal is not appropriate given the nature of the disagreement, he/she should contact the Director of CCAS regarding this.)
- In the case of a disagreement regarding a non-academic modification (e.g., regarding building access, residence hall modifications, etc.), requests for resolution of the dispute can be made to the Dean of Students who will contact the relevant university staff member(s) in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If resolution of the disagreement is not reached by the Dean of Students, the matter can be appealed to the Vice President for Student Development, who will be the final appeal.
- A Disability Accommodations Committee will assist in creating, reviewing, and revising policy regarding accommodations for students with disabilities. The committee will be convened when needed to review policy and to assist in resolving disagreements regarding accommodations for students with disabilities and is the final appeal for academic accommodations disputes. The Disability Accommodations Committee will meet within ten (10) class days after receiving a written request from the student to consider the issue of accommodations that needs to be resolved when all other steps have been exhausted. The committee will provide a written decision within 10 class days after its meeting. If, after its initial meeting, the committee decides that more information is needed (e.g., an additional evaluation on the student, additional information on standards of practice in the field, etc.), the time the committee has to provide a written decision can be extended another 10 class days. The decision rendered by the Disability Accommodations Committee will be the university’s final decision on appeals for academic accommodations.
It is important to notify the Registrar Coordinator if you have a change of address or telephone number. The Registrar Coordinator will then make sure that your college files and all of the University offices that need to be able to reach you have the updated information.