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  Disability Services - Course Substitution Process

Kutztown University
Course Substitution Process
Americans with Disabilities Act


Kutztown University recognizes that its basic responsibility is to identify and maintain academic and technical standards that are fundamental to providing quality academic programs while ensuring the rights of students with disabilities. To meet these obligations, Kutztown University has established a procedure which will assist students with disabilities to pursue their educational goals while maintaining the essential nature of the programs and courses.

The university recognizes that a disability may preclude a student from demonstrating required competencies or from completing course requirements necessary for a degree or certificate program. The university also recognizes the need to accommodate students with documented disabilities without compromising the integrity of a student’s course of study.

In certain instances where a student has a disability that precludes his or her ability to meet a course requirement, the student may request a course substitution. Course substitutions will only be granted in cases where the request does not constitute a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program or when the academic requirement(s) is not essential to the program of study or to meet licensing or certification requirements. Consideration of a course substitution is done on a case-by-case basis.

Procedure to request a course substitution:

1. The student will disclose a disability to the director of Disability Services and submit appropriate documentation verifying a disability that substantially limits the skills required for the successful completion of the required course. See the documentation guidelines from the Disability Services web site

2. Documentation must be from a certified professional. A diagnosis that confirms the disability and suggests a course substitution may not in itself be sufficient. If the documentation is not appropriate, in that it is not sufficient to confirm the need for a course substitution, it will be necessary for the student to obtain additional or updated documentation.

3. The student should be enrolled in a major program of study and have completed at least 12 credit hours of college course work. This allows a determination to be made as to whether the requested course substitution represents a fundamental alteration in the chosen field of study.

4. The request for substitution and documentation of the disability will be received by the director of Disability Services who will ensure the required information is included and will write a statement as to whether it is justifiable from a disability standpoint.

5. The student’s personal statement will detail the reason for the request including past history of academic difficulties and if there were any previous attempts at the course.

6. If the request is justified it will be forwarded to the committee which will include the required information: statement from the director of Disability Services, personal statement from the student, and student’s transcript.

7. The committee members will include but not be limited to: the student’s academic advisor, department chair, and the chair of the department of the course to be substituted. The Disability Services director will be a non-voting member of the committee. The committee will make a recommendation to the dean of the student’s college.

8. The Disability Services director will convene a meeting (either in person, via email or conference call) of the committee in a timely fashion. The department chair of the course to be substituted will recommend possible substitutions to the committee. The decision will be based on a majority vote of the committee. A statement outlining the result of the committee including the course substitution recommendations if applicable will be included on the Registrar’s Office substitution form. A copy of the form will be sent to the Disability Services Office for the student’s file.

9. The student will be notified of the decision in writing in a timely fashion.

10. The student has the right to appeal the decision by following the university’s grievance procedures.

11. It is in the best interest of the student to determine at the earliest possible time whether to apply for a course substitution. Failure to do so in a timely fashion might delay graduation.

Disclaimer: The university cannot guarantee that substitutions granted by Kutztown University will be honored at any other college or university either for general admission, graduation requirements, transfer admission, or admission into a specific degree program. Furthermore, Kutztown University does not automatically honor course substitutions granted by other colleges or universities. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the college or university to request information on the degree program requirements.

PR 2-15

Kutztown University

15200 Kutztown Road • Kutztown PA. 19530
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania • P.O. Box 730 • Kutztown, PA 19530
(610) 683-4000 • TDD (610) 683-1315, (610) 683-4499
Member of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education

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The Text Only Version is a standard of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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