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The College requires every student to complete the World Language Requirement. If a student believes that completing such a requirement presents a significant obstacle due to a qualifying disability, the student is encouraged to submit a request for reasonable accommodations through the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC). SDAC staff will review the student’s documentation and use an interactive process to determine eligibility and assist the student in implementing reasonable accommodations in the academic setting. 

The process of reasonable accommodation and potential modification of the World Language Requirement is described below.  A student experiencing exceptional difficulty in a world language class should:

1. Consult with the World Language Coordinator

When you experience exceptional difficulty in a world language class, you should first consult with your instructor and the appropriate World Language Coordinator to describe the difficulty you are having. 

2. Apply for Services through SDAC

You should also apply for services through the Student Disability Access Center's online portal.  You can contact SDAC with questions at [email protected] or (434) 243-5180.

You will be asked to provide appropriate documentation of a qualifying disability as part of the intake process. SDAC provides documentation guidelines which may be helpful to students and their clinical providers. In the absence of appropriate documentation, SDAC staff will counsel the student regarding next steps. Often, this may result in the student undergoing neuropsychological testing in order to establish a diagnosis. SDAC will refer the student to approved testing agencies both within the University and the community. The student bears the cost of such testing.

3. Request accommodation

Once you have completed the intake and eligibility process, SDAC will recommend accommodations in the world language classroom (e.g., extended time in class tests, de-emphasized oral or aural components, extra tutorial assistance).

Students are expected to submit the accommodation request to both their instructor and the world language coordinator. The coordinator will notify the student's Advising Dean in writing of these accommodations. Ideally, accommodations should be in place prior to enrolling in the course.

4. Continue in a course with accommodations

Students must enroll in a world language course and put in a “good faith effort” at succeeding, including using any approved accommodations. This means going to class regularly, doing all homework, meeting with the professor during office hours, etc. 

After six weeks, students meet with their world language coordinator to discuss their progress during this “good faith effort” period. There may be several outcomes:

  • A student is doing adequately well with accommodations. They can continue and earn credit for that course, progressing towards fulfilling the World Language Requirement. 
  • A student has not demonstrated a "good faith effort." They are not engaged in the course – either not attending class regularly, missing homework assignments, or failing to engage in support offered through office hours. In this case, a student would not be recommended for a course modification. 
  • Despite accommodations and maximum effort, the department finds that continuing in the language is unworkable for the student. In such a case, the coordinator may recommend in writing to the student’s Advising Dean that the World Language Requirement be modified.
5. Modify the requirement
  • Upon receipt of a recommendation from the world language coordinator and SDAC, the student’s Advising Dean may authorize the modification of the requirement to the student in writing. Students will be notified of this via email and a meeting will be requested with the Advising Dean. 
  • After approval of the language modification, students currently enrolled in a World Language course may request to have the course grading option changed to CR/NC (Credit/No Credit). This request must be made in writing to the student’s Advising Dean within two business days after approval of the language modification. If the course is completed with a grade of CR, it will count toward the World Language Requirement. (This is a one-time exception granted only during the semester of modification; all other General Education classes must be taken on the "graded" basis.) Students who have received a language modification are also advised to consider the option of withdrawal from the course before the withdrawal deadline. 
  • For the semester in which the requirement is modified, if the student remains enrolled in the language course with the “graded” option and receives an F, the failing grade will be converted to NC. If the student receives a passing letter grade, that grade will remain on the transcript and will not be converted to CR or NC retroactively.
  • In addition, if a student is granted the world language modification, a failing grade received in the semester when the student was referred to SDAC for testing, or the student with a prior diagnosis self-referred to SDAC, will be converted to NC. 
6. Select substitute courses

Upon modification, the student will be required to take the appropriate number of substitute courses to fulfill the World Language Requirement. Substitute courses must be three or more credits and must be taken for a grade; performance classes cannot be counted. Only the student's Advising Dean can approve substitute classes. As specified in the faculty legislation, these substitute courses should:

  • Form a cohesive cluster focused on one language area, either continuing the work begun in the language class or choosing a new area.
  • Deal, in English, with the culture or literature of a non-English speaking people, or with the history or description of language.
  • Be drawn primarily from:
    • Literature in English translation courses (course mnemonic ending with "TR": e.g., CHTR, FRTR, GETR, ITTR, JPTR, PETR, RUTR, etc.);
    • Anthropology, History, Religion, Art History or another department courses that deal exclusively with a specific non-English speaking country or culture.

The student must obtain their Advising Dean’s approval for each substitute course PRIOR to enrolling in the course. Substitute courses may not be applied toward majors or minors or toward any general education requirements, except the Second Writing Requirement. All substitute courses must be taken for a grade.



Last updated: May 30, 2024
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