Some students have medical conditions of an ongoing nature that may require flexibility regarding assignment deadlines. The Access Center (AC) recognizes that in some cases, allowing assignment extensions beyond those normally allowed in a course is a reasonable accommodation. However, we also recognize there are courses in which specified assignment deadlines may be an essential part of the course.
The Access Center has established the following procedure for considering requests for flexibility with regard to assignment deadlines:
- Students with disabilities request accommodations prior to the beginning of each semester (or when first diagnosed) and provide medical documentation in accordance with AC’s standard procedures.
- If AC makes an initial determination that flexible assignment deadlines may be a reasonable accommodation, AC approves the accommodations. Faculty members are then sent a faculty notification letter via email that outlines all accommodations the student has requested for each particular course. In addition, each student receives the Flexible Assignment Deadlines Guidelines and Flexible Assignment Deadlines Agreement form through their MyAccess student portal.
- The student forwards the Agreement Form and Guidelines to the faculty members from whom they are requesting flexibility, along with a message that notifies them of this accommodation. Included in this message is the request for faculty members to review both documents in preparation for an in-person meeting.
- The student then schedules an appointment with each faculty member to discuss and complete the Agreement. The Agreement must be signed by both the student and the faculty member. Both should retain copies, and the student must provide a signed copy to the Access Center. The entire process should be completed within two weeks from the date entered on the Agreement form. It is recommended that the student and faculty member start their discussion by reviewing the syllabus together, paying particular attention to assignment deadline policies and learning objectives.
- If agreement cannot be reached on one or more points of the Agreement, then the student and/or faculty member must contact AC immediately. In consultation with the student and the faculty member, AC will then determine the appropriate level of flexibility to be granted, if any. Factors considered include, but are not limited to, the student’s individual circumstances as well as the importance of meeting assignment deadlines to the curricular integrity including:
- What does the course description and syllabus say regarding assignment deadlines? Will the assignment be discussed in class at a particular time?
- Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon assignments being turned in at the designated time?
- To what degree does a student's failure to turn in an assignment by the deadline constitute a significant loss of the educational experience of other students in the class?
- What is the method by which the final course grade is calculated?
The Access Center’s determination will be communicated in writing to the student and the faculty member.
Faculty Member Responsibilities
- As in all instances of students with disabilities, faculty members should not ask about the specifics of the disability and its limitations, but if the student discloses that information, faculty should keep it.
- Faculty members should never deny an accommodation approved by the Access Center without first contacting.
- If, at any time, the faculty member has concerns about a requested accommodation, they should contact the Access Center as soon as possible.
- Faculty members should be available to discuss the accommodation with the student and be clear in their expectations in completing the forms discussed above, as those agreements will guide the terms of the.
- Students must schedule an appointment and meet with the faculty member to complete the form described above within two weeks from the date entered on the Agreement.
- During the meeting, the student should clearly express their needs as they will guide the specific terms of the agreement.
- Note: If the student does not meet (in person or by phone/email) with the faculty member to complete the Flexible Assignment Deadlines Agreement form, this accommodation is not recognized and faculty members are not bound to give flexible assignment considerations. Students are responsible for contacting the faculty member as soon as possible when an unplanned/unexpected disability-related assignment deadlines occurs/has occurred. The student and instructor are to arrive at a clear understanding by when the assignment must be turned in.
- The student is responsible for all assignments as outlined in the course syllabus.
- Students are required to meet all of the course's core learning objectives and curricular outcomes.
- If, at any time, the student believes a faculty member is not honoring the terms of the Agreement, the student should contact AC as soon as possible. AC will then contact the faculty member to gather additional information and discuss available options.
- If the student is unable to meet the terms of the Agreement, the student should first visit with their faculty member to determine what possibilities exist for additional flexibility, if any. The student or faculty member is encouraged to confer with the Access Center.