Section 504.104.44 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 specifically states that "modifications may include substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirement unless doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity."
TMCC recognizes that in unusual circumstances, certain disabilities may prevent a student from successful completion of a specific course, even with reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Substitutions are made on a case by case basis with the intent that the integrity of the academic program will not be compromised.
Process to Request a Course Substitution
- Students must first be registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and have current documentation of a disability that clearly substantiates that the disability significantly affects his/her academic performance in the subject area.
- No course substitution will be granted unless:
- Professional assessments clearly show the DRC student's disability currently prevents the student from ever passing the course in question.
- The DRC student's assessments indicate that the outcome cannot be predicted in advance. In this case, the DRC student will attempt to complete the course using reasonable accommodations as recommended by the DRC (i.e., tutoring) and has participated in all required activities, attendance requirements and assignments, and still has failed to pass the course, at least once.
Courses that are essential for a program because substituting them would lower academic standards or otherwise fundamentally alter the nature of the program of study, or courses directly related to licensing requirements, will not be substituted. Example: biology courses for allied health students. The substitution must bear similarities and skills comparable to the substituted course and will be recommended by the department chair, director or coordinator of the student's declared degree or certificate program.
- Students will submit a course substitution request to the appropriate department chair, director or coordinator of the student's degree or certificate program.
- The DRC student will attach a supporting letter from the DRC advisor evaluating the request based on relevant documentation in the student's DRC file. This letter will include: the current status of the disability; the functional impact of the disability relating to the educational setting; and, if the course has been attempted already, a list of previously accessed accommodations.
- The department chair, director or coordinator will notify the student as to the approval or disapproval of the course substitution in writing within 15 working days.
- The DRC student may grieve the department chair, director or coordinator's denial to the dean overseeing the course to be substituted. The dean's decision is binding and final. The student will be notified of the dean's decision in writing within 15 working days.
- The student has the right to contact the U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Civil Rights if they are unsatisfied with the outcome.
TMCC does not guarantee that the course substituted will be accepted by other higher education institutions. Nor does TMCC guarantee that it will accept a course substitution from another higher educational institution.
Regarding foreign language requirements, TMCC offers the option of American Sign Language.