Students with documented disabilities may request accommodations in the structure of a course or courses either prior to or after their admission to the College. The responsibility for initiating such requests always rests with the student. Students with disabilities who wish to begin the semester with course-based accommodations must submit appropriate documentation of the disability to the Director of the Student Success Center one week prior to the beginning of the semester. The Director will review the documentation, confer with the appropriate Academic Dean or Director when necessary, and will then inform the student which accommodations and support services are appropriate and reasonable.

Reasonable accommodations are those that do not fundamentally alter the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program and do not result in an undue administrative or financial burden for the institution.

Steps for Receiving Academic Accommodations:

1) Present appropriate disability documentation to Director of the Student Success Center. Example: a recent psychological evaluation.

2) The Director of the Student Success Center will have one week to review the documentation to determine if the student has a disability that would allow for reasonable accommodations.

  1. The Director may also choose to confer with the appropriate Academic Dean or Director to ensure that a proposed accommodation would not fundamentally alter the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program.

3) The student must schedule a follow-up meeting with the Director of the Student Success Center one week after submitting the documentation.

4) The student will review and discuss reasonable accommodations with Director of the Student Success Center.

5) During the meeting, the Director of the Student Success Center will sign and present the student with the accommodation form(s).

6) The student will sign the accommodation form(s) in the presence of the Director.

7) The student will present accommodation form(s) for faculty signature(s). The Director does not notify the faculty of accommodation requests, decisions or the nature of the student’s disability.

8) Once the Director of the Student Success Center, student, and faculty member have signed the accommodation form, the student must bring the signed accommodation form(s) back to the Director of the Student Success Center. A copy will be kept in a confidential file for verification purposes.

9) The student will work directly with the faculty member to arrange for accommodations (for instance, if a student receives extended time in a distraction-free environment for testing, the student and faculty member will determine when the test will be available in the Success Center.)

The above process must be followed each semester for the student to receive accommodations in a course. It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations.

The Student Success Center will also arrange need-based academic support services outside the classroom. All specific course-based accommodations should be established at the beginning of each academic term. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the professor to arrange for the necessary accommodations. Accommodations set at the beginning of the term may be adjusted on an as-needed basis.

The common types of academic accommodations available to students in specific courses and outside the classroom may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Class: a Tape recording of lectures, use of a note-taker, seating location, extended time for assignments, use of a computer for written work, and/or physical access.
  • For Examinations: Extended time, private room, and/or use of the computer in an environment with reduced distractions.
  • Outside of the Classroom: Tutoring, learning strategies instruction, reduced course load, and/or the use of approved computer software.

Modifications in Academic Requirements

Students with documented disabilities may request modifications in academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate against students with disabilities, or have the effect of excluding students solely on the basis of disability. Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for completion of degree requirements, reduced course loads, substitution of specific courses for degree requirements, waivers of specific requirements, and/or utilization of the pass (P) grade, with a passing grade consisting of a D or higher, in courses where a disability has a discriminating effect.

Students requesting modifications in academic requirements must submit a written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs complete with the appropriate documentation of the disability. The College’s guidelines for reviewing all requests for modifications are as follows:

  1. The academic requirement modification must be directly related to the student’s documented disability.
  2. In cases involving courses for the degree, the student must pass an authorized substitute course or requirement. The Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the appropriate School and/or department chair, must approve all such modifications, and the Curriculum Committee must approve waivers of degree requirements.
  3. In cases where students have been approved to take courses on the modified pass/fail basis, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the Registrar in writing of this modification.
  4. Grades earned in courses identified as affected by a specific disability and attempted before the disability was diagnosed and/or confirmed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs may be converted to the pass (P) grade, and the grade-point average may be adjusted at the request of the student and with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will consult with the faculty member who recorded the original grade to verify that clear evidence exists to support the student’s claim that the disability, rather than other factors, directly interfered with the student’s ability to perform on an equal basis with other students in the course. This policy will not apply to students diagnosed with disabilities after they have completed the degree.

Academic Accommodation and Requirement Appeals Process

Anna Maria College (“College”) has adopted this grievance procedure to assist in facilitating resolution of complaints alleging disability discrimination in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”). The College has designated Dennis Vanasse, Director of Student Success Center, as the College’s Section 504 Coordinator. The contact information for the Section 504 Coordinator is as follows: Dennis Vanasse, Section 504 Coordinator, Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612, Telephone: (508) 849-3372, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The College strives to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging action prohibited by pertinent federal and state disability anti-discriminatory laws. Complaints of discrimination or harassment based on disability shall proceed under this Section 504 Policy/Procedure, and complaints of discrimination on other bases will be handled under other appropriate policies of the College (e.g., the College’s Academic and Other Accommodations Policy/Procedure, Hate Crime, Discrimination & Bias Incident Policy, Protected Class Harassment Policy, Student Code of Conduct, College Code of Ethics, Whistleblower, Title IX, Retaliation, Faculty Handbook and/or Employee Guidelines).

 

An individual may: (1) attempt to resolve the matter informally; or (2) immediately file a formal grievance, at the option of the individual, by utilizing the processes identified below.

 

Initial Discussion and Informal Resolution

An individual with a concern relating to his or her disability should first discuss the matter orally with the appropriate responsible office and official listed below who will attempt to resolve the individual’s concern:

 

Academic Related Grevience

 

If the applicable Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs is not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution in a prompt period of time (that is, generally within seven calendar days), he/she will inform the individual of his/her right to file a formal grievance.

 

Non-Academic Related Grievances

 

If the supervising Director or Interim Director of Human Resources, as applicable, is not successful in achieving a satisfactory resolution in a prompt period of time (that is, generally within seven calendar days), he/she will inform the individual of his/her right to file a formal grievance.

 

Formal Grievance Procedure

If the individual chooses to file a formal grievance, the following steps should be followed:

A. The individual shall file a formal grievance within forty-five (45) calendar days after he/she becomes aware of the alleged violation or denial of accommodation.

(1) Employees and third parties shall file the grievance with the Interim Director of Human Resources.
(2) Students shall file the grievance with the Section 504 Coordinator.
(3) The grievance shall be in writing and include the following:

(a) The grievant’s name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
(b) A full description of the problem;
(c) A description of what efforts have been made to resolve the issue informally; and
(d) A statement of the remedy requested.

 

B. Within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt, the Section 504 Coordinator or Interim Director of Human Resources, as applicable, or his/her designee (hereinafter referred to as the “Grievance Officer”) shall read the complaint and conduct an investigation. In undertaking the investigation, the Grievance Officer may interview, consult with, and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individual the Grievance Officer believes to have relevant information, including faculty, staff, and students. If necessary or requested, the Grievance Officer will interview and/or receive written information from the student, relevant faculty or staff member(s), and other knowledgeable people. The grievant has the right to ask for information from any individual whom he/she deems relevant to the case.

 

C. After completing the investigation, the Grievance Officer shall report his/her conclusions and proposed disposition in writing to the grievant and all other relevant parties. This transmission will be expected within forty-five (45) calendar days of the filing of the formal grievance. The deadline may be extended for cause (e.g. reasons related to breaks in the academic calendar). The final report shall also be provided, where appropriate, to any College officer whose authority will be needed to carry out the proposed disposition or to determine whether any personnel action is appropriate.

 

D. The disposition proposed by the Grievance Officer will be put into effect promptly.

 

E. The College will take steps to prevent recurrence of harassment and will take steps to correct discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, if appropriate.

 

F. Within ten (10) calendar days of the issuance of the final report, the grievant may appeal the Grievance Officer’s determination by filing a written request for review to the following Appeal Officer(s), or his/her applicable designee:

(1) Employees and third parties shall file an appeal with the Vice President for Administration. His contact information is:

Michael Miers, Vice President for Administration
Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612
Office location: 2nd floor, Socquet House
Telephone: (508) 849-3416
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(2) Students shall file an appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs. Their contact information is:

Christine L. Holmes, Ed.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs
Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612
Office location: 130 Trinity Hall
Telephone: (508) 849-3359
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Andrew O. Klein, Vice President for Student Affairs
Anna Maria College, 50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612
Office location: 247 Trinity Hall
Telephone: (508) 849-3313
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(3) The written request for review must specify the particular substantive and/or procedural basis for the appeal, and must be made on specific grounds other than general dissatisfaction with the proposed disposition. Furthermore, the appeal must be directed only to issues raised in the formal complaint as filed or to procedural errors in the conduct of the grievance procedure itself, and not to new issues.
(4) If the grievance involves a decision that is being challenged, the review by the Appeal Officer(s) usually will be limited to the following considerations:

Were the proper facts and criteria brought to bear on the decision?

Were improper or extraneous facts or criteria brought to bear that substantially affected the decision to the detriment of the grievant?

Were there any procedural irregularities that substantially affected the outcome of the matter to the detriment of the grievant?

Given the proper facts, criteria, and procedures, was the decision a reasonable one?

(5) A copy of the Appeal Officer’s written decision will be expected within thirty (30) calendar days of the filing of the appeal and will be sent to the parties, the Grievance Officer and, if appropriate, to the College officer whose authority will be needed to carry out the disposition. The deadline may be extended by the Appeal Officer for cause (e.g. reasons related to breaks in the academic calendar). The decision of the Appeal Officer on the appeal is final.

 

Guidelines

The President may issue guidelines or directives to carry out this Policy and Procedure.

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