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South Florida State College
Administrative Procedures

Procedure: 1101

Title: Substitution Courses for Students with Disabilities

Based on Policy: 1.10 - Equal Opportunity

Office of Primary Responsibility: Vice President for Educational and Student Services


  1. Purpose:

    To establish a mechanism whereby a qualified student with a documented disability may request a reasonable substitution requirement for admission to the college, admission to a program of study or course, graduation or other college policy or procedure in accordance with Florida Statute 1007.265 provided that the course substitution does not constitute a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program.  Course substitutions may be granted on a case by case basis when the accommodations provided are not sufficient or when the disability affects enrollment in a degree or program, or graduation from the college.
  2. Procedure:
    1. Students requesting a course substitution due to a documented disability will make that known to the college by a process of self-identification or referral to the disabilities specialist located in the Advising and Counseling Office on the Highlands campus.
    2. All students, regardless of disability, are eligible for admission to the college due to the open door and equal opportunity admission policy.
    3. For admission into programs for the Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Science degree, Associate in Applied Science degree and certain Occupational Certificate(s), a standard high school diploma, or certificate of completion is required.  In all degree and certificate programs, the state of Florida established scores on the Post-Secondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) or equivalent and/or Tests of Adult Basic Education are required for either admission to or completion of the degree or program.
    4. In order to maximize student success and to afford the student a greater degree of flexibility, decisions for acceptable course substitutions will be made on an individual student basis.  When a student with a documented disability cannot successfully complete a required course, the student may file a Substitution Request form with the disabilities specialist.
    5. After verification and review of the documentation, the special exceptions committee shall consider the student’s request and may recommend a substitution of a course and/or graduation requirements to the dean of the division in which the course is assigned.  The dean will make the final decision.  Courses in which learning outcomes are critical to a degree or program may not be substituted.  The committee must find alternative instructional activities to accomplish the same or equivalent outcomes of the course to be substituted or the student may not be accommodated.

      In making the recommendation, the committee shall use the following criteria:
      1. The degree to which the student’s ability to complete the course will be adversely affected by the documented disability
      2. The degree to which the student’s performance in the course or a previous course with reasonable accommodation was successful
      3. The extent to which alternative courses or equivalent learning activities are available to accommodate the student, i.e., courses or alternative learning activities that do not compromise or fundamentally alter the major learning outcomes required of the course, degree or program
      4. The extent to which any of the alternative learning activities or courses will adversely affect the student’s success at the next level of his/her education or employment
    6. If the student’s substitution request is denied by the dean of the division in which the course is assigned, the student may appeal to the Students with Disabilities Substitution Committee (SDSC).
      1. The SDSC shall consist of the dean, student services, the EA/EO officer, the equity coordinator, the dean of the division in which the course is assigned and the disabilities specialist.
      2. The student shall petition in writing by completing the Hearing Request form available from the disabilities specialist.
      3. A meeting of the SDSC shall be conducted within seven working days after Hearing Request FORM B is filed.
      4. The SDSC shall review all of the documentation and materials related to the original denial.  The student may attend the meeting and present additional reasons for challenging the decision.  The student may be accompanied by others, but only the student may address the committee.  Once the committee has heard all of the arguments or met any standards for the meeting which were set at its beginning (such as time limits), the committee shall meet independently and determine its recommendation to the vice president for educational and student services who will make the final decision.
    7. The substitution procedure shall be included in the college Catalog.
    8. The college will accept for transfer credit, course substitutions previously granted by regionally accredited postsecondary institutions. Course substitutions previously granted by non-regionally accredited institutions will be reviewed for equivalency on an institution-by-institution basis for transfer acceptance. The college’s disabilities specialist will secure information regarding the student’s documented disability from the transferring institution to ensure coordination of appropriate accommodation for the student.
    9. The dean, student services shall maintain appropriate records of the number of students granted substitutions by type of disability, the substitution provided, the substitutions identified as available for each documented disability and the number of requests for substitution that were denied.

History: Last Revised: 7/10/12

Adopted: 6/2/1987

Reviewed: -

Revised: 8/26/87, 1/22/02, 6/1/05, 5/20/08, 7/10/12