Academic Adjustment Policy

Course Substitution Policy

In compliance with federal regulations, it is the policy of Barry University to respond to student requests for course substitutions due to a disability, on a case-by-case basis and in a manner that does not result in discrimination.

It is the policy of the University that substitutions for courses that are an integral part of the students major will not be granted. However, it is possible for students with a disability to petition for a substitution of certain course requirements that are not integral to his/her major.


The student should make the request in writing to the Director of the Office of Disability Services (ODS), along with all clinical documentation that would be relative to the request. Clinical documentation must be no more than 3 years old and meet the documentation guidelines of the university. (All documentation guidelines are listed on our web site at The Director of the ODS will forward it to the Chair of the Department of the student's academic major along with her/his recommendation. The Chair of the Department will present the request to the appropriate School academic committee (which will be set up in each School and will include the Dean of the School and any relevant faculty and/or staff including a representative from the General Education/Distribution Requirements Curriculum Committee if the course is a distribution or general education course). This committee will be referred to as the "School Committee" and will make a recommendation to approve or deny the request. The decision of the School Committee must be in writing (including any reason for the denial) within 10 working days of the Committee's decision. If the request is approved, then the School Committee will recommend a course substitution and respond in writing to the student with a copy sent to the ODS, the student's academic advisor and the Office of Registrar to be placed in the student's permanent file. If the course substitution is denied, the student must be informed in writing within 10 days of the committee's meeting with the reasons for denial. A copy of all correspondence must go to the ODS.

The following procedures are guidelines, and the School Committee will recognize that individual circumstances may alter them somewhat. For example, in the case of a student with a learning disability after attempting a course twice or more and who has made good faith efforts to complete the course requirements, the School Committee may determine that the student need not attempt the course another time with accommodations.

  1. In most cases the student should attempt the course, requesting accommodations.
    1. If the student believes accommodations are necessary, the student should request a meeting with his ODS counselor to discuss these accommodations. It is the student's responsibility to make this request. Students are urged to inform instructors of accommodation needs as early as possible in the semester. They will need to present an accommodation memo from ODS documenting that he or she is registered with the ODS, has a documented disability and will need to be provided the outlined accommodations. The student must give ODS permission to release this information.
    2. The instructor and student will work out the details of implementing accommodations.
    3. The student and ODS counselor and teacher should continue to meet periodically for feedback on how the accommodations are working, making revisions as needed.
  2. If a good faith effort has been made on the part of the instructor and the student to accommodate for the disability, and the student still believes the required course has the effect of discrimination based on the disability, the student may request that a substitution be made. However, in some instances, because the accommodation would be so involved or time consuming that it would significantly alter the course; the student may make the request before attempting the course.
  3. Requesting a substitution:
    1. The student should make a written request to:
      1. The Director of ODS
      2. The request will be forwarded to the Chair of the Department of the student's academic major.
    2. The request should include:
      1. the course in question;
      2. the nature of the disability and the reason for the request (the reason that taking the required course would amount to discrimination based on the disability);
      3. the student's history with the course or subject matter, including any attempts to pass the class, whether accommodations were requested, and what accommodations were available;
      4. The student should attach documentation of the disability from a qualified diagnostician, and may attach letters or other documents supporting the request. Documentation refers to a diagnosis made by medical, psychological, education, rehabilitation, of other professionals qualified to make the particular diagnosis.
    3. Once the School Committee has made a decision, the Committee Chair will respond in writing to the student within ten (10) working days following the receipt of the request. If the student is located at a remote off-campus site, the decision of the School Committee will be provided by telephone and followed in writing via certified mail. In addition, any denial of the request will include reasons for that decision in writing. If the request is denied, and the student wishes to pursue the request the following procedures need to be followed;
    4. The request will go to a second committee, known as "The 504 Committee" The Chair of the 504 Committee will review the request and documentation, and will set a meeting to occur no later than (thirty) 30 working days following receipt of the request. The 504 Committee Chair will invite representatives from the affected academic departments and the student may be present at this meeting as well.
    5. The student will be given a minimum of ten (10) working days advance notice of the meeting date. The student will be informed at this time that he or she may bring representatives knowledgeable about the disability. These representatives might be staff from ODS, Rehabilitation Counselors, faculty members who specialize in the disability, or persons qualified in the diagnosis/treatment of the disability.
    6. The 504 Committee Chair will schedule additional meetings if needed, and the 504 Committee will reach a decision based on the individual circumstances and the law.
    7. The 504 Committee Chair will inform the student in writing within ten (10) working days of the decision.
    8. The 504 Committee decision may be appealed to the Provost who will make the final decision and respond in writing within ten (10) working days of notification.