As stated in the undergraduate catalog, Gardner-Webb University policy requires that students attend 75% of all class sessions. Programs and professors may require a higher percentage of class attendance. Failure to meet these attendance requirements will result in an administrative “F” for the class. However, if a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact his/her ability to attend class and complete tests or assignments at the scheduled time, flexibility in attendance/assignments may be an appropriate accommodation. The number of allowable absences and length of assignment extensions depends on the interactive or participatory nature of a course, or is based on school, department or accrediting agency rules. An accommodation in attendance is not reasonable if regular attendance is essential to the course and/or curriculum. Not every course component can be provided an extension.
Absences that are not related to the effects of a disability are not included in the accommodation. For example; illness unrelated to disability, car trouble, etc. The student is responsible for following the professor’s syllabus regarding absences due to non-disability related issues.
All students with disabilities, including those with physical, learning, psychological and medical disabilities, are eligible to apply for special status, which if approved, allows them to take a reduced course load while maintaining full-time status. Except in extreme situations, no student applying for a reduced course load with full-time status will be approved for less than 9 credits per semester. The Noel Center will consider an alternative number of credits on request and only with sufficient documentation to support the request.
Incoming students may apply for a reduced course load upon acceptance to the University.
They must provisionally register for a full course load, and are expected to attend those classes until the change in status has been approved. Applications for students who enter after the initial freshman registration period and who wish to apply for a reduced course load will be reviewed on an individual basis. The approval of these applications may be deferred to the following semester, due to the late application date. Every attempt will be made to accommodate these requests.
Current students who wish to apply for this status change mid-semester are considered special case circumstances. These applications will be reviewed individually and the approval of these applications may be deferred to the following semester, due to the late application date. Every attempt will be made to accommodate these requests. All requests are reviewed on a case-by- case basis.
Reduced Course Loads for students with full-time status (hereafter RL/FT students):
If a student’s application for reduced load status is denied, the student may appeal the decision through the standard grievance procedure outlined in the Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate/graduate catalog.
If a student will require accommodations for an internship or practicum, it is the student’s responsibility to request them in advance. Because the student may not fully realize the need for accommodation, he/she may not have a sense of what the internship setting will specifically demand. The student should initiate a meeting as early as possible prior to placement during which information about internship expectations might be shared and, once better informed, the student might initiate a request for accommodation planning.
The student, the academic department, and the Noel Center need to begin early to plan for accommodations. Because it may be difficult to know what accommodations will be needed, early communication with the internship or practicum site involved is strongly encouraged. The nature of accommodations may vary across agencies and academic departments may prefer early agency involvement in identifying needed accommodations.
The student, the academic department and the Noel Center should identify the accommodations needed, including resources and adaptive equipment/software, in advance of negotiations with the placement agency.
The student and the academic department should seek a placement agency that (1) will provide an appropriate educational experience, (2) will make reasonable accommodations for the student, and (3) will negotiate with the student and the University to provide the services.
The student, the academic department, the Noel Center, the University legal counsel, if needed and the placement agency will develop a plan and negotiate accommodations satisfactory to all parties. Most placement agencies are also subject to ADA requirements and may have a contact person who is familiar with the accommodation and may already be providing accommodations to agency employees. The agency ADA contact person (if one is assigned) may be able to provide assistance in arranging for student placements. The student must be an active participant throughout the process of identifying a placement agency, identifying and negotiating accommodations.