Academic Adjustments for General Education Competencies, Policy on

Title: Policy on Academic Adjustments for General Education Competencies: Qualitative Reasoning And/Or Second Language
Policy Owner: University Senate
Applies to: Undergraduate Students
Campus Applicability: All Undergraduate Programs at all Campuses
Effective Date: December 2017
For More Information, Contact:  University Senate
Contact Information:  (860) 486-2236
Official Website:  https://senate.uconn.edu/

Introduction

The University Senate enacted General Education requirements to ensure that all University of Connecticut undergraduate students become articulate and acquire intellectual breadth and versatility, critical judgment, moral sensitivity, awareness of their era and society, consciousness of the diversity of human culture and experience, and a working understanding of the processes by which they can continue to acquire and use knowledge. A critical element of General Education is demonstrated competency in four fundamental areas –information literacy, quantitative skills, second language proficiency, and writing. The development of these competencies involves two thresholds: establishing entry-level expectations and meeting graduation expectations. In cases involving a significant disability, the graduation expectations for the quantitative skills and/or second language competency may be a barrier to degree completion. The University has established a policy for considering academic adjustments to the University General Education Requirements and individual school/college requirements in an effort to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of students while maintaining academic integrity. In all cases, justification of an academic adjustment requires evidence of the disability’s impact upon the student’s ability to learn the course material.

Policy

The vast majority of students who experience difficulty in fulfilling the Quantitative Reasoning and/or Second Language Competency will experience success by employing any number of academic support and/or advising strategies. Academic adjustments are only considered for students with disabilities whose documentation and/or educational history provide compelling evidence of an inability to complete graduation expectations so that an academic adjustment is warranted. Each academic adjustment will be based on an individualized, case-by-case assessment and should not compromise the academic integrity of the requirements for a specific major or degree. Academic adjustments may include an exception to an academic rule, such as allowing a student to complete a required course(s) on a pass/fail basis or substituting an alternative course(s) for a required course(s).

The following rules will apply:

  • If quantitative or second language competency is deemed an essential element of a program or
    course of study, then a substitution is not permitted. The question of “essential element” will be
    decided by the Dean or designee of each school or college.
  • Academic adjustments will not reduce the number of courses/credits required to complete General
    Education requirements. Waivers of General Education requirements are never granted.
  • If the student changes his or her school or college of enrollment, academic adjustments will be
    reviewed by the appropriate Dean’s office in the new school or college of enrollment.
  • Academic adjustments will be subject to the eight-year rule.

Students who plan to continue their studies beyond the baccalaureate degree should be advised that approved adjustments may not meet the requirements for admission to a graduate/professional school (e.g., law, medicine, etc.).

The Academic Adjustments Committee will convene to review requests and make final decisions. The committee will include the following individuals:

  1. Designee from the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (Committee Chair)
  2. Designee from the Center for Students with Disabilities
  3. Designees from the Dean’s office in the petitioning student’s school or college, the Bachelor of
    General Studies Program, or the Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES) as appropriate
  4. Designee from the Department of Mathematics (in the case of a quantitative request)
  5. Designee from the Department of Literature, Cultures and Languages (in the case of a second
    language request)
  6. Designee from the General Education Oversight Committee

Students may appeal the decision of the Committee to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs within 30 days of the date of the decision. This appeal is a review of the record furnished by the Committee for the purpose of determining whether all applicable procedures have been followed. It does not include an opportunity to submit additional evidence or documentation. If, at a later date, students wish to furnish additional evidence or documentation to support their adjustment requests, they may resubmit a petition for committee review.

At the end of each academic year, the AAC will submit a report on its activities to GEOC. The report will contain the number of cases reviewed in each category, and the outcome of each review.

Policy History:

Effective: December 11, 2006
Revisions proposed by the Senate Scholastic Standards Committee November 2017 and by the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee October 2017
Approved by University Senate December 2017