Course Substitution Policy
Stetson University's conception of bachelor degrees (BA, BS, BBA, BM, BME) includes the requirement that students have a broad experience with foundational skills in courses introducing them to the breadth of human knowledge. All students must be qualified to participate in a program of academic study with or without reasonable accommodations. Therefore, students with disabilities are not excused from course prerequisites, GPA requirements, or degree requirements.
In most cases, we have found that auxiliary aids have allowed us to offer reasonable accommodations in our required courses. Our broad range of degree programs also allows students to select degrees that draw on their academic strengths.
Course Substitutions: Course substitutions in general education or major fields of study are not permitted when a course is deemed essential for a degree requirement. Furthermore, any student who receives a substitution must fulfill the University's requirements by completing an alternative course or courses as determined by the Department Chair and Dean.
The following procedures must be followed if a student with a documented learning disability is seeking a course substitution as part of an approved accommodation plan:
- The petition process should begin as soon as there is strong objective evidence (e.g., previous documented difficulties) that the student will be unable to fulfill the requirement.
- The student must provide the Director of the ARC with current, relevant, and comprehensive documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. This documentation must substantiate a severe disability and its specific impact upon the student's ability in the specific area of required learning. Please refer to our documentation guidelines, available from the ARC.
- A complete case history is required to document the student's history of problems in the specific area of learning from high school until the date of the petition. This case history should include:
- a personal statement by the student indicating the reasons for the request, including prior experiences with the subject matter; and
- the names of courses and grades attesting to the student's efforts and diligence in attempting to master the subject matter in high school, at a community college and/or at a four-year institution.
Upon completion of these steps, the Director of the ARC will review the documentation and consult with the student's academic Dean, the chair of the department responsible for the requirement, and other professionals, as needed. A recommendation for approval or denial of a request for substitution will be forwarded by the Director of the ARC to the student's Dean, who will make the final decision.
Deadlines for Requests: A student requesting a course substitution must submit all necessary documentation no later than the end of his/her sophomore year in order to allow sufficient time to review the material and update documentation, if necessary. Thus, if a student plans to request a course substitution, it is in his/her best interest to do so upon enrollment in the university to ensure adequate time to complete the petition process. A transfer student must submit all documentation by completion of his/her first semester of enrollment.
Please note that accommodations and adjustments are not retroactive. That is, the student is eligible for disability support services based upon the date that he/she returns completed accommodations forms to the ARC, or the date that an academic adjustment is approved.
Appeals: If a student's request for a substitution is denied, he/she may appeal the decision in writing within seven (7) business days to the Council of Deans, Academic Affairs, Unit 8358. The student will be notified in a timely manner when the Council completes its review of the appeal.