2950P Accommodations for Reasons of Faith or Conscience

Original Date: 5/17/2016 * Last Revision Effective: 5/17/2016
Policy Contact: Vice President, Student Affairs

Purpose

The following procedures are established to meet the requirements for implementing policy #2950 – Accommodations for Reasons of Faith or Conscience.

Procedures

Bellevue College students are entitled to reasonable accommodations for reasons of faith or conscience. Students, regardless of their faith- or conscience-based beliefs, have an equal opportunity to access and benefit from curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings and activities. When College policy conflicts with student faith- and conscience-based beliefs and practices, the College will work with students to identify and implement reasonable accommodations.

(1)       To receive an accommodation, a student must fill out and submit a request for accommodation form to the Vice President Student Affairs or designee at least two-weeks prior to the desired start of the curricular, co-curricular, or extracurricular offering or as soon the student becomes aware of a conflict with College policy. All requests for accommodation must be submitted in writing and contain a concise explanation of how the requested accommodation is related to the student’s faith- or conscience-based belief.

(2)        Upon receiving a request for accommodation, the Vice President Student Affairs or designee will work with faculty, Instruction Office and the student to identify a reasonable accommodation. Accommodations granted under this policy must be approved by the Vice President Student Affairs or designee in advance of implementation.

(3)        The Vice President Student Affairs or designee may deny a request for accommodation if the proposed accommodation would (a) pose a legitimate threat to the health, safety or well-being of members of the College community, (b) fundamentally change the nature of the course or activity, or (c) result in an undue hardship to the College.

(4)        The Vice President Student Affairs or designee will provide the student with a document identifying the approved accommodation. The student is solely responsible for providing a copy of this document to each instructor or staff member overseeing a class or activity requiring reasonable accommodation.

(5)        Upon receiving a copy of the letter approving an accommodation, the instructor or staff member will determine what adjustments, if any, are necessary to activities, coursework, testing, and/or assignments. The instructor or staff member will inform the student of these adjustments in a timely manner. Regardless of an instructor’s or staff member’s expectations or grading policies, reasonable accommodations granted under this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grade or evaluation.

(6)        Instructors and staff members are not required to honor a request for accommodation that has not been reviewed, approved, and communicated in compliance with the foregoing procedures.

Student Holidays for Reasons of Faith or Conscience

Bellevue College students may take up to two days of excused absences per academic year for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a faith and conscience denomination, church, or faith and conscience organization. Students’ grades may not be adversely impacted by absences authorized under this policy.

  1. Each absence taken under this policy must be taken as a single academic day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours or otherwise taken in a piecemeal manner.
  2. Students must coordinate an absence with the Vice President Student Affairs or designee at least two-weeks prior to the desired absence. All requests for authorized absences under this policy must be in writing and contain a concise explanation of how the requested absence is related to a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a faith and conscience denomination, church, or faith and conscience organization.
  3. All absences under this policy must be approved in writing by the Vice President Student Affairs or designee in advance of the absence. The College will not authorize an absence for a student after the absence occurs except in rare circumstances.
  4. The Vice President Student Affairs or designee will provide the student with a document verifying the date of the approved absence and further instructions.
  5. Upon receiving notice of an upcoming absence, the instructor will determine what adjustments, if any, will need to be made to the student’s scheduled coursework or assignments. The instructor shall inform the student of these adjustments within a reasonable time after receiving the notice.
  6. If the absence date coincides with the date when a test is scheduled or an assignment is due, the instructor, at his or her discretion, can require the student to take the test or submit the assignment as agreed upon by the student and instructor instead of the regularly assigned date.
  7. Regardless of an instructor’s class expectations or grading policies, absences taken in compliance with this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grade.
  8. An instructor who does not receive advance notice of an authorized absence is not obligated to accommodate the student’s absence or to treat the absence as authorized under this policy or the law.

Appeal Process

A student whose request for an accommodation under this procedure has been denied may appeal the denial to the Vice President Student Affairs. The appeal must be in writing and must be delivered to the Vice President Student Affairs’ office within 10 days after the student receives notice of the denial. The written appeal should include a description of the reasons why the denial of the requested accommodation should be reversed.

Following receipt of the student’s review appeal, the Vice President Student Affairs or designee will investigate the situation, and provide a written decision to the student within ten (10) days of receiving the written appeal.

Relevant Laws and Other Resources

Revision History

Original 5/17/2016
Revisions

Approved By

President’s Cabinet
All College Council

Last Updated June 9, 2016