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Extension on Course Assignments

Students have the responsibility for completing all class work and are expected to meet all deadlines for assignments and tests. Faculty have the right to establish late work policies.

Under certain conditions, extended time to complete assignments and/or projects may be an appropriate accommodation. Some disabilities are episodic in nature with random or cyclical acute episodes and as a result the disability may occasionally impact the students’ ability to complete assignments and/or projects as quickly as needed. Students who are most likely to request deadline extensions are those with chronic health-related disabilities that flare up episodically. This might include students with lupus or fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, seizure disorders, cancer, migraines, and conditions requiring dialysis. Students with mental health disabilities may experience an exacerbation of symptoms that adversely impact their ability to function academically. 

Federal law requires universities to consider reasonable modification of academic policies if necessary to accommodate a student’s disability. In making this determination, two questions must be answered:

  1. Does the student have a documented disability that directly affects his/her ability to complete academic tasks as quickly as needed? DRC will make this determination on a review of documentation from the student’s licensed clinical provider and provide verification in a letter the student presents to the instructor.
  2. Does the design of the course rely on assignment/project contributions as a significant method for learning? Would modification of deadline policies result in a fundamental alteration of the curriculum? Faculty make this determination in consultation with DRC.

When Is Extra Time To Complete Assignments/Projects Not Reasonable?

There are some classes in which the due dates of assignments and/or projects cannot be adjusted for an individual student without resulting in fundamental changes to the course design. These tend to be classes that utilize team-based work, and failure to complete an assignment/project on time would compromise the educational experience of other students in the class. In such cases, meeting set deadlines would be an essential requirement for the course, and a Course Withdrawal or Incomplete Grade may be appropriate options.

Some students may register with the DRC late in the term or wait to give instructors notification of their accommodations. In such cases, instructors are not expected to provide accommodations retroactively.

Process for Use of Extension on Course Assignments

  1. Student submits an Accommodation Request through DRC Online Services, selecting Extension on Course Assignment for each class in which it may be needed.
  2. DRC emails a Notification of Accommodation to each instructor.
  3. DRC works with the instructor to determine if use of the accommodation would be appropriate for the class. If so, the Assignment/Project Deadlines Agreement Form is completed to outline how late work policies or assignment/project deadlines will be adjusted for the student. This agreement form is signed by the instructor and returned to the DRC within 3 business days of receipt.
  4. DRC sends a copy of the Assignment/Project Deadlines Agreement Form to the student when received back from the instructor. DRC, the student, and the instructor will all receive a copy of the agreement.
  5. If the student has concerns or questions regarding what the instructor has indicated in the agreement, DRC will resolve these issues with conversations between instructor and/or student.

Student Responsibilities

  • Understand the course policy regarding submitting the late work.
  • Upon request, provide the course syllabus to your DRC advisor to help with the basic understanding of the timing of assignments in relation to exams and other course requirements.

Instructor Responsibilities

  • Inform all students of your course policy regarding accepting/making up late work, including exceptions for extenuating circumstances such as illness, athletic travel, religious observation, etc.
  • Engage in an interactive process with DRC to discuss exceptions to late work policies. Instructors should never deny an accommodation authorized by DRC without first consulting with our office.
  • If exceptions to late work policies is determined to be educationally feasible for your course, establish clear expectations of how assignment/project deadlines and instructor notification will be handled in case of disability-necessitated absences.