The question and answer section that follows is intended for high school students and their parents as well as current students.
- To potential “Clarkies” and your parents, the questions and responses in this section will answer many of your questions about Clark University’s accessibility support services. We understand that each university’s support service will weigh heavily in on your decision regarding which college to attend. For this reason, we hope you read the questions and their responses carefully.
- To current Clark students, the questions and responses in this section will help you decide if you are eligible to receive accessibility services. We understand that some students may not want to share confidential information when first entering college and may choose to self-identify at some later point during their academic career.
If questions remain and if you’re a prospective student, contact our Student Accessibility Services Liaison in Admissions, Jerod Gibson-Faber at JGibsonFaber@clarku.edu.
If you are already a Clark student and have questions, call or email Student Accessibility Services. The phone number is +1-508-798-4368 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, you do. Clark’s University Advisory Board has established a minimum guideline that all students must complete. The minimum requirements include: 32 complete units (one unit is the equivalent of four semester credits per course), the fulfillment of both Critical Thinking requirements (Verbal Expression and Formal Analysis) and all of the Perspectives (Aesthetic, Global, Historical, Language and Culture, Scientific, and Values), and the completion of major requirements. Learn more about Clark’s Perspective system.
We recognize that learning disabilities might make a math course, a foreign language, etc. difficult for some to learn. For this reason, students are allowed to take a course Pass/Fail. To receive a passing grade, a student must earn a C- or better when taking a course Pass/Fail. It is not recommended that a student take more than two courses Pass/Fail while at Clark, but this option may be beneficial if a student feels a course might be too challenging or may hurt his or her grade point average (GPA).
The two requirements that many students with disabilities ask about are the Formal Analysis and Language & Culture requirements. Calculus and Statistics fulfill the formal analysis requirement, but there are other options. Courses in Geography, Economics, Sociology, Management, Philosophy, and Psychology fulfill the Formal Analysis requirement as well. In many cases, a student has to take a Research Methods course as a part of his or her major, and most of these courses fulfill the Formal Analysis requirement. These research skills courses are still math-based, but may not be as intimidating as a Calculus or Statistics course.
To fulfill the Language and Culture requirement, a student normally takes a foreign language. If a student has a disability that impacts their ability to learn a foreign language, taking American Sign Language (ASL) is generally a great option. Learning ASL is a lot different than learning a spoken language and it is well known as a language students with language based disabilities can learn and learn well! Some students have also found success in taking Latin.
Academic accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Office of Student Accessibility Services. The staff review the submitted documentation provided by a qualified practitioner and meets with the student in order to make this determination.
Some examples of accommodations for students with disabilities include:
- Extended time on all timed in-class tests
- Based upon the documentation provided, it is possible that extended time on a test will be a reasonable accommodation.
- Whenever possible, testing accommodations of extended time should be administered through the specific academic department. When this is not possible, students and faculty can request assistance from Student Accessibility Services.
- Computer access for written work and essay tests
If a student has the accommodation of computer access for tests, computer access should be made available through the specific academic department or Student Accessibility Services. Students are not allowed to use their own laptops for tests without written permission from their faculty member.
- Classroom relocation
Students with mobility impairments or chronic medical conditions who feel that a class location is not accessible may request classroom relocation. Student Accessibility Services will work with the Registrar’s Office to process these requests.
- Assistance in locating textbooks in an alternate format
- Clark University has an institutional membership with Bookshare. Students who qualify for text in alternate format may request assistance in locating and ordering their textbooks through Bookshare.
- Please review the policies for requesting text in alternate format.
- Use of recording device in classroom
Students who have had the accommodation of a note taker in high school find that using a recording device, such as a smartpen or an audio record program on a laptop, in class is a more appropriate accommodation. It is always advised that a student inform the faculty member that they will be recording the lecture.
Clark University requires that all students who are requesting accommodations submit recent (in most instances recent is considered to be within the past three years) documentation. This documentation is used to determine eligibility for accommodations and services and must clearly state the diagnosed disability, the functional limitations resulting from the disability, and how these limitations impact academic performance.
An individual qualified to diagnose the particular disability must write documentation on professional letterhead. See the documentation page on our Web Site.
Individualized Education Plans and 504 Plans are not considered sufficient documentation, but may be included with the necessary documentation.
The professional staff of Student Accessibility Services are available to meet with students who have self-identified and provided disability documentation. These meetings are at the request of the student and can take place as often as once per week, but most students find that they prefer to meet a few times per semester. These meetings can focus on various aspects of student support including:
- Course Selection
Student Accessibility Services staff work as secondary support to academic advisors and can assist students in course selection.
- Problem Solving
Student Accessibility Services staff can assist in problem solving academic concerns. Whether it is an issue in a certain course, or a difficult assignment, our office is more than willing to offer advice and brainstorm with students for possible options. Student Accessibility Services staff members are also happy to help students to connect with additional resources, both on and off campus.
- Organization and Time Management
Adjusting to college life can be a lot of fun, but it can also be difficult. We understand that it is likely that this will be the first time you have been on your “own.” We are available to help you figure out the best way to manage your academic, athletic, and even your social life.
- Connecting to resources
Student Accessibility Services strives to connect students to the many resources available to all students at Clark University.
Student Accessibility Services encourages college students with disabilities to self-advocate and to learn to articulate their personal strengths and weaknesses; self-advocacy and communication abilities are two of the most helpful skills that can increase successful outcomes for college students.
- Assistance in accessing text in alternate format
Some students may need to access their text in an alternate format. In this case, Student Accessibility Services will assist students in locating and ordering texts.
Students are encouraged to self-identify as early as possible. It is suggested that students self-identify as soon as they make their enrollment decision. A summer meeting or telephone conference to review documentation and discuss accommodations with Student Accessibility Services is strongly advised.
As a student with a disability, you are entitled to certain rights. The University must respect your rights, which include:
- Equal access to academics (courses and programs), services, jobs, activities, and other facilities available through the University.
- Reasonable and appropriate accommodations
- The expectation that the documentation you provide will be kept confidential. You have the choice over who can, and who cannot, know about your disability, that is, except where it’s required by law.
Your first responsibility is to self-identify. If you do not identify as a student with a disability, Student Accessibility Services cannot provide you with accommodations.
After you have self-identified, you should provide the office of Student Accessibility Services with the appropriate documentation. This documentation should adhere to all the documentation guidelines found on the Documentation Guidelines webpage.
Before every semester, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the office and request reasonable accommodations. In most cases, making this request within the first two weeks of school will provide sufficient time to implement accommodations. However, some accommodations require significant advanced notice (text in alternative format, accessibility requests, housing accommodations).
You should inform professors about your disability and arrange meeting with them. They will know that you are registered with Student Accessibility Services and receive accommodations if you have given permission to release that information. However, a meeting with the professor is still highly encouraged. You could tell the professor about how your disability might affect your performance and also about the necessary accommodations you will need. As Clark is a small school, you’ll come to know many professors (especially ones in your major), and establishing relationships with them will be beneficial to your educational experience.
You must request accommodations in a timely manner. For more information please read the accessing accommodations link.
All applicants must meet standard admissions requirements. The Admissions Office reviews all applications including those of students who have chosen to self-identify specific disabilities.
You do not have to self-identify during the admissions process, but the option is there to do so. If you wish to self-identify to Admissions, please contact their office and speak with the Admissions Liaison to Student Accessibility Services.