Some students with disabilities experience difficulty with learning a modern language. After considering curricular options, if a student with a disability feels his/her participation in a course would still be limited, even with the use of appropriate accommodations, the student may wish to initiate a request for a substitution of the language requirement. The decision to grant a substitution is based on an individual's learning history, documentation of a disability that impairs modern language acquisition, and future educational goals. Additional testing to further document the presence of a language based learning disability may be required for a successful petition. Eligibility is determined by the Director of Student Disability Services and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the modern language substitution is granted, two alternate courses on the approved Alternate Course List are substituted for the required general education modern language courses.

In order to establish eligibility for a modern language substitution, students are required to submit the following to Student Disability Services:

  1. Modern Language Substitution Request Form
  2. A personal statement to describe your history of difficulty in modern languages to this point and the reason for your request. This statement should include:
    • Prior experiences with modern languages 
    • How your disability specifically interferes with learning a modern language 
    • The names of the courses attempted and grades received attesting to your efforts and diligence in attempting to master modern language courses with or without accommodations
  3. Documentation of a learning disability (psycho-educational or neuropsychological) or other related disability (see documentation guidelines for requirements). If we already have this on file you do not need to submit a second copy.
  4. Record of previous history taking a modern language.  Examples include but are not limited to high school transcript or college transcript (an unofficial copy is acceptable).

Decision Process

All documents will be reviewed, and Student Disability Services will submit a recommendation to Dr. Molly Minus, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

If approved, students should review the Alternate Course List, and consult their academic advisor regarding specific degree requirements. This course substitution only applies to the general education modern language requirement. The course/s selected cannot fulfill any other general education requirement. 

Student Disability Services reserves the right to determine eligibility for a modern language substitution based on the submitted documentation.