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Religious Accommodations

Policy Overview

Stevenson University is committed to creating an inclusive campus community that values and respects all of its members. Reflecting this commitment, the University will make good faith efforts to accommodate a student’s sincerely held religious practices or beliefs, unless such accommodation would create an undue hardship for the University or interfere with the student’s ability to achieve relevant learning outcomes.

It is the responsibility of students seeking religious accommodation to identify themselves (self-identify) to the Assistant Vice President (AVP) in the Office of Student Success. Given the complexities of religious beliefs and practices, “reasonable accommodation” is determined on an individual basis, and no accommodation will be made that fundamentally alters the content, nature, or requirements of a course.

Definitions

  1. A "reasonable accommodation” is any change in an academic course or program of study with respect to the way tasks or responsibilities are customarily done that enables a student to observe his/her/their religious practices or beliefs without creating undue hardship.
  2. “Undue hardship” occurs when granting a requested accommodation would require significant expense or difficulty for the University, or would result in the inability of the student to achieve relevant learning outcomes. The determination of undue hardship is dependent on the facts of each individual situation.

Policy and Procedures

Stevenson University will attempt to provide a reasonable accommodation of a student’s sincerely held religious practices or beliefs, unless the University believes such an accommodation would create an undue hardship for the University or interfere with the student’s ability to achieve relevant learning outcomes. Reasonable accommodation must be requested by the student in accordance with the procedures outlined in this policy. Regardless of any accommodation that may be granted, Stevenson University students are responsible for satisfying all academic objectives, learning outcomes, and program requirements.

Many programs of study require internships, clinicals, capstones, or other types of practical experiences, which often take place at external partner institutions such as schools, hospitals, laboratories, or businesses. Students should be aware that these partner institutions may offer a limited range of scheduling options; therefore, students should inquire about these limitations before declaring a major that requires off-site work or study.

The forms referred to in this procedure are available on the University’s Academic Affairs portal site.

  1. It is the responsibility of the student to complete and submit a Request for Religious Academic Accommodation form to the AVP Student Success prior to the Add/Drop deadline each semester or term in which accommodation is sought.
  2. The AVP Student Success will discuss the request with the student and review the Request for Religious Academic Accommodation form. The AVP may discuss the basis of the request with others if necessary to assist with verifying and/or accommodating the request, and may require the student to provide supporting documentation.
  3. The AVP Student Success will determine whether or not reasonable accommodation should be granted, and will generate an Authorization of Religious Academic Accommodation memorandum for the student to use in making requests of faculty members for reasonable accommodation.
  4. It is the responsibility of the student to review the Authorization of Religious Academic Accommodation memorandum with his/her/their faculty members within one week of receipt or prior to the date of the first accommodation, whichever date comes first. The faculty member and the student should discuss what a reasonable accommodation should include in a given case.
  5. If the instructor and student agree upon a reasonable accommodation, then the accommodation is documented using the Religious Academic Accommodation form and implemented.
  6. If there is no consensus on a reasonable accommodation, then the student, the faculty member, or both should seek the advice of the faculty member’s immediate supervisor (Program Coordinator, Department Chair, or Associate Dean). If there is no resolution through discussion with the Program Coordinator, Department Chair, or Associate Dean, then the student, the faculty member, or both should seek the advice of the School Dean.
  7. If there is no consensus on a reasonable accommodation following discussion with the School Dean, then the student may file an appeal through the Student Complaint Policy,
  8. It is the responsibility of the student to renew religious accommodations each semester according to the procedures and deadlines described in this policy. Accommodations do not carry over from semester to semester.

Authorized and reasonable accommodations for religious observances do not relieve the student from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.

(Approved June 2019)

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