Alpha deeply appreciates the collaborative spirit we enjoy with the ACU faculty. In an effort to provide efficient coordination between Alpha and the ACU faculty, we've listed some resources and an FAQ so that faculty can get information quickly and easily. Please let us know how we can improve our collaboration with you!
The following text is required on all syllabi at ACU. Please copy and paste the text into your syllabus for each course...
ADA Compliance Statement
"Abilene Christian University is dedicated to removing barriers and opening access for students with disabilities in compliance with ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Alpha Scholars Program facilitates disability accommodations in cooperation with instructors. In order to receive accommodations, you must be registered with Alpha Scholars Program, and you must complete a specific request for each class in which you need accommodations. If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please call our office directly at 325-674-2667."
Frequently Asked Questions
"Do all of Alpha's students receive accommodations?"
No - only those with documented disabilities. Each student's documentation is carefully evaluated to determine what accommodations are necessary to address functional limitations in the classroom. While many of the students with disabilities receive similar accommodations, they are determined on an individual basis.
"Do I have to accommodate a student whom I believe to be disabled?"
No. It's a good idea to notify us if you believe that a student has a disability, but you should not provide any accommodation for disability unless you receive the official notification form from the student.
"A student told me that he has a learning disability, and that I must give him additional time - but he's never given me a 'Notice of Accommodations' form. Should I go ahead and accommodate him?"
No. Unless you receive a notification of accommodation from our office, you should not accommodate the student. Refer the student to Alpha, and we will evaluate whether and how he should be accommodated.
"Do I have to provide all of the accommodations listed?"
Yes, but in many cases, Alpha can take assist you in providing those accommodations (like in the case of extended time for exams). If you wish to negotiate an accommodation, it is highly recommended that you contact Scott Self rather than negotiating with the student. We have always been able to come to a solution that meets faculty concerns while maintaining the civil rights of the student.
"Do I have to allow my student to take exams in the Alpha Testing Center?"
No. The testing center is a service to the faculty, and streamlines the delivery of accommodations. In some cases, students need a reader, or other specialized accommodation, that can present a significant challenge to an instructor who is proctoring a class-full of students. We are deliberate in our approach to exam security, and have a staunch reputation in the area of test integrity - but if you wish to accommodate the student in your own fashion, it is entirely acceptable. Let us know if we can help
"Do students who have additional time for exams have an advantage over their peers?"
No. Research has consistently shown that students with disabilities who receive additional time for exams do not perform better than peers with less time. Extended time merely levels the playing field for students with reading, learning, or processing limitations. It is important to realize that some of our students with disabilities are the brightest students in your class, so they may outperform their peers merely because they are better prepared - but not because they received extended time.
A more specific policy statement related to Recording of Lectures can be found by clicking this link: Notetaking & Recording Policy
"I do not allow students to record my lectures, as I am worried that they will be shared outside of class. Do I have to allow a student who receives this accommodation record my lectures?"
Yes. If the student submits a notification of accommodations that includes "Recording of Lectures," you must allow the student to record. The Alpha Student Handbook addresses the security of these lectures, and provides for consequences up to and including dismissal from the university for sharing recorded lectures.
"What if we are discussing something in class where students are asked to share personal information?"
This is a situation where it make a great deal of sense to request that the student stop recording. The only caveat should be an agreement with the student that they will not be tested over material or discussions where the recording device was turned off.
A more specific policy statement related to Note-takers can be found by clicking this link: Notetaking & Recording Policy
"Do I have to provide a note-taker for students with this accommodation?"
No. We would request that you make an announcement in class to see whether there is a student who would like to provide a set of notes to another student. Alpha can provide that student with volunteer-hour credits for providing this service
"Are students who receive this accommodation expected to take notes?"
Yes. In situations where you observe that a student is relying solely upon the note taking of a peer, it is strongly recommended that you contact Alpha so that we can provide appropriate intervention.
Copies of Teacher's Notes
"Should I be expected to give a student a copy of my own outlines or manuscripts?"
No. This accommodation applies to visually presented material, like PowerPoint slides, or other elements projected on the screen. The purpose of this accommodation is to support students who may have difficulty copying down displayed notes while they are capturing lecture notes.
"I don't really have any visuals. Does this apply to me?"
Probably not. If you do not display anything in class, you likely don't need to worry about trying to provide this accommodation.
"I put all of my Power Point slides online for all of my students. Do I need to do more?"
Probably not. This is a prime example of "universal design for learning," where you've accommodated one student by providing something to all of the students. Consider yourself on the cutting edge of pedagogy.
"I write a lot on the white board. How can we accommodate a student in this instance?"
These days, I recommend that the student take a snapshot of the board to capture the notes. This is a clever method, not only because it solves the immediate problem, but captures the context of the information during study time.