Course Substitution Policy For Students With Disabilities
Course requirements for degrees granted by Butler University are
designed to provide a comprehensive education in both general
liberal arts and in the student's major field of study. In awarding
a degree, Butler University is recognizing the satisfactory
completion of a set of courses it deems representative of the
academic standards it upholds. In addition, all admitted students
are regarded as "otherwise qualified" to participate in any program
of academic study with or without reasonable accommodations.
Therefore, students with disabilities are not excused from degree
However, in some limited circumstances, substitution of a course
requirement may be determined to be a reasonable and appropriate
accommodation for a student with a properly documented disability.
An accommodation of this nature is considered only when it has been
confirmed that the student's disability makes completion of the
requirement impossible. Consideration of a course substitution is
done on a case-by-case basis. Course waivers are not typically
Gaining approval for a course substitution is often a lengthy
process. Therefore, it is recommended that the student initiate the
request early in the academic career. In most cases, it will be
necessary for the student to have declared a major before the
request can be considered. This will allow a determination to be
made as to whether or not the requested course substitution
represents a fundamental alteration in the chosen field of study.
The University retains the right to revoke a substitution in the
event that the student changes majors and the substituted course is
found to be essential to the newly declared major field of study.
In addition, it is difficult to guarantee a course substitution to
a student who is not yet enrolled in the University.
The final decision regarding a course substitution will rest
with the dean of the student's college except when the request
involves a core requirement. In the case of a core requirement, the
final decision will be made by the dean of the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences. In the event that the student has declared a
double major, the final authority regarding the course substitution
rests with the dean of the college whose course requirement is in
A student with a disability who would like to request a course
substitution as a reasonable accommodation should:
- submit the appropriate written documentation verifying a
disability that substantially limits the skills required for the
successful completion of the required course. Please refer to the
University Documentation Guidelines for information as to what
constitutes appropriate written documentation. The documentation
should be submitted to the office of Student Disability Services in
Jordan Hall Room 136.
- complete a Course Substitution Petition and write a statement
describing difficulties encountered in past attempts to perform
successfully within the subject area. The student should explain
how the disability has impacted these attempts. If attempts were
made to complete the requirement in a course offered at Butler
University, the professor's comments may be a valuable contribution
to the petition decision. Comments might include the professor's
observations about the student's efforts in the course, whether or
not the student made use of the professor's office hours, and any
accommodations that may have been utilized. This statement should
be submitted to the Director of Student Disability Services in
Jordan Hall Room 136.
- give written permission for the Director of Student Disability
Services to share relevant disability related information with
appropriate faculty/staff members as part of the decision-making
A committee consisting of no less than three but not more than
five members of the university community will then review the
student's request. Committee members will include but are not
limited to: representatives of the dean's office, of the department
of the course in question, of the students college and the director
of Student Disability Services. Other individuals relevant to the
requirement may also be included. The committee will be convened by
the director of Student Disability Services.
A statement outlining the findings of the committee and
suggesting course substitution alternatives, if applicable, will be
directed to relevant faculty/staff. This generally includes the
student's academic advisor, the director of Student Disability
Services, the dean of the college of the student's major(s), and if
applicable, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and
The student will be notified in writing by the dean's office of
the final decision. Written notification will be issued within
thirty days of the committee meeting. If the petition is not felt
to be a reasonable accommodation and as a result, is denied, the
student has the right to appeal the decision by following the
grievance procedures that are available through the Office of
Student Disability Services.
Specific Guidelines: Foreign Language Substitution
A student must follow the general procedure required to request
a course substitution. If the substitution is approved, the
suggested foreign language substitution is: four 3-credit courses
(6 credits of which must be on the 200 level or higher) focusing on
the culture of countries other than the United States. Culture is
defined broadly, so the courses can deal with history, literature,
politics, religion, music, etc. as long as the subject matter deals
with non-English speaking countries.
The choice of the courses is suggested by the student. However,
core courses which are being used to fulfill the core requirement
CANNOT also count as foreign language substitution courses.
Similarly, courses taken for the major or minor CANNOT also be used
as foreign language substitution courses.
Each individual course taken as a substitution must be approved
by the department chair of Modern Foreign Languages. Therefore,
each semester the student should make an appointment with the
department head to discuss the appropriateness of each course
before enrolling in it.
If you have any questions please contact:
Director of Student Disability Services
136 Jordan Hall
4600 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208-3485