If a student has a disability-related need for a modification to the college curriculum he/she must petition the Academic Standing Board. The petition must substantiate the nature and the severity of the disability, describe how his or her disability impacts the ability to complete a particular curricular requirement, present a history of previous attempt to complete similar course work and suggest alternatives to fulfill the requirement. Clear and convincing documentation is needed to support the statements in the student’s petition.

A modification or waiver from a previous institution or high school does not guarantee approval at Denison. Curricular requirements at Denison are never waived, only modified, and based on the limitations related to the disability.

Denison has a general education package which includes a modern language requirement for all students regardless of the major but based on the nature and severity of a disability, some students may choose to petition to modify the requirement using the policy outlined below. If a petition to modify the language requirement is successful, students take courses taught in English within the curriculum that demonstrate a breadth and depth of one given culture. It is highly advised that the student make this request early in their academic career in order to best plan course selections and degree completion. A student should complete a Miscellaneous Petition form which includes a signature of the faculty advisor and any additional relevant faculty members and submit it to the Registrar’s office on the first floor of Doane Hall.

The student should address the following questions as part of their personal petition statement:

  1. What is your disability and how does it impact your ability to learn a foreign language? How is this different from learning other subjects despite your disability?
  2. 2. What has your history/experience with a foreign language been? In high school? At Denison?

Once the student’s petition is prepared, the Academic Resource Center will provide a memo to the Academic Standing Board that supplements the student’s petition. This memo will capture the details in a student’s disability documentation which support the student’s petition to modify the foreign language requirement. Again, the documentation must describe how the nature and severity of a disability impact the study of a foreign language in relation to other academic subjects.

If the petition is approved, the student will then meet with the Chair of the Modern Language department to identify courses throughout the Denison curriculum which can be used to fulfill the requirement as modified.

NOTE: Advance coursework in a foreign language is an essential element of the following academic programs and thus, not eligible for curricular modification: Majors - Global Commerce, French, Spanish, German, and Concentrations - Latin and Caribbean Studies, Middle East & North African Studies.