Skip to main content

Accommodations for Students with Episodic Conditions

Students who have a disability or condition that is episodic in nature may experience unpredictable flare-ups that affect their attendance and/or ability to submit assignments on time. These students cannot predict how often they will miss class due to their disability or when a flare up in their condition will impact their ability to complete assignments on time. As a result, there are a few accommodations that students with an episodic disability or condition might receive.

Accommodation Descriptions

Attendance may be impacted due to flare-ups in the student’s condition. The student is expected to communicate with you directly should this be needed. Please reach out to us if you feel that the number of absences becomes unreasonable and may compromise the fundamental nature of the course requirements. Students and professors, with support from LSS if requested, should communicate about how this accommodation will be implemented at the beginning of the semester.

Timely submission of assignments may be impacted due to flare-ups in the student’s condition and they may require reasonable extensions. The student is expected to communicate with you directly should this be needed. Please reach out to us if you feel that the number of extensions becomes unreasonable and may compromise the fundamental nature of the course requirements. Students and professors, with support from LSS if requested, should communicate about how this accommodation will be implemented at the beginning of the semester.

Attendance and timely submission of assignments may be impacted due to flare-ups in the student’s condition and may require additional absences and reasonable extensions. The student is expected to communicate with you directly should this be needed. Please reach out to us if you feel that the number of absences or extensions becomes unreasonable and may compromise the fundamental nature of the course requirements. Students and professors, with support from LSS if requested, should communicate about how this accommodation will be implemented at the beginning of the semester.

Guidelines for this Accommodation

Learning Support Services staff members thoroughly review the student’s documentation and have a discussion with the student about their experience with the disability or condition before determining that these accommodations are appropriate for the student. This is determined on a case-by-case basis. We emphasize to the student that these accommodations do not give them free rein to miss class or to delay the submission of assignments.

How should a professor support a student with these accommodations? 

Students with these accommodations who are registered with Learning Support Services are expected to have a conversation with their professors after their accommodation letters have been sent out about how this accommodation will be implemented. Using the guiding questions below, students and professors should determine how and when the student will plan to communicate about a potential flare up that results in an absence or missed deadline. Consistent communication is a crucial component of this accommodation and students are responsible for informing their professors about when they are having a flare up and will need to utilize their accommodation.  

LSS staff members are available to participate and help facilitate this discussion between the professor and student. Please contact learning.support.services@villanova.edu if you would like us to support you with this process.

Are these absences and extensions unlimited?

We understand that there are reasonable limits to these accommodations based on the fundamental nature and requirements of a course and that if a student is unable to meet certain expectations for the course it may be necessary for the student to withdraw from the course or take a medical leave of absence. Please contact learning.support.services@villanova.edu if you need support determining whether the number of absences or extensions a student has requested means they are at risk of not or are no longer meeting the expectations for the course.

Assessing the impact of a student's absence

Attendance is essential to many classes. Beyond being present to absorb new information, many classes require students to engage in discussion and work through ideas as a class. Therefore, not being present in class denies the group the benefit of the voice of the absent student as well as making it impossible for faculty to assess that student's contribution and engagement through participation. Sometimes alternative methods of participation can be discussed, but there are cases when excessive absences may impact a student’s grade, even when accommodations are in place.

Questions for the Discussion Between the Student and Professor

When the student’s disability affects attendance:

  • How and when should the student inform the professor that an absence is related to the student’s disability or condition (i.e., via email, in person at the next class, within 24 hours of the absence, before the next class meets)?
  • How will the student complete and turn in any missed assignments and/or exams due to a disability-related absence?
  • Would a withdrawal or grade of incomplete be appropriate if absences become unexpectedly excessive?

When the student’s disability affects timely submission of assignments:

  • How and when will the student notify the professor that the student will need a specific extension (i.e., by email, phone, in person; before the assignment is due, right after the student misses the deadline)?
  • How much extra time will the student have to complete the assignment? This timeframe may be dependent on the type of assignment (i.e., essay, problem set).

Questions related to the overall essential requirements and fundamental nature of the course: 

(These questions are meant to help you assess what may be reasonable. LSS is not trying to evaluate your syllabus.)

  • What are the learning objectives and activities (individual/group projects, field trips, presentations) of the course?
  • How are student achievement and mastery of the course objectives demonstrated? How are they measured?
  • What is the method by which the final course grade is calculated? How is the final course grade calculated?

When the student’s disability affects attendance:

  • What does the course description and syllabus say about attendance?
  • Is attendance factored in as part of the final course grade?
  • What are classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?
  • Is the attendance policy consistently applied?
  • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students? Among students?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the course rely on student participation as a method for learning?
  • What is the impact on the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • Is there content only offered in class?
  • Are assignments used as class content when they are due? (e.g. problem sets reviewed as the first lecture on that content)

When the student’s disability affects timely submission of assignments:

  • What role do deadlines play in the design of the course?
  • How does the structure of deadlines affect a student’s ability to complete other assignments, to participate in class, or affect the essential requirements for the course?

Important Disclaimer

As the role of attendance and deadlines may vary based on the fundamental nature and essential requirements of each course, there are not set guidelines for how many absences or extensions are allowed with this accommodation. However, students who are eligible for this accommodation are still required to meet the standards and expectations for the course, as are outlined by the professor. A student whose disability related number of absences and/or extensions becomes excessive to the point that they are unable to meet the essential requirements for the course will have to consider withdrawing from the course, taking an incomplete, or taking a medical leave, if appropriate.

Image of LSS Logo, Villanova University Crest with Learning Support Services written underneath

Office of Learning Support Services

Location:

Learning Commons in                      Falvey Library, Suite 212

Address: 

800 Lancaster Avenue                      Villanova, PA 19085

Phone:

610.519.5176

Fax:

610.519.8015

Email:

learning.support.services@villanova.edu

Follow us:

@VillanovaLSS

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Meet Our Staff

Maps & Directions to Campus