Foreign Language Course Substitution

Procedure for Students with Eligible Disabilities
General Information
Students with majors in the College of Arts and Sciences and Perimeter College may have a foreign language core course requirement for graduation. In some instances, a disability is such that it interferes with the ability to acquire a new language through participation in collegiate level courses.

Most commonly this accommodation applies to a limited number of students with learning disabilities or other cognitive disabilities that significantly affect language. It may also apply to students who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have speech disorders.

Before beginning the petition process, students should consult with their Access and Accommodations Center provider to determine whether a foreign language course substitution might be supported because of significant language-related limitations caused by their disability.

Students with learning disabilities who have been evaluated by the Regents Center for Learning Disorders should refer to the “Recommendations” section at the end of their testing reports to determine whether the center recommended a course substitution.

Students with learning disabilities who have been tested by other professionals or students who are deaf, or hard of hearing or who have speech disorders will need to request a review of their disability documentation through the Access and Accommodations Center (AACE) to determine whether a course substitution can be supported by this office.

Foreign language course substitutions are granted by the College of Arts and Sciences or the Academic Department within Perimeter College after reviewing students’ petitions and their supporting documentation. Students seeking a course substitution should:

  • Obtain the form, Petition for Modification of Degree Requirements.
  • Forms are available in the Deans office in the College of Arts and Sciences, AACE, and on the Perimeter Colleges’ Academic Advising offices.
  • Follow the instructions on the form carefully. Students must remember the following:
    • Verification of a disability that significantly impacts acquisition of a foreign language must be provided in the form of a letter sent directly from the student’s Access and Accommodations Center Provider to the College of Arts and Sciences or the Academic Department with Perimeter College

      The substitute course curriculum must significantly address the understanding of a foreign culture. Students may recommend a course for substitution by including a course description along with their petition. (Some examples of courses that meet this criterion include Cultural Anthropology, and certain courses in psychology, sociology, social work and other disciplines that focus on understanding a foreign culture.)

  • Failure to provide clear support for the request, as well as appropriate courses for substitution, will likely result in denial of the petition.
  • The student must write a narrative explanation of the reason supporting their request, in addition to the verification of the impact of the disability from the Access and Accommodations Center Provider.
  • Remember that a single course cannot fulfill two separate academic requirements (i.e., a single course cannot fulfill both a requirement for the student’s major and also for a core course requirement)
  • Start well in advance. Students may need additional time if further testing or information is required to support the impact of the disability. Also, the committee meets only a few times per semester.
  • Notify AACE Provider well in advance of the need for their supporting letter.