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Student Access & Resources

The Student Access and Resources department provides a central location for services that support academic achievement for students.

Our Goals:
• To provide effective services, materials, and resources to enable students with disabilities to participate as fully as possible in educational opportunities at the College.
• To promote inclusiveness and successful experiences for all students.
• To ensure compliance with the college policies and federal guidelines.

Students requiring more information should contact Julie Dill, Director of Student Access and Resources at (231) 843-5942, jdill@westshore.edu, or stop by the student services office in the Schoenherr Campus Center.

 

Decisions regarding academic accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process involving the student and the Director of Student Access & Resources. Reasonable accommodations allow students with disabilities to access their courses and course materials at the same level as their peers without altering the fundamental nature of the course or program of study. Students should request academic accommodations from the Director of Student Access & Resources if:

  • They have a documented disability that affects major life functions
  • They had an IEP or 504 Plan in high school
  • They are clients of a vocational rehabilitation, Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, or a related agency
  • They received academic accommodations at another college or university

For more information regarding Mental Health Services, please visit this page.

Disabilities Services Questions & Answers

Who is eligible?

The law defines an individual as disabled if:

• a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
• a record of such an impairment exists;
• regarded as having such impairment.

Under the law, learning, reading, thinking, concentrating, walking, hearing, and manual tasks are all considered major life activities. Individuals with disabilities who desire special services should contact the Director of Student Access and Resources for more information.

 

Is documentation of a disability required in order to receive academic adjustments or to use adaptive software or equipment?

Documentation of a disability is especially helpful when assessing a student’s unique needs with the goal of helping the student achieve academic, personal, or career success. The requested documentation may include the results of medical, psychological, or emotional diagnostic tests, or other professional evaluations, including an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).

Is West Shore responsible for identifying students with disabilities?

At the postsecondary level, it is the student’s responsibility to make a disability known and to request academic adjustments. To inquire about support services for a disability, students at West Shore must contact the Director of Student Access and Resources via telephone at (231) 843-5942 or email at ceshay@westshore.edu or come to Student Services in the Schoenherr campus center. The Director of Student Access and Resources will determine any academic adjustments.

What are Reasonable Academic Adjustments?

Reasonable academic adjustments provide equal opportunity for students with disabilities to obtain the same level of achievement as all other students while maintaining the standards of excellence of the college. More information about common academic adjustments can be found at Assistive Technology Available and Common Academic Adjustments.

What if disagreements arise regarding disability concerns or academic adjustments?

West Shore Community College’s Compliance Officers are responsible for administering the College’s complaint/grievance procedure as well as ensuring compliance with applicable laws. The Dean of Student Services is the designated as the ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer and the Dean of Occupational Programs is the Section 504 Compliance Coordinator. Contact information is as follows:

Compliance Coordinator: Christy Christmas – cchristmas1@westshore.edu
Dean of Occupational Programs 231.843.5834

Compliance Officer: Chad Inabinet – ceinabinet@westshore.edu
Dean of Student Services 231.843.5965

Appeals: Dr. Mark Kinney – mkinney@westshore.edu
Vice President of Academics and Student Services 231.843.5923

When Should I Use the ADA/504 Complaint/Grievance Procedure?

The ADA/504 Complaint/Grievance Procedure is designed to address disputes that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Requested services or academic adjustment dispute
  • Disagreement regarding a College practice or procedure as they pertain to a disability
  • Concerns regarding access to a program or activity
  • Discrimination on the basis of disability
  • Violation of privacy as it pertains to a disability
Informal Complaint Process

West Shore Community College encourages, but does not require, students to first attempt to resolve concerns by initiating a meeting with the faculty, administrator or staff member with whom the original concern or disagreement originated. After this meeting if the student believes the matter cannot be resolved through this informal process then students are encouraged to meet with the ADA/Section 504 Compliance Coordinator. The Coordinator will discuss the student’s right to file a formal grievance and will assist the student in understanding the formal grievance process.

Formal Grievance Process

Formal grievances must be submitted to the ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer within 30 working days of the date on which the alleged discriminatory action took place, or after disposition of the informal complaint process. Students are encouraged to file the grievance as soon as possible in order to ensure a prompt resolution. Formal grievances involving an ADA/Section 504 issue should adhere to the following process:

Grievances shall be in written form and must contain the name, address, email, and telephone number of the individual filing the grievance. Grievances shall describe, in detail, the alleged violation, any individuals involved, the date, and location of the event. Include any efforts made to resolve the issue informally and a statement of the requested remedy.

Upon receipt of the formal grievance, the Compliance Officer shall initiate an investigation. The investigation may include interviews or consultations with any individual the Compliance Officer believes to have relevant information pertinent to the grievance, including faculty, staff, and/or students.

Both the individual filing the grievance and the party against whom the grievance is directed shall have the right to have a representative. Should either party be assisted by a representative that party shall be named. For purposes of the investigative procedure an attorney is not an appropriate representative as the proceedings are an internal WSCC function. The representative may speak to and advise the grievant but may not speak on behalf of the grievant or ask questions directly during the interview or consultation.

At the completion of the investigation the Compliance Officer shall prepare a written response to the grievance and provide a copy to each party involved. The written report shall summarize the investigation, including but not limited to the written findings and the proposed disposition. This response shall be issued within 10 working days of receipt of the formal grievance. The 10 working day time period may be extended, in general, for academic breaks or college closings.

The proposed disposition shall be acted upon immediately. Parties involved shall have the right of appeal. The appeal process is outlined below and shall be followed within 10 working days of the written investigative report and proposed disposition being issued.

If a grievance is being filed against the Compliance Coordinator or the Compliance Officer, then the grievance should be filed with the College’s Title IX Officer.

Final Appeals Procedure

Within 10 working days of the issuance of the proposed disposition the parties involved may appeal to the President or designee. An appeal shall be filed in writing and shall contain the basis on which the appeal is being filed. The appeal must be directed only to matters involved in the original grievance itself, not to any new issues. The written appeal shall contain name, address, telephone number, email address, the reason(s) for disagreement with the initial decision, and the requested outcome. The President or designee shall have access to all information used to arrive at the initial decision and may also investigate further. A response to the appeal shall be issued in writing within 10 working days after the receipt of the appeal. The decision of the President or designee shall be final.

Following the WSCC complaint / grievance procedure does not prevent an individual from filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

Students desiring more information about their legal rights and responsibilities should read the following document published by the Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights: Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities.