Special Accommodations Available for Students

Several professors at Augustana are offering special accommodations for their students.
This drive to accommodate all students seems to stem off of the college’s Non-Discriminatory policy, which reads, “Augustana College administers its educational programs under its policy that all admissions criteria, services, programs, employment and housing shall be maintained at all times on a non-discriminatory basis with regard to age, sex, race, color, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental handicap, military status or unfavorable discharge from military status in employment.”
The administration and faculty work closely with students to ensure all needs are being met. The focus on providing special accommodations for students is a school-wide mission; however, some faculty members put more of an emphasis on the idea than others, by discussing available options in class and/or directly stating it on their class syllabus.
Psychology professor, Shara Stough hopes to empower her students to take responsibility for their learning, a skill which she believes will not only benefit them at Augustana, but also in their lives after college.
“My priority in my classroom is to let students know that I respect their efforts to advocate for their own learning needs,” Stough said. “I say this on the first day and repeat it throughout the term. I say it on my syllabi and I post help session times and a youcanbook.me link on our class Moodle page so it is easy for students to schedule appointments to meet with me.”
Seniors Jenna Jensen, Courtney Tate, and Rebecca Schultz have all witnessed professors pushing this idea of providing special accommodations to those who need it most.
“It’s written on some of my syllabi, or my professors will say, ‘If you ever need special accommodations, you can have them’”, Jensen said. “Especially considering tests, like if you have test anxiety, ADHD, ADD, anything like that. Then they’ll put you in a separate room or something along those lines.”
Faculty strive to make sure students are excelling in the classroom and performing to the best of their abilities, something which may only be achievable by some through receiving special accommodations.  
“They (professors) offer you accommodations if you need them,” Schultz said. “Extended time, taking your test in a different room, there are a lot of options for students. I’ve had people in my classes who have done this.”
Tate commented on how well-done the special accommodation scenarios are handled by administration and faculty.
“They’re very professional about it,” Tate said. “They don’t emphasize it to the class. It’s usually just confidential and not made into a big deal at all.”
Students who are seeking special accommodations should refer to their syllabi and professors to see what options are available to them in a particular class.
All special classroom accommodation requests go through Coordinator of Student Success Services, Yen Dao.
“Research shows that students who are diagnosed with a disability do significantly better when they receive accommodations designed to neutralize the impact of the disability,” Dao said. “ Unlike high school, it is the students’ responsibility to request accommodations. Self advocacy is extremely important in getting the accommodations in college.”
Stough echoed Dao’s statement.
“I frequently remind younger students how much I respect students that seek out help and that it is a strength and indicates they care about learning,” Stough said.
Augustana College professors and administrators are focused on providing accommodations which will allow all students to be successful.