Course substitution academic accommodation policy



It is the intent of Porterville College that all of its graduates demonstrate mastery of the competencies required by Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and successfully complete all of the specified courses required for graduation. PC recognizes that a disability may prevent a student from demonstrating competencies in math, reading, and/or writing or from successfully completing course/requirements in the same manner as would a student without a disability. PC also recognizes the need to provide accommodations for a student with a documented disability to the greatest extent possible without compromising either the student's chosen course of study or the integrity of any student's degree or certificate. The college also recognizes that disabilities that might preclude a student from this “same manner' demonstration of competency or from successful course completion may be overcome by providing a combination of appropriate accommodations.

For students with verified disabilities, the following are required:

  1. Consistent and persistent effort in attempting to meet the requirement, including at least one attempt to complete the required course or any of the prerequisite courses, using recommended academic accommodations such as: tutorial services, notetakers, auxiliary aids, testing accommodations, and taking a self-paced course when possible, except in those cases where the disability in the subject area is so severe that the student has no reasonable chance of passing the required course even with accommodations.
  2. The following are alternatives to the completion of the required course:
  • Substitution of another course: Substitution of another course or prerequisite course is permissible only if the course in question is peripheral to the student's course of study and the student has no reasonable chance of successfully completing the required course with all of the recommended accommodations.
  • Course waiver: This will be considered only when there is evidence that the student has met the above requirements by attempting and substituting and there are no viable alternatives.
  1. No more than one out of the three competencies may be waived for graduation.
  2. No more than one course (up to 6 units) may be waived.
  3. A waived course cannot be used as a pre-requisite for a higher level course.

In all cases, the student must demonstrate that he or she has taken advantage of all support services available to all students (e.g., tutorial services, supplemental instruction, notetaker services, auxiliary aids, testing accommodations, and slower paced versions of the same course) and that the reason for unsuccessful completion is not due to poor attendance or failure to complete class assignments or examinations. When attempting to complete the required course, the student must demonstrate that he or she has remained in the class at least until the ninth (9th) week.


The following criteria are recommended for evaluating a student's request:

  1. Documentation of disability with description of degree of educationally related functional limitations in the academic area under discussion.
  2. Evidence of the student's good-faith effort to meet the graduation requirement including:
    1. Consistent and persistent effort in attempting course work,
    2. Regular attendance and completion of all assignments
    3. Use of all appropriate and available services, such as tutorial assistance or instructional support services, and
    4. Use of all appropriate and available academic adjustments, such as test accommodations. These can be obtained via SARS reports.
  3. Evidence that the student is otherwise qualified by demonstrated success in completing course work in all other areas required for the degree. *see curriculum approved course substitution list
  4. An explanation of how the requested substitution fulfills the intended requirement.
  5. Evidence that the course in question is peripheral to the student's course of study, major, transfer goals, or employment goals, and that the student will not require further classes or training in the specified subject area.
  6. In case of a requested waiver, documented evidence of course attempts and course substitutions (if available).


The student will complete Section 1 of the “Course Substitution as an Academic Accommodation” (CSAA) petition and submit it to the Disability Resource Center Coordinator with the following attachments:


  1. A written statement from the student of the nature of the difficulties the student has faced in the subject area being substituted
  2. A copy of the student's transcript to verify good academic standing in the district for two semesters.
  3. A copy of the student's Comprehensive Student Educational Plan to verify student educational goal.

The DRC Coordinator and/or LD Specialist will complete section 2 of the CSAA petition and will then determine the most appropriate course of action. For purposes of determining the appropriateness of a requested substitution or waiver, the Academic Accommodations Committee will be supplemented with a Counselor, the division chair from the discipline where the substitution/waiver is being requested, a faculty member from another discipline, an LD Specialist and a DRC Faculty Member. The Chair of this augmented Committee shall be a DRC Faculty member.

The Committee will review all evidence presented by the student. The Committee's decision will be determined by a majority vote. The Committee will record its decision on section 3 of the CSAA Petition and forward to the Director of Enrollment Services within 10 business days of receiving the original petition. Any course or requirement substitution or waiver will be noted on the student's transcript.

The appeal process for this policy shall be the same as that for the PC Complaint Procedures and will be determined by the VP of Student Services.

Note: PC students will be made aware that a substitution or waiver granted by the college may not be recognized at another college or university.

1: “Academic requirements that the college can demonstrate are essential to the program of instruction being pursued by the student, or directly related to licensing requirements, will not be regarded as discriminatory.” -34 C.F.R. 104.44(a) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

2: Physical disabilities are verified through a report from the student's attending physician. These verifications are kept on file in the DRC Office. Learning Disabilities are verified through a testing process prescribed by the California Community College Chancellor's Office and administered by the Learning Disability Specialist on campus.