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Health & Disabilities

Medical Notices

We believe that learning to balance life circumstances and academic responsibilities is an important part of our students’ college education. Just as an employee is responsible for self-reporting illness and other medical issues to a supervisor, students should communicate directly with their professors regarding medical matters.

The Health Center staff encourages students to make responsible decisions with regard to illness and class attendance. Be aware of the attendance policy for EACH class. Contact the professor by email if you are unable to attend and request direction to complete missed work.

Medical notices will be sent through the Office of Student Life when deemed appropriate by the medical staff. They will NOT be granted to allow an absence for a general complaint of feeling unwell, but are reserved for serious medical situations and extended illness only.

The Health Center does NOT provide absentee notes for missed classes.

The Health Center will NOT provide students with excuses for short-term absences from class, labs, studios, exams, or deadlines due to illness, injury, or other medical appointments. In the event of a prolonged illness or injury requiring medical attention and an absence of more than three days, the Health Center can provide students appropriate documentation through the Office of Student Life.

The Health Center cannot disclose if a student has been seen without the student’s consent. The Health Center will not release medical records to faculty, only to students. This policy reflects the confidentiality and privacy rights afforded Gordon College students.

Disabilities Services

Services for students with disabilities are coordinated either through the Office of Student Life, or through the Academic Success Center (ASC) depending on the type of disability.

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

Terry Charek, Dean of Student Care
Office of Student Life
Lane Student Center (upper level)
Phone: ext. 4263

Services for students with mobility disabilities or other disabilities that require accommodations relating to physical access:

As part of Gordon’s commitment to the holistic education and personal development of each student, the College provides a variety of support services and assistance for those with physical disabilities. We aim to assist students in learning to advocate for their own needs and to help them discover and articulate with confidence their abilities and goals. The advisor for students with physical disabilities works closely with each individual in assessing his/her needs, designing support services and growth opportunities, and coordinating the efforts of other offices (e.g., Housing, Registrar, and Physical Plant Offices, and Health and Counseling Centers, etc.) in making our facilities and programs accessible. Examples of physical accessibility requests may include such things as particular residence hall locations; residence hall room design that permits wheelchair access; an elevator key to permit access to certain classrooms; modifications to the fire alarm warning system for a hearing-impaired student; or special door-entry hardware.

Requests for accommodations should be made well before on-campus housing is assigned (by May 20 for August matriculation and November 1 for January matriculation). Contact Terry Charek at ext. 4263.

LEARNING DISABILITIES, ADHD, HEALTH, AND OTHER CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT ACADEMIC ACCESS

Ann Seavey, Director
Academic Success Center (ASC)
Jenks Library (4th floor)
Phone: ext. 4746, 4743
FAX: 978.867.4675
ann.seavey@gordon.edu
asc@gordon.edu

Gordon is committed to providing students with disabilities equivalent access to a Gordon education in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including Section 504 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, by providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations.

Accommodations can include alternative format of texts, extended time for exams, note-taking assistance, special advising, use of adaptive technology, enlarged print, Braille, assistive listening devices, and others determined to be reasonable and in keeping with academic and technical standards. The Academic Success Center also provides one-to-one assistance for learning new strategies, time management and study skills, and directs students to other services offered. (See above, Academic Success Center.)

DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES

Any student who intends to request services because of a disability must contact the Academic Success Center director by phone, by email, or in person. (See information above.) This should be done in a timely manner prior to the need for the request.

Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis in an interactive process with each student; each student’s history, experience, condition and documentation are considered in determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations. See our website for more information and for documentation guidelines.

Students are encouraged to submit any prior assessments or evaluations which may assist in determining accommodations. Prior IEPs and 504 plans may also provide helpful information.

For chronic medical conditions, sensory disabilities, or other health impairments that impact academic progress (such as fibromyalgia, cancer, diabetes, blindness, bipolar disorder), documentation recommended may vary depending on the condition. Please contact Ann Seavey at ext. 4746 for specific information. For physical access concerns contact Terry Charek, Dean of Student Care, at ext. 4263. The Academic Success Center's website for additional information about documentation.

PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING ACCOMMODATIONS

  1. Contact the Academic Success Center at 978.867.4743 and make an appointment with an ASC staff person to discuss the accommodations you are requesting and the procedures for obtaining them. Submit written documentation (see Documentation Guidelines above) by email, by fax, or in person.
  2. Each semester, obtain confidential Faculty Notification Forms from the ASC and sign release of information forms, test taking contract, and policies forms.
  3. Deliver Faculty Notification forms to your professors within the first full week of classes if possible. Early planning is essential, especially for certain accommodations.
  4. Set up follow-up appointments to discuss your needs with your professors.
  5. Follow procedures for receiving ongoing accommodations (extended time, copies of notes, etc.) as directed by ASC. (See www.gordon.edu/asc for details.)
  6. In the case of a conflict with a faculty member regarding an accommodation, contact the ASC immediately. The ASC works interactively with students and faculty to solve any accommodation issues. If the situation is not resolved satisfactorily, the grievance procedure can be initiated. For more information, see our web page.

Grievance Policies and Procedures Related to Discrimination

The purpose of this grievance procedure is to provide students with prompt and equitable investigation and resolution of allegations of unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin. This procedure covers grievances brought under Title IX, which forbids sex discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance; Section 504, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity of the College; the Age Discrimination Act, which prohibits age discrimination in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance; and other federal laws prohibiting discrimination of any person based upon a protected status listed above.

Any student of Gordon College may use this procedure. It is not intended to replace or duplicate existing grievance procedures. This procedure does not deprive a grievant of the right to file a complaint with enforcement agencies external to the College.

Inquiries or complaints may also be directed to:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Boston Office
John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse, Room 701
Post Office Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
617.223.9662

For additional information regarding procedural steps, contact the Office of Student Life. In all grievance cases the dean of student care will advise the grievant of the procedural steps involved, advise the grievant of the various internal and external options available to him/her, assist in the definition of the charges made, and will seek a timely resolution. It is the responsibility of the grievant to meet all the conditions for filing a grievance.

Note: There are also grievance and appeal procedures that relate to student issues such as sexual harassment, grades, academic standing, behavior on campus, and petitions over billing and parking violations. For information on such appeals, consult the Office of Student Life or the Student Handbook. The director of Human Resources will handle employee discrimination issues under the College’s employment policies.

INFORMAL RESOLUTION

Prior to initiating the formal complaint procedure set down below, it is recommended the student make every attempt to resolve the issue in an informal manner.

The dean of student care upholds the rights of students to secure access and accommodations in accordance with Section 504 and protects students against discrimination under Title IX and the Age Act. The College maintains a philosophy of student self-advocacy and the right to pursue a grievance through the formal grievance procedure. Should a student feel he/she has not been treated in a fair or professional manner with regard to access and accommodations or has been discriminated against under any of the bases listed in the first paragraph above, the student is encouraged to pursue the following procedure.

Student Responsibilities (Informal Resolution)

  1. The student should discuss his/her problem(s) with the instructor of the course or appropriate department representative directly unless extenuating circumstances prohibit doing so.
  2. If a conversation with the course instructor or department representative does not settle the situation, the student should then discuss the problem with the head of that department.
  3. If a meeting with the head of the department does not resolve the grievance, the student should discuss the problem(s) with the dean of student care.
  4. If the dean of student care is unable to assist in informally resolving the problem(s), the student will be referred to the formal grievance procedure.

It is expected that both complaints and responses should happen in a timely manner so grievances may be settled as quickly and at the lowest level possible. Informal procedures should be resolved within 45 days of the alleged act so a grievant has ample time to prepare a written complaint for a formal grievance.

FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

  • The grievance must be filed in writing with the vice president for student life within 60 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The statement must contain the grievant name, address, and the date and description of the alleged act. Complaints should be sent to the following address:
    Dean of Student Care, 
    Office of Student Life, 
    Lane Student Center
  • Time limits within this procedure may be extended by mutual agreement of the grievant and the provost of the College, with the exception of the 60-day limit for initial filing of the grievance.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint, the vice president for student life will review the complaint for timeliness and appropriateness for this grievance procedure, and will provide the grievant with written notice acknowledging its receipt.
  • The vice president for student life will promptly initiate an investigation or assign the investigation to the appropriate oversight committee.
  • Upon completion of the investigation, and within 45 days of the initial filing or sooner if time is of the essence to the matter, the vice president for student life will submit to the student, and to the party against whom the grievance is directed, a Final Report containing a summary of the investigation and the outcome.
  • The grievant or any party against whom the grievance or the proposed disposition is directed may appeal. The appeal should be directed to the provost in Frost Hall. The appeal should be in writing and submitted to the Provost’s Office within 10 days of the date of the Final Report. The decision of the provost shall be final. The final decision will be distributed to all parties.
  • The decision of the provost shall be final and cannot be appealed through any other grievance or appeal procedures at the College.
  • Failure of the grievant to file within the 10-day appeal period will be deemed a withdrawal of the grievance. When a complaint is filed with a state or federal enforcement agency or when court action is initiated, internal grievance procedures need not be used.