Guide for Students Requesting Accommodations

Introduction

Ferris State University is committed to following the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Accommodations are implemented to provide equity to students. They are not intended to lower academic standards or provide any student with an advantage over others.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for any student who has significant special needs (such as learning disabilities, language barriers, requires additional time for an exam, etc.).

Ferris State University College of Pharmacy students who have, or think they may have a disability are encouraged to contact the Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services (ECDS) to schedule a formal evaluation and obtain proper paperwork.  More information is available at https://www.ferris.edu/htmls/colleges/university/disability/.

Contact: 231.591.3057 or email [email protected]

Accommodations need to be approved initially by ECDS and re-approved every semester the student is requesting accommodations.  Any costs incurred in the documentation process will be the responsibility of the student.  To assure that there is adequate time to review the request and determine accommodations on a case-by-case basis; students should make an appointment with ECDS well in advance of any need.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the guidelines before starting each semester.  Accommodations can not be made retroactively.

Process for College of Pharmacy Students

Once students obtain an approval letter (VISA) from ECDS, students must meet with the course coordinator for each class the student plans to utilize accommodations.  The purpose of the course coordinator-student meeting will be to discuss the implementation of a reasonable plan to help accommodate specific needs while still assuring course requirements are satisfactorily completed.  Under certain circumstances, a member of ECDS may be brought into this interactive process.  Course coordinators are encouraged to document the accommodation plan. Students may set up a meeting with course coordinators at any time during the academic year, but it is highly recommended to do this well in advance of any need according to the preferred timelines noted in the tables below.

Common accommodations seen within the CoP are extended time and/or reduced noise environment for written assessments (exams, tests, and quizzes).  However, due to various methods of student assessment (see box below), other types of reasonable accommodations may be necessary.  Each accommodation request will be handled on a case-by-case basis through one-on-one meetings with each course coordinator as discussed above.  As a result, significant time may be necessary to evaluate documentation, coordinate specific accommodations and determine arrangements for each course, including experiential placements. 

Students are highly encouraged to comply with the preferred timelines noted in the tables below.  If a new accommodation request comes in beyond the timeline noted, the student is encouraged to meet with the course coordinator as soon as possible. Due to limited preparation time, accommodations may not be implemented until the next scheduled assessment.

Methods of student learning assessment

  • Didactic courses (P1 – P3 year)
    • Written assessments
      • Summative (examples include: multiple choice and/or short answer exams, high stakes exams, calculations, SOAP note writing); commonly, points are calculated toward the final grade in course
      • Formative (in-class examples include; low stakes quizzes, Turning Point® responses, participation/attendance points, rapid response); commonly, points are not related to the final grade in course
    • Skills-based assessments (examples include: OSCE/practical exams, sterile and non-sterile compounding, counseling, devices demonstration/counseling, medication reconciliation, medication history, physical assessment, provider education, presentations)
  • Interprofessional Education (IPE) event or simulation
  • Third-party, external assessments (i.e. PCOA, NAPLEX, MPJE)
  • Experiential Placement (i.e. Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE, APPE))

 

Requesting accommodations for didactic courses (written formative, written summative, skills-based)

To ensure success the student should:

  • Set up a meeting with each course coordinator prior to or on the first day of class each semester to determine how the accommodation will be managed throughout the semester.  If accommodations are approved after the beginning of a semester, the student should set up a meeting with each course coordinator as soon as possible.
  • Provide the required approval letter (VISA) from ECDS at each course coordinator meeting.

 

Type of Assessment Preferred Timeline for Accommodation Request
Didactic Written (Formative and Summative) At least 5 business days prior to the assessment
Didactic Skills-based At least 10 business days prior to the assessment
  • If a student requests extended time/reduced noise for didactic written assessments in ExamSoft®, then the student’s exam taking time will be extended for all ExamSoft® assessments in all courses for the entire year.  Students will still need to meet with each course coordinator to discuss specifics for extended time.
  • Given that many students in the College of Pharmacy pursue the Pharm.D. degree so as to become a practicing pharmacist, it is recommended that pharmacy students work with their instructors to ensure that they are able to complete skills-based assessments within a timeframe that mirrors the practice of pharmacy.

Requesting accommodations for IPE event/simulation or Experiential Placements

To ensure success the student should:

  • Set up a meeting with the IPE Coordinator or the Director of Experiential Education at least one month prior to the start date of the IPE event/simulation or experiential placement.  If accommodations are approved after the start date of the event or experiential placement, the student should meet with the IPE Coordinator or the Director of Experiential Education as soon as possible.  
  • Provide the required approval letter (VISA) from ECDS at each meeting.
Type of Assessment Preferred Timeline for Accommodation Request
IPE event or simulation At least one month prior to start date of IPE event/simulation
Experiential placement At least one month prior to start date of IPE event/simulation
  • In certain case situations, the Director of Experiential Education may need to assist the student with special needs in selecting appropriate clinical site preferences.
  • A minimum of one month may still be required to ensure accommodations are in place.  This may delay the start date and/or progression.

Requesting accommodations for third-party, external assessments

Students are required to complete standardized assessments, including but not limited to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA).  The NABP abides by all applicable federal and state regulations relating to the testing of eligible individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments (ADAA). To ensure the security and integrity of the assessment, NABP will evaluate accommodation requests.

To ensure success, the student should:

  • Set up a meeting with the Director of Assessment and Accreditation at least one semester prior to the scheduled PCOA to discuss the steps outlined by the NABP to request accommodations.
  • Follow all timelines identified by the NABP for the submission of accommodation request documentation.

The NABP provides a similar process for graduates to request test-day accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jursiprudence Examination (MPJE). Instructions and a link to the form can be found in the NABP Bulletin. The form is also available for download in the online applications.

Office of Student Services Assistance

The College of Pharmacy (CoP) Office of Student Services (OSS) works closely with the University’s ECDS office to support students with a wide range of disabilities.  Students may contact the OSS at any time with questions.

Contact: Director of Student Services, at 231.591.2305 or [email protected]