Adler University has an ethical obligation to offer flexibility to all students who must be absent from classes or miss scheduled exams in order to observe religious holidays; we must be careful not to inhibit or penalize these students for exercising their rights to religious observance.
- Adler University values its diverse community and wishes to formalize its practices on accommodation for religious observances by students.
- These guidelines do not include similar flexibility for secular, moral or ethical beliefs, or political convictions.
- These guidelines outline a process for addressing religious observances that conflict with the scheduling of a student’s academic or course-specific requirements. It is intended to assist in responding to students’ religious observances while ensuring that the integrity of the course or program of study is not compromised. The term “reasonable/suitable accommodation” or “flexibility” used in these guidelines will depend on the facts and the circumstances present in each individual case.
Religious Obligations Conflicts with Class Attendance, Assignments, or Scheduled Exams
Students who experience a conflict between a religious obligation and scheduled assignments, tests, mid-term examinations, final examinations, or requirements to attend classes should be accommodated. Students requiring academic accommodation are directed to contact the instructor in charge of the course within the first week of classes to identify conflicts and make alternative arrangements. In the absence of a simple and dignified way to determine the validity of individual claims, the claim of religious conflict should be accepted at face value. When a request for accommodation cannot be resolved between the student and the faculty member, the program director is identified as a mediator.
Faculty members are encouraged to include precise instructions regarding their own policies for these circumstances in their syllabus and call attention to the requirement for early, timely arrangements. If an exam is scheduled on a religious holiday, the faculty member is encouraged to provide a suitable option for the affected students. Other reasonable and appropriate adjustments to the course meeting and assignment schedule may be made by the course instructor. Classes missed to observe a religious holiday should be counted as an excused absence. The specific accommodations employed may vary from course to course depending upon factors such as the size of the class, nature of the course content, and mode of instruction. All faculty in all courses are expected to create a class-specific accommodation policy which strives to maintain a climate of essential fairness to all members of the class. It is also expected that faculty work with students to be flexible on an individual basis.
In the event that students are somewhat tardy in informing faculty of their religious observance obligations, faculty may accommodate them where practical. Faculty are encouraged to announce the specifics of class policies to students and include it as part of the course syllabus so that they can notify you of any conflicts as soon as possible. If accommodations cannot be resolved between a student and a faculty member, the chief academic officer of that campus shall make a decision.