Gettysburg College does not waive distribution or graduation requirements. A student who has a documented disability that affects learning can petition the Academic Standing Committee for course substitution. The Academic Standing Committee is the faculty committee that acts on student petitions for exceptions to the academic regulations. The petition is developed through consultation with one of the deans in Academic Advising and the student’s faculty advisor.
Students with a documented learning disability that interferes with their ability to learn a foreign language may petition to fulfill this requirement by selecting a cluster of courses that has been approved as a substitution. A list of current courses that substitute for this requirement is available on our website.
For substitution of the foreign language requirement: Petitions must be filed before the end of the first semester of Junior year.
A student’s petition for substitution of the foreign language requirement should include:
1. Verification of a disability that substantially interferes with language acquisition. To petition on the basis of a specific learning disability, the student must present the report of an acceptable psychoeducational test battery documenting the learning disability, explaining how the disability substantially interferes with language acquisition. For details, see the section in this booklet on Testing Required for Accommodation.Normally, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder does not interfere with foreign language acquisition so as to warrant substitution.
2. Documentation from college and, if appropriate, high school foreign language instructors supporting the need for accommodation through substitution. (Students are responsible for obtaining written statements from high school language instructors in support of their petitions.) The Academic Standing Committee has a strong preference that a student attempt a foreign language at Gettysburg so that any significant difficulty in language acquisition can be assessed on the basis of the student’s experience at Gettysburg.
3. The student’s personal written statement in a petition which has been reviewed by the student’s academic advisor. This petition should include a request to allow any course(s) already completed to be considered to count for substitution.
The decisions of the Academic Standing Committee are final. However, a student may ask the Committee to reconsider its decision on the basis of additional evidence, for example, new test results or additional classroom experiences in studying foreign languages at Gettysburg.