Prospective Students, Families, and Visitors | Webster University

Prospective Students, Families, and Visitors

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) is committed to providing equal access to education for the Webster University community by ensuring that students with documented disabilities receive the support and accommodations they need for academic access. The Academic ADA Coordinator works with students to create reasonable accommodations that meet their individual needs. At extended sites, the site director (or designee) works with students regarding their disability-related needs and accommodations.

To find out more about ADA accommodations, please contact:

Nellie Hopmann, M.Ed.
Academic ADA Coordinator
314-246-7700
disability@webster.edu

Transitioning from High School to College with a Disability

Each year, students with disabilities pursue degrees in higher education. During their high school careers, some students choose to use accommodations that help them reach their educational goals. However, IEPs and 504 plans don't follow students to college. So, what happens?

Applicable Laws

High School

  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)
  • Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • IDEA is about success.

College

  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)
  • Section 504, Rehabilitation Act
  • ADA is about access.

Student Responsibilities

High School

  • Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers.
  • Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school.
  • Teachers approach students if they believe students need assistance.

College

  • Student must self-identify to the Academic ADA Coordinator in the ARC. Student must provide documentation.
  • Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the student. However, even after accommodations are approved, ARC team members are available to support students and advocate for students' needs in the pursuit of academic access.
  • Professors are usually open and helpful, but students must initiate contact if they need assistance. Students are responsible for communicating often with faculty members about their accommodations and are responsible for their academic success.

Instruction

High School

  • Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments.
  • Students are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often retaught, in class.
  • Students seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough.

College

  • Professors are not required or expected to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines.
  • Students are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing, which may not be directly addressed in class.
  • Students need to review class notes, text, and other materials regularly.

Grades and Tests

High School

  • IEP or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading.
  • Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of materials.
  • Make-up tests are often available.
  • Teachers often take time to remind students of assignments and due dates.

College

  • Grading and test format changes (e.g., multiple choice vs. essay) generally are not available. Accommodations to how tests are given (e.g., extended time, test proctors, etc.) are available when supported by documentation.
  • Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.
  • Make-up tests are seldom an option; if they are, students must request them.
  • Professors expect students to read, save, and consult with course syllabus (course outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected, when it is due, and how students will be graded.

Study Responsibilities

High School

  • Tutoring and study support may be a service provided as part of an IEP or 504 plan.
  • Students' time and assignments are structured by others.
  • Students may study outside of class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, which may mostly be last-minute preparation.

College

  • Tutoring does not fall under disability services. Students with disabilities must seek out tutoring resources, which are available to all students.
  • Students manage their own time and complete assignments independently.
  • Students need to study for at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class.

Steps to Receive ADA Accommodations

The Academic ADA Coordinator in the ARC works with students at the Webster Groves campus and students who are enrolled online to create reasonable accommodations that meet their individual needs. At extended sites, the site director (or designee) works with students regarding their disability-related needs and accommodations.

If you enroll at Webster at the Webster Groves campus and/or online and decide you would like to affiliate with the ARC to implement accommodations, you will follow the steps provided below to ensure your disability-related needs are met in your classes. It is always suggested that students affiliate prior to the beginning of a semester or term; however, you are welcome to affiliate with our office to determine appropriate accommodations at any point in during your enrollment with the University. If you enroll at one of Webster's extended US or international campuses, you contact the site director (or designee) at your extended location for information about how to affiliate with their offices to receive ADA accommodations.

  1. Contact the Academic ADA Coordinator

    Contact the Academic ADA Coordinator at 314-246-7700 or disability@webster.edu to set up an initial meeting. It is ideal to set up a meeting before the semester starts but accommodations may be requested at any time, so you may request a meeting at any point in time that you are enrolled at Webster.
  2. Prepare for Your Meeting

    Fill out the online Request for Accommodations form. Submit documentation to the Academic ADA Coordinator verifying your disability, diagnosis, or condition. This documentation may consist of any of the following items:

    • An IEP or 504 plan.
    • A diagnostic evaluation.
    • A letter from a qualified health professional who can explain your disability and how these challenges may impact your participation and performance in an academic setting.
  3. Meet with the Academic ADA Coordinator

    Although your disability information will be kept confidential when communicating with your instructors, your personal experiences with your disability are an important part of determining what accommodations are appropriate to support your needs. We will discuss what has and has not worked for you in the past in meeting these needs. We will also discuss your past needs and how your present needs may be different from what you have experienced in the past, in relation to your disability. Then, we will determine appropriate accommodations, and you will sign a Release of Information form enabling the University to send an ADA accommodations letter to your professors.
  4. Next Steps

    Following your meeting with the Academic ADA Coordinator, a designee from the ARC will send an ADA accommodations letter to you and your instructors. Once you receive your letter, talk to your instructors. It is important to communicate with your instructors to ensure your letter of ADA accommodations was received and to have a conversation about your needs in each of your classes. If you need help in speaking with your instructors about your accommodations, reach out to the Academic ADA Coordinator for support.

    Once you affiliate with the ARC to implement accommodations, your letter of ADA accommodations will be sent to you and your instructors at the beginning of every term and/or semester in which you are enrolled at Webster. At any point in time you are welcome to reach out the Academic ADA Coordinator to make adjustments to your letter of ADA accommodations. If/once adjustments are made, a new letter of ADA accommodations will be sent to you and your instructors.

Temporary Accommodations

Temporary accommodations are typically provided for students experiencing a short-term physical injury (e.g., torn ACL or broken bone). Students who require temporary accommodations should contact the Academic ADA Coordinator to discuss their needs and accommodations.

Academic and Behavioral Standards

Neither academic nor behavioral standards will be lowered for students with disabilities.

Campus Accessibility

Applicable disability law permits campuses to fulfill their accessibility obligations in one of two ways: 1) By rendering all buildings accessible or 2) by scheduling classes for those students who require accessible classrooms only in accessible buildings. Webster University fulfills its obligation via the second option.

Grievance Procedure

If you feel your accommodations have not been met, please discuss the concern with your instructor. If no resolution is reached, or if you do not feel comfortable speaking with your instructor, please reach out to the Academic ADA Coordinator for support.

In the event that you wish to file a grievance, please refer to the University Grievance Policy.