Accommodation - Student Religious Beliefs

Moraine Park Technical College serves a diverse student population reflecting a variety of religious beliefs. The district recognizes the need to provide reasonable accommodation of students' sincerely held religious beliefs relative to the scheduling of examinations and other academic requirements.

The district has adopted rules and procedures specifying the means by which students can, with confidence, notify an instructor of potential conflicts and a means by which students are permitted to make up examinations or other academic requirements at another time or by alternative means without prejudicial effect. The rules further delineate a procedure for handling and resolving student complaints related to the accommodation of their religious beliefs.

Procedures

Students who have sincerely held religious beliefs and/or practices and require exemption from participation in specific classroom activities, examinations or other academic requirements, or an absence, will be subject to the following procedures:

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students are responsible to meet with their instructors to discuss, in confidence, their potential absence or conflicts with academic requirements based on sincerely held religious beliefs after course competencies, curriculum and expectations have been discussed with the class.
  2. A student whose religious observation conflicts with an academic requirement is responsible to notify the instructor one week in advance of the planned absence, requesting assignments and/or other instructions.
  3. A student whose religious beliefs preclude participation in a specific instructional activity is responsible to discuss the potential conflict with the instructor and to arrange an alternative, acceptable activity in lieu of the activity originally planned.

Instructor Responsibilities

The instructor is expected to treat information conveyed by a student regarding his/her religious beliefs as confidential. The instructor also has a responsibility to facilitate reasonable accommodations based on student request and to schedule make-up work in a timely manner to avoid prejudicial effect to the student.

Complaint Procedures

A student who feels that an instructor did not make a reasonable accommodation, or who disagrees with an instructor's decision regarding accommodation of his/her religious beliefs, can submit a written complaint directly to the Vice President-Academic Affairs. The student must follow the steps below prior to a written complaint to the Vice President-Academic Affairs.

  1. A student who disagrees with an instructor's decision regarding accommodation of his/her religious beliefs based on material, instruction or other matters related to instruction should attempt to resolve the conflict or disagreement through discussion with the instructor.
  2. If the conflict is not resolved, the student is advised to contact the division dean who will evaluate the student's viewpoint and arrange a meeting to discuss the matter with the student and the instructor.
  3. If the situation is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student through discussion with the division dean, the student should file a written complaint with the Vice President Academic Affairs.

Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Vice President- Academic Affairs will schedule a conference with the student and the instructor. The student and the instructor will each be given an opportunity to present their respective positions. The Vice President will issue a written decision within 30 calendar days of the conference after receipt of the written complaint.

Appeals Procedure

A student adversely affected by the decision of the Vice President may appeal that decision, in writing, to the College President within 30 calendar days of issuance of the decision. The College President shall issue a written decision within 45 calendar days of the filing of the appeal. The decision of the College President shall be subject to review pursuant to Chapter 227 of the Wisconsin Statutes and Chapter 14, Wisconsin Technical College System of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Publication of Rules and Complaint Procedures

Written and timely publication of these rules and procedures will be accomplished through brochure distribution at the beginning of each semester.  The information will also be contained in the Student Handbook.