COVID-19 Special Request for Additional Academic Modifications
As part of the institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas State University is committed to supporting our students who are in higher health risk categories. The University has implemented significant proactive measures to help safeguard the health and safety of our students while remaining committed to considering additional modifications on a case-by-case basis.
Measures implemented to safeguard our community include:
- Requiring protective face coverings,
- Decreasing the density of classrooms, shared offices, and co-curricular events,
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and
- Communicating the University’s expectations for personal and public health measures.
The academic modifications are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) list of medical conditions that may place individuals at a higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19. These conditions are:
- People 65 years and older
- Pregnancy (self)
- People of all ages with ongoing underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled:
- Chronic lung disease such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or cystic fibrosis
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Serious heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, or congenital heart disease
- Immunocompromised conditions such as cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and immune weakening medications
- Severe obesity (Body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
- Diabetes, type 1 or 2 or gestational
- Chronic kidney disease
- Liver disease such as cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis
- Hemoglobin disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia
- Neurologic conditions
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Down Syndrome
In accordance with guidance of the CDC, additional modifications to help safeguard the health and safety of students in these higher risk groups may be provided on a case-by-case basis if they do not pose significant difficulty or expense and do not alter the academic expectations of a course or program.
If you are in a higher risk group and want to request an additional academic modification related to COVID-19:
- Complete the Student Academic Modifications Request Form.
- If you selected pregnancy or ongoing underlying medical condition(s), please securely provide either documentation of the condition(s) or the COVID-19 Health Care Verification Form. Please share with your provider to describe the condition(s) you have been diagnosed and your current functional limitations and the risks COVID-19 would have on you in the educational environment. Documentation can be submitted to us via in person at LBJSC 5-5.1, fax at 512.245.3452, or upload to the Texas State File Transfer link by following instructions you have received in a separate email. Please do not email any confidential documentation.
- The ODS will review your request for academic modifications.
- After verifying that you are an individual at a higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19, the ODS will contact your instructor(s) to determine the reasonableness of the request.
- The ODS will notify you via email once a decision has been made.
Note: Student employees should submit the employee workplace request for all employment related modifications.
If you are a student who does not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) list of medical conditions that may place individuals at a higher risk and would like to explore other options, please meet with an academic advisor in your college or degree program to identify degree-applicable courses and options available. Due to the nature of some class content and degree programs, including licensure requirements, not all classes will be available online. Information regarding your college’s undergraduate advising center may be found on the Academic Advising website. Graduate students may find information on how to contact your graduate advisor by selecting your academic program on The Graduate College website.
If you are a student whose instructor has determined that a modification cannot be provided for a course and would like to explore other options, please meet with an academic advisor in your college or degree program to identify degree-applicable courses and options available. Due to the nature of some class content and degree programs, including licensure requirements, not all classes will be available online. Information regarding your college’s undergraduate advising center may be found on the Academic Advising website. Graduate students may find information on how to contact your graduate advisor by selecting your academic program on The Graduate College website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Academic accommodations are academic adjustments or auxiliary aids that are necessary to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to an academic program, specific course, and/or course materials. If a student is approved for an academic accommodation, the ODS will provide the student with an academic accommodation letter, which states they are registered with the office and describes the academic accommodations they are eligible to use.
Students at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19 as recognized by the CDC may request additional academic modifications through the ODS. The modifications are typically requests for an alteration to the method of instruction and/or method of assessment. For example, the student may indicate that they cannot physically come to campus because it would put them at a heightened risk of contracting the virus. Therefore, they may request to access the course and course assessments remotely. Communications and decisions will be conducted via email. No official letter will be provided.
No. Based on the CDC’s list of medical conditions, individuals with moderate to severe asthma might be at an increased risk.
What neurological conditions place individuals at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19?
The neurological conditions would include those that impact an individual’s ability to care for themselves, which could include Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and dementia.
I do not meet the CDC’s list of medical conditions that may place individuals at higher risk; however, I have family or roommates at higher risk. Can I receive additional academic modifications through the ODS?
No. If you are a student who does not meet the CDC list of medical conditions that may place individuals at higher risk and would like to explore other options, you are encouraged to communicate your concerns with your instructors directly to determine the reasonableness of modifications. You are also encouraged to meet with an academic advisor in your college or degree program to identify degree-applicable courses and options available.
The ODS will review your request for modifications. If you are not at higher risk, then the ODS will notify you and provide alternative options via email. If you are at higher risk, then the ODS will contact each of your face-to-face/hybrid course instructors and will notify you via email once decisions have been made.
Am I automatically approved of modifications after submitting the Student Academic Modifications Request Form?
No. This request form does not automatically grant students online or remote access to their face-to-face/hybrid courses. As part of the COVID-19 Special Request for Additional Academic Modifications process, the ODS reviews students' requests for academic modifications and contacts each of their face-to-face/hybrid course instructors to determine the reasonableness of their requests. Once decisions have been made, students will be notified via email.
Am I officially registered with the ODS after completing the COVID-19 Special Request for Additional Academic Modifications process?
No. If you are a student with a disability and are interested in acquiring academic accommodations (e.g., note-taking assistance, early registration, extended time on examinations, etc.), please visit the How to Register with ODS webpage for additional information.
I have been approved for remote access to course lectures. Does this include online or remote access to quizzes and exams?
No. The ODS will contact each of your face-to-face/hybrid course instructors and determine the reasonableness for remote access to quizzes and exams, which will ultimately be up to the discretion of the instructors. Instructors may determine that students will have to take their quizzes and exams face-to-face or on campus. If you have any concerns regarding the delivery of examinations, please contact your instructors directly.
I have been approved of additional academic modifications including remote access to my course and testing modifications. Am I also approved of academic accommodations such as extended time for examinations?
No. Academic accommodations and COVID-19 modifications are two separate processes. Academic accommodations, including testing accommodations (e.g., extended time on all in-class and online quizzes and exams), are reserved for students with disabilities who have registered with and completed the ODS registration process. Academic accommodations should not be provided to students who are seeking modifications unless they are also registered with the ODS and approved for accommodations (i.e., instructors are not required to and should not allow students requesting modifications to have extra time to complete their exams).
If I received housing modifications due to COVID-19 for Fall 2020, will these carry over to Spring 2021?
Generally, yes. If you received modifications, such as a private room assignment, due to COVID-19 according to the CDC guidelines, then this assignment would carry over to Spring 2021.
If you received a housing exemption cancellation to allow you to live off-campus due to COVID-19, then this would also carry over to Spring 2021, as well.
In some instances, students who submitted requests for housing modifications received the modification because all classes were online. In those cases, please contact our office so that we may send a recommendation for continuation of the housing modification through Spring 2021. Otherwise, the Department of Housing and Residential Life (DHRL) would require on-campus housing for the spring if you have any face-to-face classes.
If you had housing modifications due to COVID-19 in Fall 2020 and are unsure of your status for Spring 2021, please contact DHRL via telephone at 512-245-4663, option 1.