Student Health  
Foreign Language Substitution Policy

Oklahoma City University is committed to upholding the rights of students under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The University’s Student Health and Disability Services Office exists in part to assist students in this regard. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, requires that the University provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum or a substantial alteration in the manner in which services are provided.

Therefore, students with disabilities should know that a foreign language substitution might not be allowed if that substitution would reduce the academic credibility of the degree.

Students with certain types of documented disabilities that prevent them from learning a foreign language may request a course substitution for the number of hours of foreign language required for undergraduate general education at Oklahoma City University.

A course substitution does not mean that the course is waived. The credit hours for the course are met through alternate courses to be determined as outlined in the process below.

A course taken as an approved substitute for a foreign language requirement cannot be counted toward credit for another requirement.

OCU requires 6 credit hours of foreign language for graduation except for students seeking the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts. Those students are required to complete 12 hours of foreign language.

A student who has been approved for substitution of a foreign language due to an appropriate and documented disability must complete 6 total hours of approved substitution course work in an approved culture (see list below) to meet the requirement for graduation.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts students must complete 12 total hours of approved substitution course work to meet the requirement for graduation. For B.A. or B.F.A. students, 6 hours of the requirement will be fulfilled by an in-­depth study of one culture, and the other 6 hours will be fulfilled by focusing on another culture.

The following specific courses are acceptable as substitutes for the foreign language requirements:

CHIN 1013 Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture
CHIN 3013 Introduction to Chinese Literature and Culture
FREN 3213 Contemporary French Culture
SPAN 2513 Contemporary Spanish Culture
SPAN 3713 Latin American Civilization
SPAN 3813 Spanish Civilization
FREN 3613 French Civilization I

Oklahoma City University does not recognize sign language as an acceptable substitute for a foreign language requirement.

Students who wish to transfer credits from another institution for substitution of the foreign language requirement must go through the academic transfer of undergraduate credit process as described in the undergraduate catalogue. 

How to Request a Foreign Language Substitution Based on Disability
  1. The student will meet with the Director of Student Health and Disability Services to determine the documentation requirements for the accommodation.

NOTE: Specific documentation is required.

Students applying for services and accommodations on the basis of a learning disability must submit a current, comprehensive report of a psycho­educational assessment performed by a person who has received formal training in assessment techniques necessary to diagnose learning disabilities and has professional experience in that field. The student's most recent IEP and psycho­education assessment, while helpful, may not completely fulfill these requirements. The report should include summaries of the following: diagnostic interview, assessment of the student's aptitude, academic achievement and information processing, and a clear statement of the diagnosis of the specific learning disability. Language indicating a "learning difficulty" or "learning deficit" will not be considered appropriate documentation.

In the case of physical disability, a physician’s statement or a brief note written on a prescription form is not considered sufficient. Documentation of how that impairment or condition substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the student might include but is not limited to walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, performing manual tasks, care for one's self, learning and working. Documentation must evidence that the requested service or accommodation is appropriate to the needs of the student.

  1. The Director will review the documentation within 3 business days and advise the student if the documentation is sufficient to continue with the process or will inform the student what additional documentation will be required.

  2. Upon receipt of adequate documentation, the Special Accommodations sub­committee will review the student’s request.

  3. If approved by the Special Accommodations sub­committee, the request will be forwarded to the Admissions, Financial Aid, and Special Accommodations Committee.

  4. When final approval is granted, the student will be notified to meet with her or his advisor or dean. A course substitution plan will be developed for the student based on the approved courses as listed above. If a student wishes to appeal an adverse decision, the student must utilize the grievance procedure as described in the student handbook.

  5. A copy of this final plan will be documented and signed by the student and advisor. A copy of this record shall be provided to:

    1. the Director of Disability Services

    2. the Registrar’s office

    3. the dean of the program in which the student is enrolled.