Skip to main content

Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity, Respect.

Information for New and Prospective Students

Braille door ID

Information for New and Prospective Students


Carl Sandburg College offers a variety of support options for students with disabilities. In addition to a physically-accessible campus and resources, students with disabilities can request special accommodations where accessibility is still a concern. Below is a guide for new and prospective students interested in taking advantage of disability support accommodations.


Accommodations are available to all students, whether they attend the Galesburg campus or not. Students who attend at the Carthage campus or online and dual credit students should be sure to see the section on accommodating distance students.




I'm a new student. How do I go about requesting an accommodation?

Carl Sandburg College’s Academic Support office strives to make the process of requesting and receiving accommodations for a disability as simple as possible. If you wish to receive accommodations, you must:

  1. Provide documentation of your disability. Contact the Coordinator of Academic Support to discuss the documentation and your previous educational experiences to determine appropriate accommodations.
  2. Request accommodations each semester. Check in at the start of each semester to ensure that your accommodations reflect your needs for the semester. At that point, you and the Coordinator of Academic Support will sign off on a Letters of Accommodation (LOA), which will be sent to your instructors as notice of special services.
  3. Take measures through the semester to ensure that your accommodations are properly administered. Carl Sandburg College faculty and staff are happy to provide accommodations that enable students to succeed, but it is your responsibility to self-advocate, ensuring that faculty and staff know to administer your accommodations and alerting them if the accommodations being provided are ineffective.


What kind of documentation of a disability does Carl Sandburg College need?

In order to receive accommodations, you must provide sufficient documentation of the disability to the Coordinator of Academic Support. Following the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s (AHEAD) best practices guidelines, sufficient documentation should include:

  • A diagnosis statement that identifies the disability
  • The credentials of the provider of the diagnosis
  • A description of the diagnostic methods
  • A description of what limitations the disability currently imposes on the student
  • A projection of what patterns or changes could be expected of the disability over time
  • Accommodations previously received
  • Recommendations for accommodations at the post-secondary level

Documentation that is over 7 years old will most likely be considered out of date. Any costs associated with acquiring necessary documentation are your responsibility.


How does Academic Support Services handle disability records?

Due to the sensitive nature of disability documentation, Academic Support Services keeps disability records, which often include medical evaluations and reports, high school IEPs, and other private documents, in a restricted network drive. No records are shared with any other students, staff, or faculty at the college, nor the student's family or friends per FERPA and HIPPA guidelines, without the student's permission. A student's signature on a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) is permission for Academic Support Services to arrange for accommodations to be made, not permission for Academic Support Services to share disability records.


The restricted network drive on which disability records are kept is accessible only to the Coordinator of Academic Support and the Dean of Student Success. No other employee at the college has access to the drive. Physical copies of disability documentation are kept only long enough to be scanned and uploaded to the restricted drive; the original copies are then either returned to the student or destroyed. All records kept are electronic.


What is the procedure for requesting accommodations?

After providing documentation to the Academic Support office, you must do the following at the start of each semester:

  1. Set a time to meet with the Coordinator of Academic Support, Jake Runge. Carthage students can see Ellen Henderson-Gasser, Student Services Generalist (ext. 7247), to help facilitate communication. Together, you and the Coordinator of Academic Support will review your past accommodations in light of your current semester, and discuss any changes that may need to be made to your accommodations plan. Students who attend the Carthage campus, attend primarily online, or who are dual credit students, please be sure to see the section on coordinating accommodations from a distance.
  2. Sign the Accommodations Request form, giving permission to the Academic Support office to discuss your disability accommodations with your instructors and arrange for accommodations to be made.
  3. Inform your instructors of your accommodations. While the Coordinator of Academic Support will have emailed a copy of your LOA (Letter of Accommodation) to your instructors and advisor, it is still very important to talk with your instructors to keep the lines of communication open and to ensure that your expectations are the same.


Can I request accommodations for the COMPASS placement test?

You may request accommodations to take the COMPASS placement test. Accommodations for physical access to the test, a private test setting, or the provision of a reader are all appropriate accommodations. Requests for extended time are unnecessary, as the COMPASS is an un-timed test; HOWEVER, the time you take on the COMPASS will be considered, along with your score, in determining your need for preparatory courses or tutoring through the Learning Center.


If you are interested in arranging an accommodated COMPASS test, contact the Coordinator of Academic Support Services.


I don’t take classes on the Galesburg Campus. What do I need to know?

If you do not attend classes on the Galesburg campus (e.g. you are a dual credit student who takes college-credit courses at your high school, you attend classes online, or you attend classes on the Carthage campus), you must still coordinate your accommodations through the Academic Support office on the Galesburg campus; however, you do not need to be physically present on the Galesburg campus to do so.


If you request accommodations and do not attend the Galesburg campus, you should initiate contact with the Coordinator of Academic Support via phone or email, and arrangements to share disability documentation and facilitate the signing of a Letter of Accommodation (LOA) will then be made. Other than the modes of communication used to make arrangements, there are no differences between arranging accommodations for students at the Galesburg campus and those who attend elsewhere. You will still find the information on this page and on the Student Rights to Accommodation page relevant, and all procedures and requirements pertain to your situation, regardless of your mode of attendance.


Some unique factors at play for various attendance situations are summarized below:


Online students: Online students are responsible for contacting the Academic Support office, sending the necessary documentation of disability by an arranged means, and signing and returning the LOA. Accommodations for online courses should not require the student to be physically present on-campus, but the Coordinator of Academic Support cannot grant accommodations that alter course requirements unless such an accommodation is related to a documented disability.


Carthage students: Staff at the Carthage campus may help students to exchange documentation with the Academic Support office in Galesburg, but it is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact and request accommodations each semester. After an LOA is signed, it will be sent to the student’s instructors and academic advisors via email. The student should continue communication with the Coordinator of Academic Support at the Galesburg campus should they have problems or concerns, but day-to-day accommodations should be arranged between the student, their instructor, and their academic advisor.


Dual credit students: All dual credit students, regardless of where they attend class, are required to follow all procedures outlined on this page and on the Student Rights to Accommodation page even if they are receiving disability support accommodations and modifications from their high school. College disability accommodations are approved or disapproved using different criteria than high school disability accommodations, and are administered differently as well. Having a disability support plan in place with the student’s high school does not automatically transfer to a support plan in a dual credit class. High school staff may assist in facilitating accommodations, but arrangements must be made separately, and for each college semester that the student takes dual credit or college classes.


What is the difference between accommodations in high school and college?

If you are transitioning from high school to college, you will notice many differences in the way disability support functions. A few of the more prominent differences are listed below.


Disclosure of Disability

High School: Students are identified as having a disability (and may be tested) by the school. Parents may present documentation of disability.

College: Students must self-identify by registering with the Academic Support office. The school cannot officially test for/diagnose learning disabilities.

Access to Student Information

High School: Any information relating to the student is shared freely with the parents. Specific information about student disability may be accessed by teachers without student permission.

College: Student’s rights to privacy under FERPA are upheld. A parent may not access student information through direct contact with a school official. Teachers receive disability related info from student.

Eligibility for Services

High School: Eligibility can be granted based on low grades.

College: Eligibility can only be granted based on documentation of disability as defined by the ADA.

Advocating Right to Access

High School: Parents and special education instructors work together to advocate for the student. Students may assume a passive role.

College: Students must advocate for their rights, making their needs known first to the Academic Support office and then to their instructors.

Completion of Coursework

High School: A student's weekly schedule is often drafted for him/her, and teachers will frequently remind students of assessment deadlines.

College: Students are expected to manage their own schedules and remember assessment deadlines using course syllabi.

General Structure of Schedule

High School: Classroom time is roughly 40 hours per week. There tends to be more classroom-based assignments and less out-of-class homework.

College: Classroom time can be anywhere between 3-15 hour a week. There is more emphasis placed on out of class study and homework.

The Nature of Accommodations

High School: Courses and programs can be fundamentally altered to not only provide access to course materials, but also to ensure success.

College: Courses and programs cannot be fundamentally altered. The focus of support is on ensuring equal access, not ensuring success.