Do I qualify to receive services from the Department of Special Services?
To qualify for assistance from the Department of Special Services, a student needs to have been diagnosed with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning or working.
What must I do to register with the Department of Special Services?
Students who are interested in receiving special accommodations and/or auxiliary aids need to provide documentation specifying a disability. The documentation provided should include the following information:
- Diagnosis of current disability
- Date of the diagnosis
- How the diagnosis was reached
- Credentials of the professional conducting evaluation
- Explanation of how the disability affects daily activities and/or academic performance
How do support services differ from high school to college?
In high school, a student with a disability is required to have an IEP. The student in high school may be required to be in special education classes and may not be fully mainstreamed with non-disabled students. In college, students with disabilities are fully mainstreamed with students who do not have disabilities. There are no special education classes. However, there are some basic-skills classes for students who require remediation in reading, writing and/or mathematics. These courses also include students who may or may not have disabilities.
When a student registers with the Department of Special Services, there is nothing in the student's transcripts indicating he or she received special accommodations or auxiliary aids. Students are encouraged to visit the Department of Special Services and request accommodations, such as extended time on tests, note takers, tape recorders, etc.
What is FERPA?
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. It is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. From the time a child enters preschool until the child completes 12th grade, the parent has certain rights regarding their children's education records. Once the student turns 18, or once they are enrolled in a post-secondary school, those rights are transferred from the parent to the student.
For the student who is enrolled at Rowan College this means:
- The student has the right to inspect and review their educational records
- The student has the right to request their school correct records he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading
There must be written permission from the student to allow his or her information to be released to a third party.
This means the College cannot disclose information about the student's grades, attendance, course load, financial aid status, etc. without the written permission of the student. Parents who wish to be informed of their children's progress at RCSJ need to communicate directly with the student or have written permission from their child allowing the release of information.
More information about FERPA can be found on the U.S. Department of Education's website:
What is an ADA/504 Officer?
The ADA/504 officer is a designated person to be contacted for issues concerning discrimination based upon a disability. The ADA/504 officer at Rowan College is Carol Weinhardt, who can be reached by emailing [email protected].
What is the ADA?
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It is Public Law 101-336 (PL-101-336). The purpose of the ADA is to prohibit discrimination based on disability in employment, state and local government services, transportation, public accommodations and telecommunications.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is Public Law 93-112 (PL 93-112). The purpose of Section 504 is to prohibit discrimination based on disability in federally-funded programs and activities.
Who is protected under Section 504?
A "person with a disability" includes "any person who (i) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities; (ii) has a record of such an impairment or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment" including, but not limited to:
- Blindness or visual impairments
- Cerebral palsy
- Cardiac disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Psychiatric disabilities
- Deafness or hearing impairments
- Drug or alcohol addiction (former users and those in recovery programs and not currently using drugs or alcohol)
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders
- Mental disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Specific learning disability
- Speech disorder
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
This is my first time at Rowan College. How do I request supportive services from
the Office of Special Services?
First-time students are responsible for the following:
- Make an appointment by calling 856-415-2265
- Submit proof of disability
- Submit your current student schedule, if you have already registered
- Fill out a Special Services Intake Packet/Request to be Considered for Accessibility and Academic Accommodations
This is NOT my first year at Rowan College, so will the Office of Special Services
know which services I need, or automatically continue my services?
Not necessarily. Every semester, continuing students are responsible for the following:
- Make an appointment for continuation of services
- Submit your schedule
What support services are available?
Support Services include:
- Assistive Technology
- Proctored, out-of-class testing in a distraction-reduced test room
- Tutoring- provided through the Academic Support Center
Does Rowan College or the Office of Special Services provide transportation for students?
No. Neither the College nor Office of Special Services provides transportation for students. However, NJ Transit bus #463 comes onto the campus. Students who are physically challenged should contact NJ Transit Access Link.
Last Updated: November 26, 2019