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Policy Handbook 
    
Policy Handbook
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AA/18/AS/19/UEPC - Instructional Materials Accessibility

Effective May 24, 2019


Resolved: That the Academic Senate of California State University Stanislaus adopt the attached revisions to the Instructional Materials Accessibility Policy; and be it further

Resolved: That all relevant institutional documents and websites be updated to reflect the revision to the policy; and be it further

Resolved: That such revisions become effective immediately upon approval by the Academic Senate and University President.

Rationale: The Instructional Materials Accessibility Policy as adopted in 2008 is no longer in compliance with federal law and system policy. The revisions to the policy are designed both to support compliance with law/policy, and to clarify expectations related to the adoption of instructional materials so that equity and inclusion are better supported. The timely adoption of instructional materials better allows the bookstore to obtain copies of course materials in multiple formats prior to the start of the term, students to understand and prepare for the costs of their education, and accessible instructional materials to be available to students with disabilities.

EO 1111, The California State University Board of Trustees Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations - http://www.calstate.edu/eo/eo-1111.html, and the 2008 Higher Education Opportunities Act - https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html - both inform this policy. In part, the CSU Chancellor’s Office provides the following information related to HEOA requirements for textbook adoption - http://als.csuprojects.org/heoa -

What are the essential requirements that campuses must satisfy?

“To the maximum extent practicable, each institution of higher education receiving Federal financial assistance shall-“Disclose, on the institution’s internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution’s choosing, the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution’s course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes”

What do we do when we don’t know what materials are assigned for the course?

“if the institution determines that the disclosure of the information described in this subsection is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the institution shall so indicate by placing the designation “To Be Determined” in lieu of the information required under this subsection;”
There are many challenges to providing the textbook information in a timely and accurate manner. Classes are cancelled or added, faculty assignments to classes change sometimes at the last minute. Continuously improving the percentage of courses with textbook information over time is what we can reasonably do.

Revisions to the policy include the following:

Section I: Timely adoption of instructional materials by faculty

  • Removal of the “90 day” adoption deadline, and replacement with a requirement for the VPAA/Provost to identify the adoption deadlines. This allows for some flexibilities should federal laws or system policy change in the future.
  • Addition of a recommendation for departments to develop internal procedures for supporting compliance with the policy. Creation of department-level procedures allows program faculty to take local responsibility for interpreting and implementing the policy rather than having a one-size-fits-all procedure for the entire campus.
  • Greater detail regarding expectations for instructional material adoption, and actions to take if the deadline cannot be met. While it is recognized that there are at times legitimate reasons for faculty not to meet the deadlines required by federal law and policy, these should be exceptions rather than routine since deadlines are set to support equity and inclusion.

Section II: “Late Hire Faculty”

  • Revision of section title to reference “courses with no assigned instructor”
  • Stronger encouragement to identify texts in advance of assignment of an instructor when possible, and for timely adoption after a hire is made. Departments will need to balance a desire for affording faculty as much academic freedom as possible to design their courses with a desire to ensure that students have as much opportunity as possible to purchase course texts and obtain texts in alternative formats.
  • The addition of information about how late-hire faculty can work with pre-adopted materials helps to acknowledge that working with pre-adopted materials can be problematic for some faculty (even if helpful to some who are given very limited time to prepare for a course). The document references the AAUP Statement on the Freedom to Teach - https://www.aaup.org/news/statement-freedom-teach#.XDI4Ofx7mu4

Section III: Accessible Course Materials - new section

  • Affirms faculty shall consider accessibility when selecting materials, but not indicating the process by which this might occur (as somewhat indicated in the prior policy)
  • Greater clarification of the 70-day timeline for identification of additional/supplemental course materials for DRS purposes. The policy no longer requires information from all courses to be sent to DRS, but informs faculty that they should be prepared to respond to DRS requests for information.

Section X: Evaluation (previously section IX)

  • None of the reports indicated in the 2008 policy were ever produced, and therefore the evaluation by UEPC never occurred. This revision replaces the listed report/evaluation process with a general requirement for a 5-year review initiated by UEPC.

Policy

I. Timely adoption of instructional materials by faculty.

  • By March 31 of each academic year, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) will inform all faculty members of the procedures and timelines for the notification of the selection of Instructional Materials for the following academic year (Fall-Summer). These procedures and timelines will comply with all applicable federal law and system policies.
    • Once identified, the VPAA will have the book order deadlines added to the Academic Calendar and related websites.
    • The VPAA, College Deans, and the bookstore shall be responsible for reminding faculty of upcoming deadlines and sharing information about Instructional Material adoption procedures. Notifications should begin before the close of the prior fall or spring term, with reminders recurring throughout the term.
    • Departments are encouraged to develop procedures for ensuring that faculty are aware of deadlines and are complying with policies/law, and to address adoption of course materials for class sections for which no instructor is assigned.
    • The Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, Business and Finance, and Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management, and Innovation are responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place and appropriately followed to ensure that communication of deadlines and notifications related to courses for which texts have not yet been identified; that the bookstore is able to process book orders in a timely manner; that adopted texts are made accessible to students in a manner that complies with all applicable laws, policies and procedures; and that notifications regarding course texts are accurately identified in the schedule of classes, bookstore databases, and other relevant locations.
  • Faculty members must submit instructional material requirements to the bookstore by the deadlines established by the VPAA. If no texts need to be purchased, or if open educational resources (OER) will be utilized, this information must be provided to the bookstore so that such information can be made available to students via the bookstore and class schedule, and so that Disability Resource Services (DRS) can confirm whether there are texts that might need to be made accessible to students with documented disabilities.
    • In exceptional circumstances (i.e. late assignment to a new course, upcoming release of a new edition/new text, illness), faculty members may obtain from their department chair an adoption deadline extension. The instructor and chair should establish a new deadline by which the adoption will occur, to be no later than 8 weeks before the start of the term.
    • If the disclosure of the information is not practicable for a college textbook or supplemental material, then the bookstore shall so indicate by placing the designation “To Be Determined” in lieu of the information required to be submitted by the adoption deadline.
    • Prior to the first day of registration, the bookstore is responsible for informing Deans and Department Chairs of all courses/class sections for which submission of information was not received by the deadline, and for providing periodic updates of instructional material adoptions.
  • If a course is added to the schedule after registration has begun, every effort should be made to adopt instructional materials within a week of inclusion in the schedule of classes.

II. Identification of instructional materials for courses with no assigned instructor

  • For course sections with no assigned instructor at the time registration opens, where the course materials are not chosen by an adoption committee or course coordinator, the Department Chair or designee should follow established departmental procedures to submit instructional material orders for these courses if feasible and appropriate.
    • To ensure the bookstore’s ability to have texts available to students by the first day of classes, and to support provision of alternative format texts to students with disabilities, instructional materials should be adopted for all courses no later than 8 weeks before the start of the term, whether or not an instructor is assigned.
  • For courses where the department faculty is not able to select materials on behalf of the pending instructor, the new instructor should be asked to submit their adoption within one week of assignment to the course.
  • Faculty assigned to teach courses for which instructional materials have been ordered will be expected to use the materials ordered for their assigned course(s). There may be limited circumstances when changing orders is necessary, and may only be done with the approval of the department chair.
  • The AAUP Statement on the Freedom to Teach (2013) indicates that while faculty should have the right to select course materials, there are times when such selection may occur without the input or support of the instructor. The Statement indicates in part, “Individuals should be able to assign supplementary materials to deal with subjects that they believe are inadequately treated in the required textbook. Instructors also have the right to discuss in the classroom what they see as deficiencies in the textbook; doing so could turn out to be as effective in engaging the students as requiring them to use an alternate textbook.”

III. Accessible Course Materials

  • Faculty shall consider accessibility when selecting all course materials (e.g. textbooks, course packets, web-based instructional materials, digital and multimedia materials).
  • In addition to the selection of course textbooks by the deadlines noted above, seventy (70) days prior to the start of the term, faculty members will make every effort to identify all additional/supplemental course materials (videos, audio files, articles, etc) that will be utilized in a course, and to make these available to Disability Resource Services upon request. For materials that cannot be identified in advance of the start of the term, DRS will work with the instructor and student to support timely access.

IV. Early identification of students with disabilities who require alternative instructional formats.

  • Disability Resource Services will notify the instructor of record and the relevant department of all accommodations requested as far in advance of the start of the semester as possible for previously qualified students enrolling in the course and will make every effort to notify instructors and departments of accommodations requested by newly qualified students registered for the course as soon as the student has given his/her permission for them to do so.

V. Increase use of Learning Management Systems for delivering technology-enabled courses and posting syllabi and instructional materials online for face-to-face and blended/hybrid courses.

  • Office of Information Technology will continue to provide learning management systems support for face-to-face, hybrid, and on-line courses, including technical staff support and faculty training.

VI. Incorporate accessibility requirements in purchase of digital/multimedia materials.

  • Academic departments will incorporate accessibility requirements under the same rubric as textbooks.

VII. Incorporate accessibility in educational policy related to course development and delivery.

  • University Educational Policies Committee will review existing curricular policy and related curricular processes for possible modification in order to address issues related to instructional materials accessibility (e.g., policies or guidelines for syllabi, course and program approval/modification, equity/diversity, distance learning).

VIII. Support faculty in the creation of accessible course content.

  • Implementation of this policy is contingent upon adequate funding being provided to departments and support units.
  • Materials modified for purposes of the American Disabilities Act compliance do not alter the allocation of rights under the Intellectual Property Rights Policy. Assistance with provision of alternative format/medium materials is not “extraordinary support” under the campus Intellectual Property policy.
  • Office of Information Technology will provide support for modification of computer- based materials to faculty and will not “back bill” academic departments for that support. This support will be provided on an as requested basis.
  • Disability Resource Services will provide mechanisms for shifting of materials to alternative media when requested by students. This service will be provided upon request.

IX. Communication/training for students, staff, faculty about the Instructional Materials

Accessibility Plan

  • To ensure support and dissemination of information, communications about the Instructional Materials Accessibility Policy will include the Senate Executive Committee, the Academic Senate, the President’s Cabinet, the Provost’s Council of Deans, Associated Students, Inc., administrator training meetings, notices to the campus community, faculty development workshops, the Faculty Handbook, web postings, articles in campus publications, and the Student Handbook. The appropriate administrator or faculty leader will be responsible for dissemination through each of the identified channels.

X. Evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the campus Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan.

A review of the effectiveness of this policy will occur, at minimum, once every five years. Such review will be initiated by the University Educational Policies Committee.

Related Policies and Procedures: Revision of AA/11/AS/08/UEPC - Instructional Materials Accessibility , EO 1111

Review Period: 5 years

Review History: Approved by the Academic Senate on May 7, 2019. Approved by President Ellen Junn on May 24, 2019.

Academic Affairs Division has the primary responsibility for this policy.

Attachment(s): AA/18/AS/19/UEPC - Instructional Materials AA/18/AS/19/UEPC - Instructional Materials Rationale  


Schedule of Classes | University Bookstore




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