A core expectation at MSU involves faculty control and responsibility for testing in their courses. Most students with disabilities can take their examinations in the usual manner, along with everyone else, and RCPD staff encourages them to do so. But occasionally, a student in a class will need to arrange an alternative method for taking course examinations due to a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability.

Course instructors--in collaboration with the appropriate administrative unit (College/Department/Program)--are responsible for providing testing accommodations in accordance with the RCPD VISA and in consultation with students and RCPD specialists. Students are expected to present the VISA document to faculty at the start of a semester or at least 7 days prior to the need for the accommodation and are expected to confirm alternative testing arrangements with the instructor well in advance of each separate exam thereafter.

In cases where accommodations are intensive including: time allocations exceeding 50%, cases where assistive technology is prescribed on the VISA document, or where private testing rooms are stipulated (such as when requesting a reader or scribe), RCPD has seven (7) testing spaces reserved on a priority basis to facilitate accommodation.

Given RCPD space limitations and the University's continued goal towards inclusion, students with disabilities will primarily remain in or near the classroom or department for which they are taking an exam.

For clinical and field settings, students should consult with their Ability Access Specialist and department to consider testing options. A VISA Addendum may be created to facilitate these unique situations.  

Testing Accommodations: General Information
  • Students are expected to take their exam during the regularly scheduled exam time unless this causes conflicts with other courses. In these situations, the student should proactively work with the course instructor to discuss alternative arrangements. For example: The student may start the exam earlier or later that day to avoid academic time conflicts.  

  • RCPD has limited testing space and should be considered a “back up” testing location for the times instructors are unable to accommodate. RCPD testing spaces are reserved most often for students who need assistive technology, readers, scribes, etc. Students must be “Separate Testing Eligible” to utilize RCPD testing spaces and, before requesting, should have exhausted all other options with instructors and their departments.  

  • If an exam needs to be scheduled at RCPD it is the student’s responsibility to initiate this process. Scheduling the exam through MyProfile (http://myprofile.rcpd.msu.edu) needs to be done at least 7 days in advance for semester exams and 14 days in advance for final exams. Further details about this process are outlined under the section titled “Accommodation: Separate Testing Room Eligible”.  *Tests administered at the RCPD are video monitored and require student adherence to the RCPD Alternative Testing Rules.

No matter the accommodations or testing location, students are still expected to show up on time for exams.  

  • If a student arrives late for an exam, the exam will still end at the scheduled time.  

  • If a student misses an exam or needs to reschedule, they should contact their instructor. Only instructors can authorize rescheduling of exams.  

  • If an exam is missed for non-disability related reasons, students should be held to course policies for rescheduling as determined by instructors.  

Questions about scheduling an exam with accommodations can be directed to an RCPD Specialist and/or the RCPD testing coordinator at rcpd.tests@campusad.msu.edu

Accommodation: X% Extended Test Time for In-Class and Online Exams Except Take-Home, Practical, and Clinically-Based Exams which Require Advance Planning and Special Consideration

General Information

  • Extended time applies to timed assessments (including quizzes) when requested by the student 

  • For timed online assessments, instructors should extend the assessment window in D2L or other platforms to reflect the student’s extended time.  

Student Responsibilities

  • Discuss alternative testing requests and implementation processes during your initial meeting with your instructor.  

  • Timeline: Notification from student to instructor at least 7-days before each exam and/or quiz, 14-days in advance for final exams.  

  • Check in with your instructor in advance of each exam where extended time is needed to ensure a plan is in place.  

Faculty Responsibilities 

  • Accommodate the student with extended time for assessments as written on the VISA. 

    • Even if you have planned for your exam/quiz to not take the full scheduled testing time, students’ extended time accommodations must be granted. Students should always receive their extended time when requested. 

  • If needed, consult with your department for ideas on how this may be implemented.   

  • In-class and pop-quizzes may need special planning and consideration. Students may or may not request accommodations in these situations.  

  • Facilitating extended time can be accomplished by:  

    • Student comes to class early and/or stays late to receive extended time 

    • Student takes exam in an alternate location (room organized by department/instructor, faculty office, adjacent classroom/conference room, etc.) to facilitate a longer exam. 

    • For online exam: Professor adds extended time to testing time on D2L or another platform 

 

Accommodation: Reduced Distraction Seating (Typically In-Class)

General Information

  • Students granted this accommodation will remain in the classroom and testing space but should be provided with a reduced-distraction option.  

  • An example to accommodate a reduced-distraction seating arrangement would be to allow the student to pick an ideal spot in the classroom for testing. This could be a table/seat in the front or back of the classroom, away from the door/windows, at the end of an aisle, etc. Students and instructors should work together to plan how this seat will be discreetly reserved.  

Student Responsibilities 

  • Discuss alternative testing requests and implementation processes during your initial meeting with your instructor.  

  • During the conversation with your instructor, identify where in the classroom will be most beneficial to reduce distraction during assessments.  

  • Consider pairing this accommodation with wearing ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones if you are distracted by noise. Consult your Ability Access Specialist to ask about adding this to your VISA. 

Faculty Responsibilities 

  • Have an interactive discussion with the student who is requesting reduced-distraction seating. Encourage the student to share what will work best for them during course assessments. Ideas may be: student sits in front of room, back of room, has an extra desk between them and a classmate, near a wall, away from the windows, at a personal desk, etc. 

  • If needed, save a space for the student to sit upon arrival to the course assessments  

Accommodation: Separate Testing Room Eligible (Small Group Setting Outside Main Testing Environment - May Require Private Room When a Reader/Scribe is Used or in Consultation with RCPD Specialist for Highly Unique Needs)

General Information

  • Students granted this accommodation are eligible to request a space separate from the classroom for exams. This does not automatically mean an individual space and most often means “small group” testing in a low distraction environment.  

  • If a student is using a reader, scribe, or certain assistive technology, they most often will need an individual location as to not interrupt others who are testing.  

Student Responsibilities 

  • If you plan to use a separate testing room for a course assessment, you must notify the instructor at least 7 days before each exam and/or quiz, 14 days for final exams.  

  • If other services are needed during testing (reader, scribe, technology, etc.), discuss this with your instructor. Follow the proper request process through RCPD if needed.  

  • If your instructor cannot accommodate you and you have been approved to take your exam in the RCPD office you will need to logon to MyProfile and look for the “Exam Accommodations” link at the top left of the screen. You will then be able to fill in the information for your request (course, exam date, exam time, etc.) and submit it for approval. This must be done no less than 7 days in advance (14 days for finals). 

    • Once the exam is approved you will receive a confirmation email verifying the date and time. This may take 2-4 business days from the time you submit the request. 

    • After receiving your confirmation email, you should provide your instructor with an Alternative Testing Site Authorization (ATSA) form. You only need to fill in the “student section” at the top and your instructor will fill in the rest. PDF may be downloaded from our Document Index. *The ATSA form is only necessary when you need to test at RCPD. 

    • You will be sent a reminder email 1 business day before the exam.  

  • Recommendations to Aid in Your Success

    • Do not wait until the last minute to get your exam accommodations arranged. 

    • Talk to your instructor(s) at the beginning of term – if they cannot accommodate you and you need to take your exams at the RCPD office, go through your syllabus and submit exam requests for every exam for the rest of term.  

    • Do not skip talking to your instructor and jump right to submitting exam requests with the RCPD office – we will ask you if you talked to your instructor and verify this with your instructor.  

    • Please reach out to your Ability Access Specialist or the RCPD testing coordinator (RCPD.tests@campusad.msu.edu) any time you have questions or concerns about alternative exam accommodations.  

Faculty Responsibilities 

  • Have an interactive discussion with the student who is requesting a separate testing space  

  • Arrange a space for the student(s) to take the assessment, with extended time if requested (as verified on the VISA) 

  • If a student needs to test at RCPD, assist the student in filling the Alternative Testing Site Authorization (ATSA) form and return the form with the test attached to the RCPD front desk before the testing date. You or another designated person will then pick up the exam from the RCPD front desk after the test is completed. The ATSA form is essential in cases where RCPD is proctoring a test. Tests cannot be administered without the guidance on this form. Find the ATSA form in RCPD's Document Index. *The ATSA form is only necessary when students are testing at RCPD. 

  • Ideas for Implementation: 

    • Student tests in an adjacent classroom, conference room, instructor’s office, or etc.  

    • Faculty can often work with their departments to secure spaces for RCPD testing arrangements  

Accommodation: Reader/Recorded Text, Reader Eligible, Scribe Eligible

General Information

  • A student may need to use a reader and/or scribe during course assessments. This will require an individual testing space as to not disrupt other students who are testing.  

  • Readers read assessment material out loud to the student who is taking the assessment, exactly as it is written. Readers do not provide clarifying information, definitions, or advice.  

  • Scribes write assessment answers exactly as dictated by the student taking the assessment. Scribes do not provide clarifying information, definitions, or advice. 

  • There are 3 options for facilitating a reader and/or scribe for an exam:  

    • Student tests in an individual space with a reader/scribe, both provided by the instructor

    • Student tests in an individual space provided by the instructor and student arranges a reader/scribe from RCPD to meet them at the testing location  

    • Student tests at RCPD with an RCPD-provided reader/scribe 

Student Responsibilities 

  • If you plan to use a reader and/or scribe for an assessment, you must discuss this with your instructor at least 7-days before each exam and/or quiz, 14-days for final exams.  

  • If your instructor can provide a testing room but NOT a reader and/or scribe, you will need to logon to MyProfile and look for the “Exam Accommodations” link at the top left of the screen. You will then be able to fill the request for a reader and/or scribe to meet you at your testing location and submit it for approval. This must be done no less than 7 days in advance (14 days for finals). 

  • If your instructor cannot provide a room or reader/scribe, and you have been approved to take your exam at the RCPD office, you will need to logon to MyProfile and look for the “Exam Accommodations” link at the top left of the screen. You will then be able to fill in the information for your request (course, exam date, exam time, etc.) and submit it for approval. You must include the need for a reader/scribe within this request. This must be done no less than 7 days in advance (14 days for finals). Readers and proctors are provided by RCPD and not from other sources without faculty or RCPD approval. 

    • Once the exam is approved, you will receive a confirmation email verifying the date and time. This may take 2-4 business days from the time you submit the request. 

    • After receiving your confirmation email, you should provide your instructor with an Alternative Testing Site Authorization (ATSA) form – you only need to fill in the “student section” at the very top and your instructor will fill in the rest. Find the ATSA form in RCPD's Document Index

    • You will generally be sent a reminder email 1 business day before the exam.  

  • Recommendations to Aid in Your Success: 

    • Do not wait until the last minute to get your exam accommodations arranged. 

    • Talk to your instructor(s) at the start of term – if they cannot accommodate you and you need to take your exams in the RCPD office, go through your syllabus and submit exam requests for every exam for the rest of term.  

    • Do not skip talking to your instructor and jump right to submitting exam requests with the RCPD office – we will ask you if you talked to your instructor and verify this with your instructor.  

    • Please reach out to our testing coordinator (RCPD.tests@campusad.msu.edu) any time you have questions or concerns about alternative exam accommodations.  

Faculty Responsibilities 

  • Have an interactive discussion with the student who is requesting a reader and/or scribe 

  • Determine your ability to provide a reader/scribe and a space that will not disrupt other students  

  • If a student needs to request an RCPD reader/scribe to meet them at your assessment location, notify the student of the need for them to fill out the request form at MyProfile. RCPD is able to dispatch a reader or scribe to facilitate your management of the test. Please note our readers and scribes are not proctors so please ensure the test is monitored as you find appropriate.   

  • If a student needs to test at RCPD, coordinate with the student in filling the Alternative Testing Site Authorization (ATSA) form and return the form with the test attached to the RCPD front desk before the testing date. You or another designated person will then pick up the exam from the RCPD front desk after the test is completed.  Find the ATSA form in RCPD's Document Index

Accommodation: Use of Student-Supplied Ear Plugs and/or Noise Cancelling Headphones on Course Assessments. Headphones Cannot Be Linked to a Device.
  • Student can choose to provide and wear ear plugs and/or noise cancelling headphones (not connected to a device) during course quizzes and exams.  

  • Instructors and students should work together to verify that headphones are not connected to a device.  

  • Concerns regarding academic dishonesty should be referred to the Student Conduct System. The MSU Dean of Students Office offers resources and processes for handling code of conduct concerns.

Accommodation: Large Print and Braille Tests

For some students, large print or Braille versions of test material represent the most appropriate accommodations. RCPD works directly with instructors to coordinate the provision of these testing formats. Advance notice is critical for successful production of Braille or large print tests. These formats may require the use of a scribe for recording answers.

Large Print

When a student requests large print, instructors should contact RCPD to arrange delivery of the standard print exam for enlarging. In many cases, the most effective solution involves RCPD providing the instructor with a small amount of instruction on producing large print via a standard copy machine or laser printer. In this case, the student should inform the instructor about the specifics of an effective enlargement.

Braille 

If a student needs Braille for a test, RCPD will work directly with instructors to arrange production. In most cases, Braille testing also involves a need for the student to schedule a scribe for recording answers.