Academic AccommodationsAcademic Support Center


Academic accommodations are adjustments to courses, programs, and services that provide equal access and improve a student’s ability to fully engage in the college experience.

  • They do not fundamentally alter the requirements of the college’s standards, course, or program requirements.
  • They do not modify the content or rigor of the course. All students are held to the same standards.
  • Accommodations are not retroactive.

Examples of Academic Accommodations:

  • Testing accommodations
  • Materials in alternative format
  • Advanced copies of notes and slides
  • Note taking accommodations
  • Preferential seating
  • Use of computer on exams
  • Captioning of videos
  • Course substitutions for non-English language or math
  • Priority registration
  • Lower lab benches in a science class to accommodate a wheelchair
  • Making alternative arrangements for presentations such as a written paper or recorded speech

Some students require dietary or housing accommodations. Accessibility resources staff will refer students to the campus dietician or Residential Life if these accommodations are needed. More information about these accommodations is available online at:

Process for Obtaining Accommodations

  • Make an appointment with accessibility resources staff in the Academic Support Center by calling 507-933-7227.
  • Discuss with accessibility resources staff the academic impact of your condition and how these impacts have been addressed in the past. Personalized accommodations are determined in conversation between the accessibility resources staff and the student. If documentation is available, it is helpful to bring it to the initial meeting. Accessibility resources staff will provide you with more information if additional documentation is needed. See Documentation Guidelines for more information.
  • The accessibility resources staff will create and email the student an access letter that explains the impact of the disability on the student and what accommodations are appropriate. The student is responsible for sending this letter to their instructors.
  • The student is then responsible for initiating a conversation with faculty regarding specific learning needs and accommodations for each course. This allows the student and instructor to talk about how accommodations will be implemented for that particular course.

Students are responsible for requesting an updated accommodation letter each semester.

Talking to Professors about Your Accommodations

Talking with professors regarding your accommodations is necessary to determine how they will be implemented. This also helps to establish a relationship with your professors. Here are some recommendations to guide your conversation:

  • Schedule a meeting as soon as possible. Ideally this should happen in the first week of class or shortly after you have established accommodations through accessibility resources. You may approach your professor before or after class to arrange a time or arrange a time via email.
  • Start with the professors with whom you feel most comfortable. Doing so will help you gain confidence in approaching other professors.
  • Plan ahead. Think about what information regarding your accommodations you want to discuss. You do not need to share your specific diagnosis. The focus should be on what your needs are and how to accommodate them.
  • Use your accommodation letter as a starting point for the conversation. Determine how accommodations will be implemented and how you will communicate with your professors regarding your accommodations if needed (e.g. if you use testing accommodations or need to be absent).

Study Abroad Accommodations

If you plan to study abroad, meet with accessibility resources staff early in your planning process to determine your accommodation needs specific to the study abroad experience. Accessibility resources staff will work with you to fill out the Gustavus Access Abroad. Please review this form before your meeting with accessibility resources staff.

Alternative Testing Arrangements

Students who have testing accommodations will need to arrange an alternative space for testing before each test. Professors are asked to make arrangements for students with testing accommodations in their department. If they cannot make these arrangements, the student and professor will request to take a test in the Academic Support Center using the Alternative Testing Form. This form should be filled out by the student and professor and submitted at least three work days before the test. The testing form should be initiated by the student and confirmed by the professor. 

Request to TEST in ASC: Fill out the Alternative Testing Request HERE.