Every student at Moravian College has a faculty advisor. An advisor is assigned to each first-year student to assist in planning the academic program, adjusting to college, and selecting a major (generally toward the end of the freshman year). In addition, the first-year advisor serves as instructor for Learning in Common 101: First-Year Seminar. This course introduces students to the intellectual life of Moravian College. It also helps them develop coherent plans for their education and maximize their academic performance. Students remain with their first-year advisor until they declare a major.
When a student has selected a major and filed the appropriate form with the Registrar's Office, a faculty member in the major department becomes the advisor and continues in that capacity unless the student later changes the major. (Those who elect double majors receive an advisor from both departments; students seeking teacher certification have a major advisor and an education advisor.) The student consults with the advisor about the selection and sequence of courses, career plans, and further study.
The dean of curriculum and academic programs and the assistant dean for academic advising also will help students who wish to explore the possibility of an interdepartmental or individually designed major. The Career Center is available to help students who have questions about the relationship of an academic major to career planning.
Specific information on degrees, majors, guidelines, policies, and curriculum is found in the Moravian College Catalog.
Advisors are provided to assist students in planning their academic programs. They are not authorized to change established policy of the College. Each student is solely responsible for ensuring that his or her academic program complies with the requirements for the program of general education, the major, and any other degree requirements of the College. Any advice which is at variance with established policy must be confirmed by the Office of Academic Affairs in writing.
Appeals of decisions concerning academic rules and regulations must be submitted in writing to the associate dean for academic affairs.
The Academic Support Center (ASC) provides academic support services and programs for students experiencing academic difficulty, seeking to enhance their academic performance, and requesting accommodation for documented disabilities (see Disability Support Services below for more information).
Individual and group instruction in time management, avoiding procrastination, textbook mastery, note taking, test preparation, and personal learning styles are available throughout the academic year. Individual academic counseling is offered, as well as faculty consultation, peer tutoring, and peer assistance.
Students should notify the Academic Support Center of extended absence from classes because of illness or personal emergencies.
Moravian College adheres to the principles and mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, even when using mitigating measures, such as glasses, medication, prostheses, or hearing aids. Major life activities are functions such as breathing, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, exercising cognitive abilities, sitting, standing, lifting, reaching, and working. The College will provide reasonable accommodation, upon request, to students whose conditions meet the legal definition of a disability under the ADA and who are considered otherwise qualified.
Students with disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, neurological disorders, health, physical, mobility, hearing, visual, mental health/psychiatric) should contact the assistant director of academic and disability support for further assistance and information.
Special classroom set-ups, alternate testing, physical plant (campus) alterations, and other accommodations for students with documented disabilities are available on a case-by-case basis. It is the responsibility of students with disabilities to self-identify and request accommodation through the appropriate office.
Students must provide documentation of a disability and the rationale for the requested accommodation from a professional with expertise in the condition. The documentation must include a specific diagnosis and a thorough report. Required documentation for learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder must include the results of a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment (including all subtest scores) that evaluates the intellectual functioning, achievement, and information-processing domains of cognitive functioning. All evaluations should be based on adult-normed measures. The diagnosis should be based on DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. In addition, documentation for ADHD should include evidence of early as well as current impairment, a diagnostic interview with third-party input (teachers, parents), and an interpretive summary that explains how the disability is a substantial limitation to learning. Testing should be recent (administered within three years prior to enrollment) for learning disabilities and ADHD. The College reserves the right to request updated verification of the functional impact of fluctuating conditions in order to assess the need for ongoing accommodation.
It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodation well in advance of the need in order to give the College a reasonable amount of time to evaluate the documentation and implement the request. Classroom accommodation requiring notification to faculty must be requested for each semester for which it is needed.
A student who disagrees with an action or decision of a disability support provider, faculty member, or college administrator, may file a grievance with the director of leadership development, who serves as the College's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator for students. The grievance must be submitted in writing. The ADA coordinator will review the student's complaint and investigate the action or decision in question. The ADA coordinator will issue a written decision within two weeks of receiving the grievance.
The student may appeal the ADA coordinator's decision to the president of the College. An appeal must be submitted in writing. The president will respond to the appeal in writing within two weeks.
If a period longer than two weeks is needed for either the ADA coordinator or the president of the College to complete an investigation and render a decision, the student will be notified of this in writing and given a specific time-frame for a decision to be made.
A detailed copy of the complete ADA Grievance Procedure may be obtained in the Student Affairs Office at 1301 Main Street (610 861-1503) or on the College website.
Please see Disability Support Services in the Campus Offices and Services section elsewhere in this handbook for further information, and check the College's website for periodic updates concerning services for students with disabilities.
Some individuals with disabilities utilize the services of trained animals to directly assist them in daily life. Service animals, often referred to as assistance animals, are permitted to accompany a person with a disability everywhere on campus.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as "any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, and alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items."
Requirements of service animals and their owners at Moravian College include:
- Dogs must be licensed in accordance with city regulations and wear a valid vaccination tag.
- Any other animals that are trained for service to a person with a disability must have vaccinations appropriate for that type of animal.
- Animals must be in good health. Any service animals occupying college housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.
- Animals must be on a leash at all times.
- The owner of the service animal must be in full control of the animal at all times.
- The owner is responsible for appropriate waste clean-up and overall cleanliness of the animal.
The service animal owner is responsible for the appropriate management of his or her animal in all college facilities. Disruptive and/or aggressive behavior on the part of the animal may result in the owner being asked to remove the animal from college facilities.
Students with Service/Assistance Animals
Students with disabilities desiring to use a service animal on campus must contact the Academic Support Center to register as a student with a documented disability. The assistant director of academic and disability support will assist the student in determining any additional accommodation appropriate to the functional limitations of his or her disability. A student with a disability who uses a service animal and who resides in campus-owned housing is required to alert the Office of Student Affairs of the animal's status.
Etiquette with Service/Assistance Animals
- Allow a service animal to accompany the partner at all times and everywhere on campus except where service animals are specifically prohibited.
- Do not pet a service animal; petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand. Service dogs typically wear a leather harness, scarf or sign to indicate they are working animals.
- Do not feed a service animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill.
- Do not deliberately startle a service animal.
- Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner/handler from her or his service animal.
A pet can be considered a companion or therapy animal. A therapy animal does not assist an individual with a disability in the activities of daily living. The therapy animal does not accompany a person with a disability all the time, unlike a trained service animal that is always with its owner. Thus, a therapy animal is not covered by laws protecting service animals and giving rights to service animals. Moravian College housing units prohibit pets, which would include companion or therapy animals.
As a courtesy to students, faculty members issue midterm warnings to students at risk of failure. The director of academic and disability support, in conjunction with the deans in the Academic Support Center, notifies such students, urging them to consult with professors, academic advisors, or Academic Support Center staff members for assistance and development of a comprehensive strategy for academic improvement.
Faculty members are encouraged to refer to the Academic Support Center those students who have been absent from class, who are performing poorly, or who have given other indications of difficulty. ASC notifies students of the concern and offers assistance, which may include tutoring support, a conference with the professor, study skills and time management instruction, goal setting, referral to another support office, and/or a plan of ongoing support and assessment. The student's professor and academic advisor will be sent information that might prove helpful in following the progress of an advisee. Individual departments also can provide information about tutoring programs and extra help sessions.
The Writing Center is a free tutoring service staffed by Moravian students and directed by a faculty member. Students may bring writing of any type, including research papers, essay assignments, and letters of application. The writing may be at any stage of development, from rough notes to finished drafts. The center's tutors work closely with students to help them recognize their strengths as writers, diagnose mechanical and grammatical problems, and improve skills. The center is equipped with computers for students who prefer to be tutored using electronic versions of their work. A collection of handbooks, rhetorics, and other writing reference works is available for study and browsing. Hours of operation are posted on the door of the Writing Center on the second floor of Zinzendorf Hall. The staff will accommodate walk-ins if possible, but appointments are recommended. Call 610 861-1592 for more information.