Initiated by: Dean of Student Affairs
Reviewed by: Policy Coordinator
Approved by: Dr. Paul F. Gasparro, President
The purpose of the policy is to reasonably accommodate the sincerely held beliefs and practices of students regarding exams, other academic requirements, and absences for reasons of faith or religious and spiritual belief systems.
In accordance with Ohio R.C. 3345.026 , Belmont College has adopted the following policy permitting absences during the academic semester for reasons of faith, religion, spiritual belief, or organized activities connected to a religious denomination, church, other religious spiritual/ organization.
All full-time faculty, part-time faculty including high school teachers who are teaching College Credit Plus courses for Belmont College, and students.
College Credit Plus Faculty – high school teachers who are hired by Belmont College to teach college courses for high school students at the high school.
Full and Part-Time Faculty – all Belmont College instructional teachers of traditional credit courses, College Credit Plus courses, and Workforce and Community Education courses.
Belmont College is committed to supporting students who wish to practice their religious beliefs in keeping with its institutional values and compliance with Ohio state law. Belmont College values diversity of its’ student body, including diversity in religious expression. Belmont College seeks to accommodate students with personal religious beliefs who wish to observe work-restricted religious holidays. The following provisions apply to all faiths and religious groups equally.
- This policy applies to all Belmont College students.
- Students are permitted up to three days of absences per semester for faith/spiritual belief/participation in organized activities of religious/spiritual organizations. Students will not be penalized for approved class absences due to religious holidays. Instructors will schedule, without prejudicial effect, an alternative time and date for any missed exams or academic requirements. This policy does not apply to required attendance in the clinical care setting.
- The student must provide the instructor with written notice of the requested dates for alternative accommodations within the first 14 calendar days of a course. This applies to all courses, regardless of course length. A student’s absence request will not be approved if the student fails to provide the requisite notice for their absence request. Failure to obtain approval for an absence may result in a penalty from the College or program. Instructors should contact the Dean of Student Affairs or his/her designee to track accommodations for each student.
- Instructors will accept, without question, the sincerity of a student’s spiritual or religious belief system and will keep alternative accommodation requests confidential.
- The course syllabus for every course at Belmont College will include information on how to request faith-related accommodations and contact information for a compliance administrator at Belmont College.
- With appropriate advance notice and approval, accommodations will be provided. The type of accommodation provided is at the discretion of the instructor and may vary by course or program depending on the nature and type of educational activity. When modifications are requested, students and faculty should make a reasonable effort to reach mutually agreeable arrangements to reschedule the academic activity or provide a substitute activity or evaluation. An absence for the observance of a religious holiday does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of the absence and missed work remains the student’s responsibility to complete.
- It may not be possible to miss extensive periods of scheduled academic classes or experiences (e.g. clinicals) due to the format of the program. Students should check the academic calendar prior to enrollment to determine whether they can meet the obligations of the program.
- If a student’s request is not approved and/or they believe their respective instructor is not complying with this policy and the student wishes to file a complaint, they should contact the Dean of Student Affairs in writing. The Dean of Student Affairs will investigate the complaint and determine whether the instructor is adhering to the policy. If the student believes there is new information that was not presented to the Dean of Student Affairs or the finding is erred, they need to appeal the decision in writing within three days of the finding. The final decision will be made by the College President.
- This policy will be posted on the College website and include a non-exhaustive list of major religious holidays that will occur in the succeeding two academic years.
Religious Holidays/Holy Days
Belmont College has adopted the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s (ODHE) non-exhaustive list of major religious holidays or festivals. The list of religious holidays/holy days from January to December 2023 list can be viewed here.