Disability Accommodations Policy & FERPA Information

Pitzer College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended, and other applicable state and federal law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Conditions potentially covered by the law include, among other things, AIDS, Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes, Epilepsy, head injuries, hearing impairments, specific learning disabilities, loss of limbs, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, psychiatric disorders, speech impairments, spinal cord injuries, and visual impairments.

During the admission process, each applicant is evaluated on the basis of academic achievement and their potential to satisfy Pitzer’s rigorous academic standards. Applicants are not admitted to a modified program of study. Once a student with a disability has been accepted to Pitzer College, he or she should contact the Associate Dean of Students and provide documentation of the disability if accommodations are desired. For all students wishing to be accommodated for disabilities, students are required to provide a recent professional evaluation which identifies the disability, describes the challenges to participation in college life the student faces due to the condition, and recommendations for specific accommodations. All documentation must contain the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed, and should include information about what tests and/or records were used to make the determinations.

In the case of learning disabilities or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the Associate Dean in Student Affairs will discuss the documentation Pitzer requires in order to grant academic accommodations and where such documentation can be obtained if the student has not already obtained it. When documentation of specific learning disorders or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is provided, the Associate Dean of Students may consult with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services when needed. The student should request accommodations for each semester the accommodations are desired. Accommodations are only provided on a semester-by-semester basis. Additionally, students should request accommodations two weeks in advance of when they believe they will need them. This advance time is often crucial in order to provide the most appropriate and necessary accommodation. Failure to do so may result in an inability on the part of the College to provide requested assistance in a timely manner. Accommodations are not retroactive. Instructors must be allowed one week after receiving the accommodation request, to implement the accommodations.

The student’s faculty members and the Faculty advisors are notified via email from the Director of Academic Support Services. At the student’s request faculty members and the Dean of Students at another Claremont consortium college will be notified via email if the student is taking coursework through cross-registration.

The requested accommodations should maintain the academic integrity of the courses and the academic program as a whole while attempting to meet the student’s needs. Pitzer College does not routinely waive academic requirements for students with disabilities. Rather, our policy is to assist the student in his or her efforts to meet Pitzer requirements by making reasonable accommodations.

As additional support, the Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Services will discuss resources available to students, such as Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, Academic Coaches, Writing Center and peer tutoring program.

Adjustments, auxiliary aids, and support services are arranged case by case in a highly individualized manner, based on need as supported by the documentation.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (FERPA) is the Federal law which requires educational institutions to establish a written policy with regard to the privacy rights of students. It also requires such institutions to make a statement describing their procedures with regard to students’ privacy rights available.

Pitzer College shall maintain the confidentiality of education records in accordance with the provisions of FERPA, and shall accord all the rights under the law to all students who are or have been in attendance at Pitzer College.


For the purpose of this statement, Pitzer College has adopted the following definitions of terms:

Student: any person who attends or has attended Pitzer College.

Education records: any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, digital, or other medium) maintained by Pitzer College, which is directly related to students. Education records include, but are not limited to, admissions, personal, academic, certain personnel, financial, and placement records.

Annual Notification

Pitzer College will notify all registered students annually of their FERPA rights through publication of such in the Academic Support Services which is distributed to all students every year and is available on the Pitzer website.

Right of Inspection

Students may inspect and review information contained in their education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian. Pitzer College has designated the Registrar as the staff person responsible for the coordination of inspection and review procedures for student education records.

Request For Review

Students wishing to review their education records must present a written request to the Registrar. The request must identify as precisely as possible the records they wish to inspect.

The Registrar or another appropriate college staff member will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible, and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access will be given within 45 days or less from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records related to them.

Students have the right to a copy of their education record which is subject to review only when failure to provide a copy of a record would effectively prevent the student from inspecting and reviewing the record, as determined at the discretion of the Registrar. No copies will be made for students living within commuting distance of the College. A copy of an education record otherwise subject to review may be refused if a “hold” for non-payment of financial obligations exists or in case of an unresolved disciplinary action involving the student. No copies of original documents, or of source documents which originate from and exist elsewhere, including any high school transcripts or transcripts from other academic institutions, will be made. Copies are made at the student’s expense and at a fee determined by the Registrar.

Limitations on Students’ Right of Access

Under the law, Pitzer College reserves the right to refuse to permit student inspection or review of the following:

  1. Financial information submitted by parents.
  2. Confidential letters and/or recommendations to which students have waived right of access or which were placed in their files before January 1, 1975.
  3. Education records containing information about more than one student. In such a case, if possible, access will be allowed to the part of the record pertaining to the inquiring student.
  4. Records connected with an application to attend Pitzer College, if the application was denied.
  5. Records excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.

Disclosure of Education Records

No person outside Pitzer College shall have access to, nor shall Pitzer College disclose, any personally identifiable information from a student’s education record, without the written consent of the student, except as permitted by law. The consent must specify the education record disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made, and must be signed and dated by the student. In accordance with the law, Pitzer College reserves the right to disclose education records without written consent to:

  1. “School officials” who have a “legitimate educational interest”. “School officials” shall mean any person who is a trustee, officer, agent, or employee of Pitzer College, or of The Claremont Colleges, as appropriate.  “Legitimate educational interest” shall mean any authorized interest or activity undertaken in the name of the College, or of The Claremont Colleges, and in the educational interest of a student, for which access to an education record is necessary or appropriate to the proper performance of the task. At Pitzer College this shall include access by personnel in the Offices of the President, Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Students, Registrar, Admission, Alumni, Development, Trustees, PITZER Faculty, legal counsel, and any others authorized by the President, to the extent that the foregoing persons are acting within the course and scope of their employment or authority, and access is necessary or appropriate as defined above.
  2. To authorized representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and State and local educational authorities, if the information is necessary for audit and evaluation of federal, state or locally supported programs and only if such agencies or authorities have a policy for protecting such information from re-disclosure and for destroying such information when it is no longer needed for such purpose (unless access is authorized by federal law or student consent).
  3. To persons or organizations providing student financial aid in order to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the award.
  4. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
  5. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or providing contracted services to the College, provided there is no further external disclosure of personally identifiable information and the information is destroyed when no longer necessary for the projects.
  7. To accrediting organizations carrying out their functions.
  8. To persons in order to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
  9. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  10. To parents of students under 21 years of age, who are claimed as economic dependents on the federal tax returns of one or more parent.
  11. To officials of another school where the student seeks to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, if the disclosure is for the purpose of the student’s enrollment or transfer.

Pitzer College will keep a record of all third party requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student’s education record for at least one semester. The record will specify the education records disclosed, the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed, the date of the disclosure, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information, if appropriate. This written record may be reviewed by the student upon request. No record of disclosure is required for disclosures made to a student for his or her own use, disclosures made with written consent of a student, disclosures made to a Pitzer “official” with a “legitimate educational interest,” or for disclosures of “directory” type information.

Directory Information

At the discretion of the Registrar or the Dean of Students, Pitzer College may confirm or disclose “directory information” to the general public. The College defines “directory information” in accordance with FERPA to include:

  • Name
  • Addresses
  • Email Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Photograph and videos
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Dates of attendance and classification
  • Previous academic institutions attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Currently enrolled students may request the College not to disclose Directory Information by notifying the Registrar in writing within two weeks after the first day of classes for the fall semester. All written requests for non-disclosure of Directory Information by current students will be honored for the period of one academic year only; therefore, requests to withhold Directory Information must be filed annually. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. Alumni may request non-disclosure of Directory Information at any time; such requests will be honored until otherwise notified. Pitzer College assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of Directory Information indicates individual approval for disclosure.

Correction of Education Records

Students have the right to request to have their education records amended, if they believe the records are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights. Pitzer College has established the following procedures for requests to change records.

  1. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, should first request the Registrar to amend the record. All such requests must be made in writing. When making such a request, students must clearly identify the part of the record they believe is incorrect, and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy or other rights. It is the responsibility of the student to provide legal documentation (e. official birth certificate, court record, or marriage certificate) for requests for name changes. Official College records are not altered, if former students change their names after they leave the College.
  2. If the decision of the Registrar is in agreement with the request of the students, the appropriate records will be amended, and the students will be notified in writing of the amendment. If the decision is not in agreement, the Registrar will notify the students of the decision, and advise them of their right to a formal hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their rights.
  3. Within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the notice from the Registrar, students may address requests for a hearing in writing to the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty will, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by one or more disinterested individuals designated by the Dean of the Faculty. The panel will deliver a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented, state the findings of fact, and provide the reasons for the panel’s decision. The decision of the panel will be final. The written report shall be mailed to the students and any other concerned party within 30 days after the date of the hearing.
  5. At the hearing, students shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in their original request to amend their education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney, at their expense.
  6. If the College determines that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the students’ right of privacy or other rights, it will notify the students that they have the right to place a statement in their education record commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth their reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the students’ education record as long as the contested portion is maintained. And, if Pitzer College discloses a contested portion of a record, it will also disclose the students’ statement.
  7. If it is determined that the education records at issue are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the students, the education records shall be amended in accordance with the decision and the students shall be informed of the amendment in writing.

Veterans’ Records

Under the requirements of CFR §14209(f), Retention of Records, the College keeps all records and accounts pertaining to each period of enrollment of veterans and other eligible persons intact and in good condition for at least three (3) years following the termination of the enrollment periods. If the Registrar receives a written request from the General Accounting Office or the Veterans Administration no later than 30 days prior to the end of the three-year period, the College will keep the records longer as requested.

Printable pdf

Grievance and Discrimination Policies and Procedures

If a student believes that the student has been the subject of discrimination or harassment because of a disability, the student may assert a claim under the College’s Discrimination Policies and Procedures, which can be found HERE.

  • Examples of Specific Accommodations
    • Accommodations for hearing impairments can include FM system, note takers and/or photocopies of lecture notes, written assignments, lab instructions, and demonstration summaries.
    • Accommodations for visual impairment include seating near the front of the class, large print handouts, class assignments made available in electronic format, living space sufficient to accommodate students, and computer equipment to enlarge screen characters and images.
    • Accommodations for psychiatric disabilities can include note takers, extended time on exams and/or a private test area, a reduced course load, and assistive technology.
  • Absences and Students with Disabilities

    Students whose disability may cause frequent absences from class must provide the Office of Student Affairs Office Academic Support Services with documentation supportive of the possibility of frequent absences and make an appointment to discuss this matter with the Associate Dean of Students as soon as possible.

    Disability related absences may be caused by conditions such as exacerbation of symptoms of the disability, reaction to prescribed medication, weather, or failure of transportation; however, this should not be construed as an all-inclusive list.

    Reasonable accommodations for such absences may include, but are not limited to, flexibility of class attendance policy, extension of time for assigned work, and flexibility in making up missed assignments and tests. (Such accommodations, however, are solely at the discretion of the faculty are not unlimited in scope and must be applied in consideration with what are considered the fundamental requirements and attendance policy for the course.)

    Upon receipt of the documentation, the Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Services will serve as the liaison and advocate for the student discussing with the faculty member the disability related absences and possible accommodations. Students will be expected to assume responsibility for providing notification of absence and for making up missed assignments and exams. Although your absence may be related to your disability (exceptions may be granted on a case by case basis) however, you are still required to comply with Pitzer College’s add, drop, withdraw and leave of absence policies as stated in the college catalog.

  • Academic Coaching

    What is Academic Coaching?
    Working hard in high school does not always prepare you for the pace, volume and complexity of a Pitzer College education. Academic coaching is one way to personalize your Pitzer education and help you stay on track academically. Unlike your academic adviser who works with you to plan your course curriculum and how you can best meet requirements to earn your degree; an academic coach focuses on helping you with learning strategies and life management skills which, in turn, contribute to you successfully managing academic demands.

    Academic coaching is a working partnership between a professional coach and Pitzer student that focuses on the process of learning. Students are able to examine their learning styles, habits with school work, current difficulties or barriers to success, as well as things they do well. Academic coaching relates to strategic thinking, problem solving, and learning to work effectively with others. Some examples on how an academic coach can assist students include:

    • Establishing and maintaining daily schedules and routines
    • Strategies for organizational management and prioritizing
    • Support through decision making processes
    • Exam preparation and test-taking strategies

    Who is the program for?

    • Students who want and need support in order to achieve success at Pitzer College
    • Students referred by a dean, advisor or professor
    • Students with disabilities

    Advantages for Students with Disabilities

    With the nature of many disabilities, learning can be uneven over time. Whether students experience visual impairments, hearing loss, ADHD, learning disabilities, chronic or temporary health conditions, there are times when students are less able to be fully present to learn certain strategies and skills or take reasoning and problem solving to higher levels. These times of less optimal learning can create what later appear as gaps in learning or functioning. When students attempt to navigate college courses requiring these skill areas (which may be weak), they can experience significantly higher levels of stress and doubt their capacity to thrive academically in college.

    How do I access the program?
    Go to the online form and complete the online request.

  • Confidentiality and Release of Information

    The Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Services is committed to providing services to Students with Disabilities and ensuring that all information regarding a student is maintained as CONFIDENTIAL as required by law. Any information collected is used for the benefit of determining and providing reasonable accommodations.

    To protect confidentiality by assuring limited access, all disability related information must be filed with Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Services.

    Information received will not be released except in accordance with federal and state laws, which require release in the following circumstances if a student:

    • States they intend to harm themselves or another person(s);
    • Reports or describes any physical abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults within the last three years (this includes the occurrence of abuse or neglect to the student if he or she was under age eighteen at the time of the abuse);
    • Reports the use of an illegal drug for nonmedical purpose during pregnancy; or
    • Reports or describes sexual exploitation by counseling or healthcare professionals.

    Please read the description of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in the College catalog.

    A student may give written authorization for the release of information when she or he wishes to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released. Information will not be released without consent unless it is required by federal or state law. (Release of Information form)

    If a student is refused an accommodation that he/she believes is necessary, the student may take his or her concerns to the Associate Dean of Students. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Dean of Students can review the original request. Additionally, students may take allegations of discrimination to one of the appropriate College’s academic/judicial committees.

  • Documentation for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, ADD/ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that manifests itself in academic, occupational, and/or social situations. In order to be considered a disability, the disorder must meet the definitions provided by applicable law. The assessor should be qualified to conduct such assessments. Documentation may be obtained from family and general physicians or psychiatrists. Please be sure that your assessor has experience in the field of adult Attention Deficit Disorders. The Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Service Office and Monsour can also provide you with information about professionals in the local area who can conduct evaluations.

    Please provide a copy of a recent professional evaluation (within the past three years) that discusses past and present symptoms. Your documentation should identify the disability, describe the limitations caused by the disability, and, if possible, it should recommend accommodations to be provided. The documentation should include information about the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms, including specific information about how the disability has interfered with educational achievement.

    If applicable, the report should cover medical history relating to the current use of medication and the impact of the medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the academic program.

    Useful sources of information for diagnosis of ADHD include: childhood data (report cards, prior evaluations, interviews with parents, student’s recollections, parent and/or teacher ratings or recollections); current functioning (ratings by student and parents); and psychological testing (IQ data, personality testing, and neuropsychological testing, if warranted). The report must include information about the tests and methods used to make the diagnosis. This information is confidential and will not be released to others without the student’s permission. Reports may be shared with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, to determine appropriate accommodations as needed. Accommodations for ADHD include notetakers, alternative exam formats, including extended time and a private test area, part-time enrollment, and registration asistance.

  • Learning Disabilities

    Learning disabilities/differences are characterized by difficulties in listening, reading, speaking, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities and is diagnosed by a professional in the field of educational assessment. When choosing a diagnostician, please make sure the assessor has experience in the field of adult learning disabilities. Assessment instruments should be valid and reliable for adult students. Typically, licensed psychologists or neuropsychologists are involved in the process of assessment. The Dean of Students’ Office and Monsour can also provide recommendations about professionals in the area who are qualified to conduct such assessments.

    Testing must be comprehensive. Domains to be addressed must include:

    1. Aptitude (e.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, III; Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery- Revised)
    2. Achievement (e.g, Woodcock Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised, test of Achievement; Stanford Test of Academic Skills; Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults; Test of Written Language-2; Woodcock Reading Mastery Test- Revised)
    3. Information Processing (e.g., Short and Long Term Memory; Sequential Memory; Auditory and Visual Perception/Processing; Processing Speed, as assessed by use of the WAIS III or Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability)

    Testing must be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years. There must be clear and specific evidence of a learning disability.

    The documentation should include information regarding the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms, as well as the specifics describing how it has interfered with educational achievement. Names of the specific tests given and test score/data should be included. Additionally, reports should include a summary of the student’s educational, medical, and family histories that may be relevant to the learning disability. This summary should demonstrate that the student’s difficulties are not the result of other factors like sensory impairment, serious emotional disturbance, cultural differences, or insufficient instruction. If possible, reports should include recommendations for accommodations. This information is confidential and will not be released to others without the student’s permission. Reports may be shared as needed with Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, to determine appropriate accommodations.

    For learning disabilities, possible accommodations include notetakers, proofreaders, alternative exam formats (e.g., extended time, oral rather than written exams), an opportunity for students to petition to substitute course work required for graduation, readers, transcription services, part-time enrollment and registration assistance.

  • Psychological Disability

    A psychological disability normally will be listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The latest version, published in 2000, is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders IV Text Revision. Not all diagnoses qualify as a disability. The condition must be a mental or psychological condition that meets the definitions of applicable law. A written statement from a qualified, licensed medical professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or qualified MD should be provided.

    The diagnosis that the medical professional provides must be current, and should include the following data: DSM IV diagnosis across all axes, date of diagnosis and last office visit, the assessment or evaluation procedures used to make this diagnosis, a description of the major symptoms of the disorder currently manifested by the student, including level of severity, any medications prescribed and possible side-effects, a description of the functional limitations imposed by the disorder, and the current prognosis for the student.

    Students are also asked to provide documentation which describes the disability and recommends accommodations to be provided. The documentation should include information regarding the onset, longevity and severity of the symptoms, as well as the specifics describing the impact of the disability on the student’s academic performance. This information is confidential and will not be released to others without the student’s permission.

    The staff of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services is qualified to provide the required documentation. In addition, the Associate Dean of Students can refer you to many qualified individuals in the Claremont area who can evaluate you, as well.

    Accommodations can include extended time on exams and/or a private test area, a reduced course load, and assistive technology.

  • Mobility, Visual, and Hearing Impairments

    Pitzer College is committed to making the campus accessible. Students who are concerned about accessibility should make these concerns known as soon as possible. Students seeking accommodations for mobility impairments should present documentation from a qualified medical professional, and this professional should include information about the diagnosis and how it was reached. The Associate Dean will work with the student to determine appropriate housing and classroom assignments and other accommodations.

    For individuals with visual impairments or low vision, appropriate documentation includes the results of a visual examination from a qualified medical professional such as an ophthalmologist. The Office of Student Affairs Academic Support Services can provide note-takers, audio recordings of lectures and other material, or special software. Students may choose options such as sitting near the front of the class, receiving large print handouts, getting class assignments in electronic format, or using computer equipment to enlarge screen characters and images. The College will work with the individual student to create appropriate accommodations.

    The College is committed to working with students to create appropriate course scheduling options and housing options in light of the student’s needs. For the above disabilities, information documenting the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms, as well as specifics describing how the disability has created challenges for educational achievement is necessary.

  • Physical Disabilities/Chronic Illnesses

    Physical impairments refer to physiological disorders or conditions affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, immunological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine. Chronic illnesses include, but are not limited to, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, human immunodeficiency virus, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, allergies, and other diseases. In order to be considered a disability, the disorder(s), conditions, or chronic illness must meet the definitions provided by applicable law.

    The professional (e.g., physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant) who provides the assessment must be qualified to do so. Students must provide a recent professional evaluation which identifies the disability, describes the limitations caused by this condition, and, if possible, recommends accommodations that should be provided. The documentation should include information about the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms, in addition to how it has created challenges for educational achievement. This information is confidential and will not be released to others without the student’s permission.

    Student Health Services may be able to provide appropriate documentation for you. In addition, they may be able to refer you to off campus clinicians who are qualified to conduct appropriate assessments.

    In some cases, special dietary arrangements can be made with dining services, and students can work with the Associate Dean of Students to create appropriate course scheduling options or housing options in light of the student’s needs.

    Personal Care Attendants

    Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s), individuals who provide assistance with personal needs and activities of daily living, to persons with disabilities are the responsibility of the student with a disability. The student must assume responsibility for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, and paying his/her personal care attendant.

    Students who require the assistance of a PCA should meet with the Associate Dean of Students to discuss specific needs and requirements.