Policies and Procedures
Harper College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or unfavorable discharge from military service. This policy governs the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of the College's programs and activities as specified by federal laws and regulations. It is also the policy of Harper College that no student or employee shall be subjected to sexual harassment, which is regarded as a form of discrimination.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, protect students with disabilities from discrimination that may occur as a result of misconceptions, attitudinal barriers, and/or failure of the institution to provide appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services. Examples of accommodations and auxiliary aids include, but are not limited to: qualified interpreters, note takers, extended time for exams, and educational materials in alternate formats (e.g., PDF with searchable text, print enlargement, Braille, etc.).
Access and Disability Services (ADS) strives to proactively identify and remove barriers to access to promote inclusion. We recognize that individuals may need reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to educational opportunities, programs, services, and activities.
Educational access is made possible with the provision of classroom accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services to ensure equal opportunities for all students regardless of disability. Creating equal opportunities is a collaborative effort between the student, the faculty member, and ADS.
The faculty, department chair, or department administrator cannot independently deny an approved accommodation or a request for accommodation. Any concerns about accommodations that impose an undue hardship upon the College, constitute a fundamental alteration to a program, or compromise academic integrity must be brought to the attention of ADS.
In order for us to effectively evaluate accommodation and service requests, the student will be asked to provide a disability or medical documentation during the application process. When necessary, the student may be asked to sign a release of information by the Access and Disability Services staff in order to obtain disability-related documentation from high schools, the Department of Rehabilitation Services, or other appropriate licensed professionals who can provide information about the impact a disability has on functional limitations, the history of using accommodations, medications, and treatments. This information is used in order to determine what appropriate accommodations, academic modifications, and/or assistive technology are necessary to ensure full participation.
If the student does not have a documentation, ADS has the discretion to whether or not to require a documentation for eligibility determination purposes. If the student is asked to provide a documentation, the student is responsible for the cost of obtaining a documentation.
ADS maintains disability and medical records obtained for the purpose of providing reasonable accommodations. The records are kept confidential and are not shared with individuals or units outside of the ADS except where disclosure is required by law or is necessary to facilitate legitimate College processes, such as addressing direct threats or investigating claims or charges.
Accommodations are approved and/or denied by ADS staff who have the primary responsibility of determining the accommodation eligibility. Any time an accommodation plan is created or an accommodation request is denied, the Access Advocate must notify the student (1) that the student can submit additional documentation to support the request, or (2) file an appeal with the Director, in writing.
- If the student submits additional documentation, the Access Advocate completes the secondary review with the student and approves or denies accommodation(s).
- If the student is unsatisfied with the Access Advocate’s decision to approve or deny an accommodation request, the student has up to 10 days to file a written appeal with the Director or Designee. The written appeal must contain the specific nature and basis of the appeal. While the appeal is being decided, the student will be provided with the accommodations originally approved by the Access Advocate.
- The Director or Designee has five (5) school days from receipt of the appeal request to review and respond in writing to the student and Access Advocate. A written response from the Director or Designee shall be final. If the appeal is decided in student’s favor, the accommodation(s) in question will not be applied retroactively.
If you feel that you have been unfairly or improperly treated due to a disability, you may contact Harper College’s Non-Discrimination Compliance Officer by contacting the Human Resources Office at 847.925.6216. The process, steps, and timelines to follow for filing a grievance are as follows:
Before filing a formal complaint, students and employees are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the Non-Discrimination Compliance Officer. This confidential discussion is seen as the first step in the resolution procedure. It allows for sharing of information, giving of advice and achieving mutual resolution between/among parties.
Filing and Resolution of a Complaint of Discrimination
A formal investigation of a claim of discrimination will only be undertaken by the Non-Discrimination Compliance Officer (NDCO) upon authorization of the complaining individual and receipt of a written complaint.
The following procedures shall be used for investigating complaint(s) of discrimination.
Within 21 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act or conduct, an employee or student should:
- submit a specific and detailed written complaint setting forth the nature of the alleged discrimination;
- identify the person(s) against whom the complaint is being filed;
- and identify the date(s) of the action(s) which is (are) the subject of the complaint, and the remedy or relief sought.
Upon receipt of the written complaint, the NDCO will review and discuss the complaint with all parties directly involved. On the basis of the written complaint and interview(s), the NDCO will determine what further investigative action is required.
After the initial interview(s) with the complainant, the NDCO will conduct further investigation as deemed appropriate. Such investigation may include, but is not limited to:
- interviewing the party(ies) alleged to have committed the discriminatory act;
- interviewing witnesses identified by the complaining or accused party;
- and reviewing documents relevant to the complaint.
As a result of the above initial steps, resolution with the parties will be explored. If resolution is not achieved, the NDCO will determine the appropriate actions to be taken.
The NDCO shall prepare a confidential report with regard to the investigation. The report shall state whether or not the NDCO believes a violation of the College's non-discrimination policy has occurred and whether or not resolution has been achieved. The NDCO's report shall be completed within 30 calendar days of receipt of any complaint(s); however, such time may be extended for an additional 30 calendar days if necessary.
If resolution is not achieved, the NDCO's report shall be submitted to the Executive Council for review and action within 14 calendar days of receipt of the report.
A copy of the confidential report will be sent to and maintained by the Chief Human Resource Officer of the College. The NDCO's findings shall be sent to the complaining and accused parties.
Either party may appeal in writing the decision of the Executive Council by filing an appeal with the President within five calendar days of receipt of the Executive Council's decision. The President shall respond within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.