We want to ensure you can access the tools you need to thrive during your academic journey at Elmira College.


English Language Learners (ELL)

Lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission or involvement. Elmira College is dedicated to ensuring our English Language Learner students are prepared for successful participation during and after their higher education experience.

The College will take appropriate measures to assess each student’s ability to participate and benefit through its English Language Learner Modification program. Students may also qualify for additional support including testing and classroom accommodations, academic advising, support, and counseling. Based on the assessment of English language comprehension, and after counseling or advising sessions, students are then placed within language improvement programs designed to empower and enrich.


Academic Accommodations


Carolyn Draht
Associate Registrar and Academic Accommodations Coordinator
(607) 735-1857

Carolyn Draht

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Elmira College is committed to providing reasonable accommodation and services to students with qualifying documented disabilities. The Academic Accommodations Coordinator engages in a collaborative process with each student to review requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis. The office also makes assistance available to individuals experiencing short-term illness or physical injury.

Examples of qualifying disabilities include:

  • learning disabilities
  • psychological or neurological conditions
  • visual, hearing, or mobility impairments
  • chronic health or medical conditions

Any disability that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities may necessitate modifications to the services, programs, or facilities of the College in order to ensure equal access. Students who have eligibility documentation on file with Elmira College’s Academic Accommodations Coordinator can be approved for a variety of appropriate accommodations that are matched to the individual student’s identified needs.

It is important to note, that while the college student is protected by Section 504, as well as the ADA, students choosing to go to college are not entitled to the same level of academic support they received in high school. Students entering college move from an environment that is structured to ensure student success to a college-level environment that is designed to allow equal access.

The college ensures access, but success is up to the student who must seek out appropriate support:

  • Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for more information on the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities preparing for postsecondary education.
  • Read this open letter from Dr. Jane Jarrow, Founder and President of Disability Compliance in Career and Online Learning, and of Disability Access Information and Support. Jarrow shares her experience transitioning her child with Cerebral Palsy to a higher education institute. Her letter includes recommendations on how to let your student or students take the lead in advocating for themselves.
  • Learn how Evelyn Schoenberger '22, a Nursing major, improved her test grades by seeking testing accommodations.

Documentation Guidelines

The following guidelines are provided to assist students, family members, physicians, or other medical professionals in identifying the type of information and documentation that will inform the process of determining reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

Please note, High School IEP and 504 plans are NOT considered sufficient documentation.

Documentation Recommendations

Documentation must include information on the student's diagnosis, specific functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations. The following are essential elements necessary for appropriate documentation for the determination and approval of accommodations:

  • Documentation should be recent, generally within the last five years; however, for permanent conditions, discretion may be used.
  • A statement or report provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).
  • Clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. A full clinical description will convey the necessary information.
  • A description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests, and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. Where appropriate, having both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report is recommended.

Diagnostic Recommendations

Diagnostic methods that are congruent with the particular disability and current professional practices in the field, are recommended. Methods may include formal instruments, medical examinations, structured interview protocols, performance observations and unstructured interviews. If results from informal, non-standardized, or less common methods of evaluation are reported, an explanation of their role and significance in the diagnostic process will strengthen their value in providing useful information.

  • Information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual. The best quality documentation is thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency, and pervasiveness of the condition(s).

  • The most comprehensive documentation will include a description of both current and past medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability. A discussion of any significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive performance is helpful when included in the report. While accommodations provided in another setting are not binding on the current institution, they may provide insight in making current decisions.

  • Any expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts. If the condition is not stable, information on interventions (including the individual's own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are most helpful.

  • Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for review and the planning process. It is most helpful when recommended accommodations and strategies are logically related to functional limitations; if connections are not obvious, a clear explanation of their relationship can be useful in decision-making. While the post-secondary institution has no obligation to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities, those that are congruent with the programs, services, and benefits offered by the college or program may be appropriate. When recommendations go beyond equitable and inclusive services and benefits, they may still be useful in suggesting alternative accommodations and/or services.

Campus Accessibility

Elmira College has a beautiful - and historic - campus located in the Southern Tier of New York State. Some locations on campus can pose challenges, especially for individuals with mobility impairments.

The Elmira College Academic Accommodations Coordinator provides students with information and assistance regarding accessibility on campus. Students that have eligibility documentation on file with the Coordinator can:

  • Make special housing requests through the Coordinator and the Office of Residence Life.
  • Address classroom accessibility issues. When appropriate, classrooms can be relocated on campus to more accessible locations.
  • Find handicapped parking in a variety of campus parking lots.

Resources for College Students with Disabilities (10)

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