Student Religious Accommodation Policy
This Policy is adopted by the Board of Trustees of Sinclair Community College ("Sinclair") in compliance with Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.026, known as "The Testing Your Faith Act." This statute requires each state institution of higher education to "adopt a policy that reasonably accommodates the sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of individual students with regard to all examinations or other academic requirements and absences for reasons of faith or religious or spiritual belief system."
The requirements set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.026 and this Policy are in addition to the general obligations Sinclair has under the Constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Ohio, and this Policy is not intended to limit or restrict Sinclair's compliance or students' rights under those provisions.
II. SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY
This Policy applies to all Sinclair students enrolled in courses for academic credit and to the instructors teaching those courses. For purposes of this Policy "instructor" includes tenured or tenure track faculty, annually contracted faculty, adjunct instructors (regardless of whether they are employed directly by Sinclair), and any other employee, such as a program coordinator or laboratory technician, serving as an instructor for any course or portion of a course for which Sinclair awards academic credit.
III. STUDENTS' RIGHTS UNDER THIS POLICY TO RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION
A. A student shall be permitted to be absent for up to three (3) days each academic semester to take holidays for reasons of faith or religious or spiritual belief system or participate in organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or other religious or spiritual organization. Sinclair shall not impose an academic penalty as a result of a student being absent as permitted in this Policy.
B. Instructors shall include in each course syllabus a statement regarding this Policy. The statement shall include both of the following:
1. A description of the general procedure for requesting accommodations (Section IV. A-D, below.
2. The following contact information for Sinclair's Associate Provost, who is designated as the Sinclair employee a student may contact for more information about this Policy and for processing student grievances/complaints as set forth below:
Associate Provost 444 West Third Street
937-512-2522 Dayton, Ohio 45402-1460
IV. GENERAL PROCEDURE FOR REQUESTING RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATIONS
A. All Instructors must provide students with alternative accommodations regarding examinations and other academic requirements missed due to an absence described under this Policy to take holidays for reasons of faith or religious or spiritual belief system or participate in organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or other religious or spiritual organization if both of the following apply:
1. The student's sincerely held religious belief or practice severely affects the student's ability to take an examination or meet an academic requirement. 2. Not later than fourteen (14) days after the first day of instruction in a particular course, the student provides the instructor with written notice of the specific dates for which the student requests alternative accommodations.
B. The instructor shall accept without question the sincerity of a student's religious or spiritual belief system.
C. The instructor shall keep requests for alternative accommodations confidential. However, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 C.F.R. Part 99, this requirement of confidentiality does not prevent the disclosure of records and information about any request for accommodations among Sinclair officials who have a legitimate educational interest in that information.
D. The instructor shall schedule a time and date for an alternative examination or assignment, which may be before or after the time and date the examination or other academic requirement was originally scheduled, but shall do so without prejudicial effect.
E. For a course that includes clinical experience, internship, or other supervised activities outside the classroom, the instructor of the course and/or the academic department chair or program coordinator or other Sinclair employee involved in the outside activity, will assist as needed in communicating and coordinating with the outside preceptor, supervisor, or other persons involved in scheduling or supervising the student's outside activities to provide accommodations under this Policy.
V. STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
A. A student who has a grievance with regard to Sinclair's implementation of this Policy may submit a complaint using the Academic Complaint Form available on Sinclair's website at https://www.sinclair.edu/services/help/complaint/ under "Academic Concerns."
B. The complaint must include the following information:
Student's Tartan ID Number
Course Name and Number and Section Number
Copies of any written communications or records about the accommodation request and the substance of the student's complaint.
C. The complaint will be forwarded to the Associate Provost, who will notify the Provost of each complaint received. The Provost may designate a Sinclair employee other than the Associate Provost or an outside consultant to review the complaint.
D. The Associate Provost or other person designated to review the complaint will communicate with the student, the instructor, and others who may have relevant information about the request for accommodation and the issues stated in the complaint.
E. The student, the instructor, and any other Sinclair employees shall cooperate with and respond promptly to the Associate Provost or other person designated to review the complaint.
F. The Associate Provost or other person designated to review the complaint will communicate the results of the review to the student in writing.
G. The results of the review of a complaint may include a requirement that the instructor provide accommodations to the student, including but not limited to opportunities or extensions of time for completion of exams or coursework, adjustment(s) in grade(s) (to be made in consultation with the instructor and the Chair of the Department of the course(s) at issue in the complaint), or such other accommodations that the Associate Provost deems appropriate.
VI. LIST OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS
A. Sinclair will post both of the following in a prominent location on the Sinclair web site:
1. A copy of this Policy;
2. A nonexhaustive list of major religious holidays or festivals for the next two academic years.
B. The nonexhaustive list of major religious holidays will be based on the list provided by the chancellor of higher education to each state institution of higher education and may include additional holidays designated by Sinclair's President.
C. Each time the list is posted, printed, or published it shall include a statement that the list is nonexhaustive.
D. The list may not be used to deny accommodation to a student for a holiday or festival of the student's faith or religious or spiritual belief system that does not appear on the list.
E. No inclusion or exclusion of a religious holiday or festival on the list posted by Sinclair, shall preclude a student from full and reasonable accommodations for any sincerely held religious beliefs and practices with regard to all examinations or other academic requirements and absences for reasons of faith or religious or spiritual belief system provided under this section.
VII. AMENDMENT OF POLICY
Sinclair's President may amend this Policy as the President deems appropriate, so long as the Policy maintains all of the elements required by Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.026. If any amendment is made, the President shall provide a copy of the amended Policy to the Board of Trustees, cause it to be posted on Sinclair's website, and communicate it to faculty and other employees involved in the administration of the Policy.
Effective March 6, 2023
- Last Revised: 08/18/2023