What to include in the petition
Petitions should be submitted on a Graduation Petition form and must include at least two items:
1. A letter of endorsement of the documented disability, from the UW Disability Resources for Students office. Petitions submitted without this endorsement will almost certainly be denied.
2. The proposed list of courses to be substituted for foreign language, including course titles and a discussion of the intended theme of the combination. (See Focus, below.)
The student should begin the petition process as early as possible in his/her college career. A student already has documentation of a disability should petition while it is relatively recent. Since many of the possible substitute courses are offered infrequently, the more time the student has to complete them, the better. The student should petition BEFORE taking the proposed substitution courses.
The sample course combinations listed at the end of this AIF are intended as examples only. Each student must submit for approval his/her own individual plan, usually to be worked out in consultation with the adviser who signs the petition on behalf of the student's major department.
Number of credits required
For removal of an admission deficiency, 10 credits are required (even if the student did complete one year of language in high school). For the foreign language graduation requirement, 15 credits are required. The 10 credits used to remove a deficiency can also be counted toward the 15 credits used for the graduation requirement, so long as the student takes them for a numerical grade and earns at least a 2.0 in each one.
Effect of previous language study on the number of credits required
Completion in high school of part of the two years of language study normally required for admission (for example, one year) does not decrease the number of college credits required to remove the admission deficiency. If the student were taking a language, s/he would presumably need to start over at the beginning and take 10 credits (101 and 102), so the required substitution is also 10 credits. Likewise, the foreign language graduation requirement is 15 credits, regardless of any high-school units of language completed.
If a student has earned college credit for language study, however, the language credits may be included as part of the proposed list of courses. In some cases, even a grade below 2.0 might be accepted; this will be decided on an individual basis, when the proposal itself is considered. For example, if a student earned a 1.9 in SPAN 101, s/he could propose SPAN 101 and HSTAA 381, 382 (10 credits of Latin American history) for the 15-credit foreign language graduation requirement. Note that the language course must be in the language associated with the culture being studied.
Students may, if they wish, include transfer courses in their proposed list of substitute courses. When submitting the petition, the student should include a catalog description, syllabus, and/or summary of the course.
Focus of the proposed courses
In general, the proposed courses should involve a focus on a particular culture or linguistically closely related cultures, and the student should explain in his/her petition why the particular courses have been chosen. The purpose of the requirement is not simply to insist upon 10 or 15 credits from a list of courses about other countries; a proposal for a course about Africa, one about India, and one about Mexico will not be approved. Three courses specifically about Mexico will probably be approved, but there should still be some explanation. If the proposal is for a course about Spain, one about Mexico, and one about South America, there should ideally be an intellectual connection involved in the choice, other than the fact that all three areas are Spanish-speaking.
The inclusion of courses that touch upon the culture as part of a broader coverage should also be justified in the petition. For example, the student should explain in his/her petition why s/he chooses MUSIC 316, which covers a wide range of Asian music, as part of a proposal focusing on China, rather than some other course that is about China alone. The committee will be willing to consider personal or practical considerations, such as the constraints of the student's schedule and the limitations of the University's course offerings, as well as intellectual ones.
Since the requirement is meant to ensure that the student is exposed to a culture that is linguistically different from his own, proposed courses focusing on English-speaking countries such as Great Britain, Canada, or Australia are not acceptable.
Students who want to petition based on a learning disability must submit a report from a testing agency approved by the UWB Disability Resources for Students office. Please note, UWB does not provide this type of testing. Private testing is expensive, and students should always contact Disability Resources for Students before selecting an agency. DRS will not endorse test results from an agency with which they are not familiar.
Where to submit the petition
Petitions from students who have already been admitted, including plans for proposed substitutions, should be submitted to the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee. Although ultimate authority for the requirements rests with the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (in the case of deficiency removal) or with the college that the student is graduating from (in the case of graduation requirements for students in Arts and Sciences and Social Work), administration of the requirements will normally be carried out by the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee because the College of Arts and Sciences offers the substitute courses (as well as foreign language courses themselves).
Changes in the list of courses approved
Although the student may submit a supplementary petition later to change courses, a proposed plan is required at the outset to make clear to the student the nature of the alternative commitment that s/he is entering into. Petitions for change must be presented to the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee in writing on a graduation-petition form signed by the student's adviser. To avoid later petitions for change, the student could propose a range of choices. For example, a student could propose to complete HSTAS 201 and 202, plus five additional credits from among HSTAS 401, 402, 403, PHIL 386, and RELIG 352.