The Santa Cruz campus utilizes a shared model for test accommodations and proctoring services. Disability Resource Center’s Exam Support Services, in partnership with faculty and students, strives to establish a fair and sustainable testing environment. Although academic departments and faculty members bear primary responsibility for providing testing accommodations to students with disabilities, several means of support for exam accommodations exist. Upon approval for exam accommodations, course faculty will guide students on how to access the required accommodations.
This collaboration guarantees that students with disabilities receive the necessary assistance to achieve academic success while maintaining academic standards. The campus is committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students regardless of their abilities. By working together, we can promote a culture of equity and access for all students.
The Disability Resource Center’s Testing Center provides select accommodations support for all academic divisions. However, space is limited, and faculty should make an effort to provide accommodations within their respective departments for students who require accommodations such as 1.5 more time and a reduced distraction environment. This approach allows the DRC to ensure that sufficient space is available to proctor students who require more complex accommodation support. The following accommodations are supported at the DRC Testing Center while accommodations not mentioned here will be facilitated by the course faculty and/or departmental and divisional exam coordinators:
- Exams: 2.0x Time
- Exams: 2.5x Time
- Exams: Private Room
- Exams: Scribe
- Exams: Reader
- Exams: Dragon Speech-to-Text Software
- Exams: Kurzweil Text-to-Speech Software
- Exams: Short Breaks without time penalty
- Exams: Taken in Two Sessions
- Exams: Alternate test date
- Exams: Alternate test time
- Exams: Laptop
- Exams: CCTV Use
- Exams: Modified Lighting
By providing accommodations within departments where possible, faculty can ensure that all students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. This collaborative approach also ensures that the DRC can provide accommodations to as many students as possible, given the limited space available. The DRC is committed to working with faculty and academic departments to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities and resources.
- Test room booking requests must be placed for each individual exam
- Students are responsible for bringing all necessary exam materials to the Testing Center on the day of the exam unless otherwise noted by Testing Center staff.
- Students can cancel their exam room booking in one of the following ways: the student can log on to Accommodate and cancel it, or they can email the Testing Center and request their exam cancellation. To reschedule the exam room booking the student will need to log on to Accommodate and request a new exam room booking.
In order to receive exam accommodations, students must first be affiliated with the DRC and they must submit their quarterly request for use of their accommodations each quarter. Exam accommodations can be supported in several ways. Once approved for exam accommodations, course faculty will advise the student on how they intend to provide those accommodations. These accommodations are delivered to the student in one of the following ways:
- Supported directly by course faculty
- Supported by a departmental or divisional exams coordinator or center
- Supported by the DRC Testing Center
- Combination of the above
Some accommodations require time to coordinate, and departmental or divisional exams coordinators or centers may have additional deadlines for coordinating accommodations for midterms and final exams. Course faculty will let students know where they should direct their exam accommodation requests for their class.
- Communicate with the faculty members – After students received or requested their Accommodation Letters, they should confirm with their professor that they also received a copy and understand its contents. This is also a great opportunity to verify where a student’s faculty member wants the student to take their accommodated exams.
- Directions to the DRC Testing – Students with these accommodations will have a DRC Exam Assistant assigned to their exam and this will be coordinated
For students with the associated accommodations, exams scheduled at the DRC Testing Center will automatically have scribes, readers, and/or assistive technology assigned to test room bookings.
For exams taking place outside of the DRC Testing Center, an Assistive Technology & Exam Assistant Request Form should be completed at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled exam.
Students and the DRC Testing Center
All students taking exams at the DRC Testing Center will be held to the same standard as all students as outlined in the UCSC Student Handbook and University Policies and the Academic Misconduct Policy for Undergraduates, which includes the following:
“The cornerstone of intellectual life at UC Santa Cruz is a commitment to integrity in all forms of teaching, learning, and research.”
Exam Accommodations Supported at the DRC Testing Center
Due to limited space the DRC Testing Center does not support all exam accommodations.
Requesting an Exam
Exam room booking requests can be submitted as early as the first week of the quarter and it is requested that they be made no later than two weeks in advance. If the student is placing a test room booking request after this cutoff, please contact the Testing Center by email after the request has been submitted in Accommodate for confirmation.
If the student’s course faculty member has directed the student to the DRC Testing Center for their course’s exam accommodations the student can place their request using the Accommodate portal and following the instructions outlined on the How To – Request a Room at the DRC Testing Center form.
If the student is unsure where they are supposed to be taking their accommodated exams, they may reference the course syllabus or reach out to their course faculty member for guidance. Once the student’s request has been approved Testing Center staff will coordinate directly with then on any questions they may have.
Testing Day at the DRC Testing Center
Students should arrive within the noted grace period, with their student ID, to the Testing Center office so the proctor has sufficient time to check the student in. Please refer to the Exam Room Booking in Accommodate for the exam time and grace period. If the student arrives after the grace period the exam may be canceled and needs to be rescheduled with their faculty member.
**Be sure to visit the Testing Center’s location prior to the exam date to avoid getting lost on the day of the exam**
After the proctor has checked the student in they will confirm the student’s testing information and instruct them to store their cell phone and all belongings, except for those approved testing materials, in a provided locker. The student will be directed to their testing station and will begin their exam when the proctor instructs them to do so.
Students may go to the proctor to ask questions about the exam but proctors are not allowed to answer questions about the exam themselves. The proctor will connect with the student’s professor, or in-class proctor and relay their questions to them directly. If the student needs to use the restroom or get a glass of water, they should inform their proctor. All testing and non-testing materials will be left in the testing room. If the student leaves the testing room for any other reason without a proctor, their exam will be sealed and they will not be allowed to finish.
Once the student has completed their exam they will return it to the proctor. The proctor will confirm with the student that they are finished and will sign them out. Once the exam is completed it will be uploaded to the student’s faculty member and submitted using Accommodate.
DRC Exam Support Services provides assistance with various exam accommodations for their courses. However, please note that due to space constraints, the DRC Testing Center is unable to support all exam accommodations.
If a faculty member is looking for assistance in navigating Accommodate or has any general questions about the DRC Testing Center, they are welcome to book a quick appointment with one of our staff members here: DRC Testing Center Faculty Appointment Booking.
- While multiple students may request time at the Testing Center for the same class, they are not necessarily testing at the same time. Each booking request must be reviewed and acknowledged by the faculty member, however, they are only required to upload the exam one time and can simply select the exam from a drop down menu going forward.
- We extend our hours for both midterm and final exams, but we cannot guarantee that exams proctored by the Testing Center will align with the in-class exam.
- Due to the great number of exams the Testing Center oversees, its staff is unable to physically deliver completed exams to the departments. Completed exams will be uploaded to Accommodate and they can be accessed there. The Testing Center will retain completed exams until the start of the next quarter. If the faculty member would like to pick up students’ completed exams, please contact the Testing Center directly.
- If a student misses their exam, they are able to reschedule the exam with the DRC Testing Center at the faculty member’s request. However, availability at the DRC Testing Center cannot be guaranteed.
How Faculty Can Ensure a Equitable Testing Experience for Students with Disabilities
As educators, it is important to ensure that all students have an equitable testing experience. This is especially crucial for students with disabilities, who may require specific accommodations in order to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities on exams. In this material, we will explore various strategies that faculty can use to ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed on exams. From providing accurate exam dates in advance to offering alternative exam formats, these strategies will help to create a fair and inclusive testing environment for all students.
Provide accurate exam dates in advance.
Discuss with students how pop quizzes might be handled. DRC staff can assist with options that will meet their learning outcomes
Provide exams in a timely fashion.
All exams & testing instructions should be provided to the Testing Center as far in advance as possible. Accommodate will be used to upload these. This ensures that DRC students are able to start their exams on time, without delays caused by retrieving exams at the last minute. If changes are made after uploading an exam, please notify the Testing Center immediately to ensure the student has the correct version of the exam. Please note that the DRC Testing Center does not receive exams via email, nor will DRC staff pick up exams from the classroom
Provide access to information during exams.
If students in the classroom can ask the professor or TA questions during the exam, DRC students must have the same access during their exams in the Testing Center or other locations. Please provide contact information with instructions in the Faculty Portal.
If a faculty member chooses to have their department proctor the exam:
Faculty may elect to provide the exam accommodation or to have personnel in their department provide the accommodation. Please refer to the student’s Letter of Accommodation to ensure that they receive the adjustment for which they have been approved. If faculty have any questions about exam proctoring, please contact the DRC Testing Center.
If faculty chooses to drop the exam and add the points to a future exam:
Faculty may offer this as an option to students. However, if the student has a documented disability-related need for a make-up exam as verified by the Service Coordinator, then the student has a right to take a make-up exam. The exam may be an alternate exam of the same format and difficulty as the original exam. The faculty member may also choose to administer the same exam and have the student sign an honesty agreement.
Accommodating Disability-Related Absence: Considerations for Make-up Exams and Incomplete Grades
If the student is in good standing in their class at the time of the missed final, faculty can offer the student the option of an incomplete grade to allow them to take a make-up exam when they are well enough to do so. However, faculty cannot require a student to wait a full quarter to take the final exam with another class if the student requests to take the exam earlier. In most cases, if a student has missed an exam due to the impact of their disability, the student will be able to take the exam within days. If this is the case, it would not provide equal access to ask the student to continue to engage with the course material and maintain full preparation to take the exam for another quarter while the student is also engaging with the coursework for their current quarter.