SENATE BILL 5166
An Act Relating to providing religious accommodations for students attending postsecondary educational institutions and schools during exams or other program requirements.
Effective July 28, 2019, all postsecondary educational institutions are required to develop and implement a policy to provide religious accommodation to students in observance of religious holidays during exam or other program requirements. The policy shall allow faculty staff to “reasonably accommodate” student absences for religious reasons during certain days of the course or program.
“Reasonably accommodate” means coordinating with the student on rescheduling examinations or other assignments and activities required for completion of the program in the event of absences for religious reasons. The policy must be published on the school’s website and referenced in the school’s catalog.
Sample policy/procedure language for schools to use:
Religious Accommodation: BJ’s Beauty & Barber College will provide reasonable religious accommodations to students who have religious practices or beliefs that conflict with a scheduled course/program requirement. Students requesting a religious accommodation should make the request, in writing, directly to their instructor within the first two weeks of the beginning of the course and provide specific dates the student requests an accommodation. Being absent from class or other educational responsibilities does not excuse students from keeping up with any information shared or expectations set during the missed class. Students are responsible for obtaining the materials and information provided during any class missed. The student shall work with the instructor to determine a schedule for making up missed work.
Examples of religious accommodations may include:
- rescheduling of an exam or giving a make-up exam for the student;
- altering the time of a student’s presentation;
- allowing extra-credit assignments to substitute for missed class work or arranging for increased flexibility in assignment due dates;
- releasing an instructor trainee from teaching or research responsibilities on a given day.