Student Eligibility Process
Your eligibility for services and accommodations through the Office of Specialized Services (OSS) is a separate process and done independently of the college Admissions Process. You are encouraged to contact OSS in the early stages of college planning.
Requesting accommodations from the Office of Specialized Services is a 3-part process:
- Providing disability information or documentation
- Accommodations Workshop
Step 1: Self-identify: Intake Form
The first part of this process is to self-identify as a student with a disability requesting accommodations. Self-identify means the student recognizes they have a disability and would like to request accommodations. Student’s attending a post-secondary institution are responsible for identifying themselves to OSS, as a person with a disability. Please submit the online INTAKE FORM to self-identify and request specific accommodations.
*IMPORTANT: It may take up to six weeks to review and/or process your information/documentation. New students are strongly encouraged to request accommodations from OSS as early as possible prior to attending Bergen Community College. Current students may request accommodations at any time but are encouraged to make their requests for accommodations as soon as they become aware of a need for one.
Step 2: Provide disability information/documentation
In order to evaluate accommodation and service requests, OSS will need information about how your disability is likely to impact you here at Bergen Community College. We want to understand the relevant impacts of your disability on tasks like communication, reading, writing, technology, the physical environment, classroom and laboratory and on line learning, etc. Information on the impacts of physical (mobility, dexterity, endurance, etc.), perceptual, cognitive (attention, distractibility, communication, etc.), and behavioral abilities may be helpful as well. We treat all information in a private and confidential manner.
Any information/documentation students can readily share is helpful and can save the need for follow up meetings with our office. The Office of Specialized Services recognizes that barriers exist and can create hardship for students with regard to having and presenting third party disability documentation. Please don’t delay meeting with us out of concern for not having appropriate paperwork. If you have information or documentation you can submit it to OSS by:
- Bringing it to our office in Room L-115 in the Pitkin Education (Main) Building
- Scan and email your documentation to [email protected] using your me.backup.bergen.edu BCC student email address. ONLY emails originating from your me.backup.bergen.edu BCC email address will reach us at this email address. Please note if your scanned file is larger than 18mb, please split the file into two emails. We can only accept .jpeg or .pdf files via email
- mail it to: Bergen Community College
ATTN: OSS Room L-115
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 07652
OSS may ask for additional documentation concerning your disability and/or the need for accommodations. If such documentation is necessary, it will be limited to the need for the accommodation requested. We will consider any information, including but not limited to, your description of your needs; records of past accommodations and services from high school, another college, state or high stakes testing organization; formal psychological or medical evaluations, and letters from past health, education or service providers.
These general guidelines were developed to assist you and those in your support network to prepare this information so we can evaluate your request and make recommendations. If you have questions, please contact us at: 201-612-5269 or [email protected]
Step 3: Accommodation Workshop
The Accommodation Workshop is a critical step toward receiving accommodations. Once a student has been found eligible for services, they will be notified via their BCC email account and notified to sign up for a workshop. The Accommodation Workshop introduces students to their eligible accommodations and how to implement them at Bergen Community College.
Evaluation of eligibility
In order to be eligible for accommodations through the Office of Specialized Services, you must:
- Have a disability that substantially limits one or more major life activities that includes, but is not limited to, walking, talking, learning, hearing, or seeing.
- Have and provide current and appropriate information/documentation of such a disability, when necessary.
Within four to six weeks of completing the eligibility process, a letter will be emailed to your BCC email address regarding your eligibility status. This email with the attachment will also have further instructions about your next steps in the process for registering with OSS.
All information submitted to Bergen Community College’s Office of Specialized Services becomes part of a student’s “educational record” as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The information obtained from the student’s intake form and documentation will be used to determine eligibility. Appropriate accommodations will be based upon a student’s disability and individual needs.
Once all of the above steps are completed, students will receive their Letter of Accommodation each semester that they register for classes.
Note: Students with temporary injuries or illnesses should instead refer to the registration process outlined on the Temporary Injuries & Services page.