SECTION 56028. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE CLASS INSTRUCTION
- What is an Educational Assistance Class?
- What happens if EAC enrollment falls under 51%?
- If a regular class has a majority enrollment of students with disabilities can it be designated as an Educational Assistance Class?
- Are Educational Assistance Classes mandated?
- Can a student repeat a class even if they have received a satisfactory grade?
- Is the District required to return Educational Assistance Class revenue to DSPS?
What is an Educational Assistance Class?
Educational assistance classes are instructional activities offered consistent with the provisions of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7 of this Division, and designed to address the educational limitations of students with disabilities who are admitted to the institution pursuant to Educational Code Sections 76000 et seq. and who would be unable to substantially benefit from general college classes even with appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services. Such classes generate revenue based on the number of full-time equivalent students (FTES) enrolled in the classes.
Such classes shall be open to enrollment of students who do not have disabilities, however, to qualify as an educational assistance class, a majority of those enrolled in the class must be students with disabilities.
Educational assistance classes offered for credit or noncredit shall meet the applicable requirements for degree credit, non-degree credit, or noncredit set forth in Section 55002 and 55705.5 of this part. In addition, educational assistance classes shall:
- (a) Be designed to enable students with disabilities to compensate for educational limitations and/or acquire the skills necessary to complete their educational objectives;
- (b) Employ instructors who meet minimum qualifications set forth in Section 53414 of this Division.
- (c) Utilize curriculum, instructional methods, or materials specifically designed to address the educational limitations of students with disabilities. Curriculum committees responsible for reviewing and/or recommending educational assistance class offerings shall have or obtain the expertise appropriate for determining whether the requirements of this section are satisfied; and
- (d) Utilize student/instructor ratios determined to be appropriate by the District given the educational limitations of the students with disabilities enrolled in each class. Class size should not be so large as to impede measurable progress or to endanger the well-being and safety of students or staff.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 67312, 70901 and 84850, Education Code. Reference: Sections 67310- 67312 and 84850, Education Code. See full text of Section 56028.
An Educational Assistance Class may be:
- A distinct course, with its own Course Outline of Record, designed to meet the educational objectives of a specific disability population or, supplementing the objectives of an existing course with objectives that are unique to a specific disability population.
- A section of an existing course taught in accordance with its Course Outline of Record, but supplemented with objectives to accommodate disability (or to accommodate a specific disability population).
In either case, educational assistance classes must be primarily instructional in nature, and cannot be designed to mainly offer group activities or services, e.g., physical activity, counseling, or assessment. Such classes shall be open to enrollment of students who do not have disabilities. However, to qualify as an educational assistance class, a majority of those enrolled in the class must be students with disabilities. The course description published in the college catalog may note that the course has been designed for students with specific disabilities, but it may not restrict enrollment to such students, nor require students to register for classes through the DSPS program or counselor, nor otherwise violate the open enrollment provisions of state law for the California Community Colleges.
The Educational Assistance Class Outline of Record should:
- a) Specify what disability or disabilities the course is designed to address;
- b) Clarify what objectives the course is to fulfill as they relate to these disabilities;
- c) Show why such a course is needed to meet this need, rather than the need being met through accommodation(s) in a general course;
- d) Specify how it will be determined that the objectives have been achieved; and
- e) Explain what disability-specific instructional methods, materials, equipment, etc., will be used and why.
Educational assistance class curriculum, as curriculum for all offerings of the college, must go through a review process for approval as established by the district and the state Chancellor’s Office.
It is highly recommended that a DSPS staff member sit on the curriculum committee. Prior to submitting an educational assistance class to the curriculum committee, it is advisable to have the subject matter expert’s review. This also facilitates integration of the DSPS program with the overall college program. DSPS staff designing curriculum should follow the policies and procedures outlined in the Curriculum Standards issued by the state Chancellor’s Office.
The cost of educational assistance classes can be considered an appropriate DSPS expenditure if the educational assistance classes meet the criteria of Section 56028 and are approved by the appropriate process as established by the state Chancellor’s Office. The DSPS Program/Unit Plan should list all of the educational assistance classes to be offered by the college.
The college is responsible for ensuring that the amount of funds the DSPS program receives accurately reflects the amount of FTES generated within the program.
The college should have verification of course approval by the college curriculum committee for each class offered. This documentation should be available in the Instructional Dean’s or other designated staff persons’ office. The DSPS coordinator or director should be aware of the location of this information and should have access to it when needed. In addition, the college/district personnel/credentials office should have minimum qualifications on file for all DSPS staff teaching educational assistance classes. Information documenting that educational assistance classes meet the criteria specified above will be required as part of the DSPS Program/Unit Plan.
SECTION 56029. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE CLASS COURSE REPETITION
Repetition of educational assistance classes is subject to the provisions of article 4 (commencing with section 55040) of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 6 and Section 58161 of this Division. However, districts are authorized to permit additional repetitions of credit or noncredit educational assistance classes to provide an accommodation to a student’s educational limitations pursuant to state and federal nondiscrimination laws. Districts shall develop policies and procedures providing for repetition under the following circumstances:
- (a) When continuing success of the student in other general and/or educational assistance classes is dependent on additional repetitions of a specific educational assistance class;
- (b) When additional repetitions of a specific educational assistance class are essential to completing a student’s preparation for enrollment into other general or educational assistance classes; or
- (c) When the student has an Academic Accommodation Plan which involves a goal other than completion of the educational assistance class in question and repetition of the course will further achievement of that goal.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 55040, 67312, 70901 and 84850, Education Code. Reference: Sections 67310-67312 and 84850, Education Code; and 29 U.S.C Sec.794.
Implementation guideline Section 56029 defines the circumstances under which educational assistance classes can be repeated above and beyond ordinary course repetition standards for credit courses as set forth in Sections 55040, 55761-63 and 58161 of Title 5.
A district may permit a student with a disability to repeat an educational assistance class, designed for students with disabilities, any number of times based on an individualized determination that such repetition is required as a disability-related accommodation for that particular student for one of the reasons specified below. (§ 55040(b)(7).)
Districts shall develop policies and procedures that provide for course repetition under the following circumstances:
- a) When continuing success of the student in other general and/or educational assistance classes is dependent on additional repetitions of a specific class;
- b) When additional repetitions of a specific class are essential to completing a student’s preparation for enrollment into other regular or educational assistance classes; or
- c) When the student has an Academic Accommodation Plan which involves a goal other than completion of the educational assistance class in question, and repetition of the course will further the achievement of that goal.
Each district must establish procedures for tracking course repetitions and a process for students to invoke an educational assistance class repetition accommodation on a case-by-case basis.
However, districts are authorized to permit additional repetitions of educational assistance classes to provide an accommodation to a student’s educational limitations pursuant to state and federal nondiscrimination laws. Although colleges have the ultimate responsibility for setting policy on this subject, the regulation indicates that repetition should be permitted whenever it is necessary to allow the student to make progress toward fulfilling the goals of the Academic Accommodation Plan either by acquiring additional skills or by preparing for other courses. Thus, any repetition which facilitates measurable progress is permitted under Section 56029. Students may not audit educational assistance classes to avoid the limit on repetition.
It should be noted that although Section 56029 does not address additional repetitions of regular general classes, colleges are encouraged to provide for repetition of such classes where repetition is required for an individual student with a disability as reasonable accommodation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) nor does Section 56029 impose limits on repetition of noncredit classes. Districts that do not offer noncredit may wish to enter into special arrangements with their K-12 counterparts to address the need for additional course repetitions.
Repetitions are allowed if the circumstances described in a), b), or c) of Section 56029 apply to the individual student’s situation. How many times an individual student is allowed to enroll in adaptive physical education beyond the four semesters or six quarters depends on how long the circumstances apply. The college should have such students apply at each enrollment period for reevaluation of their circumstances.
Each district must establish procedures for tracking repetitions and a process for students to invoke an educational assistance class course repetition accommodation on a case-by-case basis. The DSPS program will need to monitor the information to assure that the above requirements are met. An educational assistance class repetition document that spells out the repetition criteria and is completed by both the student and certificated DSPS staff member would be advisable.
What happens if EAC enrollment falls under 51%?
A course cannot be counted as an EAC if the 51% threshold is not met and maintained. However, a college can continue to offer the course, and the college can continue to claim the FTES and receive the revenue in the general apportionments. However, if less than 51% of the enrollment is made up of disabled students, the revenue can no longer be counted as educational assistance class revenue in the DSPS allocation formula because it is no longer, by definition, an educational assistance class.
If a regular class has a majority enrollment of students with disabilities can it be designated as an Educational Assistance Class?
No, as explained above, Educational Assistance classes must meet the criteria of Section 56028.
Are Educational Assistance Classes mandated?
No, neither Section 56028, nor any other provision of state law, compels a district to offer EAC’s. However, they may be the most practical and/or desirable method for accommodating students with disabilities. For example, a district might reasonably conclude that offering adapted physical education classes specifically designed for students with disabilities is preferable to making the necessary changes in facilities and instructional techniques required to accommodate such students in regular physical education classes.
Noncredit Course Funding – Title 5 Section 58160
In order to be eligible to be claimed for state apportionment, a noncredit course must be approved in accordance with Sections 55002 and 55150, and fall into one of the following statutory categories:
(1) elementary and secondary basic skills courses and other courses such as remedial academic courses in reading, mathematics, and language arts; (2) courses in English as a second language, including vocational English as a second language; (3) short-term vocational courses and programs with high employment potential; (4) workforce preparation courses in the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, mathematics, decision-making, problem-solving skills, and other courses required for preparation to participate in job-specific technical training; 5) courses in citizenship for immigrants; (6) parenting, including parent cooperative preschools, courses in child growth and development and parent-child relationships; (7) courses and programs for persons with substantial disabilities; (8) courses and programs for older adults; (9) courses and programs in home economics; and (10) courses in health and safety education.
To claim apportionment, all noncredit courses must meet applicable requirements as stated in Sections 55002 and 55150, and fall into one of the above 10 categories. There are no repetition limits applied to this section.
Can a student repeat a class even if they have received a satisfactory grade?
Yes, a student with a disability may be allowed to repeat an educational assistance class as long as they continue to meet the criteria above and the district can continue to receive state funding for that student and the repeated class. However, if the student received a passing grade, federal financial aid regulations may impact their ability to repeat classes.
Is the District required to return Educational Assistance Class revenue to DSPS?
Section 56070, states only that the educational assistance class FTES must be spent on support services and instruction for students with disabilities. However, even though colleges are allowed to spend educational assistance class FTES revenue on disabled students who do not participate in DSPS, this practice is not recommended. The easiest way to satisfy the regulatory requirement to spend the educational assistance class FTES revenue on students with disabilities and the easiest audit trail to verify this is to send the money to DSPS. It is also the fairest, since DSPS will have earned these funds for the college by teaching and supporting educational assistance classes. However, other than the 30 percent for credit and 10 percent for noncredit allowed, this revenue cannot be used for indirect administrative costs as defined in Section 56068.