Foreign Language Course Substitution Policy

Foreign Language Course Substitution Policy

A student enrolled in a Penn State Altoona degree program that requires a foreign language can submit a request for course substitutions to meet that requirement if the student presents sufficient documentation of a learning disability. The request should be made to the Director of Penn State Altoona's Health and Wellness Center for review by the Documentation Review Board (DRB). If the DRB supports the student's request, it will be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for a decision. The expectation is that these requests will be infrequent.

When a decision has been made, the student, the appropriate Program Coordinator and the College Registrar will be notified by the Associate Dean. If course substitutions are approved, a referral will be made to the Program Coordinator who will help the student identify and plan the scheduling of appropriate courses. Although these substitutions will be selected from a predetermined list of courses, each of which will provide the student with a cultural immersion experience, it may be possible to consider others in consultation with the Division Head for Arts and Humanities and/or the Senior DUS Programs Coordinator.

Upon completion of the approved courses, the Program Coordinator will request modifications to the student's degree audit via the College Registrar. It should be noted that these courses cannot double-count with other program requirements. To ensure that these courses can be completed before graduation, the student should make the request to the Health and Wellness Center as soon as the student enters a Penn State Altoona major. Ideally this review would take place no later than the end of the student's 5th semester to allow sufficient time for completion of the 12 credit requirement.

Although this policy allows for the substitution of approved courses to meet the foreign language requirement, it is recommended that a student who presents a learning disability be advised to pursue a major that doesn't include college level foreign language. In particular, since foreign language is an essential component of all Bachelor of Arts degree programs, students interested in these majors should be directed to consider other program options.

Acceptable cultures-focused courses that may be substituted for the foreign language requirement*

  • CMLIT 003 INTRO TO AFRICAN LITERATURE (GH/IL)
  • ENGL 145 MODERN IRISH LITERATURE (GH/IL)
  • FR 139 FRENCH AND THE FRENCH SPEAKING WORLD (GH/IL)
  • GER 100 GERMAN CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION (GH/IL)
  • HIST 100 ANCIENT GREECE (GH/IL)
  • HIST 141 MEDIEVAL AND MODERN RUSSIA (GH/IL)
  • HIST 178 LATIN AMERICA TO 1820 (GH/IL)
  • HIST 181 INTRODUCTION TO THE MIDDLE EAST (GH/IL)
  • JAPNS 120 JAPANESE LITERATURE IN ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT (GH/IL)
  • RUS 100 RUSSIAN CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION (GH/IL)
  • SPAN 130 IBERIAN CIVILIZATION (GH/IL)

* Other courses may be considered in consultation with the Division Head for Arts and Humanities and/or the Senior DUS Programs Coordinator