Accessibility is a priority for Penn State World Campus. We make our courses easy to navigate for every student and our processes easy to access at every step of the student journey.
Penn State World Campus — and Penn State as a whole — meets applicable standards and guidelines to ensure equal access to all of our programs and content, complying with federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. But our commitment to providing an accessible and comfortable learning experience extends far beyond meeting minimum requirements.
Prospective or current students who need assistance or accommodations with the application process or their ongoing courses are encouraged to contact our Accessibility team.
Making courses work for everyone
We know that a student's success depends on more than just the effort they put in — the course design and content need to work, as well. Accordingly, we strive to create courses that are functional and inclusive for every student, no matter their location, language, or accommodation needs. Our goal is to ensure that no student feels their experience is inferior in any way to that of their classmates.
The Student Disability Services office at Penn State World Campus — working in collaboration with several other student support teams — assists hundreds of students who have a range of disabilities and challenges.
Why accessibility is important to us
We want to provide the best educational experience for every one of our students, eliminating obstacles that could make it challenging for them to do their best work in their courses. Accessible course content allows all students to enjoy an equitable World Campus experience, which in turn gives them a strong foundation to pursue their future academic or professional goals.
When each student can fully participate in a class and interact efficiently with their classmates and instructors, everyone benefits. The diversity of experiences and perspectives of every student and instructor enriches the learning experience. Anything that minimizes the experience for any one student detracts from the class as a whole.
An accessibility leader in online education
Penn State World Campus has established a reputation as an accessibility leader and innovator in the distance education industry. Our staff has created webinars and training materials that are used by other institutions to guide and develop their own course accessibility programs, and members of our team routinely present demonstrations and workshops at national conferences and other events. Their work creating profiles representing students with common disabilities was so well received at a regional University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) conference that the team was invited to present their work at the national conference.
What sets us apart
The depth of our experience in this area, our multi-team approach to student support, and our empathy-centered philosophy combine to make Penn State World Campus unique in our commitment to accessibility.
We develop our courses to be as inclusive and accessible to everyone as possible. Thanks to their significant accessibility expertise, our designers are mindful of issues that could be problematic from an accessibility standpoint and work to proactively eliminate those situations during course creation.
When accommodations are needed, our teams work together to develop an accessibility plan tailored to meet each student's individual requirements, holding the belief that our content should adapt to the student — not the other way around.