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.
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.
- Based on when requests for accommodations are submitted, it may take up to four to six weeks of completing the documentation submission process, a letter will be emailed to your BCC email address regarding your eligibility status. The email with the attachment will also have further instructions about your next steps in the process for registering with OSS.
- Considering the length of time it may take to complete the accommodations process and documentation review, students are strongly encouraged to begin the documentation review process as early as possible.
- 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.
Documentation Filing or Access
- 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).
- Detailed information about the “student academic record” can be found at https://bergen.edu/registration/ferpa/
Accommodations Request Process
Requesting accommodations from the Office of Specialized Services is a 3-part process:
- Providing disability information or documentation
- Accommodations Workshop
Step 1 – Self-Identify: Click Here – to Complete the Online Intake Form
- The first part of this process is to self-identify as a student with a disability requesting accommodations.
- Definition: 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
- Refer to below step-by-step instructions on how to complete and submit the Intake form:
- Go to www.bergen.edu/oss
- Click on the “Accommodation Process” link
- Go to Step 1: Self-identify: and Click on the “Intake Form” link
- Enter your Bergen username and password
- Fill out the intake form completely then hit SUBMIT button (bottom right of page). Remember to e-mail or print copy out for yourself.
- Sign Out (top right of page).
- In the “Additional Comments” portion for the Intake Form, please include additional information you would like to provide, such as the barriers you experience in the description of academic and campus environment
- Plan ahead; it may take up to six weeks to review and/or process your information/documentation.
- Detailed information about available accommodations can be found “HERE/Accommodation Descriptions”.
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.
Examples of Acceptable Disability Information/Documentation
- Any information/documentation (i.
e. IEP, 504, Educational Evaluation, Psychological Evaluation, Medical Documentation ) students can readily share is helpful and can save the need for follow up meetings with our office.
- Typed Medical Letter from Medical Professional: This type of documentation must meet the following requirements:
- A letter from your physician must be on letterhead
- The diagnosis must be stated
- How the diagnosis affects you academically, physically, mentally, environmental, etc. that is, what barrier does your diagnosis create for learning.
- What accommodations the physician recommends and how they will support the student.
- 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.
How to Submit Documentation to OSS
Feel free to use one of the following options:
- Drop-Off: (COPIES ONLY – OSS will not return) At our office in Room L-115, in the Pitkin Education Center/(Main) Building (1st Floor).
- E-mail: Scan and email your documentation to email@example.com using ONLY your me.bergen.edu BCC student email address. Your scanned file is larger than 18mb, please split the file into two emails. We can only accept Portable Document Files (*.PDF format) files via email. No Google Docs; No pictures of documents (*.jpeg, *png, *.GIF, *TIFF, etc.) , no USB or ZIP drives.
- Mailing: (Mail COPIES ONLY – OSS will not return)
Bergen Community College
ATTN: Office of Specialized Services (OSS), Room L-115
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 07652.
Documentation Receipt Acknowledgement & Review
- Documentation submitted to ANY OTHER email address will NOT be accepted. Due to confidentiality, you will be required to resubmit your accommodations request supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please note a confirmation email will be sent if submitted using OSSDOC@bergen.edu. In that confirmation email it will state to submit your documentation and intake form.
IF YOU HAVE ALREADY SUBMITTED all your documentation AND intake form, please disregard that note.
- Once all the above steps are completed, students will receive their Letter of Accommodation a day or two before each semester that they register for classes.
- ONCE your Intake Form and all of your Documentation have been received you will be in Review. Please check your Bergen email for updates of your accommodation status.
- ONCE your request for accommodations has been reviewed and approved, you will receive an Eligibility Letter via your Bergen email.
If you are planning to take the Accuplacer Test please email your Eligibility Letter to email@example.com and contact the Office of Testing Services to take your Accuplacer Test.
Step 3 – Accommodation Workshop
ONCE your request for accommodations has been reviewed and approved, you will receive an Eligibility Letter via their Bergen email.
Once you receive your Eligibility Letter you may sign up for an Accommodation Workshop!
For final steps to receive your Accommodation Letter please follow the instructions below:
- Make an appointment for an Accommodation Workshop
- Attend the Accommodation Workshop
- Read and sign the Student Agreement Form
- Once received – you will be sent your Accommodation Letter.
The Accommodation Workshop is a critical step toward receiving accommodations. Once a student has been found eligible for services (via their Eligibility Letter), they will be notified via their BCC email account and notified to sign up for a workshop. It is the student’s responsibility to sign up for their Accommodation Workshop. The Accommodation Workshop introduces students to their eligible accommodations and how to implement them at Bergen Community College.
During the Accommodation Workshop a Resource Accommodation Specialist will review their accommodations and have them sign and submit a Student Agreement Form (sent to their me.bergen.edu BCC student email) before receiving their Accommodation letter.
To schedule an Accommodation Workshop please click “HERE/ Accommodation Workshops”.
Accommodation Letter Procedures
Once all the above steps are completed, students will receive their Letter of Accommodation each semester that they register for classes.
Every semester whether you have classes online or in person:
Forward a copy of the letter to each professor separately. In the body of the email introduce yourself, tell them what class you are in and list your accommodations.
Ask when they would like to discuss how to implement your accommodations in their class. Please ask the professor to email to acknowledge receipt of your letter and meeting request.
If you plan to use the Office of Testing Services please email your Accommodation Letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
For transportation services, please visit Special Transportation information Web page.