Assistance to Students in Disaster and Emergency Areas
Major Disasters and Emergencies within the United States
In the event of a major disaster or emergency that is natural or human-made, Excelsior College will use reasonable and humane judgment to waive late registration fees and provide extensions for courses, student services annual fees, and graduate student fees for any impacted student. The student's time to complete the degree will also be adjusted. (See below for information regarding Excelsior College® Examinations students who are impacted when Pearson Vue test sites close).
This policy applies to Excelsior College students who reside in areas located within the United States that are declared major disaster or emergency areas as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A "major disaster or emergency" is defined by FEMA as:
Major disaster: Any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mud slide, snowstorm, or drought), or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §5121 et seq., to supplement the efforts and available resources of States, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
Emergency: Any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.
Major Disasters and Emergencies outside the United States
This policy also applies to students who reside in major disaster or emergency areas outside the United States. The same benefits that apply to Excelsior College students who reside in declared major disaster or emergency areas in the United States will apply to those students who reside in areas outside the United States that are declared as areas of catastrophe by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation or similar organizations.
In the case of extreme situations on par with disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the College will grant blanket extensions to all students who reside in the disaster area.
Individual Disasters or Emergencies
In the case of individual disasters or emergencies that are not declared major disasters or emergencies by FEMA, Excelsior College will use reasonable and humane judgment to accommodate the student. Accommodations to the student will depend on the special circumstances, but may be similar to those given to students in declared major disaster areas.
Whenever there is major natural or human-made emergency, the student should contact the Ombudsperson Office for assistance. This office will review the situation with the student and determine the most reasonable course of action to benefit the student. Courses of action may include, for example, the student contacting the faculty member for a 120-day course extension or, if the faculty member is unable to grant an extension, enrollment in another term at no cost to the student. Whatever the course of action may be, the College will handle the situation with care and compassion towards all victims of major disasters and officially declared emergencies.
The Administration of Excelsior College Examinations during Natural Disasters and Inclement Weather
Pearson VUE is proactive in notifying the College when one or more of their testing centers close due to a natural disaster.
In the event of a natural disaster (flood, hurricane, tornado, fire, etc.) at a Pearson VUE testing site, the Pearson Candidate Call Center representatives identify those students who may be scheduled to take an Excelsior College Examination and contacts them as quickly as possible to have their appointment times rescheduled.
However, if a Pearson Candidate Call Center representative cannot touch base with the student after three attempts, Test Administration receives an incident report and will reset a student's eligibility window so the student can complete the examination at a future date.
If a natural disaster makes it impossible for a student to take a scheduled exam, every effort will be made to reschedule the exam at no extra cost to the student.
Inclement Weather and Pearson VUE Exams
In the case of inclement weather (ice storm, heavy snowfall, etc.), the Testing Services staff in the Center for Educational Measurement adheres to the following guidelines as stated in the Exam Registration and Information: A User's Guide (PDF):
In the event of a test center closing due to inclement weather, Pearson VUE will try to contact you to reschedule. You may also call Pearson VUE to reschedule the appointment yourself. If the test center is open, it is your responsibility to keep the appointment. If the test center is closed, you will be given the opportunity to reschedule the appointment.
If the Pearson Testing Center where you are scheduled to test is open:
- Decide if you wish to keep your scheduled appointment.
- If you decide not to keep your scheduled appointment, we regret that your examination fee will be forfeited and no portion of the exam fee will be refunded to you.
If the Pearson Testing Center where you are scheduled to test is closed:
- In most cases you should be contacted by a Pearson representative to reschedule your examination for another date within your 6-month test window.
- If a Pearson representative to reschedule your exam ination appointment does not contact you, you can call Pearson's Candidate Services toll free at 888-926-9488 to reschedule your appointment.
We can refund your fees and allow you to reschedule your examination only if you follow the procedures specified previously.