[Updated] New Disability Testing Rooms Open in 2019

Editor's note:

This story has been updated since original posting on April 29, 2019 to reflect the opening of the Havemeyer Hall testing space.

Columbia Health
February 05, 2020
Map of new Disability Services testing center to go live in Summer 2019, Spring 2020

Columbia Health announces that construction is complete on new dedicated academic spaces in which Disability Services can administer and proctor exams for undergraduate students.

It is the first time Columbia Health will have dedicated testing space and represents a strong institutional commitment to accommodations and support services for students. Columbia Health is grateful for the partnership of colleagues in Facilities and Operations (Capital Project Management in particular), Office of the Provost, as well as the Office of the University Registrar, who have helped turn this commitment into a reality.

The Chandler Hall Classrooms and Havemeyer Hall Academic Testing Center opened in Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 respectively. Together, these new testing spaces represent an additional 6 testing rooms with 93 testing seats, 16 staff/proctor workstations, a staff office, an accessible restroom, lockers for students, and a registration and reception area that support the coordination of more than 10,000 exam accommodations annually administered by Disability Services.

The testing rooms have allowed the Testing Accommodations team to shift their focus from the relentless challenges of finding available space on campus to administer exams to focusing on strengthening logistics and operations of administering a high volume of exams throughout year. In particular, proctors are now being trained in the very rooms they will be administering the exams, leading to a smoother day-of experience for students and improved accuracy for proctors.

To date, Chandler Hall has housed 1,565 tests since May 13, 2019 and Havemeyer Hall has housed almost 3,000 tests since October 1, 2019.

Initial reactions to the space from students have been positive. Staff note that students are no longer anxious prior to tests because the know the location and conductivity of the rooms to taking exams. One student noted, “it is so quiet in all of the rooms!” Disability Services is continually collecting feedback evaluating operations to inform any future changes to ensure the spaces are fulfilling the needs of students with disabilities.

Adding testing space is just one of the many projects Columbia Health Disability Services is undertaking to improve the academic experience of students with disabilities. In response to ongoing process improvement initiatives and student feedback, Columbia Health is also developing new, accessible online tools to register with the office, request exam accommodations, as well as a faculty exam portal to ease the process of scheduling exams and updating exam details for notetakers and exam proctors.

Disability Services is the unit in Columbia Health that facilitates equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating accommodations and support services. It facilitated over 25,000 accommodations last academic year, including exam accommodations, graduate proctor requests, e-text, notetaking, learning specialist sessions, CART, captioning and housing.