305  Limited English Proficiency

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: President
Responsible Office:  Institutional Equity and Compliance
Responsible Officer: Assistant to the President, Institutional Equity and Compliance

I. Purpose

As a recipient of federal funds, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) has the obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

II. Access

A.  The U.S. Department of Justice defines persons with LEP as "those individuals who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English." Because English is not the primary language of these individuals, they may have a limited ability to function in a setting where English is the primary language spoken, such as at MTSU.

B.  MTSU may encounter LEP persons in the form of international students, faculty, staff, and other individuals seeking services and access to programs.

C.  Other policies that deal with the ability to read, write, speak, or understand English include:

1. Policy 207 English Proficiency – Faculty provides assurance that all instructors are proficient in the English language.

2. Policy 301 Admissions provides the basic English requirement for entering students.

3. Policy 306 Learning Support outlines learning support opportunities to assist students in reading and writing.

D.  The provisions below apply to other situations involving persons with LEP.

1.  MTSU will post services available to LEP persons in highly visible areas and also provide trained personnel to provide meaningful services and access to programs for these persons.

2.  MTSU will promptly identify the language and communication needs of the LEP person who makes himself/herself known to the institution.

3.  MTSU will then have options to address the LEP person's needs. These options may include, but are not limited to:

a.  Using language identification cards (or "I speak cards") or posters to determine the language;

b.  If necessary, obtaining an outside interpreter through Avaza Language Services or other University approved provider.

E.  When translation of vital documents is needed, the LEP Individual will submit documents for translation to University approved provider for translation. Documents being submitted for translation must be in final, approved form.

F.  The Title VI Coordinator will regularly assess the efficacy of these procedures, including, but not limited to, mechanisms for securing interpreter services, equipment used for the delivery of language assistance, complaints filed by LEP persons, and feedback from the public and community organizations.

G.  Individuals who believe they have not been provided reasonable access to LEP services may file a complaint with the Title VI Officer within one hundred eighty (180) days after the last incident of denial.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: June 2017.

References: 207 English Proficiency-Faculty; 301 Admissions; 306 Learning Support.