Personal Care Attendant Policy

Our Commitment

Chattanooga State makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. In keeping with this commitment, Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) may be necessary to address the personal needs of a student with a disability so he/she can participate in the College's activities, services, and programs.

Hiring a PCA

For the student who requires PCA services to have the same independent experience as all other college students, it is in the student's best interest to hire an impartial PCA who is not a family member or a close friend. Otherwise qualified students who require PCA services must make arrangements to provide and pay for his/her own personal care attendant. The College does not assume coordination of, financial responsibility for, or legal liability for the PCA chosen and hired by the student.

Securing a PCA

Students should secure a PCA prior to attending class or any college-related activity. The College does not provide PCA services on an interim basis. Students should create a contract for services to be rendered by the PCA, and have this signed and in place in advance of the starting date for each semester.

PCA Obligations and Expectations

PCAs are obligated to follow the same rules of behavior as other members of the campus community. The responsibility of a PCA is limited to providing services for the student that the student is unable to provide for himself. If the PCA accompanies the student into the classroom to provide assistance, the PCA should be an invisible member of the class, and should not participate in class discussions, ask, or answer questions unless specifically directed to do so by the student who employs the PCA. If inappropriate behavior by the PCA is reported to Disabilities Support Services (DSS), an investigation will be conducted by DSS staff persons, and, if applicable, the PCA will be removed from campus.

The PCA should keep any information regarding the student confidential, and should not share it with faculty or staff unless directed to do so by the student.

Students should have a back-up plan in mind should the primary PCA become ill or is otherwise unable to attend class or scheduled activity in which the student wants to participate.