The College offers different options for a leave of absence including voluntary medical leave, involuntary leave, and a retroactive College Withdrawal. These options assist students who experience situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. The severity and duration of the circumstance must be such that it would not be reasonable to expect the student to complete the semester or be able to make up any missed work.
Medical Leave/Withdrawal permits students to temporarily withdraw from the College and their studies so they may address the issues that led to the need for leave. A Medical Leave/Withdrawal may be considered for all students with a documented physical or mental health-related condition of a serious nature that requires them to leave the College mid-semester, without completing their coursework. In some instances, this may include the need to provide emergency care for an immediate family member.
Students who are unable to request a timely leave of absence with the Registrar, but who are forced to leave the College due to a health or safety emergency, who experienced a mental or physical illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstance within the semester may qualify for a Retroactive Medical Withdrawal. Additionally, those whose grades have been negatively affected due to a medical condition that occurred during a previous semester may qualify for a Retroactive Medical Withdrawal.
An Involuntary leave of absence is rare and only occurs when current medical knowledge, or the best available objective evidence indicates that:
- There is a significant risk to the student’s health or safety, or the health and safety or others, or;
- The student’s behavior severely disrupts the College environment, and no reasonable accommodations are available that can adequately reduce that risk or disruption.
When safety is an immediate concern, the Dean of Student Engagement may remove a student from campus pending a decision on an involuntary leave of absence. An opportunity to be heard by the Dean of Student Engagement and, if desired, appeal of the removal decision will be provided within five business days of this action. Students will be given the option to take a voluntary medical leave of absence before a decision is made with respect to an involuntary leave of absence.
The intention of this policy is to allow students time to focus on their health. Therefore, students should intend to withdraw from all semester coursework to be eligible for a Medical Leave/Withdrawal. Those requesting withdrawal from less than their full course load (due to a medical reason), with appropriate rationale, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Medical Leave/Withdrawal is intended to assist students academically. It does not necessarily grant or guarantee a refund for tuition or fees, nor does it release students from other financial obligations.
Procedures for voluntary and involuntary leave, as well as retroactive withdrawals are on file with the Dean of Student Engagement’s Office. Requests for Medical Leave/Withdrawal should be submitted to the Dean of Student Engagement for consideration. For a Medical Leave/Withdrawal or Retroactive Withdrawal request to be considered, students must provide medical documentation from a licensed care provider, with whom they have an established provider-patient/client relationship. The Dean may consult with other College employees and/or medical providers for additional support.
Students may request a voluntary medical leave of absence at any time during the semester but must complete such requests, including any provider documentation and submission of related paperwork, no later than the last day of the semester where the leave is requested.
The Dean will render a decision on the request for a voluntary medical leave of absence after a review of the submitted written request and other documents provided. The student will be notified in writing of the College’s decision. Students shall have five business days following approval of the leave of absence to withdraw their request for leave or to appeal the denial of their request pursuant to the Appeal Process described in 300.17.1: College Leave of Absence and Retroactive Withdrawal Appeal.
A voluntary medical leave of absence may not be used in lieu of disciplinary action to address any violations of College rules, policies, or the Student Code of Conduct; rather, a leave of absence and disciplinary action are independent processes that may run separately and independently.