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Voluntary/ Involuntary Medical/Hardship Withdrawal Policy

Virginia Union University is strongly committed to supporting students in achieving success in their intellectual and extracurricular endeavors. When illness or significant personal hardship intrudes upon a student’s ability to successfully meet the requirements of his or her course of study, it is the University’s policy to assist the student in assessing whether a reasonable accommodation exists that will allow the student to continue his/her pursuits, and if none exists, assisting the student in withdrawing from the institution for the purpose of focusing on those matters requiring attention. Prior to reentry, it is the University’s intent to provide students with information about resources which may be of use to them as they resume their studies and to provide support where possible in order to optimize the likelihood of a successful return to University life.

Justification of Policy
It is the goal of the University to foster an environment in which the student is able to fully pursue his or her academic goals. When illness prevents a student from achieving these goals, it is the intent of the University to provide the mechanism whereby the student may withdraw from his or her studies and return to them when able.

Procedures

Voluntary Withdrawal

  1. Students who seek to withdraw from the University because of illness must submit a written request to the Dean of Students or Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs. As necessary, the Dean or AVP will confer with appropriate campus professionals in order to make a determination regarding the student’s request. In unusual or complicated situations, the Dean or Dean’s designee may convene with the Academic Affairs, Student Services, and Financial Aid as appropriate.
  2. Students who are granted a withdrawal will receive a ‘W’ for all courses attempted during that term
  3. Depending on the circumstances,  a student who is granted a withdrawal may have a hold placed upon their registration pending successful petition for re-enrollment to the University.
  4. Students granted a medical or hardship withdrawal should address the impact of withdrawal on their current and/or the continued financial assistance. Any adjustment to the student’s tuition will be made in accordance with standing University and Department of Education policies.

Appeal

Students who wish to appeal the outcome of their request for medical/hardship withdrawal may do so by submitting their appeal in writing to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. It is the University’s intention to support students in a successful return to the University community when illness has necessitated withdrawal. To this end:

  1. Students will be informed by their Dean’s office that the University expects the leave to be of sufficient duration to allow the student to address the issues involved in necessitating a medical leave. It is common for students who withdraw because of serious illness to take a minimum of one full semester away from the University in order to enhance the likelihood of success upon return.
  2. Students wishing to return to their studies following medical leave must complete the following steps:
    1. Notify the Dean’s office of their School of their desire to return to the University.
    2. Submit documentation from their treating clinician to the Dean of Students and Provost’s office attesting to the student’s ability to resume studies with a reasonable likelihood of success. This information must be specific in its description of the student’s illness and the treatment rendered. It must outline, as appropriate, a plan of treatment to be followed upon return. All documentation will be held in strict confidence by the University; it will be maintained separately from the student’s academic record in accordance with the University’s policy on the confidentiality of student records. Upon request, the student will authorize the Dean of Students to secure any additional information necessary to assess the student’s readiness for readmission.
    3. Submit documentation by the following dates: DATE for the fall semester A-term, DATE for the fall semester B-term, DATE for Spring semester A-term, DATE for Spring semester B-term, DATE for Summer. Needs to be filled in
  3. The VPEMSA will consult with appropriate resources in considering the student’s request.
  4. When the VPEMSA has concerns about the likelihood of the student’s success, the VPEMSA or designee will communicate this to the student and, with the student’s permission, to the treating clinician.
  5. Students are expected to meet with VPEMSA or designee within two weeks of the first day of classes for the purpose of assessing their experience thus far and reviewing support resources available to them.

Involuntary Withdrawal

The Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs or Dean of Students may be alerted to a student’s destructive or disruptive conduct from various sources on campus (such as the Classroom, Counseling Center, the Residence Life Office, etc.). When the AVP or a designee has reason to believe that a student poses a direct threat to others and that less extreme measures will not sufficiently mitigate the student’s conduct, the involuntary medical withdrawal procedure may be invoked.

  1. A student may be administratively withdrawn from the University, from University housing, and/or from one or more classes when, in the judgment of the VPEMSA  and a professional member of the University's Counseling Services staff or Behavioral Assessment Intervention Team (BAIT), it is determined that the student's physical, mental, emotional or psychological health:
    1. poses a significant danger or threat of physical harm to the person or property of others; or
    2. causes the student to interfere with the rights of other members of the University community or with the exercise of any proper activities or functions of the University or its personnel.
  2. When a student exhibits any of the behaviors described above, he or she may be brought to the attention of the VPEMSA. The VPEMSA Office designee, in consultation with appropriate medical, psychological, or academic resources, may involuntarily withdraw a student from his or her classes or place conditions on the student’s continued enrollment.
  3. Under certain circumstances involving the safety of the University community, the VPEMSA may mandate that the student undergo a psychological or medical assessment to assist in evaluating the student’s ability to participate successfully in University life.
  4. The results of the VPEMSA Office designee’s inquiry will be shared in written form with the student and major department.
  5. If a student is involuntarily withdrawn from classes, the VPEMSA Office designee, in consultation with appropriate campus resources, will make a determination regarding the length of separation from the University and describe the conditions under which the student may seek to return. A hold will be placed on the student’s registration by the Dean of Students , until the student has been granted readmission.
  6. A student may appeal the results of the University’s decision to involuntarily withdraw him or her from classes to the President of the University within five business day from the notice. These individuals will review all available information and render a final determination. This result will be shared with the student and the student’s School.
  7. Students involuntarily withdrawn from classes will receive a “W” for all courses attempted during that semester.
  8. Students seeking readmission to the University following involuntary withdrawal must follow the same procedure outlined for students returning following voluntary withdrawal.
  9. All records concerning involuntary withdrawal will be kept separately from the student’s academic record in accordance with the University’s policy on the confidentiality of student records.

Concerns Regarding Discrimination

Any student who believes they have been discriminated against under this policy because of their medical condition should discuss their concerns with the VPEMSA.

Records and Fees

All records concerning these proceedings shall be maintained by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and shall be kept confidential in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and its implementing regulations, 34 CFR, Part 99.

Retention of conduct records

Upon graduation or withdrawal from the University, student records in the Office of Student Conduct are maintained for a period of no less than seven (7) years to facilitate compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act; after which time they are destroyed. Records of students who are suspended or expelled from the University will be maintained indefinitely. Conduct records may be released to third parties pursuant to University policies and federal and state laws.

Sanctions resulting in a change of a student’s standing with the University may be disclosed to third parties; those sanctions include conduct probation, deferred suspension, suspension, and expulsion. Educational sanctions assigned may also be disclosed. Sanctions not affecting a student’s standing with the University will not be disclosed; those sanctions include formal and informal warnings.