Considerations For Leave of Absence/Withdrawal
Students in need of taking a leave of absence should contact their class dean.
Considerations For Return
- You can submit a Request to Return form through the Leave/Return Portal in your MyApps account, which will start the process of return. This request must be received by the end of Week 6 of the term prior to the term you plan to return.
- You must receive an email confirming that you are cleared to return in order to be re-enrolled for class registration and housing assignments.
- Have your treatment provider seen during medical leave send the Community Provider Report Form to the Director of the Eppler-Wolff Counseling Center.
- You must submit all paperwork for re-admission to the college no later than one month before you plan to return. Documentation can be sent to Union College Counseling Center, ATTN: Marcus Hotaling, Wicker Wellness Center, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, NY, 12308 or they can be faxed to (518) 388-6147. Additionally, you must follow any requirements set forth in the College leave/return policy, which can be found here.
Policy on Involuntary Health (Medical and Mental Health) Leave of Absence
The Union College community depends upon each member’s acceptance of individual responsibility and respect for the rights of others as they live and thrive in a diverse academic, living, and learning community.
As such, Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of each student and to the academic community as a whole. In circumstances where a student’s actions are such that they could pose a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of self or others and/or consistently disrupt the community, Union reserves the right to impose a leave of absence upon that student.
In most cases, Union seeks to resolve these concerns with the student’s cooperation and to have the issue(s) addressed while the student remains enrolled or by assisting the student in voluntarily withdrawing for a period of time. If a student declines a voluntary leave of absence or refuses to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary to evaluate the nature of the student’s behavior, the student may be separated from the college without their consent.
Union may place a student on an involuntary leave when the student exhibits behavior(s) that:
harms, or threatens to harm, the health or safety of anyone within the Union College community, including the student;
causes, or threatens to cause, significant property damage
If the student is unable to consistently care for their activities of daily living given an physical or mental health issue; or
is significantly or consistently disruptive to the educational, residential, and other activities of the Union College community.
The decision to impose an involuntary leave of absence is made on a case-by-case basis. Each student situation will be provided an individualized assessment and each student’s individualized circumstances will be taken into account.
When notified about a student of concern, relevant members of the Union College Behavioral Intervention Team and/or CARE Team will conduct an assessment of the student’s situation. The assessment will be based on the student’s demonstrated behavior and may involve consultation with appropriate professionals (e.g., faculty, residence life staff) regarding the student’s circumstances.
Except in emergency circumstances (e.g., a student is hospitalized, unable to give consent, etc.), the student will be given the opportunity to be heard by members of the behavioral intervention team or other appropriate Union personnel and to provide additional information for consideration before an involuntary leave is imposed. In the event of an emergency, the student will be given this opportunity shortly after any imposition of the leave is made (usually within a few days).
If Union College decides to require an involuntary leave of absence, the student will receive written notification of the decision, the effective date of the leave, the minimum length of the separation from Union College, and the conditions under which the student may seek to be re-enrolled. The letter will also ordinarily request additional information from the student before a readmission decision will be made, including written documentation from a licensed mental health or medical professional attesting to the students’ readiness to return to full-time study (3 courses unless a reduced courseload is indicated) and readiness to return to campus housing in a residential college setting. If new or additional information comes to Union’s attention, these requirements may be changed, including new requirements added.
An involuntary leave of absence mandates that a student be withdrawn from Union for a defined period of time to address the behavior(s) that necessitated the leave of absence so that they can be successful upon their return to campus, or enough time to address any physical medical concerns.
If the Union College Behavioral Intervention Team and/or CARE Team determines that the student may remain enrolled but subject to conditions, the student will be informed of the conditions and the consequences of violating the conditions.
A student who is placed on involuntary leave or whose continued enrollment is made subject to conditions may appeal the decision to the Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students within seven days of receipt of the written communication notifying the student of the decision. The appeal must be in writing, delineating the reason(s) why the student believes the decision is inappropriate, and must be accompanied by any information the student would like considered. The Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students will review the student’s appeal and may uphold, reverse, or alter the Behavioral Intervention Team and/or CARE Teams’ decision. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing and shall be considered final.
If placed on involuntary leave of absence, the student will leave the campus (or abroad program) immediately and be granted grades of “W” in all enrolled courses (even if the normal deadline for withdrawal without academic penalty has passed). Further, if the student desires to return to Union College, they will be obligated to adhere to the re-enrollment requirements outlined below. The policy on refunds contained on the Bursar's Webpage will apply. While on involuntary leave, the student must remain away from campus (or study abroad program) unless otherwise noted in their written notification.
The student must have their licensed mental health provider complete and return the Community Provider Form to the Counseling Center. The student must also submit the Request to Return form by posted deadlines indicating that they would like to return to campus. Additionally, students returning from an involuntary leave will also be required to meet (in-person, zoom, or phone call) with their class dean to discuss housing and class schedule). Furthermore, students will have to meet any additional conditions placed on the student’s readmission have been met. Members of the Union College Behavioral Intervention Team and/or CARE Team, along with the class dean will determine if there is reasonable assurance that the student will be able to make a successful return to Union College, with or without reasonable accommodation. The complete readmission materials should be received by the end of week six in the term prior to the requested return date. If a student has not met all criteria for readmission until after these deadlines, but does so before the start of the upcoming trimester, the application will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will depend upon many factors, including course and housing availability. Ordinarily, students will not be admitted if they do not meet these published deadlines; however, if they are approved for return, housing and course selection could be limited due to the timing of the decision allowing the return. The student should direct any questions about the involuntary leave process, as well as the readmission application, to their class dean.
It is expected that when a student is re-enrolled after an involuntary leave, they will maintain regular contact with their class dean and take responsibility for ensuring compliance with all of the re-enrollment decisions. Similarly, it is often advisable for the student to continue with or establish professional relationships with appropriate support and professional resources on or off campus to continue addressing the issue(s) that necessitated the involuntary leave of absence.
A leave of absence does not in and of itself absolve a student of disciplinary responsibility for their actions (such as engaging in threats of violence, property damage, retaliatory behaviors, etc.). If a student’s conduct subjects them to the disciplinary process, Union College may do any of the following:
- require the disciplinary process to conclude before approving the leave;
- hold the disciplinary process (or decisions about pursuing disciplinary action) in abeyance until a later point in time; or
- allow the leave of absence to serve as an alternative to a disciplinary consequence by allowing the student to address their behavior as a matter of self-help and self-improvement.
The Office of Community Standards, in consultation with the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Campus and Community, Living and Learning will determine how pending disciplinary matters will be handled on a case-by-case basis.