Leave from the College for Medical or Mental Health Reasons
When a student has significant medical or mental health issues that prevent completion of coursework, s/he may request a Medical or Mental Health Leave from the College by submitting to the Director of Health Services: 1) a completed Voluntary Medical or Mental Health Leave Request form, and 2) supporting documentation from a qualified health professional. This documentation should include a letter detailing the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment history, and relevant circumstances, as well as dates and anticipated duration of the condition in question. The request and all supporting documentation must be received not later than two weeks (14 calendar days) prior to the last day of classes for the current semester, as defined by the academic calendar. A medical or mental health leave assumes an incapacity that prohibits acceptable academic performance, not simply a hardship or inconvenience. The Director of Health Services in consultation with the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA) will consider the student’s request, which must be supported by documentation from a qualified health professional, and make a determination as to whether the request is appropriate. If the request is deemed appropriate, the Director of Health Services will recommend to the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Academic Affairs that leave be granted. Students may first be encouraged to consult with their instructors or advisors to determine if there are alternative methods to alleviate their academic workload before obtaining a medical or mental health leave. Students experiencing medical or mental health difficulties fewer than 14 days before the close of classes may request “Incomplete” (I) grades for all classes, as outlined in the College’s grading policies.
If a student is not granted a medical or mental health leave, s/he may submit a written appeal, within two weeks of receiving the decision, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose decision regarding the request will be final. If a request is denied, the College catalog policies will apply, based upon the original date the Voluntary Medical or Mental Health Leave Request form was initially submitted.
A student recommended for and granted a medical or mental health leave will be withdrawn from all current courses he or she is registered for, even after the official withdrawal period has ended and without academic penalty. Partial withdrawal is not possible. Additionally, a student on leave will receive a one-year Maintenance of Matriculation that allows the student to return without having to re-apply or pay another application fee. The student will be responsible for meeting 100% of his/her fees and room charges, as outlined in the College catalog. The student’s board will be prorated. If the student receives financial aid funding, s/he should first meet with the Director of Financial Aid prior to requesting the leave in order to better understand its full financial aid implications.
If the student intends to return to the College to complete his/her degree, the student will be given a waiver for tuition charges to offset the cost of tuition upon his/her return. Should the student not return to the college to complete his/her degree, no refund of tuition charges will be given. If away for more than one year, the student would be subject to the catalog requirements in place at the time of return.
When a student wishes to return to the College, s/he is required to submit to the Director of Health Services appropriate documentation from a qualified health professional stating that the student has been cleared to return. It is recommended that s/he schedule a meeting with the Director of Health Services to review any relevant matters regarding this transition. If a student returning from a medical or mental health leave requires a reasonable accommodation in order to meet the essential eligibility requirements for MSMC students, MSMC will attempt to accommodate him/her as outlined in the MSMC Student Handbook. If the student is not approved to return to the College, s/he may submit a written appeal, within two weeks of receiving the decision, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose decision regarding the request will be final.