MINES’ POLICY LIBRARY

Involuntary Leave of Absence Policy

POLICY PROFILE

Responsible Administrative Unit: Student Life

Policy Contact: Associate Vice President of Student Life, Rebecca Flintoft (rflintof@mines.edu)

Related Resources:

1.0 BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

The Colorado School of Mines (“Mines”) is committed to partnering for student success. As part of this commitment, Mines provides a range of support services to address the medical needs of students, including mental health needs, within the context of our educational community. When a student experiences medical needs that require treatment beyond what Mines provides, or a level of treatment that is unconducive to either the educational community and mission of Mines or the student’s academic progress, they may elect to take a voluntary leave of absence/withdrawal, as outlined in the Colorado School of Mines Catalog or Mines may place them on Involuntary Leave of Absence.

For these types of situations, Mines is committed to offering and developing reasonable solutions to help students remain in the educational community where possible, and to help students return to Mines following a voluntary leave of absence/withdrawal or an Involuntary Leave of Absence. The following constitutes the Mines policy regarding involuntary leaves of absence for graduate and undergraduate students.

2.0 POLICY STATEMENT(S)

In the absence of a voluntary leave of absence/withdrawal, Mines may place a student on Involuntary Leave of Absence. An Involuntary Leave of Absence does not revoke a student’s admission to Mines.

During an Involuntary Leave of Absence, a student is not enrolled in courses at Colorado School of Mines and may not participate in activities and services that are reserved for enrolled students, including but not limited to, Mines housing or health and counseling services.

This Policy is not a substitute for the academic or student code of conduct policies and adjudication process.

This Policy does not govern financial matters related to attendance. Student tuition and fee refund requests are governed by the Payments and Refunds section of the Colorado School of Mines Catalog. Financial aid is governed by federal, state, and university policy.

3.0 RESPONSIBILITIES

The Vice President of Student Life (VPSL) or designee, may place a graduate or undergraduate student on Involuntary Leave of Absence under any of the following circumstances:

  • A student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations or otherwise safely and effectively participate in the educational program;
  • Current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence indicates that a student poses a significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others, not based on speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations; or
  • The student’s behavior causes significant disruption to the learning environment or campus community.

The decision to place a student on Involuntary Leave of Absence will be based on a number of circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • the nature and severity of the risk;
  • the probability of substantial harm;
  • whether the risk can be reasonably mitigated; and
  • relevant medical and non-medical observations and information.

When Mines receives information indicating an Involuntary Leave of Absence may be appropriate, the CARE Team will review the information and make a recommendation to the VPSL (See Exhibit 1). Prior to making a recommendation for an Involuntary Leave of Absence, Mines will generally undertake the following actions:

  • Prior notice of potential Involuntary Leave of Absence, including specific behavioral expectations (See reference to Sample Prior Notice, undersection 6.0 Resources or Attachments.)
  • Opportunity for the student to respond to such notices

In addition, Mines may undertake other actions or solutions depending on the circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • Outreach and support to the student, including referral to appropriate mental health and medical care providers
  • Reasonable accommodations of documented disabilities
  • Housing changes or removal from housing
  • Consultation with student, Mines faculty or staff, family members, care providers, and/or other supportive individuals
  • Opportunity for student to provide documentation from outside medical and/or mental health provider
  • Notification of designated emergency contacts where notification is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other third-parties
  • Risk or threat assessment
  • Referral for psychological assessment
  • Clarification of voluntary leave of absence, withdrawal, and course reduction options and associated impacts
  • Review of policy and procedures related to tuition and fee waiver appeals, graduate student funding, and financial aid impacts related to potential voluntary withdrawal or leave of absence, course reduction, or Involuntary Leave of Absence
  • Consideration of possible degree program change
  • Consultation regarding housing options during and after Involuntary Leave of Absence
4.0 COMPLIANCE/ENFORCEMENT

The President delegates authority to develop, administer, maintain, and enforce appropriate procedures and resources to implement this policy to the Vice President of Student Life.

5.0 DEFINITIONS

Involuntary Leave of Absence. Also referred to as “involuntary leave,” a period of time during which a student is not enrolled in courses at Colorado School of Mines and may not participate in activities and services that are reserved for enrolled students, including but not limited to Mines housing and health and counseling services. Involuntary Leave of Absence does not revoke a student’s admission to Mines.

CARE Team. Mines’ Crisis Assessment, Response, and Education (CARE) team, as outlined at https://www.mines.edu/student-life/care/.

6.0 RESOURCES or ATTACHMENTS

KEY WORDS
Medical leave of absence, medical withdrawal, Involuntary Leave of Absence, involuntary withdrawal.

7.0 HISTORY AND REVIEW CYCLE

The policy will be reviewed every 2 years, or as needed by the Responsible Administrative Unit.

Issued: August 1, 2019
Revised: N/A