Crafting Comprehensive Policies and Procedures for Voluntary and Involuntary Medical Leave and Withdrawal

Educational institutions must objectively assess potential harm before deciding to place a student on involuntary leave or withdrawal. They should evaluate if the risk can be reduced through accommodations or modifications, as recommended by the NABITA Advisory Board (2019). This approach ensures that a student’s direct threat or safety risk is thoroughly considered and addressed.

By initiating accommodations/modifications through the disability services office, institutions may be able to provide the necessary support and allow the student to continue with their studies successfully. If a student is found responsible for violating student conduct policies, the Student Conduct Office or designated administrators may impose sanctions, including separation from the institution. Similarly, Title IX can enforce the same sanctions for policy violations.

After conducting an objective risk assessment, which may involve reviewing medical documentation, an institution may determine that a situation poses a significant and immediate risk beyond what the institution can reasonably accommodate. In these instances, the institution should have a policy that outlines the appropriate official with the authority to initiate the involuntary leave of absence process and the necessary steps to complete the procedure.

As part of TNG’s comprehensive consulting services, we help our clients to develop and implement voluntary and involuntary medical leave and withdrawal policies and the associated procedures for your institution.

Learning Outcomes:

After your institution implements policies and procedures regarding voluntary and involuntary medical leave and withdrawal and trains on them, clients will have policies and procedures in place that will provide the necessary tools for the following situations:

  • Students requiring medical leave or withdrawal resulting from a serious health condition.
  • Involuntary withdrawal or leave for students who cannot continue their studies based on a serious health condition.
  • Involuntary withdrawal or leave for students whose health conditions pose a threat to the health or safety of others.
  • Involuntary withdrawal for students who cannot meet the university’s academic standards.
  • Facilitating return to the institution following medical leave or withdrawal.

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