Medical Leave of Absence

Policy Statement

a Mohawk Valley Community College is committed to an environment that supports the academic success and health of our students. An Interim Medical Withdrawal and/or long-term Medical Leave of Absence due to medical reasons may be deemed necessary for the long-term health and wellness of the student.

Background:

  • A student may be placed on an Interim Medical Withdrawal (IMW) or a Medical Leave of Absence (MLA) when his/her behavior poses a threat to the health, safety, or well being of the student and others within the College community and/or threatens to cause a disruption to or interruption of College operations. The College initiates this. 
  • A student may be placed on a Medical Leave of Absence due to a medical emergency or medical condition that prevents the student from attending classes for an extended period of time (surgery, hospitalization due to a car accident, illness, etc.) The student initiates this.
  • A student’s status may also convert from an IMW to an MLA as determined by the College and outlined in the procedures that follow. 
  • A student on a Medical Leave of Absence is still matriculated at the College, and therefore, is permitted to register for classes at the expiration of the approved leave. Students will be asked to provide medical documentation to support their request. No grades will be posted for incidents occurring prior to the census date of the semester. All courses will have transcript grades of “W” when the incident occurs after the census date.

Procedures:

There are two types of procedures; one initiated by the student and one that is unanticipated where the College needs to initiate an Interim Medical Withdrawal or a Medical Leave of Absence.

  1. A MLA initiated by the student should go through the Counseling Department and should follow the same procedure as a Withdrawal but should be noted as MLA on the form. The student will be withdrawn from classes effective as of the date stated in the form.
  2. An unanticipated incident will be managed initially by first responders (e.g., Department of Public Safety, Residence Life, emergency medical responders, etc.) in order to ensure the immediate safety of the individual(s) involved and the campus community.  After the incident is secured, the mental health, substance abuse or other unanticipated emergency will be managed in partnership with the College, the student, and in some cases the student’s medical, mental health or substance abuse practitioner and parent/official guardian as necessary or appropriate and in compliance with FERPA regulations.
  3. An interim medical withdrawal will be initiated by the Vice President Student Affairs (VPSA) or his/her designee, following a report of an unanticipated incident or a report and preliminary investigation opened by any of the following: BERT, the Counseling Department, Office of Judicial Affairs Community Standards, Dean of the Rome Campus, Office of Student and Residence or the Department of Public Safety.  These reports and the subsequent Interim Medical Withdrawal will have drawn to a conclusion that the student’s behavior:
    a) Poses a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of the student and others within the College community and/or
    b) Threatens to cause a disruption to or interruption of College operations

Policy violations that occur during a mental health, substance abuse or any other unanticipated emergency may be subject to judicial or criminal proceedings that may occur concurrently with this policy or may follow upon resolution of the emergency.

The steps that are taken in the event of an Interim Medical Withdrawal or a Medical Leave of Absence follow based on an unanticipated event include:

Step 1: A letter is presented to the student:

  • When possible, in person;
  • When possible, emailed by way of the College’s judicial software system;
  • By alternative delivery method if no other avenues are identified.

The content of the letter will address the reasons for the withdrawal and the requirements for reinstatement consideration. The letter will preschedule a follow-up meeting for five (5) business days hence. The student is notified that if the requested documentation is incomplete it will delay consideration for reinstatement.

Step 2: If a residence hall student, the following actions are initiated:

  • The student is provided escorted access to his/her room to retrieve personal belongings and leave the campus;
  • The room key is confiscated and proximity card deactivated until reinstatement; 
  • The emergency contacts are notified as warranted under standard College operating procedure.

If the student is an international student or any other special population that requires specific additional accommodations, the College will take those steps as appropriate and/or necessary.

Step 3: A follow up meeting to review required documentation will occur on or before the fifth business day, unless waived by the student, in which case the interim medical withdrawal may proceed to a Medical Leave of Absence for an appropriate period of time.  The review will determine compliance with the requested information. 

  • If all information has been received and satisfactorily addresses the concerns, the student is reinstated and all pertinent College employees are notified. A student’s academic class standing is subject to the rules of each class syllabus and must be discussed with each individual instructor.
  • If the documentation is incomplete, an extension may be granted upon approval of the VPSA or designee.
  • If the documentation is not received within the timeframe established or does not meet the minimum requirements for the student to return to the College, the student will be placed on a Medical Leave of Absence for an appropriate period of time and a Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) hold will be placed on his/her account alerting the College to outstanding documentation needs.  The student is formally notified of this.  No grades will be posted for incidents occurring prior to the census date of the semester. All courses will have transcript grades of “W” when the incident occurs after the census date.

Step 4: If, based on the severity of the original incident and its effect on students and staff involved, the student’s return may potentially continue to:

  • Negatively impact the well-being of the student and others within the College community and/or
  • Threaten to cause a disruption to or interruption of College operations

The student may be placed on a Medical Leave of Absence for an appropriate period of time and a VPSA hold will be placed on his/her account.  The student is formally notified of this. No grades will be posted for incidents occurring prior to the census date of the semester. All courses will have transcript grades of “W” when the incident occurs after the census date.

If a Medical Leave of Absence is initiated it automatically applies to the College and Residence Halls.  There may be occasion where a student is permitted to return to the College but not the Residence Halls.  These individual nuances will be clearly communicated to the student and all pertinent College employees.

Step 5: In the event a student is placed on a Medical Leave of Absence from either the College or the Residence Halls following an interim medical withdrawal, the student has the right to request an independent review of the case to the College President. This must occur in writing and be received by the President within five (5) business days of the date of the letter communicating the Medical Leave of Absence. The President will appoint a College official to act as an independent review (not a hearing).  A final decision will be rendered within five (5) additional business days and communicated in writing to the student.

The college reserves the right to review student charges and fees generated by the student attending classes at Mohawk Valley Community College. Any changes, adjustments and/or refunds will be processed in accordance with the College’s refund policies.  If the student is receiving any financial aid, including grants, and/or student loans, payment of funds will be pro-rated in accordance with Federal and NY State regulations.