Rutgers SHP - Policies

SCHOOL POLICY

Subject : REGISTRATION Title : LEAVE OF ABSENCE Coding : 2.0.2
Category :
Responsible Executive : Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Responsible Office : SHP Office of Enrollment Management
Adopted : 2/05 Amended : 5/07, 3/10, 1/12, 6/14, 7/16 Last Reviewed : 07/2016

I. Purpose

This policy describes student responsibilities and procedures for requesting a leave of absence.

II. Accountability

The Program Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall have responsibility for this policy. The policy will be implemented by the SHP Registrar.

III. Policy

Any student who wishes to request a Leave of Absence (LOA) must FIRST submit a completed LOA form to their program director for approval. The student must indicate the reason for the request (medical*, personal*, or military). If the request is based on medical reasons, the student is required to provide documentation from their physician. The documentation need only address the issues affecting the student’s ability to perform essential duties (as outlined by the program) and not sensitive medical information. If the program needs additional information from the physician, the student will be asked to sign an “Authorization for Release of Patient Information.” This may be necessary so that the required clearances for return can be identified. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence in the program director’s office. Once the LOA is approved by the Program Director, the LOA form will be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management. Enrollment Management will confirm the LOA directly with the student and provide the date by which the student must return to school. The date the form is approved by the program director is the date the student will be placed on LOA. This form may be found on the SHP Registrar’s website, https://shp.rutgers.edu/registrar/. Every effort should be made by the student to request a LOA at the beginning of the term, preferably before the end of the add/drop period. If the request is made after the withdrawal period has ended, the student may take an incomplete, provided they have met that criteria for an “incomplete” (see policy 3.0 Grading System Policy). If the LOA is requested before the end of the withdrawal period, the student must withdraw from classes. In the event of a catastrophic event in which the student must withdraw after the refund period is over, the student may request incompletes by making an appeal to the Dean. Extenuating circumstances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. In order to take the LOA, students must be in good academic standing with the program.

If the Program Director imposes any conditions on the student's return from a LOA, the Program Director will communicate those conditions on the LOA form. Additionally, documentation attesting to the student’s fitness to return to school and/or their clinical experience must be submitted to the program director prior to the end of the LOA, from the medical personnel who had evaluated the student’s fitness. The program director has the right to request further information, if there is any doubt that the student will be able satisfy the program’s essential functions.

The Registrar will place a hold on the student's registration until the Program Director confirms in writing to the Registrar that all conditions have been met for the student's return from LOA. A LOA may be granted for a period of up to one academic year. A LOA may be extended only once, if the original reason for the LOA continues. The student must request an additional leave by submitting the LOA form again. Only one additional year for a LOA will be granted, and only upon approval of the Program Director. Otherwise, no back-to-back LOAs will be approved.

The Program or Registrar may deny return from a LOA, if the student has not obtained the Program Director's written confirmation that any conditions established for the LOA have been met, or if outstanding tuition and fees or other encumbrances exist.

Students are required to receive approval from the Program Director or Designee to return from an approved LOA and will need to submit a LOA form indicating on the form a return from the leave. The form may be obtained from the SHP website. Reapplication for admission is not required. Students who do not re-enroll upon the expiration of a LOA and who do not receive approval from the Program Director for an additional period of leave, will be administratively withdrawn from the School by the Registrar. When applicable, students may need to pay for and complete a new criminal background check when returning from a LOA, if the student has clinical experiences to complete.

*Examples of LOA criteria: Personal leave may include but is not limited to the death or illness of a family member, financial instability, or employment commitments. Medical leaves may include illness or injury experienced by the student, childbirth, or any other physical or psychological condition that prevents the student from meeting the “Essential Functions” of their program. Students cannot claim a personal leave for a medical issue.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE
     Amended: 5/07, 3/10, 1/12, 6/14, 7/16