Policies and Procedures

Policy

Student Required Medical Leave of Absence

Effective
November 5, 2009
Category(ies)
Student Affairs
Approval(s)
President and Vice Presidents: November 5, 2009 Signature (pdf)
Steward(s)
Dean of Student and Academic Support Services

Purpose/Rationale

The college may require a student to take a medical leave of absence in certain circumstances. The rules for required medical leaves of absence and emergency medical leaves of absence are found in WAC 174-125. This policy describes how these leaves of absence can be issued and appealed.

This policy applies to:

All students.

1. The Dean of Student and Academic Support Services may issue Required Medical Leaves of Absence and Emergency Medical Leaves of Absence according to the rules in the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and this policy.

2. The criteria of a Required Medical Leave of Absence are listed in WAC 174-125-010.

A Required Medical Leave of Absence may be issued if "a student has a physical illness or a mental, emotional or psychological condition and as a result of the condition:

a) Is engaging in, or is threatening to engage in, behavior that poses a significant danger of causing substantial harm to the health, safety or welfare of the student or others; or

b) The student's behavior has resulted in substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the student, or others and the behavior continues, or there is a risk the behavior will continue, posing a significant danger of causing substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the student or others; or

c) The student's behavior has resulted in significant disruption of the teaching, learning or administrative activities of other members of the campus community and the behavior continues, or there is a risk the behavior will continue, with the likely result of such behavior substantially impeding the education processes or proper activities or functions of the college and its personnel."

3. Before issuing a Required Medical Leave of Absence, the Dean will gather information.

  • The Dean must consult with the Director of Health and Counseling Services.
  • Where possible, the Dean will consult with others who can provide relevant information about the student's condition.
  • Where reasonably possible, the Dean will provide the student an opportunity to present information about his or her circumstances. If the student is unable or unwilling to meet with the Dean in a timely manner, the student's opportunity to provide information is waived.

4. The Dean issues a Required Medical Leave of Absence in writing to the student.

  • The written notice must include:
  • The effective date of the leave;
  • The reasons for requiring the leave;
  • The conditions for re-enrollment;
  • Any restrictions imposed on the student's access to the campus or college-sponsored activities.
  • The Required Medical Leave of Absence is effective twenty-one days after it is served on the student, unless the student files a timely written appeal.
  • The service of the Dean's decision is complete when the notice is deposited in the U. S. Mail, postage pre-paid, properly addressed to the student at the last known address on file with the Registrar's Office, OR by personal service to the student.

5. A student may appeal a Required Medical Leave of Absence

  • To appeal a Required Medical Leave of Absence, the student must submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs within twenty days of service of the Dean's decision to require a medical leave.
  • The appeal will be heard by a review board. The review board is named by the President and composed of at least three staff members who do not report to the Dean of Student and Academic Support Services. The President will name one of the Review Board members as chair.
  • The Vice President will notify the student in writing of the time, date and location of the hearing.
  • The hearing will be conducted according to the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.
  • As a result of the hearing, the Review Board can reach one of three conclusions:
  • Uphold the Required Medical Leave of Absence as issued by the Dean;
  • Modify the Dean's decision, allowing the student to remain enrolled under specific conditions; or
  • Reverse the Dean's decision and allow the student to remain enrolled without restriction
  • The Review Board will make its decision in writing within seven business days of the hearing. The Review Board's written decision will be provided to the student by depositing the decision in the U. S. Mail, postage prepaid and properly addressed to the student at the last known address on file with the Registrar's Office OR by personal service .

6. The Dean may issue an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence where risk is imminent. The criteria for an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence are listed in WAC 174-125-025.

An Emergency Medical Leave of Absence may be issued "if the student has a medical, or mental, emotional or psychological condition and as a result of the condition:

(a) The student is engaging in, or threatening to engage in, behavior that poses a significant danger of causing imminent and substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the student, or others; or

(b) The student's behavior has resulted in substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the student, or others and the behavior continues, or there is a risk the behavior will continue, posing a significant danger of causing imminent and substantial harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the student, or others; or

(c) The student's behavior has resulted in significant disruption of the teaching, learning or administrative activities of other members of the campus community and the behavior continues, or there is a risk the behavior will continue, with the likely result of such behavior imminently and substantially impeding the education processes or proper activities or functions of the college and its personnel."

7. The Dean issues an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence in writing to the student.

  • An Emergency Medical Leave of Absence takes effect immediately.
  • The written notice must include:
    • The reasons for requiring the leave;
    • Any restrictions imposed on the student's access to the campus or college-sponsored activities.
  • The service of the Dean's decision is complete when the notice is deposited in the U. S. Mail, postage pre-paid, properly addressed to the student at the last known address on file with the Registrar's Office, OR by personal service to the student.
  • When the Dean issues an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence, the Dean will issue a Required Medical Leave of Absence at the same time.

8. The Vice President for Student Affairs will conduct a hearing when an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence is issued.

  • The hearing will occur within three business days of the student being served with the Emergency Medical Leave of Absence, unless the student elects to waive the hearing.
  • The hearing will be held according to the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.
  • If the Vice President upholds the Dean's decision to issue an Emergency Medical Leave of Absence, the leave of absence will remain in effect until the Medical Leave of Absence Review Board acts on the accompanying Required Medical Leave of Absence, unless the Dean decides that the reasons for the Emergency Medical Leave of Absence no longer exist.

9. A student wishing to return from a Required Medical Leave of Absence must notify the Dean.

  • The student must notify the Dean at least one month prior to the start of the quarter in which they wish to enroll.
  • The student should document that they have met any conditions placed on their re-enrollment.
  • All other admission and enrollment requirements of the college must also be met.
  • The Dean will consult with the Director of Health and Counseling Services.
  • The Dean will notify the student in writing of the decision to approve or prohibit re-enrollment.

Authority:

WAC 174-125 Required and Emergency Medical Leave of Absence

Definitions:

  • Vice President: Vice President for Student Affairs or the Vice President's designee.
  • Dean: Dean of Student and Academic Support Services or the Dean's designee.
  • Director of Health and Counseling Services: the Director of the Director's designee.