Return to: Student Handbook
At Andrews University the health and wellbeing of students and of our campus community is of primary importance. The University remains committed to assuring that all students have the opportunity to achieve optimal performance and receive the best and most appropriate care. The University retains the right to intervene as deemed necessary to help protect the educational environment or the health and safety of the campus.
Observations of behaviors and reports of activities or conduct that appear to disrupt, jeopardize or threaten the educational environment or the health or safety of a student or others should be shared via an online report at andrews.edu/students/resources/public-reporting.html. Reports may also be shared with the vice president for Student Life and/or the University Student Intervention Team (USIT) via firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is a direct or imminent threat the observation should be directed immediately to Emergency Services (911) and to the Office of Campus Safety (269-471-3321).
Such observations may include disruptive or dysfunctional behaviors, a suicidal ideation or gesture, self-injurious actions, aberrant actions, threatening statements or behaviors or other symptoms or conduct that may compromise the educational environment or the health and safety of the student or others.
- The University will facilitate standard due processes, in which the student will have the opportunity to explore with a member of the USIT or a Student Life dean the nature of the reported concern, as well as the Health, Wellness and Safety policy and appeal process.
- The vice president for Student Life and/or the USIT will facilitate a comprehensive evaluation process that includes a professional assessment and/or investigation of the observations for the purpose of determining the current level of risk or disruption and recommended intervention plan.
- When deemed necessary, the University will initiate a plan to provide protective care for the student and/or take steps to ensure the safety of the campus community until an evaluation can take place that includes an individualized professional assessment. University Medical Specialties and/or the Counseling & Testing Center may be consulted. (In some cases, students may be transported by ambulance directly to a local emergency facility following a 911 call.)
- To assess the level of risk, the student may be asked to obtain a comprehensive medical and/or psychological assessment from a licensed physician or psychologist and sign a release of information (ROI) to the vice president for Student Life and the USIT. Information may include a written report of the findings of the assessment and recommended intervention plan.
- The student may be asked by the licensed physician or psychologist to provide pertinent reports and corroborative information from former educational entities or healthcare professionals.
- In cases of potential harm to self, residence hall students may not be able to reside in the residence hall during the assessment process due to the potential disruption to other students and the inability of residence hall staff to provide monitored care. Parents or students may be asked to provide a plan of monitored care during the assessment process.
- In the case of an investigation regarding threats to others, a background check may be conducted and the student may be asked to provide additional information.
- Parents, legal guardians, spouse or family designee (as reflected in the student’s emergency contact records) generally are notified and encouraged to share relevant information.
- The student is responsible for all fees related to medical or psychological assessment.
- The vice president for Student Life and/or the USIT will review all corroborative information, professional assessments and recommendations to determine the appropriate University response.
Following the evaluation and investigative processes, the vice president for Student Life may activate an intervention that could result in a medical leave, a change in residential setting, a suspension for a Code of Student Conduct violation, an interim suspension or a separation from campus.
Voluntary Leave Policy
In certain life circumstances, it may be necessary or desirable for a student to take a leave of absence. Requests for leave are handled in accordance with the Voluntary Leave Policy. A leave of absence may occur within a semester while remaining enrolled in classes (in-semester leave) or it may entail withdrawing from all classes and leaving for the remainder of the semester or longer (semester leave). Leaves may be granted for family, military, medical or personal reasons, as specified below.
Alternatives to a Leave
Before taking a semester leave, students are advised to consult with their professors, academic advisors or the Student Success office about any accommodations that might be made. In some cases, it may be best for students to remain enrolled under a revised academic plan. Such a plan could include reduced coursework, extended deadlines or incompletes with a plan for completion. A revised academic plan will vary depending upon course load, course requirements and current academic standing within courses.
An in-semester leave involves a short absence from all classes. The student will remain enrolled and be responsible for working with professors, academic advisors or the Student Success office on a plan to make up missed coursework. While emergencies may take a student away from campus without warning, in all other situations students are required to notify professors and the Student Success or Student Life office before taking an in-semester leave. Such leaves may total no more than two weeks in a given semester, and students who exceed this limit must consult with the Student Success office about taking a semester leave.
Semester leaves are designed to temporarily withdraw students from enrollment in all classes, without a loss of general admission status, in order to help them meet significant life challenges or important obligations. Related reinstatement processes ensure that students return fully equipped for the rigors of campus and academic life. An approved semester leave, in certain circumstances, may help students:
- To protect their academic record
- To maintain their visa status (if applicable)
- To avoid adverse effects to their student loans, grants and scholarships
Types of Leave
The University offers in-semester and semester leaves for the following reasons:
- A family semester leave may be granted for cases in which a student or student’s spouse has given birth or adopted a child or in which a student is caring for a spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition. A letter of request should be submitted as documentation.
- A military semester leave will be granted to a student who must interrupt study temporarily to fulfill a compulsory military obligation. The student must provide written documentation from the appropriate military authorities, including dates of the period of obligation.
- A medical semester leave may be granted for documented physical or psychological health reasons. Documentation must be obtained from a licensed physician or psychologist.
- A personal semester leave may be granted to students who must interrupt study temporarily for reasons other than those described above. Reasons may include, but are not limited to, financial status, bereavement or changes in one’s outside employment. A letter of request should be submitted as documentation.
Requesting a Semester Leave
- To initiate a semester leave, students must submit a Student Exit Procedure Form along with appropriate supporting documentation to the vice president for Student Life or the Student Success office.
- Students should expect that the established tuition adjustment schedule will be followed based on the number of calendar days they have been enrolled. Additional considerations may be made based on each student’s request, in consultation with their academic dean and the Student Financial Services office.
- Before taking a semester leave, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisor and student financial advisor. International students should seek counsel from the Office of International Student Services & Programs to insure compliance with visa regulations.
While on a Semester Leave
While on a semester leave of absence, students have limited access to University services:
- Students on leave are not allowed to register for main campus or distance degree courses or to participate in academic tours.
- The ID cards of students on leave will be deactivated and will not function on campus (at the Andrews University Bookstore, Dining Services, James White Library, residence halls, etc.). However, access to a student’s personal Andrews email account will remain.
- Students on leave who have purchased health insurance coverage through the University’s student insurance provider will remain covered for the remainder of their policy term.
- Counseling and Testing Center service will not be available while a student is on leave.
- Residential students who plan to live in the local community during their leave may wish to re-register their vehicles with the Office of Campus Safety (for a minimal fee) in order to receive community parking privileges.
- Students who work on-campus should not expect to retain their student employment during the period of their leave.
- Students on leave may not live in the residence halls. Since leases in student housing are contingent upon enrollment, students on leave will not be allowed to remain in University apartments or houses beyond the end of the semester in which they take a leave. However, students with an approved leave may break their lease without penalty.
Duration and Number of Semester Leaves
The duration of a semester leave depends upon the type of leave taken. Military leaves are determined by the length of compulsory service specified by military authorities. Family, personal and medical leaves may be anywhere from the remainder of a semester to no more than one additional semester in length. Students on an approved medical leave may request a second additional semester of leave when appropriate documentation is obtained from a healthcare professional.
Some degree programs have annual academic sequences that may require students to re-enter their program at a particular point in the academic year. In such cases, a longer leave may be necessary and will be considered.
Reinstatement from Leaves
Reinstatement from military, family, medical and personal semester leaves requires that students complete the following:
- Contact the Student Life office to have the medical leave hold removed
- Notify their academic and financial advisors before the end of a leave of their intention to return
- Take the appropriate steps to academically and financially register for the following semester
Failure to return in the semester following the end of a leave will result in a student having to re-apply to the University.
In addition, reinstatement from a semester medical leave addresses the University’s need to be confident, in consultation with the student and healthcare providers, that the student will be safe in an unsupervised environment and can adequately monitor his or her health.
The vice president for Student Life and/or the USIT may require current documentation from a licensed physician or psychologist regarding the following:
- A student’s readiness to return to the rigor inherent in academic and campus life expectations
- A student’s ability to adequately monitor his or her health
- Any recommendations for follow-up or aftercare intervention and support
Participation in academic tours immediately following a semester medical leave must be supported by a statement from a student’s medical or psychological provider that he/she is prepared to participate in the demands of that particular tour and can be in circumstances where there may be limited access to medical services.