800 Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, Probation & Dismissal: M.S.W. Handbook

800 LEAVE OF ABSENCE, WITHDRAWAL, PROBATION & DISMISSAL

800.1 Voluntary Leave of Absence (Including Medical and Parental Leave of Absence)

Students in good standing (section 400.5) may apply in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for a leave of absence on an individual basis for any personal reason (including medical and parental leave), at any point in the program.

Leave is generally granted for a one-year period, which may be renewed for a period not to exceed a total of three years.

To initiate reinstatement to the program, a student must request in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs by January 5 of the year the granted leave expires.

To request extension for the leave of absence, a student must request in writing to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs by January 5 of the year the granted leave expires.

A student who fails to comply with the terms of the leave will be withdrawn from the school.

800.2 Mandatory Leave of Absence

800.2.A Adjudicated by the Progress Review Committee

The Progress Review Committee may mandate a leave of absence. If a student refuses the mandatory leave, the Committee will decide whether to dismiss the student or to allow the student to withdraw from the program.

800.2.B Adjudicated by the Dean’s Office

In rare and exigent circumstances including, but not limited to emergencies and other crises that affect the immediate ability of the student to demonstrate the essential attributes and abilities outlined in the section on Essential Attributes and Abilities, the Dean or Associate Dean may require a leave of absence of any student.

A student who has been on a required leave of absence adjudicated by the Dean’s Office and wishes to be reinstated to the program, will be required to undergo a Review by the Academic Progress Review Committee who will determine the student’s readiness to be reinstated.

800.3 Returning from Leave of Absence (LOA)

If a student voluntarily leaves the program for any reason, they must immediately request a change of status with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs’ office (for a withdrawal or a leave of absence). If the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs’ office does not receive a written request for a leave of absence within two weeks of their final day in the internship, the student will automatically be withdrawn from the School.

Any student considering a voluntary leave of absence from the field internship, for any reason, must be in contact with the supervisor, Faculty Field Adviser and Director or Associate Director of Field to develop a sound termination plan that holds client care central. There are no partial field credits granted for students who do not complete the field internship.

A student who has withdrawn from the School and who seeks to return to the program must reapply to the School.

A student who is readmitted to the School will be granted credit for successfully completed academic units taken previously in the program only if no more than three years have elapsed since the date of the original withdrawal. This three-year period would include a leave of absence if one has been granted. However, given the special need for continuity between the academic and practice components of the program, in specific cases where students have withdrawn having completed only the first academic summer session, it shall be left to the discretion of the committee on admission whether a student readmitted to the program would be required to repeat the first academic summer or could re-enter the program at the beginning of the fall internship period.

800.4.A Notation on Student Records

If a student whose academic work is in good standing withdraws from the School, the official record of the School will indicate “Withdrawn.”

If a student withdraws with the permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs after an Academic Progress Review has been called but before the Review has been held, the official record of the School will indicate “Withdrawn.”

If a student withdraws without the permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs after an Academic Progress Review has been called but before the Review has been held, the official record of the School will indicate “Withdrawn Pending Review.”

If a student withdraws while on probationary status the official record will indicate “Withdrawn on Probationary Status.”

800.4.B Credits

Unless contraindicated by a decision of the Academic Progress Standing Committee or the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, a student who is granted a leave of absence during the field internship will be considered withdrawn from the field course, from the research practicum (if taken) and/or from Community Based Anti-Racism Experience Practice, and a grade of W (withdrawn) will appear on the transcript if the request for Withdrawal falls into the requirements for course withdrawal outlined in section 300.4. No partial credit is given for incomplete field work.

Upon return from a leave of absence (LOA), the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (ADAA) will configure the remainder of the student’s course requirements in order to be consistent with current M.S.W. program policies. If there have been changes in graduation requirements while the student has been on LOA, the ADAA has the discretion to create alternative curricular structures that are consistent with faculty policy to meet the student’s graduation requirements. 

An incomplete may be granted in the circumstance where the student is allowed to continue in a field internship in the next winter term after Review by Academic Progress Review Committee.

800.5 Academic Probations

The Smith College School for Social Work reserves the right to place on Probation any student from the School for failure to maintain Good Academic Standing (Section 400.5) and/or for personal or professional conduct standards (Section 702.2.2A).

Any student going onto Academic Probation will receive an Academic Probation Notice from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA). That notice will be followed up by a meeting between the ADAA, the student, and the student’s academic and/or field adviser. The meeting will result in an Academic Plan to support the student’s academic and field progress going forward. If the student remains below the maximum number of MPs and/or F’s allowed cumulatively in one year, the Academic Probation period will end.

When a course is retaken and the F is replaced by a passing grade, the Academic Probation period will end. If a course in which a student received an F is taken a second time and receives a grade of F a second time, they will be dismissed from the program.

A student can be placed on Probation for unprofessional conduct or behavior by a decision of the Academic Progress Review Committee, which will specify the terms of the Probation. In exigent circumstances the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or the Dean may place a student on Probation. The terms for completing Probation will be decided upon by the ADAA or the Academic Progress Review Committee.

If a student withdraws from the School while on probationary status, the record will indicate “Withdrawn on Probationary Status.”

800.6 Dismissal

Grounds for dismissal from the program based on grade include:
  • A fourth MP in a required course in the same year, a second F in a required course in the same year, or a combination of 3 MPS and an F in required courses the same year. 
Cumulatively, no student may acquire more than 4 MPs and/or 1 standing F in required courses. Therefore, 4 MPs and/or an additional F in a course that has not yet been retaken will be grounds for dismissal.

The School reserves the right to dismiss any student from the School for failure to maintain Good Academic Standing, section 400.5 and/or personal or professional conduct standards.

In cases of dismissal, fees will be refunded as stated in the section on Refund Policy. Student financial aid will be canceled. The student record will indicate “Dismissed.”

800.6.1 Appeal of a Dismissal

If a student who has been dismissed from the program believes the School’s stated policies have been violated, they may appeal their dismissal to the Dean of the School for Social Work. The Dean’s decision shall be final. The following procedures regarding an appeal of a dismissal shall govern.
  1. The petition must be submitted to the Dean in writing not later than 10 days following the receipt of the dismissal notification.
  2. If the Dean determines that the School’s stated policies have been followed, the student shall be so notified.
  3. If the Dean determines that the School’s policies have not been followed, the Dean, in consultation with the ADAA, will grant to the student a remedy that may include an opportunity for re-examination, submission of additional work, or the possibility of re-taking a course(s).
800.7 Exit Interview

Any student leaving the SSW on a temporary or permanent basis will be offered a confidential exit interview to be arranged by the School and conducted by an independent agent.