Pre-Departure Guidelines

Meeting with the Student

Whenever possible, a faculty or staff member should meet with the student before they leave to address the following:

  • the reasons for the leave of absence
  • the student’s anticipated plans during the absence
  • return to enrollment conditions
  • financial aid and funding implications
  • immigration implications for students on F-1 or J-1 visas
  • employment implications if the student is also employed due to their student status (e.g., GSI, GSRA)
  • remind the student to contact University Housing if they live in campus housing


Confirmation Letter

  • Send the student a letter confirming that the student is going on a leave of absence, setting forth the conditions for re-enrollment and highlighting applicable deadlines and policies

  • State in the letter whether medical certification of fitness for return to enrollment is required; inform the student of the need to provide a release to allow their treatment provider to communicate with the appropriate school/University official

  • Provide the student with one point of contact within the academic unit with whom to communicate during the leave of absence


Re-enrollment Conditions

Re-enrollment conditions should directly relate to assisting the student with effectively addressing the conduct, behavior, or performance issues that led to the leave of absence. 
Clearly indicate the deadlines by which the student should submit a request for re-enrollment.  Generally, 3-6 weeks before the beginning of the term is recommended.

Examples of appropriate conditions for re-enrollment:

  • medical certification of fitness for return to enrollment only if the student’s health was directly related to the reason for the leave
  • completion of sanctions that may have been imposed through a disciplinary process
  • completion of incompletes or other academic requirements that can be reasonably addressed during the leave of absence
  • successful completion of required courses at another institution
  • reflection paper or other evidence from the student of their preparedness for return to enrollment

Examples of inappropriate conditions for re-enrollment:

  • participation in or completion of counseling or psychotherapy
  • regular status reports from the treating health care provider
  • submission to psychiatric/psychological examination or testing
  • requiring a student to register with Services for Students with Disabilities

There may be specific situations when offices other than academic units may determine that a psychiatric/psychological examination is appropriate.  Such a condition should not be required without prior consultation with the Dean of Students Office. [NOTE:  DOS will always consult with OGC.]


Medical Certification

If medical certification of fitness for return to enrollment is required, information should be provided from the academic unit directly to the treating health care provider that describes the academic program, a brief description of the student’s behavior or performance leading up to the leave of absence, the re-enrollment conditions, and the academic standards at issue.

Academic units should consult with the Dean of Students Office for assistance with interpreting the information received from the treatment provider.

If the academic unit’s standard practice is to inform students of the terms for re-enrollment by letter, rather than by a standard form, it is advisable that the letter be approved by the General Counsel’s Office before providing the letter to the student.