Student Petitions to the Subcommittee on Academic Standards

The Subcommittee on Academic Standards is composed of faculty and students appointed by the Academic Program and Standards Committee to consider student petitions for approval and adjudicate special cases involving academic issues, including exceptions to academic policies and deadlines,  readmission of students previously required to withdraw for academic reasons, and retention of students who have fallen short of established standards.

The Subcommittee meets on an as-needed basis when classes are in session to review petitions.  The Subcommittee holds a special meeting at the end of each semester and the summer session to make decisions regarding student academic standing at the college.

Exceptions to Academic Policies and Deadlines. We expect students will petition for exceptions to academic policies and deadlines in RARE instances,  and ONLY when circumstances beyond their control (examples: family emergency, illness) prevented them from meeting said policy or deadline. In other words, the Subcommittee will NOT grant requests simply because a student does not want a low or failing grade on his/her record.

The following situations are NOT grounds for a petition.  Please note that the Subcommittee will not meet to review requests submitted for these reasons:
  • You wish to now share information previously withheld that now explains why a low grade was earned
  • You wish to receive a retro-active accommodation for a disability that was not previously disclosed 
  • You wish to drop or withdraw from a course after the published deadline because you believe it is not possible to earn the desired grade and you do not want the earned grade on your record 
  • You wish to drop or withdraw from a course after the published deadline because you no longer want to take the course
Procedure to Petition for an Exception to Academic Policies and Deadlines:
All petitions must submitted to asc@dickinson.edu, using the form available online, following these details for completion of the form.

As you complete the petition, please remember the following:
  • Your advisor MUST be a respondent to any petition you submit.  No petition will be reviewed by the Subcommittee without the advisor's response submitted by sending an email to asc@dickinson.edu,  (i.e., there is no form for the advisor to complete).  The Subcommittee is interested in any additional, relevant information that the advisor may have to offer verifying information that you have provided in the petition as well as providing additional information.  The advisor is not required to offer any indication of support for the student's request.  
  • When you are requesting a change regarding a course enrollment, the professor of the course must also respond.  
  • When you are requesting an extension to a deadline, you MUST include justification for why you did not make the decision by the deadline.   In other words, the Subcommittee does not just need to know why you think you need this approval for a late action, but also why you did not take the action in a timely manner. You must  include detailed chronology of any circumstances that explain why you missed the deadline and provide documentation/substantiation of those details and dates.  

    NOTE: If your request is solely to avoid an undesirable grade, the Subcommittee will not accept the petition.  

  • If a health-related circumstance is the reason for your request, you must provide documentation to the Wellness Center, if treated elsewhere.  You must also authorize the Wellness Center to provide the Subcommittee with relevant information regarding the situation.
  • Depending on the circumstances, it may be relevant to have other college officials, such as other faculty members, administrators or Resident Advisor, respond to the Subcommittee. Responses are only appropriate when that person has pertinent information.  
  • Only responses from officials of the college will be used by the Subcommittee. Statements from family members, roommates, and/or friends cannot be considered.
Request for a Withdrawal from a Course for Health Reasons.  Students who wish to withdraw from a course because of a health situation, may request a Health Withdrawal.  If granted, the student will receive a "W" grade on the transcript.  

NOTE: A course withdrawal is considered a course attempted, but not completed and may affect a student's satisfactory quantitative progress toward the degree, as stated in the Academic Expectations Section of the Academic Policies and Procedures Chapter of the Bulletin.

Procedure to Request a Withdrawal from a Course for Health Reasons.
Send the completed form to asc@dickinson.edu.  Documentation regarding your health situation is required. The Documentation for Health Provider form outlines the information that is required and must be submitted to asc@dickinson.edu or FAXed to (717) 245-1852.   If a health-related circumstance is the reason for your request, you must provide documentation to the Wellness Center, if treated elsewhere. You must also authorize the Wellness Center to provide the Subcommittee with relevant information regarding the situation.  

You, as the Person Submitting the Petition for an Exception to Academic Policies and Deadlines or the Request for a Withdrawal from a Course for Health Reasons are responsible:
  • to provide each respondent with a copy of the petition and to discuss it with each of them so that they are fully informed. 
  • to ask them to respond to the petition.  A response is required and does not guarantee the respondent's support for the petition.  
  • to remind them to email the response to asc@dickinson.edu
  • to be sure that your petition and all responses are submitted via email to the Subcommittee by the deadline stated below for the current semester.
Once the Subcommittee meeting time has been scheduled for the semester, the deadline to submit materials will be posted here.  You will be informed by letter/email from Brenda Bretz of the Subcommittee's action as soon as possible after the meeting.

Readmission of Students not in good academic standing
. The subcommittee reviews the readmission application materials for all students whose gpa was below the minimum for their class (1.75 for first-year students; 2.00 for all others) at the time they left the college and determine if they will be permitted to return. The student's advisor at the time of the withdrawal will be asked to comment on the student's readmission application.  The student will submit the information as required on the Application for Readmission.  The advisor may send an email to asc@dickinson.edu with his or her comments (i.e., there is no form for the advisor to complete).  The Subcommittee recognizes that often the advisor has not had contact with the student and cannot offer any timely and relevant information.  Therefore, the review of an Application for Readmission does not require the advisor's response. 

Retention of Students Who Have Fallen Short of Established Standards:
 At the end of each semester and summer session, the Subcommittee reviews all records of students who are not making satisfactory quantitative and/or qualitative progress as defined in the printed Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Bulletin.  

If you have been required to withdraw, you may have the option to apply for immediate return.  You will submit the Petition to Appeal the Required Withdrawal Form.

You should contact your advisor, send him/her a copy of your petition statement and invite him/her to respond to the Subcommittee on your behalf. The advisor's input is important but because this process occurs within a short amount of time and after the semester is over, the Subcommittee recognizes that it may not be possible forthe advisor to submit a response.  Your advisor, if able to respond, will do so by sending an email to asc@dickinson.edu with his/her comments (i.e., there is no form for the advisor to complete).