Student Petitions to the Subcommittee on Academic Standards
Student Petitions to the Subcommittee on Academic Standards
For inquiries regarding student petitions, please contact the Subcommittee on Academic Standards (ASC) at email@example.com or x1080.
Sometimes life brings unexpected challenges that impact a student’s ability to be academically successful under existing college policies. The Subcommittee on Academic Standards (ASC), which is comprised of faculty, staff, and students appointed by the Academic Programs and Standards Committee, exists to consider student petitions involving academic concerns, including exceptions to academic policies and deadlines, health withdrawals, incomplete grades, readmission of students previously required to withdraw for academic reasons, and retention of students who have fallen short of established standards.
The subcommittee convenes during the academic year to review student petitions and holds a special meeting at the end of each semeseter and summer session to make decisions regarding student academic standing at the College.
Students must submit petitions in a timely manner. Any petition (and supporting documents) must be submitted within one semester of active student status to be considered by the Subcommittee. Action will not be taken by ASC for reasons of academic need or for the purpose of changing a student's GPA, even when the change would impact the student's eligibility for graduation or scholarship. The petition process is in place to ensure fairness in cases of an extenuating circumstance, not to erase poor performance.
Students may petition for exceptions to academic policies in RARE and EXTENUATING circumstances, when variables or situations outside of their control prevented them from meeting the existing policy or deadline. This may include, for example, acute illness or a family emergency.
The following situations are NOT grounds for a petition, and the Subcommittee will not review requests for these reasons:
- You wish to now share information previously withheld that now explains why a low grade was earned.
- You wish to drop, withdraw, or request an incomplete 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. Students requesting assistance with less than all of the courses in a given semester, must be explicit about why the particular course(s) were more challenging than the others and necessitate special consideration (for example, why one might request to withdraw from two courses in a semester, but not the entire full courseload).
Students requesting assistance with less than all of the courses in a given semester, must be explicit about why the particular course(s) were more challenging than the others and necessitate special consideration (for example, why one might request to withdraw from two courses in a semester, but not the entire full courseload).
If a student petitions for a change because of a health-related condition (including mental health conditions), the petition must include documentation from a health-care provider. A letter stating merely that a student was seen or treated, sometimes known as an “under my care” letter, will not be sufficient. The most persuasive medical documentation comes from a physician or similarly licensed professional, and describes the severity, timing and duration of the condition. ASC may consult with the Executive Director of the Wellness Center or other relevant professionals, as appropriate.
Any student in need of a disability-based accommodation to participate in the petition process should notify both ASC and Access and Disability Services (ADS) of the access barrier the process presents and the accommodation requested to address that barrier. ASC will work with students and ADS to implement any reasonable accommodations that are necessary to allow the student equitable access to the petition process.
If a student wishes to petition for a retroactive change on the basis of a disability, this should be done (except in extenuating circumstances) by the end of the next semester. ASC will consider the disability aspect of the petition in consultation with ADS. In some cases, ADS may request additional documentation to establish that there is a nexus between the disability and the request being made. Requests for considerations on the basis of a disability will always be evaluated on a case by case basis, but if a student with previously granted academic accommodations did not establish an Access Plan for the course(s) related to the petition, the committee will factor that in their decision-making process.
All petitions to withdraw from a course retroactively must show evidence that a hardship occurred at a crucial time in the academic calendar, extended over a significant period, or offer sufficient justification as to why action was not taken to withdraw from the petitioned course or request an incomplete during the semester the hardship occurred. It is unlikely that ASC will grant any retroactive approvals for more than one semester for any one student.
If a student cites an advising error by a college advisor in their petition to ASC, the student should provide documentation of the advising error with the petition.
Students may petition based on any other extenuating circumstance but are advised to clearly explain the situation and contributing factors, as appropriate. ASC notes that many challenging situations do not rise to the level of an extenuating circumstance under this policy.
Students may petition ASC to request letter grade classification changes (Withdrawal(s), Pass/Fail, Credit/No Credit) or retroactive actions. While the student is free to request any specific remedy, ASC will make the ultimate determination as to the appropriate response. ASC is not limited to the remedy or remedies requested in the petition.
Petitions to the Subcommittee on Academic Standards may be either approved or denied. In some cases the Subcommittee may ask for additional information from the student (which must be received within two weeks of request). This timeframe can be extended, at ASC’s discretion, only when the petitioner informs ASC that they are making a good faith effort seeking evidence outside of their control or in other extenuating circumstances.
Appealing a Decision
Appeals to decisions rendered by ASC will be forwarded to the Provost and Dean of the College for consideration.
Once a student is no longer active at Dickinson, their record is closed. For purposes of this policy, students on a leave of absence or on required withdrawal shall be considered active. For a closed record, ASC will consider requests only when they concern a demonstrated clerical or procedural error, or the request is made pursuant to a finding of discrimination. ASC will not consider retroactive drops or withdrawals after a degree has been awarded.
Fee Refunds and Financial Aid Eligibility
ASC does not make decisions relating to fee refunds. Statements regarding these matters should not be made in petitions to ASC but should be forwarded to Student Accounts. Please also be aware that some petition requests may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. Questions about this should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.
For petitions that concern the Study Abroad Program (through the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE)), a recommendation from CGSE may be sought by the Subcommittee. Petitions for a class taken while abroad or in an equivalent program will be held to the same standards for this type of change as those taken on-campus.
Exception to academic policies and deadlines
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, (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 from your health care provider by submitting the Documentation from Health Care Provider Form via email to email@example.com. The Subcommittee may consult with Dickinson's Wellness Center about your petition.
- 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 and health care providers will be used by the Subcommittee. Statements from family members, roommates, and/or friends cannot be considered.
Withdrawal from a course for health reasons
You, as the individual submitting the petition for health-related reasons must:
- provide documentation from your health care provider by submitting the Documentation from Health Care Provider Form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Subcommittee may consult with Dickinson's Wellness Center about your petition.
- provide every respondent with a copy of the petition and discuss it with them so that they are fully informed.
- ask your respondents to provide the needed response via email to email@example.com. NOTE: A response is required and does not guarantee the respondent’s support for the petition.
- complete all portions of the petition within two weeks of the petition being filed, or the Subcommittee will be unable to review your petition.
- Subcommittee will be unable to review your petition.
- Be sure that your petition and all responses are submitted via email by the deadline.
Note on deadline: the Subcommittee will meet on Fridays. The deadline to submit petitions and all supporting documentation for those meetings is noon one week prior to the Friday meeting. You will be informed by email from firstname.lastname@example.org ofthe Subcommittee's decision as soon as possible after the meeting.
A grade of "incomplete" may be reported only in cases in which acute health-related incidents or other serious emergency has prevented the student from completing the work for the marking period. Details about incomplete grades can be found in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Bulletin. You should contact the professor of the course about an incomplete. Then the professor will access CLIQ to submit the form. Once submitted you will receive an email about completing your portion of the form through the Gateway within one week. Once completed you will also be required to submit documentation to email@example.com verifying the reason for the incomplete within two weeks
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. You will submit the information as required on the Application for Readmission. The advisor may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their comments (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. The Subcommittee welcomes readmission requests and works to collaboratively partner with cross campus resources to ensure the experience is streamlined for our students. If the application is not received by the deadline (May 15 for the fall semester or November 15 for the spring semester), there may not be enough time for the Subcommittee to review it and readmit the student prior to the start of the semester.
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 Academic Policies and Procedures section of the Bulletin.
We know this is a difficult situation, but there are resources available to you who may be able to help guide you in this situation, such as your advisor. If you have been required to withdraw, you may have the option to appeal for immediate return. You will submit the Petition to Appeal the Required Withdrawal Form.
You should contact your advisor, send them a copy of your petition and invite them 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 for the advisor to submit a response. Your advisor, if able to respond, will do so by sending an email to email@example.com with their comments (i.e., there is no form for the advisor to complete).