Students who are struggling in your class may also be struggling with health (physical or emotional) concerns. The following information will help you discuss the WH option with your student.

  • A WH is only given to those situations that are deemed serious enough by a mental health or medical health professional to qualify.
  • A WH is considered on an individual basis. The evaluating professional will take into account the nature of the problem, its severity, duration, impact on functioning, and whether or not the student has sought assistance for the problem in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Do not lead your student to believe he or she will be given a WH as a matter of course. Rather, recommend to the student that he or she investigate with Student Health or Counseling (as appropriate) the possibility of a WH. If the student reports having seen a physician or mental health provider off campus, encourage the student to investigate the possibility of WH with that individual. Final approval of a WH is granted by the Academic Standing Committee based on the submission of a petition and supporting documentation.
  • A student who receives a lower grade than he or she expected because of a minor illness or interpersonal concern will not be recommended for a WH.
  • The WH often requires more than one contact with a counselor or nurse; that is, there may be follow up required on the part of the student in order to receive support, so that steps toward resolution of the concerns are begun (e.g., obtaining a medical or medication evaluation, meeting with the counselor again to work on coping strategies, etc.).
  • The WH is not an alternative to the 15th day withdrawal; a WH will not be supported because it ‘looks better’ on a transcript than a W.
  • Please be aware of the other options that students have available to them, including withdrawing before the 15th day, petitioning for an incomplete, taking a 15th day withdrawal, and doing poorly or failing and possibly retaking the class.

We urge you to be familiar with the procedures for a WH, as well as other withdrawals and incompletes, and to familiarize your students with them in advance of the need for these options. These procedures are detailed in the current Academic Catalogue, and with the guidelines above, are supported by Dean Dieker and Dean Levine.

If you have questions regarding a WH or I, for mental health or physical health reasons, please contact the Counseling Center or Health Center at x4292.