St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute Student Handbook Supplement

Loss of Candidacy & Leaves of Absence


Students admitted to a degree or certificate program (including C.A.S.) are program candidates. Program candidates lose their candidacy if they allow three terms, including summer, to pass without taking a course, unless they petition the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing for a leave of absence. A leave of absence may be granted for up to one year for a certificate (including C.A.S.) candidate and two years for a degree candidate. A student who takes a leave of absence must still complete the certificate or degree in the time period specified in the catalog unless he or she requests, and is granted, an extension due to extenuating circumstances.

If a leave of absence must be extended, it is the student’s responsibility to request the extension in writing from the Dean. Failure to return to classes at the end of one’s leave of absence ordinarily results in a loss of candidacy, unless the student has been in communication with the Dean or Associate Dean about his or her status. When a student loses candidacy, he or she must reapply for admission to the program and demonstrate commitment to its completion.

Procedures for Handling Academic Concerns and Grievances

1. If a student has personal or academic concerns about any aspect of a course in which he or she is enrolled, the student should attempt to resolve the problem with the These concerns may be about course requirements, grades, necessary absences due to personal or business conflicts, or situations within the classroom. Most such concerns can be adequately addressed between the student and professor.

Any question concerning a final grade in a course or on a thesis must be resolved by the student and the professor within one month of the official notification of grades. Appeals beyond this are made first to the Dean (or to St. Mary’s Vice Rector if the professor in question is the Dean) and then to an appeals committee as described below. The decision of the appeals committee is final. A student who wishes to appeal the grade on a comprehensive exam must   request   the   appointment  of  an  appeals committee, as described below, within one month of the receipt of the disputed grade.

2. If, however, a student feels that an issue remains unresolved or cannot be appropriately discussed with the faculty member, he or she should discuss the problem with the Dean (or the Vice Rector if the professor in question is the Dean) as soon as possible and no later than one month after the conclusion of the term in which the concern emerged. If appropriate, the Dean (or Vice Rector) may ask the student to document the complaint in writing (no email) and/or to file a formal grievance. The Dean (or Vice Rector) will make every attempt to resolve the conflict through discussion with the student and/or professor and by other means as necessary and

3. If, after consultation among the student, professor, and Dean (or Vice Rector), a student believes that the situation remains unresolved, he or she may request (in writing with a signature [mail, fax, or scanned email attachment]) that the Dean (or Vice Rector) appoint an appeals or a grievance In this request, submission of a description of the issue in question or a formal written grievance is required. This written document must be submitted no later than one month following written notice from the Dean (or Vice Rector) of the status of the matter following consultation with the student and professor. The appeals or grievance committee shall consist of the following persons:

a. the Dean, as chair of the committee; if the faculty member in question is the Dean, then the President-Rector shall appoint a chair;

b. three faculty members appointed by the chair of the committee;

c. an Ecumenical Institute student appointed by the chair of the committee; the student must be a fully matriculated degree candidate who has completed at least 12 hours at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute.

The committee, after hearing the testimony of both parties and after its own deliberation, presents its opinion based on a majority vote to the student and the faculty member. The decision of the committee is final.

Tuition Reduction and Refund

Students who withdraw from a course are obligated to fulfill their financial obligations for the course. The schedule printed below lists the deadlines by which an official written and signed withdrawal notice (available online) must be received by the Registrar in order for the student to be eligible for the corresponding percent of reduction in tuition:


Time of Official Withdrawal Percentage of Tuition Reduction*
Before the second class session 100%
Up to 8 hours of meeting time 2/3
Up to 12 hours of meeting time 1/3
After 12 hours of meeting time 0%

Any student who fails to withdraw officially or who is administratively withdrawn is not entitled to a reduction or refund.

Administrative Withdrawal

A student may be administratively withdrawn from a course for failing to meet financial obligations, failing to meet minimum attendance requirements (including patterns of tardiness), or violating the Community-Life Agreement or the Community-Life Policies printed in the Student Handbook . Students who are administratively withdrawn receive no credit and no refund of monies paid. They are responsible for tuition costs, according to the schedule on the Payment Policies page, until the date of the administrative withdrawal.