S&T Student Involuntary Health Leave of Absence and Return Procedures

The following involuntary health leave of absence and return procedures are developed in alignment with the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 280.040 Student Involuntary Health Leave of Absence. The adoption and administration of these procedures establish a consistent process for an involuntary health leave of absence for students that provides equitable treatment in instances, based on current and reliable information, when the health, safety, and welfare of the student or the campus community is in jeopardy. The involuntary health leave of absence and return procedure applies to all full-time and part-time students at the university.

Missouri University of Science and Technology strives to maintain a safe and healthy environment conducive to academic achievement while balancing its concern for individual students. As such, an involuntary health leave of absence is an action initiated by the University in extraordinary circumstances for medical, mental health, and/or substance misuse related conditions when the conditions are impacting a student’s ability to function safely or successfully within the university environment.

Missouri S&T will not discriminate on the basis of a disability, including health or mental health related disabilities.  Any reasonable accommodations must not fundamentally alter the nature of the academic program. An involuntary health leave of absence will be pursued only if the student declines to take a voluntary leave of absence and after less restrictive alternatives have been exhausted unless the situation presents a direct, imminent threat, or current legitimate safety risk.

The University may initiate an involuntary health leave of absence when a student's behavior cannot be managed through intervention and available resources and/or the student refuses to accept a health care provider's recommendations, and whose behavior includes at least one of the following:

  1. Engaging in behavior that poses a direct threat to his/her health, safety, and welfare or that of others.
  2. A significant disruption of the student's community or hampering the ability of others to participate in the educational and employment programs offered by the University.

Aligned with Title II regulation 28 § 35.108, a direct threat is a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by modification of policies, practices, or procedures, or by the auxiliary aids or services. The determination of direct threat or a legitimate safety risk will be based on objective factual evidence and an individualized assessment of the student. Factors include:

  • The nature, duration, and severity of the risk;
  • The probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and,
  • Whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will mitigate or eliminate the risk.


The University Committee for Assistance, Response, and Evaluation (UCARE) or a group of at least three of its representative(s) will conduct an individualized, current review of the entirety of the student's circumstance. At a minimum, the UCARE review group must include a leadership representative from Counseling Services, Student Health Services, and Office of the Dean of Students.

UCARE may refer the student to appropriate University or external resources, provide an intervention, implement appropriate accommodations, devise a personalized student success plan, and/or discuss the process for a voluntary leave of absence. In circumstances in which an involuntary health leave of absence is being pursued, the student will be provided information on the process, the opportunity to meet with the UCARE team or its representative(s) to discuss the matter, and the opportunity to present any mitigating information suggesting another course of action. More information about UCARE can be found at ucare.mst.edu.

The involuntary health leave of absence procedure neither supersedes nor takes precedence over other policies and procedures which have been established by the University, including, but not limited to those related to Student Health Services (CRR 280.010 and 280.040), Standard of Conduct (CRR 200.010) and Equal Employment/Educational Opportunity and Nondiscrimination (CRR 600.010). Other applicable University procedures may occur separately or concurrently with the involuntary health leave of absence procedure.

Objective Review

UCARE shall use reasonable discretion, based on the best objective evidence and medical advice regarding the student's specific circumstance, to make informed decisions that are in the best interest of both the student involved and the campus community.

Before pursuing an involuntary health leave of absence, UCARE will assess the risk in an objective manner, considering the unique elements of each individual case and determining what interventions or accommodations could mitigate the risk.  Determinations of whether a reasonable accommodation/modification will be identified by persons who are qualified to make such an assessment at Missouri S&T. The student will be informed of their right to request disability accommodations and the process for requesting and determining reasonable accommodations. Upon request by the student, Missouri S&T will engage in an individualized and interactive process to review reasonable accommodations with the student.  The involuntary process will be imposed when the university has exhausted reasonable efforts and accommodations to assist a student’s ability to remain on campus.   

UCARE or its representative(s) will contact the student in writing to provide resources and information, the opportunity to meet and submit information, and discuss the need to conduct an individualized assessment of the student's circumstance to analyze the level of threat to self or others. When appropriate, Missouri S&T encourages open communication with the student’s family regarding possible leave and an ongoing plan of care, consistent with state and federal privacy law requirements.

To avoid speculation, stereotypes, and generalizations, UCARE will consistently apply the NaBITA Risk Rubric, an evidence-based safety standard rubric designed to ensure each case is reviewed based on consistent and objective criteria that assesses the severity of the behavior and immanency of risk.  Further, the legitimate safety risk standard will be applied to any form of self-harm, as suicidal ideation alone is not justification for an involuntary leave.  Aligned with the rubric, UCARE will deploy interventions based on the level of risk assessed, including access to and incorporation of existing campus services that support student well-being and success, or external resources if more appropriate to the circumstance.

If the student's behavior constitutes a violation of the Collected Rules and Regulations - and the conduct is of a nature that the continued presence of the said student at the University presents a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of members of the University community or would seriously disrupt the University- the student may be immediately and temporarily suspended from the university under the University's Collected Rules and Regulations.  When a student who has pending disciplinary action is placed on an involuntary health leave of absence, the student conduct process will proceed upon the student's return. In all cases, full due process, including the right to be informed of the charges against them, the right to a fair procedural, and substantive due process, will be afforded to the student.

Individualized Assessment

The individualized assessment process will include the use of a multidimensional team-based approach where sharing of information, expertise, and recommendations occurs while allowing for flexibility, as specific requirements will vary based on facts and circumstances of each individual student situation. When appropriate and necessary, the process may include a violence or threat assessment evaluation. During this process, the totality of the circumstance and associated risk will be assessed by UCARE with a focus on the health, safety, and welfare of the campus community. A student who fails to attend his/her mandatory assessment or does not participate fully may be subject to immediate involuntary health leave of absence without further process.

The student may be asked to complete an evaluation by an independent and appropriately qualified mental health or health professional. This process will require only information reasonably necessary for UCARE to conduct the individualized assessment. The cost of the evaluation will be borne by the University. The student will be asked to sign a release authorizing the health professional to discuss the evaluation with UCARE. Specifically, this release should include the Director of Counseling Services, Campus Health Officer, Chair of UCARE -Assistant Dean of Students, Care Manager, and the University Committee for Assistance, Response, and Evaluation (UCARE), as persons to whom the health care provider can release and exchange information to. The treating health professional shall submit a written report and any supporting documentation to the Care Manager for review by the UCARE Committee.

The assessment will include information on multiple risk factors to evaluate the level of risk, including the nature of the risk, duration of the risk, severity of the risk, probability that injury will occur, and whether reasonable modifications, aids, or services will mitigate the risk.  This process is designed to incorporate the best objective evidence and medical advice regarding the student's specific circumstance. Regardless of the assessment outcome, the assessment is not binding on the University.

 

Determination Process

A determination will be made by UCARE or its representatives using a multi­ dimensional approach and shall be submitted to the Assistant Dean of Students who will conduct a final review and move the decision forward. This includes issuing written notice of the determination to the student. Throughout the process, the student's confidentiality will be respected. The student is also able to submit any additional relevant evidence or medical advice during the process to UCARE for consideration.

If the UCARE Committee determines that the student does not meet the standard for an involuntary health leave of absence, the Care Manager and a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will meet with the student to discuss support and/or treatment resources, development of a  success plan and expectations, and plans for continued monitoring and follow up. This information will be provided in written form and the student will have ample time to review.

Any student placed on an involuntary health leave of absence will receive a 'WD' in each course for the semester during which the leave is imposed (if after the cutoff date to drop without a WD on transcripts). The student will also be refunded tuition for the semester they are placed on an involuntary health leave of absence. For students living in Residence Halls, the room and board costs will be prorated based on the date of the involuntary health leave of absence.

Appeal Process

Any student may appeal the involuntary health leave of absence decision of UCARE to the Dean of Students in writing at dos@mst.edu within seven (7) business days from receipt of notice of the involuntary health leave of absence.

Appeals must state procedural errors and must set forth the student's evidence and arguments in support of such claims. Appeals should specifically cite incorrect facts or unfair application of procedures and provide supporting information.

If the appeal is not submitted within seven (7) business days, the decision of UCARE will remain final. After receiving the appeal the Dean of Students or a  designee will respond in writing to the student within seven (7) business days. Within seven (7) business days from notice of the Dean of Students, the student may submit a written appeal to the Chancellor. The decision will remain in effect while an appeal is pending.

The Chancellor's review is limited to a determination of whether the proper procedures were followed and/or whether the Dean of Students' decision is supported by evidence. Within seven (7) business days the Chancellor will inform the student of his/her decision.

The Chancellor may affirm the decision, remand the matter back to the Dean of Students for further review, affirm the Dean's findings but alter the involuntary health leave of absence or enrollment under specific conditions, or reverse the decision and reinstate the student. There is no appeal beyond the Chancellor. Appeals based on concerns about disability or other types of discrimination can be made to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, dei@mst.edu or 573-341-4023.

While on involuntary leave from Missouri University of Science and Technology, the student is encouraged to obtain support and treatment to address the issues related to the leave.  The student is expected to engage in some form of productive activity during leave that demonstrates ability to re-engage with academic and social demands of a residential campus environment upon return.

Missouri University of Science and Technology requires that students returning from an involuntary health leave of absence provide evidence to determine if the student can successfully continue at Missouri S&T. The review of this evidence will be based upon the individual student's circumstance while being consistently applied to all students seeking to return from an involuntary health leave absence. This process will seek only the necessary information to determine if the student can successfully continue. Re-entry decisions will be made using a multidimensional team-based approach that allows for flexibility based on the specific circumstances of each individual student situation.

Information provided to the University should address the condition that precipitated the need for an involuntary health leave of absence and if has been successfully addressed such that the condition no longer adversely affects the student's ability to safely function in the university environment. Holds will not be removed until medical paperwork is received and an interview with the student is completed.

Students are responsible for making appropriate arrangements with his/her department and completing either the undergraduate student or graduate student Former Student Returning form linked from the Registrar's Office as well as applying for on-campus housing if applicable.

Failure to meet a deadline may result in the return to the university being delayed, possibly until the following semester.

Readmission Deadlines

Students seeking to return to Missouri S&T for future enrollment must submit supporting documentation to the Care Manager at least 45 calendar days prior to the first day of classes for the semester in which they seek to return. Once the supporting documentation is reviewed, the student will be required to participate in a readmission interview with the Assistant Dean of Students, Campus Health Officer, and Care Manager. Students having further questions or concerns may contact the Care Manager at 573-341-4209 or ucare@mst.edu.

Steps for Students Seeking to Return from an Involuntary Health Leave of Absence

Students seeking to return from an involuntary health leave of absence are required to have a health care provider complete the health care provider form regarding his/her course of care. The following steps outline the process a student should follow when seeking to return from an involuntary health leave of absence.

  • Notify the Care Manager in writing, via email (ucare@mst.edu) or mail, that he/she wishes to return to Missouri University of Science and Technology. This notification should include a summary of the student's use of time while away, treatment and care received, current status, and plans for returning to academic and curricular life.
  • Complete release of information form, including all relevant medical, mental health, substance misuse, and/or supporting information, with any applicable health care providers. This release must include the Director of Counseling Services, Campus Health Officer, Assistant Dean of Students, Care Manager, and the University Committee for Assistance, Response, and Evaluation (UCARE), as persons to whom the health care provider can release and exchange information to as decisions regarding readiness to return are made collectively, based on the best current and reliable information.

Further, the student should discuss reasons for taking a leave, what has changed in the intervening time treatment received or ongoing, why he/she feels ready to come back, as well as any other relevant information. When appropriate, Missouri S&T encourages communication with families regarding return to campus and ongoing plan of care, consistent with state and federal privacy law requirements. The student must specify the semester he/she desires to return.

  • Have his/her health care providers complete the health care provider form which includes diagnosis, frequency and duration of treatment, provider’s professional opinion on the student’s readiness to return with evidence to support that opinion, and any treatment recommendations or necessary accommodations for the student to safely and successfully return to campus.
  • Schedule and complete a check-in interview (in person or via video conference) with the Assistant Dean of Students and Care Manager to discuss removal of administrative and/or health officer holds. Holds will not be removed and the student cannot register until all steps have been completed. This includes submitting medical documentation, obtaining clearance from UCARE, having a well-established plan for return, and a successful check-in interview. Additional interviews and questions may be required.

When the University receives a request to return to Missouri S&T from a student placed on an involuntary health leave of absence, all supporting documentation, including relevant medical, mental health, and/or substance misuse information, will be reviewed by UCARE or its representatives to appropriately assess and make an informed determination based on current information. The student will be notified of the determination of UCARE and how to appeal if needed by the Assistant Dean of Students.

Students returning from involuntary will work with UCARE to establish an individualized success plan tailored to the student’s unique circumstance and needs, for which the student will be held accountable.  This plan may include required compliance with a health-related plan of care when appropriate.

Return from Involuntary Leave of Absence Appeal Process

If UCARE denies readmission, the student will be notified in writing within seven (7) business days explaining the decision and outlining further steps that may be taken toward re-enrollment. If the student objects to the decision made by UCARE, the student may appeal the decision to the Dean of Students in writing at dos@mst.edu.

Appeals should specifically cite incorrect facts or unfair application of procedures and provide supporting information. Appeals must be made within seven (7)  business days from the receipt of the decision. If the appeal is not submitted within seven (7) business days, the decision of UCARE will remain final. After receiving the appeal the Dean of Students or a designee will respond in writing to the student within seven (7) business days.

Within seven (7) business days from notice of the Dean of Students, the student may submit a written appeal to the Chancellor. The decision will remain in effect while an appeal is pending. Appeals must state procedural errors and must set forth the student's evidence and arguments in support of such claims. The Chancellor's review is limited to a determination of whether the proper procedures were followed and/or whether the Dean of Students' decision is supported by evidence. Within seven (7) business days the Chancellor will inform the student of his/her decision in writing.

The Chancellor may affirm the decision, remand the matter back to the Dean of Students for further review, affirm the Dean's findings but alter the involuntary health leave of absence or enrollment under specific conditions, or reverse the decision and reinstate the student. There is no appeal beyond the Chancellor. Appeals based on concerns about disability or other types of discrimination shall be referred to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, dei@mst.edu or 573-341-4023.