COVID-Related Absences May Require Withdrawal From College

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The president of Berea College in Berea, Ky., said some students who need to enter isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test may have to withdraw for the term, Lex18.com, an NBC affiliate, reported.

“For students a 10-day quarantine will likely entail class absences that will render it very difficult to complete courses,” President Lyle Roelofs wrote in a memo issued collegewide. “Administrative withdrawal could be necessary in these cases, with the student expected to make arrangements to return home for the remainder of the semester.”

A junior at Berea, Brandon Nichols, told Lex18 the policy was unfair, and that faculty members should be required to work with students who test positive to help them complete their coursework.

Roelofs said in a statement provided to Lex18 that cases will be evaluated individually.

“Factors that need to be considered include the nature of the courses in which the student is enrolled, how much flexibility there is in meeting academic requirements in the course, and even when in the semester the quarantine occurs,” he said. “If the quarantine period would not allow the student to be successful in classes and labs for the current semester, options will include withdrawing from a class, or taking a leave for the remainder of the semester. There would be no financial consequences in such a case, and the student would be eligible to return to continue studies the next semester. Delays in academic progress are unfortunate, and we will avoid them if at all possible. We also need to acknowledge, however, the reality of quarantine, its necessity for protecting the health and well-being of other students and employees, and its potential impact on academic progress.”



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