Mental Health Withdrawal and/or Medical Withdrawal from Texas A&M University-San Antonio

What warrants a mental health (MHW) or medical withdrawal (MW):

Students who encounter a significant, unforeseeable and/or highly unusual challenge related to medical or mental health issues, which makes the student unable to effectively participate in their educational program, may withdraw from classes at the University without excessive or unnecessary academic penalty. Partial (one or more classes within a semester) or full withdrawals (an entire semester) will be considered in the appeal process.

MHW will be considered for the following (documentation is required by the Office of the Dean of Students and students may be referred to the Office of Student Counseling and Wellness for additional determination as needed):

Severe psychological conditions requiring hospitalization, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient care for an extended period of time.
Traumatic event (i.e. death of a loved one, acts of violence, etc.) that clearly impedes the student’s ability to perform in the usual manner.
Severe psychological symptomology that is acute vs chronic (i.e. manic episode, psychotic symptomology, catatonia, etc.)

MW will be considered for the following specific conditions (documentation is required by the Office of the Dean of Students):

Severe accident with prolonged recovery
Severe illness with prolonged recovery
Severe complications resulting from a chronic medical condition
New diagnosis of life threatening illness
Surgery with prolonged recovery
Premature labor or other complications of pregnancy requiring extended mandatory bed rest
Infectious disease requiring specific isolation (as per Centers for Disease Control Guidelines)
Documented medical complications from sexual or violent assault
    

NOTE: All medical documents that are HIPAA protected should only be released to the Dean of Students and/or the Office of Student Counseling and Wellness.

Regulations and Restrictions:

A Medical or Mental Health (MW/MHW) Withdrawal from the University should be used only when no other options are available to the student. Such withdrawals can be granted only within one academic year (Fall to next Fall) of the courses or semester in question; no other “retroactive” withdrawals are allowed.

Students should refer to the Academic Calendar for the established withdrawal and drop dates. Students affected by the six-drop limit policy who find it necessary to drop some of their courses but not withdraw entirely from the University may petition to have the dropped courses exempted from the six-drop limit (this would be completed by the Office of the Registrar). A student granted a MW/MHW Withdrawal will be assigned grades of “W” in the affected courses. This option should be used only when there is a significant medical or mental health issue which requires the student’s withdrawal.

Students will normally be limited to one withdrawal (MW/MHW) during their academic career at Texas A&M-San Antonio, unless given special approval by the Dean of Students and the Office of the Provost. Furthermore, any challenges a student may face as a result of their issues will be identified by the appropriate Offices (The Office of the Dean of Students for a medical issue or The Office of Student Counseling and Wellness for a mental health issue or their respective designees) during the withdrawal process and recommendations will be provided to the student in an effort to ensure the student is able to continue their academic pursuits without further interference once they decide and/or are permitted to return to Texas A&M-San Antonio.

Student’s Responsibilities:

Medical/Mental Health Withdrawal Requests must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Dean of Students. MWH documentation may be submitted to the Office of Student Counseling and Wellness if requested by the Office of the Dean of Students; please see the Student Counseling and Wellness Services website for office policies or call (210) 784-1331). Such requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation from a licensed doctor, physician, medical professional or mental health professional who treated them during the semester in question, or during the crisis or hospitalization. Documentation from a recent hospitalization, if relevant, should also be provided to the appropriate Service Office (or their designee) for review. A withdrawal form is also required and can be acquired through the Office of the Registrar.  All documents and any other requests made by the Service Office (or their designee) must be provided or completed within 45 days of the initial request. If the request is not completed within the 45 days, the file will be closed and no further action will be taken regarding the request.

If you have not received a response regarding your request for a MW/MHW withdrawal within 60 days after you have turned in all of your documentation, then you are encouraged to follow-up with the Dean of Students office or the Office of the Provost. In general, students are responsible for frequently checking their University email, should they need to be contacted regarding their request.

Texas A&M-San Antonio’s Responsibilities:

The appropriate Service Office or their respective designee will review the request and the supporting documentation to determine whether the medical or mental health issue adversely affected the student’s ability to function regarding their academic endeavors so as to warrant the student’s withdrawal under this policy. Upon that review, the appropriate Service Office or their respective designee will provide a written recommendation to the Dean of Students and/or Office of the Provost reflecting that determination. The Office of the Provost and the Dean of Students will have 60-days to determine the final consideration of the MH/MHW request (approved or denied). The student will be notified of the decision in writing in a manner consistent with the policies and procedures established by the Dean of Students/Provosts’ offices. These Offices will make the final determination regarding the request for a withdrawal and any grade changes that may result. Any refund of tuition and fees will follow the University’s Refund Policy for Withdrawal. Students will be informed by the Office of the Dean of Students regarding possible financial repercussions.  When necessary, the Registrar’s Office and The Office of Financial Aid will determine whether and to what extent a refund will be granted.  

Texas A&M-San Antonio cannot guarantee refunds based on state and federal regulations regarding financial aid; it is the student’s responsibility to determine if all or a portion of your financial aid will need to be paid back.

Decisions and Appeals:

Students may not appeal the denial of a MW/MHW and all decisions are considered final. 

Questions:
Any questions regarding a mental health withdrawal, please contact the following:
Dean of Students at (210) 784-1330
Director of Student Counseling and Wellness at (210) 784-1331
Office of the Provost at (210) 784-1204
The Office of the Registrar at (210) 784-1300 

Student Counseling and Wellness Services' Mental Health Withdrawal Policy

All initial requests should start in the Office of the Dean of Students.  Students will be referred to Student Counseling and Wellness once eligibility is determined.

Mental Health Withdrawal Guide for Students:

Student Counseling and Wellness Services (SC&WS) has been asked by Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, the Office of the Registrar, the Welcome Center, and Financial Aid to help process student’s requests for withdrawals due to a mental health concern.  This memorandum is being given to you, the student, as a guide which outlines what you are responsible for during this process.

You are responsible for your academic performance until the date that your mental health withdrawal is approved.  The first step is to speak with the Dean of Students as they may be able to assist you further.  Student Counseling and Wellness Services does not make the final decision for a medical/mental health withdrawal.

Any refund of tuition and fees will follow the University’s Refund for Withdrawal Policy at the time of the effective date of the withdrawal.  Please speak with the Office of the Registrar, Dean of Students, and Financial Aid for tuition refund questions or concerns.

Student Responsibilities:

You are required to request and ensure that all documentation is submitted to the Office of Student Counseling and Wellness if requested or instructed by the Office of the Dean of Students.  All documents must be provided or completed within 45 days of the initial request to our office.  If the documentation is not submitted within 45 days of the initial request, the file will be closed and no further action will be taken regarding the request.  The required documentation includes (incomplete forms or documentation will not be processed):

  1. A signed Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information, with the below offices listed and your community provider, and an Informed Consent, giving Student Counseling and Wellness permission to act on your behalf with Academic Affairs, the Dean of Students, the Office of the Registrar, the Welcome Center, and Financial Aid.
  2. A typed written request (Personal Statement) by you with an explanation of why you are requesting a mental health withdrawal. Please include the dates of when your concern and/or symptomology began and specifically how your concern impacted your academic performance in the courses in question.  If you plan to return to Texas A&M-San Antonio for future semesters, please outline how you intend to balance your academic responsibilities with your mental health concerns. (i.e. smaller course load, medication, individual and/or group therapy, etc.) *Example paperwork located online or in the SC&WS office.
  3. A statement (Health Care Provider's Statement), on Letterhead, from the attending healthcare provider (i.e. physician, therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.) which includes the dates of onset of the mental health concern, diagnosis (if applicable), treatment plan, prognosis, and recommendation for withdrawal. Documentation provided should be in reference to the semester in question. (You will be required to sign an Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information so that the SC&WS clinician/staff person can verify points in the letter if your provider is in the community and not affiliated with the University).  If your request is in regards to a recent death, a copy of the death certificate is required. *Example paperwork located online or in the SC&WS office.
  4. Any supporting documentation to include, hospital admission, and/or emergency department summary as well as exam findings, academic transcripts (if applicable).

Student Counseling and Wellness Services Responsibilities:
  1. Our role is to collect and review the documentation that you submit to support your request for a mental health withdrawal. SC&WS wishes to respect your privacy and will only forward information necessary to facilitate the withdrawal.
  2. We will provide you with a Notice of Privacy Practices.
  3. We will staff cases in clinical consultation before determining an outcome. Ultimately, the Director will sign off on letters leaving the SC&WS office (If you are a current client at SC&WS; your clinician is responsible for gathering the above data and staffing this with the Director and Case Manager.  If you are not a client of SC&WS and do not have a community provider; you may be required to engage in at least 3 sessions with a clinical staff member).
  4. SCWS will write a letter outlining that documentation was received, that it was verified and any recommendations, if appropriate. The letter by SC&WS will be drafted after all the documentation is received and will be submitted to the Dean of Students and/or the Office of the Provost, whichever is appropriate.
  5. SC&WS has 60 days to submit paperwork to the Dean of Students and/or the Office of the Provost. Please refer to the University’s Institutional Policy regarding next steps.

Any questions regarding a mental health withdrawal, please contact the Dean of Students at (210) 784-1330 or the Director of Student Counseling and Wellness at (210) 784-1331.