Course Deferral Guidelines
Students are expected to complete all work assigned by faculty by the end of finals. In turn, faculty are expected to provide students with clear guidelines in their syllabi and in class discussions regarding all assignments, including test dates and paper deadlines.
The college recognizes that circumstances beyond the control of the student may occasionally necessitate the extension of a deadline for some course work beyond the end of the semester. In the interest of fairness and equity to all students, the reasons for such deferrals must be limited in scope. As a result, deferrals are possible only in the case of (a) extenuating academic circumstances, e.g. delayed lab results, (b) debilitating and documented medical or psychological conditions, or (c) unanticipated and documented personal emergencies beyond the control of the student. Although faculty and staff may recommend that a student seek a deferral, it is the responsibility of the student to initiate and complete the process outlined below.
The Office of Accessible Education and Student Support and each student’s Student Support Advisor are available to assist students with questions about deferrals, to help navigate this process, and to provide referrals to on-campus resources for additional support.
Obtaining a Deferral
*Please note that the deadline to request a deferral has passed. If you wish to request a deferral, please petition the Academic Standing Committee no later than noon on January 3. The committee will consider your request on January 5.
- If the deferral is needed because of a debilitating and documented medical or psychological condition, the student should discuss their situation with the Associate Director of Health Services for Student Support or the Director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). The student then meets with the respective professor to discuss the need for a deferral and to set a new deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
- Please note that in order for CAPS to support on a deferral, a student must: 1) have had at least one clinical appointment with a CAPS clinician and 2) have had ongoing treatment of some kind with CAPS during the current semester (e.g. at least 1-2 sessions with a CAPS provider beyond the initial clinical evaluation meeting).
- If a student does not meet the above guidelines, but can provide documentation from an outside provider to support their course deferral petition for medical/ mental health reasons, the Director of Student Support Services can review this information.
- If the deferral is needed because of an unanticipated and documented personal emergency, the student should discuss their situation with the Director of Student Support Services. The student then communicates with the respective professor to discuss the need for a deferral and to set a new deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
- If the deferral is needed because of an extenuating academic circumstance, the student should communicate with the respective professor to discuss the need for a deferral and to set a deadline that is acceptable to the professor (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams).
- If/When the professor approves the request, the student completes the Deferral Request Form. This should be done as quickly as possible following the meeting with the professor and no later than the last day of classes (not finals).
- The Director of Student Support Services will review the request and submit it to appropriate parties for electronic signature via Adobe Sign. The faculty member will be required to set the new student work deadline (not to exceed four weeks after the last day of final exams) and a grade deadline date (recommended no later than two weeks following the student work deadline).
Limitations of Deferrals
All work in the course in which a deferral is granted must be submitted to the professor by the agreed upon deadline, not to exceed four weeks after the last day of finals. While a professor may reduce the window of time to submit the work, the deadline may not exceed four weeks after the last day of finals.
Deferrals may not be granted for assignments where the deadline has already passed, for exams that have already been administered, or for work that has already been turned in.
Students may petition the Academic Standing Committee if they consider the four-week maximum inadequate. This petition must be submitted prior to the end of the deferral period.
The professor computes the student’s final grade for the course after the deferral deadline, including work submitted by the deadline. If the student does not turn in some or all of the work deferred by the deadline, the professor submits the student’s grade for work completed prior to the deferral deadline.
If a deferral is not approved and a professor does not submit a grade by the deadline the Registrar has set or if a deferral has been approved and a professor does not submit a grade by the agreed upon deadline, a grade of F will be entered for that student.
In some cases, withdrawal from the course or a leave of absence from the college may be more appropriate than a deferral. This is more likely when the student has not been an active member of the course, the deferral is for group or laboratory work, or completion of the work within the four-week maximum is not possible.
Deferrals are not available for Short Term courses.