2023-2024 Pomona College Student Handbook 
    
    Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Pomona College Student Handbook

Dean of Students Policies and Procedures


Dean of Students Policies and Procedures  

 

Dean of Students Office  

Disability Accommodations Policy 

Pomona College is committed to ensuring an equitable environment and providing appropriate accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. Pomona College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; and all other applicable state and federal law prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  

The Pomona community includes students with disabilities who may require accommodations. Students and parents/guardians are encouraged to speak to the office of Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS) regarding potential accommodations and the required paperwork.   

Pomona College will provide appropriate accommodations and make reasonable modifications in policies and practices as necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless it is demonstrated that providing such accommodations results in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the service, program, course, activity, or would create undue financial or administrative burdens.  

Pomona College has the right to maintain, admission, academic, and conduct standards. During the admission process, each applicant is evaluated based on academic achievement and their potential to satisfy Pomona’s rigorous academic standards. Applicants are not admitted to a modified program of study and must be otherwise qualified. A student with a disability is qualified if, with or without accommodations, they meet the same eligibility requirements, academic requisites, and technical requirements for admission; and meets the standards of behavior and performance demanded of any other student.   

Establishing Services 

Students in need of disability accommodations are responsible for requesting accommodations and providing appropriate documentation to the Accessibility Resources and Services office (ARS). Accommodations are (1) determined for students on an individual basis, (2) supported by the documented effects of the disability, and (3) cannot fundamentally alter the nature or objectives of a course, and/or eliminate the technical skills required.   

Pomona College Accessibility Resources and Services has been designated as the campus authority to determine disability status and approve accommodations as appropriate. To receive formal accommodations and services, the student must complete the ARS registration process, which consists of submitting an application for services, participating in an interactive process with ARS staff to gather information about the student’s disability, functional limitations, and need for accommodation.   

Documentation Guidelines 

Unless the disability and need for accommodation is apparent and self-evident, corroborating documentation is needed to establish permanent eligibility for services. As part of an interactive process, the law allows that postsecondary institutions request a reasonable level of documentation. Students should provide a recent professional evaluation which identifies the disability, describes the challenges to participation in college life the student faces due to the diagnosed condition, and, if possible, recommends specific accommodations. All documentation must contain the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and should include information about what tests and/or records were used to make the determinations. In the case of learning disabilities, a comprehensive assessment and the resulting diagnostic report must be provided. The ARS General Guidance for Disability Documentation explains the criteria used by Pomona College to establish a reasonable level of documentation in order to determine if a student qualifies as a person with a disability AND to identify the appropriate accommodations.    

Standards for Assessing Accommodation Requests 

Information received by ARS during the interactive process must demonstrate how a student’s ability to function is substantially limited due to their diagnosed condition. A diagnosis itself does not establish that an individual has a disability. Furthermore, the information received must establish that the requested accommodation is necessary to ensure equal access to campus services, programs, courses, and/or activities.  

Accommodations maintain the academic integrity of the courses and the academic program while attempting to meet the student’s needs. Pomona College does not routinely waive academic requirements for students with disabilities. Rather, our policy is to assist the student in their efforts to meet Pomona’s requirements by making reasonable accommodations. As additional support, the Office of Student affairs will discuss resources available to students, such as Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services and Pomona’s academic resources.  

The use of an accommodation is not reasonable if (1) it results in a fundamental alteration of the essential requirements of service, program, course, or activity; (2) causes an undue financial or administrative burden; and/or (3) poses a threat to the health or safety of others. Pomona College is not required to provide personal aids or services of a personal nature (i.e. attendants, assistants, caregivers, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use, readers for individual study time, devices/services of a personal nature, tutoring, typing, etc.). In addition, Pomona College is not required to provide retroactive accommodations. Accommodations offered may not duplicate services or instruction available to all Pomona College students.   

  

Using the Approved Accommodations 

While accommodations may be approved on a permanent basis, students are required to request to use them every semester in their specific courses. Every term, students must log-on to the ARS Online Portal and select which of their accommodations they would like to use for each of their courses. This is important to preventing disclosure of information that a student wishes to keep private. Even when a student is eligible for certain accommodations, those accommodations do not go into effect until they are requested for specific courses. Additionally, students should request accommodations far in advance of when they believe they will need them. In many cases, one week is sufficient. This advance time is often crucial in order to provide the necessary accommodation.  

It is the student’s responsibility to inform faculty members of the approved academic accommodations, including faculty members at the other Claremont Consortium colleges if the student is taking coursework there through cross-registration. Students from the other Claremont Consortium colleges should consult with the Disability Coordinator at their home institution, who will provide their students’ accommodations documents.  

Requesting Additional Accommodations 

Current ARS students seeking additional accommodations are able to submit an additional accommodation request through the ARS online portal. Additional accommodation request follow the same standards as detailed above. ARS will provide written notification of the decision to approve or deny the request.  

Denial of an Accommodation 

New applicants: During the intake, the ARS director or designee will establish eligibility for accommodations and/or services based on an interactive process. Eligible accommodations will be confirmed via an ‘Eligibility Letter’ at the conclusion of the intake. If any accommodation requests are denied, the ARS director or designee will document the denied accommodation and the basis for denial in the department’s database.   

Current/Active ARS students: ARS will review additional accommodation requests submitted by current ARS students through the ARS online portal. The ARS director or designee will provide a written notification of the decision, including the reason for denial. If the request is denied, the student will be provided information about how to request reconsideration for their request.    

Accommodation Reconsideration 

If a request for an accommodation is denied, students may request an accommodation reconsideration by completing the accommodation reconsideration form. Students should provide additional/new information that supports their request and any additional documentation that addresses the reasons given by ARS for the denial. The accommodation reconsideration form should be emailed to the AVP of Student Affairs or designee, who will evaluate the matter and make appropriate recommendations within five (5) business days. The student may also pursue the College’s formal grievance procedures by contacting the Title IX office.   

Disability Discrimination 

Students who believe they have experienced discrimination because of their disability may pursue the College’s formal grievance procedures. Students are also able to file a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights.   

Leaves of Absence and Semester Withdrawals 

Purpose  

Pomona College is committed to the academic and personal success of all students and recognizes that a student may need to interrupt their formal academic work. Any student desiring to interrupt their formal academic program at Pomona for a period of time may take a leave of absence if the student follows the procedures outlined in this policy statement.   

A student on a general or health leave of absence has the same rights of access to the campus as would any visitor.  While on campus, the student may attend social events with the understanding that their host, as well as student on leave, will be held responsible for the conduct of the student on leave/visitor. The student on leave must register with the Office of Housing & Residence Life and receive a guest pass, which entitles the on-leave student to admission to Pomona events. Students on leave will not have swipe card access to College residential, academic, or administrative buildings. Students on leave from the College may not work at the College or audit classes.   

International Students  

For international students considering a leave of absence or semester withdrawal, please speak with the International Student Services office in advance to see how it may affect your immigration status and employment eligibility when you return. Contact ISS to discuss your plans at iss@pomona.edu or (909) 607-3719. Visit the ISS website for more information.   

General Leaves of Absence  

1. Email leaveofabsence@pomona.edu to initiate the process.   

2. Meet with your class dean to discuss your request for a LOA or Semester Withdrawal.   

3. Meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your request for a LOA or Semester Withdrawal.   

4. Complete the Leave of Absence/ Semester Withdrawal online form. 

5. Consult with the Student Accounts Office and the Financial Aid Office (as appropriate) regarding any financial obligations, the deferral of loans, grants, or scholarships. A student planning a leave of absence is strongly encouraged to speak directly with their financial aid counselor. It is essential that there be consultation in advance of the leave regarding the deferral of grants or loans and application for aid upon return.   

6. Designate a proxy to represent you in the room draw housing process.   

7. After you have met with your class dean and submitted the online form, your class dean will notify the Registrar, Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts Office, the student’s faculty advisor, instructors (if relevant) and the Office of Housing & Residence Life of your decision to go on a leave of absence/ semester withdrawal.   

A student who participates in the residence hall room draw in the spring semester but then subsequently applies for a general leave of absence from the College before the fall semester forfeits their entire fee deposit ($500). Any student, on or off campus, who files a general leave of absence form after July 15 for the fall semester or December 15 for the spring semester forfeits the entire deposit. A student who has forfeited the fees deposit must again pay that deposit before they return to the College. The forfeiture of the fees deposit does not apply to students who take a health leave of absence, or a student placed on an involuntary leave of absence.   

General leaves of absence may be requested while classes are in session. Refunds of fees and disposition of courses in progress are arranged in compliance with college policy. If a general leave of absence is requested after the drop date for classes, a student may request a semester withdrawal on their own until the Friday of the 12th week of classes.  This will result in Ws on the transcript.  After the 12th week of classes, students must petition the Academic Procedures Committee to be withdrawn from their courses for the semester.  

  

Health Leaves of Absence  

Pomona College students may choose to pursue a voluntary leave of absence for health reasons.   

A health Leave of Absence is recommended when a student’s health condition is judged to significantly impair a student’s ability to function safely or adequately as a student. The amount of time the student takes for a health Leave of Absence varies according to the situation. It is expected that the time away for the health Leave of Absence is used for treatment and recovery.   

  

Students should complete the following steps to obtain a Health Leave of Absence:   

  1. Email leaveofabsence@pomona.edu to initiate the process. 

  1. Meet with your class dean to discuss your request for an LOA or Semester Withdrawal. 

  1. Meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your request for an LOA or Semester Withdrawal. 

  1. Complete the Leave of Absence online form.  

  1. Consult with the Student Accounts Office and the Financial Aid Office (as appropriate) regarding any financial obligations, the deferral of loans, grants, or scholarships. A student planning a leave of absence, or a semester withdrawal is strongly encouraged to speak directly with their financial aid counselor. It is essential that there be consultation in advance of the leave regarding the deferral of grants or loans and application for aid upon return. 

  1. After you have met with your class dean, your class dean will notify the Registrar, Financial Aid Office, Student Accounts Office, the student’s faculty advisor, instructors (if applicable) and the Office of Housing & Residence Life of your decision to go on a leave of absence/semester withdrawal. 

Following the drop date for classes, only students who take Health Leaves are granted automatic “Withdrawals” from their classes.  

Post Hospitalization Procedures  

When a student is hospitalized, the goal of Pomona College is to work with the student to assess if they can return to campus and function as a student, and to support them as appropriate in their post-hospitalization care. This may mean facilitating a Health Leave of Absence for the student or supporting the student to resume classes on campus. During the hospitalization, the class dean and/ or MCAPS clinicians and/ or SHS medical staff are in communication with the student and/ or the hospital staff.   

  

The post-hospitalization process below is designed for students who wish to resume classes. All students who have been hospitalized for at least 24 hours are evaluated by MCAPS and/ or SHS clinical staff to determine that they can safely return to campus and are sufficiently independent and autonomous to function academically and as a member of the residential community. The Dean of Students Office coordinates the support and evaluation of the student readiness to transition back to campus through the following process:   

 

1. Prior to returning to the residence halls, the student must make a re-entry appointment with MCAPS and/ or SHS clinical staff and bring all relevant documentation and the medical discharge records to the appointment.  During this appointment, the clinician will review the student’s readiness to return to classes and on-campus residency (including recommendations for return, accommodations, and post-discharge treatment plans).  

2. Make an appointment with the class dean to discuss resuming coursework, communication with faculty, next steps to get back on track, and any interim support accommodations that may be needed.  The Director of Accessibility Resources & Services may be included in this meeting as appropriate.  

3. Provide a release of information to permit the class dean to consult with the external provider, the Student Health Services, or Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services as appropriate.   

 

A student may be able to resume classes but not function within the residential community; appropriate arrangements will be made with clinical staff, Housing and Residence Life, the student, and any other necessary entities.  

In supporting students to resume classes after a hospitalization, The College recognizes that a student may need interim academic and/ or housing accommodations.  This determination is made by the Director of Accessibility Resources and Services based on the documentation provided by the student and the recommendations from clinical providers/ hospital treatment team.  Possible accommodations after a hospitalization may include:   

  • Allowing the student to complete alternative assignments.   

  • Allowing the student extensions on assignments and exams.   

  • Allowing the student to drop courses.   

  • Allowing the student to change roommates or rooms.   

  • Retroactive withdrawals from courses.   

  • Move to a different housing space on campus.   

Extensions of Leaves  

A leave of absence from the College may be requested for a semester, one academic year, three semesters or two academic years. Normally the College does not grant leaves of absence for longer than two academic years. In extenuating circumstances, however, a student may address a letter of appeal to extend a leave beyond the two-academic year period to the Dean of Students who will present it to the Academic Procedures Committee.   

Students who do not appeal successfully to have their leave extended will be administratively withdrawn from the College after a two academic year leave of absence. Withdrawal papers will be completed in the Dean of Students office. If the student later wishes to return to the College, an application for readmission must be presented to the Office of Admission.  

Process for Returns to the College from a General Leave of Absence  

For General Leaves, a student may return to the College after the period of the leave provided the student has given written notice of intent to return by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. If the notification of the intent to return is received after April 1 for the fall semester, or after November 1 for the spring semester, on-campus housing is not guaranteed.  All return documentation must be received by the class dean by April 15 for a fall semester return and November 15 for a spring semester return.   

 

Process for Returns to the College from a Health Leave of Absence  

Students on a health Leave of Absence may request at any time to return to the College for the following semester, though we recommend the following dates to ensure that the student’s return can be processed in a timely manner.  The College encourages students on a health Leave of Absence to stay in contact with their class dean if they have any questions. As part of this process, the College requires that students who are on a health leave of absence to complete the following steps prior to their return:   

1. By April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester, email your class dean to let them know of your intent to return. Include in your email the semester you plan to return and the names of the treatment providers that will provide supporting clinical documentation (this form is available by contacting your class dean and will be provided to you with the Return from Leave of Absence/ Semester Withdrawal form as appropriate).   

2. By April 15 for the fall semester return and November 15 for the spring semester return, submit your application to return and the supporting clinical documentation to your class dean.   

3. Your class dean will email confirmation of their receipt of your documentation. Documentation is reviewed as it is received.  Your class dean will notify you within 5 business days of the recommendation for your return from a health Leave of Absence.   

4. Provide a release of information to allow your class dean to consult with other offices such as Accessibility Resources and Services, Student Health Services or Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, as appropriate.   

Once the documentation is reviewed, the student will have a discussion (in person, by phone or other means) with their class dean to determine if the student is ready to return from a health Leave of Absence.  As appropriate, the Director of Accessibility Resources and Services will be included to determine any accommodation(s) the student may need in returning to classes.   

The class dean will notify the student of the final decision. After the student is notified, the Registrar, Financial Aid, Student Accounts Office, Office of Residential Life/Campus Life, and faculty advisor are also notified.   

  

Appeal  

A student may appeal a decision denying re-enrollment to the Dean of Students by submitting a written request for review of the decision. The Vice President and Dean of Students will review the student’s appeal and all necessary additional information and will then render a decision, which shall be final. 

Involuntary Leave Policy  

The involuntary leave policy is utilized only in extraordinary circumstances, when a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary leave of absence, and such a leave may be necessary because the student’s behavior poses a direct threat to the safety of others or when the student’s behavior is disruptive to the College’s learning and residential environment. Before an involuntary leave is considered, efforts will be made to encourage the student to take a voluntary leave, thus preserving, to the extent possible, confidentiality and privacy. This policy and procedures do not take the place of disciplinary actions that are in response to violations of other campus policies or the Student Code of Conduct, or actions taken by the Academic Standards Committee. In addition, they do not preclude the College or Dean of Campus Life from suspending students from the residence halls because of violations of residential regulations or other policies.   

  

Alleged criminal behavior: The student has been arrested on allegations of serious criminal behavior or has been formally charged by law enforcement authorities with such behavior. This involuntary leave falls under the procedures governing interim suspensions by the College (see the Student Code of Conduct).   

  

Risk to the community: The student has allegedly violated a disciplinary rule of the College and the Dean concludes that the student poses a significant risk to the safety or educational environment of the community. This involuntary leave falls under the procedures governing interim suspensions by the College (see the Student Code of Conduct).  

 

Procedures for an Involuntary Leave  

Individualized assessments whether to impose an involuntary leave will be made by a committee set up by the Dean of Students, which will include the AVP of Student Affairs, the Director of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, and Legal Counsel; other individuals may be added to the committee as relevant to the student’s case.   

  

In making its assessment, the committee will:   

1. Consider whether there are reasonable accommodations that would allow the student to function academically and remain safely in school, such as a move from campus residence halls to off-campus housing or alternative campus housing, and/or restriction from participating in certain campus activities,   

2. If safety is an issue, consider the nature and severity of the risk, the probability that injury will occur, and whether accommodations can sufficiently mitigate the risk.   

3. Notify the student that the committee is considering imposing an involuntary leave and the basis for the committee’s belief that the student may need to be placed on involuntary leave.  

4. Conduct an assessment interview of the student with the Director of Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services (or designee) or Student Health Services clinical staff.  

5. Provide the student, if possible, and/or their representative the opportunity to appear personally before the committee and provide relevant information or submit such information to the committee.   

The student’s parents/guardians will also receive official notification of the involuntary leave.  

Return to the College from an Involuntary Leave  

1. Requirements and deadlines relevant to the process for re-enrollment after an Involuntary Leave will be specified in the Letter of Notification.   

2. All students returning from an Involuntary Leave will be required to have an assessment interview prior to being approved by the AVP of Student Affairs for re-enrollment. This assessment may be conducted by a member of the Monsour Counseling and Psychological Service staff and/or a member of the Student Health Services clinical staff, if a psychological or physical illness contributed to the student’s inability to remain safely on campus. These assessments will not be conducted without signed written consent for release of information by the student.   

3. As part of the assessment process, students may additionally be asked to authorize their outside health care provider while they were on leave to provide relevant information concerning the student to the AVP of Student Affairs.   

4. When a student’s potential for violence is under review as part of the assessment of a student’s readiness to re-enroll, Campus Safety may undertake a review of the student’s behavior while on leave, including, but not limited to, record of convictions, restraining orders, and interviews with individuals in a position to observe the student’s behavior. Only findings relevant to the involuntary leave and the student’s request for re-enrollment will be considered.   

5. Upon gathering this information the committee will be convened by the AVP of Student Affairs to examine the materials presented and submit a recommendation to the Dean of Students regarding whether the student has demonstrated that it is appropriate for the student to re-enroll and return to the College community. This committee may be composed of administrators, faculty, and staff from any or all of the following: TCCS Campus Safety, Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, and other professionals deemed necessary by the AVP of Student Affairs.  

6. The decision of the Dean of Students regarding the student’s eligibility to re-enroll will be communicated to the student in writing. As needed, the AVP of Student Affairs will notify the appropriate offices and administrators regarding the decision, and any relevant conditions thereof.  

Appeal  

A student may appeal a decision denying re-enrollment to a committee set up by the Dean of Students, which will include the AVP of Student Affairs, the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, and Legal Counsel; other individuals may be added to the committee as relevant to the student’s case. The student should submit a written request to the Dean of Students for review of the decision. The committee will review the student’s appeal and all necessary additional information and will then render a decision, which shall be final. 

 

Confidentiality  

Pomona College will maintain the confidentiality of all information regarding the student’s involuntary leave of absence in accordance with federal, state, and local law, and to the greatest extent consistent with the goal of processing such leaves. All records concerning involuntary leaves of absence are confidential. The official copy of such records shall be retained by the Dean of Students office.   

  

Pomona College reserves the right to notify a parent or guardian at any stage of the process if deemed appropriate under the circumstances and as permitted by applicable federal, state, and local law.  

Academic Suspension  

The Academic Standards Committee may suspend a student based on unsatisfactory performance or pace (or both).  The student will be notified by email, phone, and text message.  Students who are suspended may appeal the ASC’s decision within the timeframe outlined in the suspension notification letter. The student’s emergency contact will also receive an official letter of notification upon conclusion of the academic standing process.   

  

Students on an academic suspension are placed on a leave of absence.  Students who have been academically suspended are required to leave campus within 48 hours of the conclusion of the academic standing process.  Students who have been academically suspended may not attend any events on the Pomona campus nor may they be in the Pomona College residence halls. 

  

The suspension notification letter outlines the criteria for readmission. The student will be required to earn a designated number of credit hours that are transferrable to Pomona College. A registration hold will be placed on the student’s record and will only be removed after meeting the suspension criteria and a meeting with the appropriate class dean.   

  

A student who has been suspended or required to withdraw has the option to appeal the decision of the Academic Standards Committee if they believe that there are extenuating circumstances that the Committee should consider. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee regarding the appeal is final. For further information on reinstatement after an academic suspension, see the Academic Standards Committee and Policy.   

  

Students who have been expelled or suspended by the Judicial Council or a Board for Academic Discipline are required to leave campus within 48 hours of the conclusion of the judicial or academic discipline process. If extraordinary circumstances exist that should be considered in establishing an earlier or later deadline for departure, the agreement of the Judicial Council Chair or Chair of the Board for Academic Discipline and the Dean of Students is required to establish a later deadline. Students who have been expelled or suspended may not attend any events on the Pomona campus nor may they be in the Pomona College residence halls.  

Missing Student Notification Policy  

All enrolled students are encouraged to identify a person to be contacted if it is determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, and to register that person’s emergency contact information with the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Campus Safety. If a student is determined to have been missing for 24 hours, the College and/or Department of Campus Safety will, within 24 hours, notify the appropriate law enforcement agency, and, if the missing student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, the College and/or Campus Safety will also notify the student’s emergency contact. If a member of the College community believes that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, it should be reported to the administrator on call and/or the Department of Campus Safety.