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Psychological Evaluation and Withdrawal

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) recognizes that emotional distress is often a normal part of life, and usually does not impact on an individual's ability to participate in an academic community.  However, there are certain situations where an individual's presence in the community may be detrimental to themselves or others.  For this reason, the following guidelines address cases in which the University may require a student to undergo a psychological evaluation:

  1. Mandatory evaluation and withdrawal will be considered only in cases where there is threat of imminent danger to self, others or property, or disruption of the educational process and mission of the institution;
  2. The University will make every effort to work with the student involved.  The University reserves the right to contact the student's parents in life-threatening or other extreme situations;
  3. The University reserves the right to temporarily remove a student from housing and/or the institution pending the outcome of an evaluation.  The student will be notified within five days of his/her removal of the procedures for psychological evaluation;
  4. All cases involving violation of the Student Code of Conduct will be referred through the University's judicial system except where, due to the student's psychological condition, the student is either: (a) unaware of his/her actions; (b) unaware of the wrongful nature of his/her actions; or (c) a disciplinary hearing is deemed inappropriate (e.g., student voluntarily withdraws or is unable to participate in a hearing). In such situations, the case will be processed utilizing the psychological evaluation withdrawal procedures.  If it is determined that a student must also undergo a hearing for violations of the Student Code of Conduct, the University will employ the standard operating procedures outlined elsewhere in this Student Handbook;
  5. A student being required to undergo a mandatory evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist will be notified in writing by the dean of students.  This evaluation may be conducted by the University's consulting psychiatrist if the student is in the area.  If the student has returned home, he/she may obtain an evaluation by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist in their home area and must agree that the University can release pertinent information regarding precipitating events and areas of concern to this person. All evaluation reports are to be sent to the dean of students or his or her designee.  The report is available for the student to review with a member of the counseling center staff;
  6. If a student refuses to undergo a mandatory evaluation, the dean of students may automatically withdraw that student;
  7. At any point, the student has the right to voluntarily withdraw from the University and/or residence hall;
  8. If the student does not voluntarily withdraw from the University and/or residence hall upon receipt of the evaluation report, the dean of students, staff of the counseling center and other appropriate University personnel will review its contents and render a decision.  A student has the right to appeal this decision to the president.  Appeals must be submitted to the president in writing within five business days.  The decision of the president will be final;
  9. In cases where a student has been removed or voluntarily withdrawn from the University residence or institution, guidelines for reinstatement will be given at the time of removal or withdrawal.  These guidelines will be determined by the dean of students in consultation with the appropriate counseling center staff.
  10. Reasonable deviations from these procedures will not invalidate a decision or proceeding unless significant prejudice to a student is a result.