Last week some 300 members of the Ohio National Guard were activated. There are approximately 110 students in the guard/reserve that are enrolled at Wright State University, and about 40 who are on active duty. At least one Wright State student has been activated so far, and that number could rise.
The Excused Absence Guidelines includes Military Activation as an excused absence. The policy states:
Faculty members are encouraged to work with students who experience legitimate and verifiable absences in such a way that both the faculty and students' educational goals are met. The faculty member determines if an accommodation is feasible and the appropriate form of alternative work or education experiences. In some cases, the only viable option is for the student to withdraw from the course.
Deployment, even locally, can be all encompassing for the service member.
Here is what you can do if a student reaches out to you in this situation.
- Please make students aware of this guide that provides a step by step process for students to follow: https://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/Military%20Active%20Duty%20Withdrawal%20Policy.pdf
- If approached by a student to make accommodations for this reason, please inquire as to whether the student has received “orders” or has been placed on Standby. We want to discourage students from withdrawing until they receive orders.
- Please evaluate the student’s progress in reference to your own course requirements and objectives. You are the ultimate arbiter of the student’s grade and requirements to complete your course.
Some possible strategies employed in the past include:
- Granting the student the grade they had earned up to the point of activation.
- Granting an incomplete (if you can) with a possible extended timeline to complete.
- Creating alternative assignments that can be completed.
- Students who need to withdraw can receive a “W” even past the final deadline.
Thank you for your assistance and understanding in working with our student Ohio National Guard, reservists, and active duty service members.
If you have questions or need assistance with a solution please reach out to the VMC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-775-5550.
Seth Gordon, Ph.D.
Veteran and Military Center