Academic support for impacted students

A student might be experiencing negative impacts to their academics as a result of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. In these cases, the University may provide special academic support to the student. Here are some common questions about special academic support requests:

Who determines that a student needs special academic support?

The need for special academic support is determined by Health & Wellness, UWPD Victim Advocate, Title IX Coordinator, student conduct offices, or University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO). When a student requires special academic support, a staff or faculty member will be contacted by one of these offices. An assessment has already been made that this type of support is warranted for the student. Support may be required by federal law.

What type of special academic support might faculty or staff be asked to provide?
Examples of special academic support might include arranging for the students to make up coursework or exams or identify an alternative to avoid a negative consequence to their grade; or allowing the student to withdraw, re-take, or have extra time to complete a class without an academic or financial penalty. In some cases, staff or faculty may be asked to implement exceptions to course expectations in urgent or emerging circumstances.

What information is shared about why the student needs the support?
Given the sensitive nature of such issues, the privacy of the students is paramount, so limited information may be provided to faculty or staff. It is possible that the student:

  • is participating in a criminal justice process or institutional processes, such as a student conduct matter or investigation, which interferes with their coursework or classes;
  • is engaged in safety planning, such as relocating or attending protection order hearings; or
  • is experiencing the immediate impacts of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.

How does this differ from the disability accommodation process for students?
Students experiencing effects from sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking  may not have a medical condition that allows them to receive disability accommodations; however, they may still be eligible to receive special academic support. If the student does have a disability that requires accommodations, then the disability accommodation process is the primary method for students to seek accommodations.

What if  the request does not seem reasonable or consistent with the course expectations?
Similar to disability accommodations, if a request for an exception is not reasonable, then other options should be explored. Staff or faculty should discuss their concerns with the office that contacted them about the special academic support.  The Title IX/ADA Coordinator can also provide consultation as needed.

What about students who have been accused of inappropriate conduct?
Special academic support may also be provided to accused students while they are engaged in an institutional process, such as a student conduct investigation.