Student Development

FAQs for Students + Faculty

Student FAQ’s

I’m struggling, how can you help?

The main role of Student Development is to work with students on a one-on-one basis to discuss the problems and concerns that are impacting their time at MICA. Every student is different, and while the situations they are experiencing may be similar to those of their peers, the impact can be very different. Student Development will work with you to assess your options and resources, and help you determine what the best choice is for you. 

Can you help me with excused absences?

Throughout the course of the semester, a certain number of absences are inevitable for most students due to short term sickness, missing a flight, a broken alarm, or other circumstances. In these situations, students should refer to MICA’s attendance policy and work directly with their faculty to determine whether make-up work is appropriate.

However, there are extreme, extenuating circumstances impacting a student’s attendance where Student Development can work with the student and advocate for flexibility and support with faculty. However, absences are only excused at the discretion of the faculty. If you need to request support with absences due to medical concerns, mental health concerns, death in the family, or other personal circumstances please complete this form to the best of your ability.

Can you help me withdraw from a class after the withdrawal deadlines?

Yes, in the event that academics are being negatively impacted by extenuating circumstances such as medical or mental health concerns students can work with Student Development to determine whether or not a medical withdrawal would the appropriate course of action. Documentation may be required and can be discussed with Student Development during an appointment.

I’m coming back to campus after an extended absence, what support is available?

All students have individual needs, so the Assistant Director for Student Development will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your return to campus and the support options that will be most beneficial to you. These may include regular meetings with someone from Student Development and/or referrals to on and off campus resources.

Is this the office for accommodations?

No.  All requests for academic and housing accommodations are accepted and reviewed by Accessibility and Disability Services. 

What should I do if I have an unexpected health issue that impacts my academics?

Depending on your situation and support that you need,  Student Development might be the right office, or you may need Accessibility and Disability Services.  Check out this helpful guide to figure out the best fit for your needs!

What is a mandated reporter?

Any individual with a legal obligation due to their position, such as the Assistant Director for Student Development or the Coordinator for Student Development, to report sexual violence and abuse.

How will you protect my privacy?

Student Development is not a confidential resource like a therapist or a doctor. However, we will maintain student privacy regarding personal information when speaking with faculty or other members of staff unless there is; a concern for the safety of the student or other individuals, or a report of sexual violence or abuse. The Student Development is also bound by FERPA and cannot provide academic information to individuals outside of MICA (parents, family members, significant others etc.) without the student’s permission.

Faculty FAQ’s

Do I have to excuse an absence?

Absences are left to the discretion of faculty, however the Student Development may reach out to faculty to advocate on behalf of a student when we are made aware of extenuating circumstances that go beyond a typical absence. Faculty may still decide not to excuse the absence, but Student Development can help provide some context as to the circumstances and seriousness of the situation, while maintaining student privacy.

Students who miss a full calendar week, or two of more consecutive sessions of any one class should be referred to Student Development . In these cases we will speak with the student, review any medical documentation, communicate with faculty and set up a support plan and resources as appropriate.

If you have any questions regarding attendance, the policy can be found here or you can speak with your department chair. 

Do I have to grant an incomplete?

Just like absences, the decision to grant an incomplete is at the discretion of faculty, in conjunction with their department chair. The Student Development may reach out to faculty to advocate for a student when they are made aware of extenuating circumstances that warrant consideration of an incomplete, but will defer to the decision of the faculty. 

The stipulations and expectations for an incomplete are determined by the faculty and their knowledge of the course requirements and can be discussed with the student. Incomplete Contracts are available for students to pick up at Enrollment Services which can help guide the discussion and determine parameters.

When should I refer a student to get help? How do I know if my student is in actual need of help?

Talking to the student is strongly encouraged. It can be hard to tell if a student is struggling and stressed out due to the academic rigor of MICA, or if something more is going on. Pay attention  to their language, including body language. If a student has expressed concerns about themselves, dramatically changes their behavior or has missed several classes unexpectedly, you should reach out.  You can also check the Quick Reference Guide to help you determine the appropriate resource. 

What if I think my student is in need of urgent help?

If you feel that your student is in imminent danger please call 911 or Campus Safety (410.225.3333)

Can I ask you for more information about a student’s situation?

Student Development is not a confidential resource like a therapist or doctor, but we will maintain student privacy regarding personal information when communicating with faculty unless permission has been obtained from the student to share specific details. If faculty feel they need additional information they may contact Student Development directly and we will speak with the student to determine what additional information would be appropriate to share.

Understandably it can be difficult to determine whether or not to excuse an absence or provide extensions on deadlines with limited information, however, some situations involve confidential medical or personal information that is in the best interest of the student to remain private.