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Offices & Services

Student Handbook

Student Health Policies

The Health Center is an on-campus clinic that provides medical services by appointment to full-time students during the regular academic year. The Counseling Service is located within the Health Services building in Queen Anne’s Hall and offers a range of counseling resources related to college student mental health and well-being, adjusting to college life, or academic success for full-time students during the regular academic year. Washington College requires that all students have health insurance. The College offers a health insurance plan with a limited amount of coverage for accidents and sickness. All international students are required to purchase health insurance through Washington College. For more information about these insurance policies, contact Vickie Anderson at the Health Center (ext. 7261). It is the student’s responsibility to give the health care provider complete and full information of health status and to cooperate with the treatment plan and follow-up care. The student’s responsibilities include asking questions, using materials made available for education regarding their own health concerns, showing the same respect for the health care provider that they expect to receive, keeping appointments, and following the treatment plan. Students failing to provide the health care provider with information may be refused treatment.

The Office of Health and Counseling Services provides clinical and administrative services for currently enrolled full-time students during the academic year. During times when classes are not in session, students should seek support from the following resources:

  • 911 for Emergencies (9-911 from a campus phone)
  • University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown: 410-778-3300
  • For All Seasons Behavioral Health Hot Line (24/7): 1-800-310-7273
  • Chester River Behavioral Health & Wellness: 410-778-5550 (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.)
  • Sante Eastern Shore Mobile Crisis Team (24/7): 1-888-407-8018
  • Office of Public Safety (who will refer you for support): 410-778-7810

The health and counseling offices may be open for administrative purposes when classes are not in session (during the summer and College holidays).  With this limited staffing, there may be times during regular hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m.) when a clinician is available, but this cannot be assured. Students wanting to make an appointment to see a Washington College health or counseling clinician should call the office at 410-778-7261. The office may refer you to one of the resources above.

Students needing regular, ongoing, or intensive support will be referred to local providers for additional clinical support.

Class Attendance and Illness Policy

The Health Services staff will not write notes or excuse students from academic obligations, but may recommend what is in the student’s best interest regarding health and class attendance. At the first signs of illness, students should call or visit the Health Center early so an assessment can be made and treatment given.

 A Class Missed Due to Illness

If a student is absent from class due to minor illness for a day or two, the student is responsible for informing professors of the illness and making arrangements for missed work.

If a student has a serious medical problem and must miss three to five days of classes or more, the student should call Health Services to inform the staff about the problem. If appropriate, Health Services will notify the Provost’s office of the anticipated length of the illness and absence. If an off-campus health care provider is involved, the student may be required to arrange that Health Services be provided with written verification from the provider.

As soon as the student is recovered, they should meet with each professor to make arrangements for missed work.

Please note that the Health Service staff will not notify the Associate Provost’s office unless the student arranges for documentation from an appropriate health care provider that the illness requires she or he to miss more than three consecutive days of classes.

Leave Initiated Through the Health Services or Counseling Services

A student may find it necessary to take a leave of absence for conditions such as an extended illness, unexpected emergency surgery, mental health crisis, or injury.  Students should contact Health Services or Counseling Services as soon as possible to request a leave.  Students on leave will be mailed a form to be completed and returned by the health care provider who is treating the student for the health issue related to the need for medical leave. The form and guidelines for its completion are also available on the Health Service website at

Mandatory Leave (ML)

If, as a result of an illness or condition, a student poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, is unable to successfully participate in the educational programs offered by the College, or substantially disrupts the ability of others to fully participate in the educational opportunities offered by the College, the College may:

  • remove a student from the residence halls;
  • remove a student from classes;
  • require conditions for continued enrollment; and/or
  • require a mandatory leave (ML). Such leaves may be short term, such as temporary hospitalization, or long term, such as a withdrawal for the remainder of the semester or longer.

The College will apply this policy in a nondiscriminatory manner based on a student’s conduct, actions, and statements, not merely on knowledge, belief or perception that a student is an individual with a disability or a physical or mental health condition. Determinations are based on individualized risk assessments based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or the best available objective information.  Mandatory leave is reserved for situations in which risks cannot be mitigated by other measures.

The Behavioral Concerns Team

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Associate Dean/Director of Residence Life, Director of Counseling Services, Director of Health Services, and Director of Disability Services/504 Coordinator are members of the Behavioral Concerns Team (BCT) which coordinates the College’s responses to students exhibiting behaviors that indicate distress, cause a disturbance in the community, and/or present a danger to others. Committed to proactive, early intervention, the BCT may recommend a behavioral contract to include compliance with a medical treatment plan, regular consultations with health care professionals, meetings with administrators, disclosure of relevant medical records and information, and/or restrictions on participation in residential housing or other activities. The behavioral contract may also require a reduction of the conduct at issue sufficient to enable safe participation in the campus community. In appropriate cases, a student’s failure or refusal to satisfy the conditions of a behavioral contract can be grounds for the BCT to review the case for additional action.

Process for Appealing a Mandatory Medical Leave

The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) will notify the student that a Mandatory Leave (ML) is under consideration and arrange for the student to meet with available members of the BCT and to present medical information or other evidence. The student will be provided with a copy of this policy. The BCT will reach a decision and notify the student in writing. If the BCT decision is to require a ML, the student may appeal this decision, and/or any conditions established for return to the College by sending a written request to the Vice President for Student Affairs within two business days explaining why the student believes the BCT decision is unwarranted. The Vice President or designee will make the final decision regarding the appeal within 48 hours and notify the student in writing.

Returning from Mandatory Medical Leave

The BCT may establish conditions for return from a ML such as examination by appropriate health care providers, release of relevant medical records, evidence of compliance with treatment plans, and interviews with College officials.

Prior to returning to campus, a student placed on ML must request permission to return and provide the appropriate documentation to the College Health or Counseling Services demonstrating that he or she has met any conditions imposed by the College. The Director of Health or Counseling will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. The Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or designee will make the final decision and notify the student in writing.

Emergency Interim Withdrawal

If a student’s behavior poses a significant risk of causing serious and imminent harm or of directly and substantially interfering with the activities of others, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) may administratively remove the student pending review by the BCT.  In cases of Emergency Interim Withdrawal, it may be necessary for students to leave campus before the BCT convenes. In these cases, the Director of Health or Counseling may evaluate the student to make a determination of level of risk; and/or distress. This assessment is made using the evaluative instrument that is completed by all students accessing counseling and/or health services. The student has a right to appeal the Emergency Interim Withdrawal following the same process for appealing a ML.

Maintenance of Your Records

The BCT is the custodian of reports from the community about students. The BCT ensures that all reports are housed in the College’s ADVOCATE database, where core members have limited access to the files. As reports are received, they are reviewed by the BCT and may be edited to ensure appropriate content. Access to and disclosure of these records (including incident narrative, supporting documentation, and notes and records of interventions) included in ADVOCATE is governed by FERPA and/or Maryland medical records laws.