Over the course of the Urban Teachers program, a participant may encounter circumstances that require them to seek a leave of absence. Reasons for requesting a leave of absence include, but are not limited to, birth or adoption of a child, mental or physical health concerns, or bereavement. Urban Teachers is here to support participants throughout the leave of absence process. We encourage participants to seek assistance as early as possible, in order to effectively plan for leave from the program.
A participant’s first course of action in seeking a leave of absence is to submit a Leave Request (on the Participant Portal under the “more” drop-down menu) with a detailed account of their concerns in order to initiate the leave consideration process. This should take place prior to notifying one’s school site of the potential leave of absence. Non-attendance at the clinical site does not constitute an official leave of absence and can be grounds for dismissal from the program.
A leave of absence is granted for a specific length of time, dependent on a participant’s ability to complete program requirements, including coursework, coaching, and clinical responsibilities. A leave of absence cannot exceed more than one year.
A request for a leave of absence is not automatically granted, and approval must be given by the participant’s district/CMO, American University (if applicable), and Urban Teachers in accordance with each institution’s policies. Decisions regarding the granting of a leave of absence are made on a case-by-case basis. All participants requesting a leave of absence must complete, sign, and return the developed and finalized leave form to officiate their leave of absence.
While the Site Team will support participants through the leave of absence process, it is important for participants to understand how a leave of absence may impact their ability to complete the program within the normal progression and in its entirety. Taking a leave of absence may impact a participant’s ability to receive the coaching treatment in full, to complete coursework assignments, to be eligible for the AmeriCorps Segal award, or to receive full teaching credentials. A leave of absence may lead to repeating a semester of coursework and coaching. Additionally, participants put their school position at risk when they take a leave of absence. Urban Teachers will coordinate with school sites in the event that a participant must take a leave of absence. However, Urban Teachers cannot guarantee that they will be able to find a new position for a participant whose original school cannot or will not accept them back after a leave of absence.
AU LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Urban Teachers and American University have separate leaves of absence policies and procedures. A student requesting an Extended Leave of Absence from Urban Teachers must also request leave from AU, and vice versa, and leave must be approved by both institutions. Students requesting a brief Temporary Pause from the Urban Teachers clinical training program must remain actively enrolled in the Urban Teachers MAT program for the duration of their Urban Teachers-approved Temporary Pause. In such cases, students must connect directly with their instructors to discuss coursework attendance, assignment modifications, or extensions.
Students enrolled in the Urban Teachers MAT should contact their Graduate Program Coordinator to request leave, and all requests must be approved by the Associate Dean. Based on whether or not it seems desirable to guarantee automatic readmission, the Associate Dean of the academic unit will issue a permit for leave. This permit will specify the duration of the leave, not to exceed 2 semesters. Students must request the leave no later than within the first two weeks in the semester in which the temporary leave will begin. All Incomplete course grades must be resolved before leave will be granted, unless permission is granted by the Program Liaison.
Graduate students who take leave during a semester for which they are enrolled must apply with the Office of the Registrar to change their status. They must withdraw from classes for which they are registered. Graduate student financial aid may be affected by any leave from the University. Students should consult with their Graduate Program Coordinator or the University Office of Financial Aid for help in determining the effects of the proposed leave on their graduate career. Students who fail to register and who have not requested and received approval for leave may be administratively separated from the University at the add/drop date of the academic term for which they failed to register. Likewise, students who do not return to the University at the end of the temporary leave will be automatically separated.