IHE Policies Regarding Leaves of Absence, Alterations to Course Sequence, and Program Withdrawal
The School of Education’s MEd in International Higher Education has been set up as a cohort program because we find that students benefit greatly from joining a cohort learning community and from networking and bonding with one another during the course of their program. Once a cohort is formed, the students participate together in all of the required courses leading to the M.Ed. degree. In addition, students in the IHE MEd global cohort program benefit from the university’s policy of granting a 20% tuition discount to students enrolled in cohort programs. As a global/online cohort program students are exempted from paying the university’s Student Activity Fee, are exempted from the CTA U-Pass requirement and are exempted from the proof-of-immunization and proof-of-health-insurance requirements that apply to Chicago-based students. This cohort program is designed to be completed in 2 years including summers. All courses must be completed within the cohort sequence.
However, we recognize that circumstances may arise that require a student to take a leave of absence or request an alteration to the program sequence.
Alternations to Course Sequence
A student may petition the IHE Program Director to be allowed to take a course out-of-sequence, yet remain a cohort member. Only one (1) course may be taken out-of-sequence during a cohort student’s course of study. We cannot guarantee that seats will be available in an out-of-sequence course, nor that all required IHE courses will be offered in an online format. Taking a course out-of-sequence may result in a student being unable to complete the degree in 2 years time. Permission to take a course out-of-sequence will be granted at the discretion of the Program Director.
Per general School of Education policy graduate students may only count towards degree completion no more than two courses with a grade of C or below. If an IHE cohort student needs to retake a course either because of this requirement or because of a grade of F, this will be considered an out-of-sequence course and require approval from the IHE Program Director as specified above.
Leave of Absence
To request a leave of absence from the IHE Program students must complete a leave of absence request form and submit it to the IHE Program Director. Students have a maximum of one year for the leave and must indicate when they plan to return from the leave (e.g., the beginning of the Spring, Fall or Summer term). A leave of absence is equivalent to “pausing” one’s graduate studies for a period of time. If a leave of absence is approved this means that when a student recommences studies he or she remains a cohort student (though he or she may be assigned to join a cohort different from the one he or she began with). No courses are taken during a leave of absence. Upon the resumption of studies the student is expected to proceed to degree completion at the pace and according to the established program course sequence. If a student is granted a full year leave of absence but requests to rejoin the program in less time this will be permitted provided there is space available in the course(s) in which the student wishes to enroll.
Cohort Program Withdrawal
A student admitted to the IHE MEd Cohort Program may request to leave the cohort and work towards completion of the IHE MEd degree requirements as a non-cohort student. The IHE MEd required courses may be taken either online or at Loyola’s Chicago campus. However, please note that we cannot guarantee course availability and openings in courses for students who withdraw from a cohort. Students who withdraw from the cohort may take one, two, or three courses per semester but must have any modifications to the specified course sequence approved by the IHE Program Director. Students who withdraw from a cohort must adhere to the university’s requirements regarding continuous enrollment and have five years from acceptance to complete the program. (See SOE Policy: Time Limit for Degree Completion.) IHE MEd students who withdraw from the cohort will no longer receive the 20% cohort tuition discount. As students in a global program geared towards online coursework they will still be exempt from the requirements that apply to Chicago-based students for semesters when they are only enrolled in online courses. However, in semesters when an IHE MEd student is enrolled in any face-to-face courses at Loyola’s Chicago campus he or she will be required to pay the Student Activity Fee as well as U-PASS and Health Insurance fee/waiver if enrolled at full-time status (8 credits or more).