A student may be dismissed from college for academic reasons, disciplinary reasons, or lack of aptness for ministry.
Dismissals for Academic or Aptness Issues
Grounds for dismissal: academic exclusion
Policy: Students on academic probation for two consecutive semesters are dismissed from MLC. The policy of academic exclusion stands without the right of appeal. Students who are academically excluded may apply for re-admission after at least one semester away from MLC and will, if admitted, return on probation. A student who is academically excluded a second time is no longer eligible for re-admission.
Grounds for dismissal: “told to discontinue”
Policy: All advisors for education and staff ministry students meet twice a semester to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of these students. Likewise, the advisors for pre-seminary students meet to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of pre-seminary students. These meetings are held at midterm of each semester and at the conclusion of each semester. All advisors are faculty members. At these meetings the advisors may tell a student to discontinue enrollment for academic, attitude, behavior, comportment, or sociability reasons. This may occur even though the student is in good academic standing.
A student “told to discontinue” may use the appeal/grievance process as described below in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Grounds for dismissal: “lacks aptness for ministry”
Policy: All advisors for education and staff ministry students meet twice a semester to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of these students. Likewise, the advisors for pre-seminary students meet to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of pre-seminary students. These meetings are held at midterm of each semester and at the conclusion of each semester. All advisors are faculty members. The faculty, meeting as advisors, may dismiss an academically eligible student for attitude, behavior, comportment, sociability, or diligence reasons. The judgment of the advisors may be that the student does not possess the skills necessary to serve in the ministry.
A student who is dismissed because the student “lacks aptness for ministry” may use the appeal/grievance process as described below in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Grounds for dismissal: Unsatisfactory progress or unacceptable performance during student teaching
Policy: Due to issues of performance or conduct that may be detrimental to the welfare of students, and/or the integrity of Martin Luther College’s student teaching program, a student teacher may be dismissed prior to the end of any student teaching term. The decision to remove is made by college administration in consultation with appropriate college personnel and local school officials.
Students dismissed for unsatisfactory progress or unacceptable performance during student teaching do not have the right of appeal. Students who are dismissed before the end of the term are no longer students at Martin Luther College unless they participate in an alternate experience sanctioned and arranged by the Director of Clinical Experiences. The alternate experience receives audit status.
Any student who has been dismissed before the end of any one of the student teaching terms and wishes to student teach again must re-apply for student teaching through the regular process and will be granted or denied a second student teaching term by the Teacher Education Committee. The Teacher Education Committee’s decision is final.
A student who did not participate in an alternate experience and therefore is no longer a student at MLC must also re-apply for admission to Martin Luther College through the admissions process in addition to re-applying for student teaching.
Dismissal for Disciplinary Reasons
Notification: A report of a student’s violation is brought to the Vice President for Student Life. Reports of violations are generated by, but not limited to, dorm staff, faculty, and security personnel.
Conference: The Vice President for Student Life or his designate notifies the student of the report that has been received and schedules a conference with the student to discuss the report. The Vice President for Student Life or his designate may choose to have another person present during the conference and the student may also request that another person be present.
Dismissal: The Vice President for Student Life may in his discretion immediately dismiss a student upon his determination that such immediate dismissal is in the best interest of the safety or well-being of the individual, of MLC students, MLC faculty/staff, or others.
Appeal: The student who is dismissed for disciplinary reasons may use the appeal/grievance process as described below in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process
Undergraduate students dismissed by MLC for “told to discontinue,” “lacks aptness for ministry,” or disciplinary reasons herein may utilize this Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions process. The general objective of an appeal is to bring new information that might not have been available or previously considered, to protest a procedural error or inconsistency in the appeal process, or to question the appropriateness of a decision.
The appeal process/grievance procedure must be initiated within 10 calendar days after the dismissal decision is communicated to the student. The appeal must be made in writing on the Student Appeal/Grievance Form located on the MLC website ( www.mlc-wels.edu .)
Appeals of dismissals for “told to discontinue,” or “lacks aptness for ministry” will be considered by a panel consisting of the Vice President for Academics and at least one Academic Dean. Appeals for dismissals for disciplinary reasons will be considered by the Vice President for Administration.
On the Students Appeal/Grievance Form, the student may request to present his or her appeal and supporting information in person. The request to appear in person will be granted or denied by the panel or Vice President for Academics at their discretion. If an in-person presentation is granted, it will be held at a time designated by the panel or Vice President for Academics, and the student may be accompanied by one other person. The student will be informed of the decision on the appeal in writing. The appeal decision is final.
DISMISSAL AND SUSPENSION, Additional Information
Sinful, dangerous or improper behavior calls a student’s enrollment into question. In this regard the college understands three primary areas of concern:
Concern for the individual…
As a redeemed child of God
As a member of the Church
As a student preparing for the public ministry of the Gospel
Concern for the student body as a whole
(concern for their perceptions, attitudes, training, learning and behavior)
Concern for the College and its reputation–both among our WELS constituency and in the community–as a ministerial training school
(Parishes and schools need to have confidence in our graduates as moral and spiritual leaders)
The following are examples of sinful or dangerous situations which could result in a decision to suspend or dismiss:
alcohol violations and drunkenness
sexual immorality or impropriety
theft and/or abuse of property
the use of illegal drugs
The College has the right to temporarily exclude a student from class and campus when such action is deemed necessary, as, for example, in the case of a potential threat to the health or safety of students, faculty, staff or others. A student so excluded will be given opportunity to respond informally to the College’s concerns to the extent reasonably possible given the reasons for the temporary exclusion and the need to preserve safety and security. The excluded student will be offered opportunity, as appropriate under the circumstances, to participate fully in the College’s disciplinary or review processes once the immediate potential safety risk is addressed.
FORMAL STUDENT COMPLAINTS
- As a Christian institution Martin Luther College encourages that at all times disagreements and complaints be openly and forthrightly discussed between those who are involved. Disagreements and misunderstandings may arise between students, students and professors, or students and college staff members. Sometimes a student may feel strongly that a college policy or an aspect of campus life is a source of justifiable complaint.
- All students have the privilege to speak freely with their professors, advisors, dormitory heads, and with representatives of the administration when they find a particular matter especially disconcerting. Students also have the privilege of filing a formal written complaint about such matters with the appropriate administrative head. All complaints, oral or written, receive a courteous hearing and are acted upon in a Christian manner.
- The United States Department of Education requires that colleges maintain a log of formal, written student complaints. This log is kept in the Administration Office Suite. Regional accreditation visiting teams review this log of formal, written complaints at the time of a comprehensive visit of the college. Students filing a formal complaint or grievance must use the “Student Appeal/Grievance Form” which is accessible on the Martin Luther College website. Faxed and e-mail correspondence will receive responses, but they are not considered formal complaints for the purposes of this policy. All student complainants are assured of anonymity when the topic of their formal complaints appears on the log presented for review to the accreditation evaluation team. The following administrators comprise the list with whom students may file formal, written complaints:
- the Academic Dean for Studies in Pastoral Ministry,
- the Academic Dean for Studies in Educational Ministry,
- the Vice President for Student Life,
- the Vice President for Mission Advancement
- the Vice President for Academics,
- the Vice President for Administration
- the President.