The Petitions Process

How would I qualify to petition the "time-away" policy?

Students who have been academically suspended or academically dismissed may petition the university's Academic Standards Committee for exceptions to the "time-away requirements" of both standings.

Please understand that exceptions to the time-away requirements are rare, and approved petitions have been based on extraordinary circumstances, since the committee members--consistent with the university policy and the experience of working with several hundred students--have determined that the time away requirement is in the best interest of students.

Can I petition my "Warning" or "Probation" status?

The committee does not review or approve petitions requesting an exception to academic standings. The committee will not, for example, reverse a students academic standing from Warning to Good. Academic standings are based on grades earned by students during a semester or term. Any change in academic standing would need to be the result of a change in a grade or grades. To petition grades due to special circumstances, you will need to work with the Registrar's Office in B-150 ASB.

Process for petitioning the "time-away" policy after having been academically suspended or dismissed

All petitions to the Academic Standards Committee are in writing; you do not meet directly with the committee. However, it is strongly recommended that students meet with an advisor from the Academic Support Office as they consider the petition process and work through the steps required.

The necessary petition forms are available at the Academic Support Office's Forms web page.

The following is a description of the process and materials to be submitted for a petition to the Academic Standards Committee, as well as recommendations to improve the quality of your petition.

All materials must be submitted to the Academic Support Office no later than the Thursday (7 days) before the next scheduled meeting of the Academic Standards Committee.

  • You, the student, will prepare a statement of why you would not benefit from staying out of the University 12 or more months. This statement must be an explanation of the conditions that led to the academic Suspension or Dismissal. You must explain the conditions or situations leading to each impacted enrollment. The statement must consider all recent semesters/terms below 2.0 GPA and also must demonstrate the resolution or successful management of the conditions or situations leading to the academic Suspension or Dismissal.
 
  • Recommendations:
    1. This is the only contact a student will have with the committee, so it is critical that this statement be well thought out and well written. Although a student may handwrite the statement, typewritten documents are easier for the committee members to read and review.
    2. The statement should include only relevant information regarding the circumstances of the suspension or dismissal.
    3. You must make the case that extraordinary circumstances support the exception to the time-away requirements.
    4. It is not sufficient for you to say, "I know I can do better." If expected improved performance is part of a student's petition, the student must provide a strong rationale for the probability of this improvement.
    5. Successful statements are typically one page in length but no more than two.
 
  • You should submit supportive information concerning the conditions or situations leading to your suspension or dismissal. Such information should clearly show that you have resolved all pertinent challenges. Statements or letters from doctors, counselors, ecclesiastical leaders, employers, Faculty Members, teachers, etc., will be helpful only if they verify that you have resolved the condition that led to the suspension or dismissal.

    Recommendations:

    1. The most helpful, supportive information includes those statements from professionals or church leaders who worked with you during the time of academic difficulties, not after the fact.
    2. Effective statements include dates of contact, the duration of the concerns, the impact of the concerns on your academics and a strong statement that you would benefit from continuing your enrollment without a break.
 
  • If incomplete grades are part of your transcript, you must include with the petition copies of any pending Incomplete Grade Contract accompanied by a written completion plan including date to be finished.
     
 
  • Working with your College Advisement Center, you will prepare and submit a written graduation plan which specifies all general education, University, major and minor requirements, including semester/term and year that you will take each class. (The graduation plan form is available at the Forms web page).

    The graduation plan must be current, that is, since your suspension or dismissal, and must include only classes required for graduation.

    The plan must be signed by both the College Advisement Center supervisor and your department chair. The supervisor of the College Advisement Center must also prepare a memo supporting the student's graduation plan for submission with the student's petition.

 
  • You must meet with the department chair of your academic major and request a memo of support. Prior to writing a memo, the chair should review thoroughly with you and with your Faculty Member why you did not perform as expected during your probationary semester/term and were therefore suspended. Having addressed this failure, the chair must then review your statement of why you would not benefit from staying out of BYU, supporting documentation, plans to complete incomplete grades, and the CAC approved graduation plan. If the chair believes the department is supportive of waiving the 12-month period out of BYU, the chair must write a memo on department letterhead affirming the department's support and specifically addressing the following questions:
     
    1. Why did the student not perform as expected during the probationary semester/term and end up being suspended/dismissed?
    2. What has changed or is different now?
    3. Since time away from BYU would generally be beneficial to resolving challenges leading to suspension/dismissal, why are the department chair and the student convinced the student should be allowed to continue at BYU without time away?

    Recommendation:
    Without strong support from your department chair, approval of a petition is very unlikely. 

 
  • You must obtain written support from a faculty member, within your major department, who is willing to help (mentor) you. Specifically, the petition should include support that indicates the strong probability of your future academic success and should also address the three bulleted questions above. The department chair may act as mentor if he/she chooses and should so state in the letter of support.

    Petition Deadline. The Academic Standards Committee meets only once a month. Students should contact the Academic Support Office in 2500 WSC to learn of the next scheduled meeting. Petitions--including all supporting materials--are due in the office no later than 4:00p.m. the Thursday (7 days) before the next meeting of the committee.

    What about petitioning to return from Academic Dismissal?

    The process and procedures for petitioning to return from academic dismissal are very similar to that for students petitioning the time-away policy, in that all the parts required for this petition are similar to those for suspension--including the student's statement, supporting documentation, graduation plan, department chair support and Faculty Member support.

    The distinction between a petition for an exception to the time away policy, and a petition to return from dismissal include:

    1. You must wait two years after academic dismissal to petition.
    2. While returning after academic suspension is typically automatic (only requires reapplying through the Admissions office), returning after an academic dismissal is not automatic and is a process without guarantee.
    3. You must provide solid evidence that you have demonstrated the ability to complete an academic program. This is typically done through your attendance at another university or college or through the completion of a substantial number of Independent Study courses. This evidence should demonstrate not marginal work but the ability to earn at least a 3.2 GPA in strong academic courses. It is recommended that you work with your academic advisors in your College Advisement Center and your advisor in the Academic Support Office in choosing the courses you will take while you are on dismissal.
    4. You must present a case that suggests why you should return to the university rather than attend another school.

    Before beginning this petition process, you should consult with an advisor from the Academic Support Office to explore the probability of the petition's success.