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SOC-OFE Masters Students - Field Experience Manual: Exceptions to Field Experience Policies

Exceptions to Field Experience Policies

Students who feel they have valid reason outside of their control to request an exception to a field experience policy (e.g., extension to the application deadline, acceptance of hours accrued during a term of field experience not successfully completed) may submit a petition. This policy is in regard to field experience-specific policies only. Students should consult their Walden University Student Handbook and contact their student success advisor regarding exceptions to other program or university policies (e.g., taking courses—including field experience courses and prerequisites—out of sequence; requesting a retroactive withdrawal from courses, including field experience courses; etc.). If a student is not sure if the policy in question is field experience-related or other, they can contact the SOC-OFE and/or their student success advisor.

SOC-OFE Petition Policy

  1. All exceptions to field experience policy must be formally petitioned using the Field Experience Petition Form except:
    • Grade appeal: For information on petitions for a change of grade, see the student handbook.
    • Transfer of credit: For information on a transfer of credit petition, see the student handbook.
    • Professional liability insurance: A waiver of the professional liability insurance requirement would need to be approved by OALA the SOC-OFE to initiate this request.
  2. Petitions should include all relevant documentation, such as email correspondence. It is the student’s responsibility to submit all documentation for the petition.
  3. The director of operations will make the final decision.
  4. Once a decision has been made, the petition will be returned to the student with the decision and signature of the director of field experience (or designee).

The following are considered when reviewing each petition:

  • Does the student truly have an unexpected, unavoidable, beyond-control extenuating circumstance, or is the student simply trying to get out of a bind?
  • Does approving this petition give this student an unfair advantage over other students?
  • Does approving this petition change any primary components of the degree?
  • Would approval set a precedent for future petitions? How will this affect policy and procedure? Is the policy worth enforcing?
  • Does the petition, and the circumstances leading to it, provide cause to review policies or procedures? If so, which ones?

Students may appeal, or have a Field Experience Petition decision reconsidered if they believe that:

  • The original decision made was noncompliant with established university procedure, or
  • Reconsideration be granted based on new information pertinent to the original request.

The Field Experience Petition Form and information regarding petition procedures is available in the “Policies and Petitions” section of the SOC-OFE website.