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

Exceptions to Field Experience Policies

If you feel you have a valid reason outside of your 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), you may submit a petition. This policy is regarding field experience-specific policies only. You should consult your Walden University Student Handbook and contact your 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 you are not sure if the policy in question is field experience-related or other, you can contact the SOC-OFE and/or your student success advisor.

SOC-OFE Petition Policy

​​​If you have a valid reason to request an exception to an SOC-OFE policy, you may do so using the Field Experience Petition Form.

The following is considered in review of petitions:

  • Does the petitioner truly have an unexpected, unavoidable extenuating circumstance, or is he/she 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? 

There are important considerations for field experience application submission window/deadline extension requests:

  • Submitting a petition is not a guarantee of acceptance of a late application or that an application, once submitted, will be approved.
  • You must have a site secured to request an extension.
  • Being unaware of the submission window is not sufficient reason for a request for an extension.
  • The month prior to the term start is a blackout period. Absolutely no petitions are considered during this time for any reason.

SOC-OFE Petition Process

  1. Submit Petition Form: Make sure your petition includes all relevant documentation, such as email correspondence, etc.
  2. Submission Verified: A field experience operations coordinator will review and verify the submitted documentation, then forward it to the field experience committee for review.
  3. Petition Reviewed: The field experience committee will review the petition and any relevant documentation you submit. Decisions can take up to 10 business days.
  4. Receive Decision: You will receive the decision on your petition via your Walden email address.

Note: All exceptions to field experience policy must be formally petitioned using the Field Experience Petition Form, except

Appeal of Petition Decisions

You may appeal, or have a Field Experience Petition decision reconsidered, if you believe one of the following conditions exists:

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

The Field Experience Petition and Appeal Forms are available on the SOC-OFE website.