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SOC-OFE Masters 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 some other, you may contact the SOC-OFE and/or your student success advisor.

SOC-OFE Petition Policy

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Students who have a valid reason to request an exception to an SOC-OFE policy 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.