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Faculty Senate Petitions Instructions

Information for students in the Penn State College of Education about how to file a faculty senate petition.

Committee on Undergraduate Education

Each petition must include the following information or it will be returned for completion.

  1. FORWARDING LETTER. All petitions shall contain a forwarding letter recommending approval or disapproval and the rationale for their decision from the Dean of the College. Non-degree students should file with a representative of the Registrar's Office. Non-degree "conditional" students should file with the college in which they wish to be readmitted. Students attending a Commonwealth Campus should file with the Campus Executive Officer.
  2. STUDENT REQUEST. The student shall prepare a dated letter, with current address, phone number, and Social Security Number, describing in a brief, factual manner conditions that warrant the requested action and why procedures contained in the Policies and Rules for Students were not or could not be followed.
  3. TRANSCRIPT. An up-to-date transcript shall be provided by the student. Unofficial copies may be obtained from the Transcript Department, 112 Shields Building, University Park, or from the local campus registrar.
    • If the petition involves the retroactive late drop/late add from a course(s), or a retroactive withdrawal from a semester, letter(s) from instructor(s) of the course(s) must be provided describing the circumstances surrounding the student's request. When possible, the instructor is asked to recommend whether the student's petition should be granted or not. If appropriate, advisers also should provide recommendations with the petitions. (The student must submit letters to 228 Chambers Building to be included with the petition; do not have instructors or advisers send letters directly to 228 Chambers Building or to the Senate Office.)
    • If the petition involves changing a grade in a course, the instructor is asked to explain the circumstances surrounding the student's request and recommend whether the student's request should be granted or not.
    • If "administrative or clerical errors" are cited as the extenuating circumstance, it must be shown that an administrative error has been committed by the University or that advisers have committed errors in applying University regulations, policies, or procedures.
    • Any relevant registration records.
  5. UNIVERSITY FORMS. For the following actions, students must obtain signatures on the appropriate University forms:
    • Retroactive Course Drop or Course Add -- Use the Registration/Add/Drop Form and attach a receipt from the Bursar's Office for drop/add fee (receipt must be submitted with the petition or it will be returned; no checks will be accepted).
    • Retroactive Withdrawal -- Use the Official Withdrawal Form
    • Retroactive Change of Grade -- Use the Change of Grade Form
    • Simultaneous Degrees/Multiple Majors -- Use the Simultaneous Degree/Multiple Major Form
  6. MEDICAL CONDITIONS. If the petition involves illness or a medical disorder, the student must provide documentation from the attending physician. This document should provide sufficient information such as to allow the committee to make a judgment (i.e., was the student capable or not capable of attending class and completing assignments during the period of illness? Was a medical note sent to the instructor?) This should also indicate the severity of the condition and what effect this had on class attendance and the completion of assignments.
  7. "TRAUMA" DROP. If the reason that the petition is being submitted is for a retroactive withdrawal or drop because the petitioner has been a victim of a violent crime (e.g., rape or physical abuse), the student should contact either Ms. Patricia Johnstone, Assistant Director for Sexual Assault Education, or Dr. Dennis Heitzmann, Director of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, and request to be considered for a "Trauma" Drop. The petition will be processed by one of these offices if the student is from University Park. If the student is from another location, the petition will be processed at that location and sent to one of the above offices by the office submitting the petition.

For cases involving Independent Learning, the above procedures also apply.

It is the student's responsibility to obtain items 1-6, as applicable, and forward all materials to 228 Chambers Building or the Registrar's representative for further processing.* The Dean/Director/CEO/Registrar's representative will review, provide a recommendation, and forward all materials to be reviewed by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education one week prior to the regularly scheduled meetings.

*NOTE: Students should not send materials directly to the Senate Office.