Information for Students

At Whitman College, we are committed to the health and well-being of our students. For students needing post-concussion academic support, we provide reasonable accommodations and adjustments while they recover. If you are a student who has suffered a head injury, please be aware that going without cognitive rest and trying to push through your injury can have significant consequences when it comes to initial recovery and long-term health and well-being

Students should meet with Antonia Keithahn, who will help make arrangements for excused absences, and provide guidance if seeking further accommodations. The general procedure for post-concussion academic support is below.


Immediately Following Injury

After receiving medial attention and discharge instructions from either the Welty Health Center or the athletic training staff, students will receive temporary accommodations to allow for both physical and cognitive rest, chiefly, excused absences for up to one week of class following the date of the sustained head injury. The student will be responsible for any work missed. Consideration for extensions will be determined at the professor's discretion.

1-2 Weeks Following Injury

If symptoms remain, the ARC will help the student explore further accommodations, which will necessitate documentation of a diagnosed concussion or post-concussive syndrome. Documentation must meet the following guidelines:

  • The documentation must be from an individual who is qualified by education and experience to diagnose the concussion, e.g. MD/DO/NP/PA.
  • It is not appropriate for professionals to evaluate members of their own families for the purpose of documentation.
  • All reports should be typed or legibly written on letterhead, dated and signed.
  • Documentation must include the instruments and standards used to evaluate the student, and should describe the manner in which the student is substantially limited in one or more major life activities.
  • The documentation can list recommended accommodations; however, the staff in the ARC determines whether an accommodation is appropriate and reasonable.

3 Weeks and Beyond

If post concussive symptoms persist beyond this time, it would be reasonable to encourage the student to consider dropping 1-2 classes, can register on a Pass/Fail basis, or consider a medical leave of absence. A medical leave of absence would be a reasonable consideration if a student continues to experience post-concussive symptoms for greater than 3 weeks and if the coursework missed become too onerous to make-up. If a student's excused absences total more than 20% of class meeting time, it shall be at the discretion of the faculty to further accommodate the student in arranging provisions for making up missed work. Should the concussion occur near the end of the semester, the student may be eligible for an Incomplete (I) grade. If they are not able to complete the work, the Dean of Students Office can help them to complete a late withdraw or petition to the Board of Review as necessary.

Adapted with permission from Pomona College

Information for Faculty and Advisers

Information for faculty and advisers is on its way!