Leave of Absence & Withdrawal Policies
What is the difference between a leave of absence and a college withdrawal?
Students who wish to take a semester or two off from CCA, with the intention of returning, should go through the leave of absence process.
Students who wish to leave and do not intend to finish their studies at CCA must officially notify the college by going through the withdrawal process.
What should I know before filing a leave of absence or college withdrawal?
Students considering taking a leave or withdrawing from the college are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor for guidance before beginning the process.
Some classes are offered on a rotating basis (i.e., fall semester only, every other year), so students who plan to take a leave of absence should review their graduation plan with their advisor and consider how to stay “on sequence” with their major.
Students who request a leave or college withdrawal for a particular term and are enrolled in classes for that term are responsible for either dropping their classes (week 1-2) or withdrawing from classes (week 3-10).
Dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect students’ eligibility for various benefits including CCA health insurance, residential housing (dorms), and student visas.
Dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect students’ financial aid. In accordance with federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office will recalculate the amount of Title IV assistance the student is eligible for based on the date of withdrawal.
The student will be financially responsible for any account balance that results from this recalculation. Students are encouraged to consult with a financial aid counselor prior to initiating these processes to inform themselves of their financial responsibilities and possible repercussions.
Leave of Absence
Why should I request a leave of absence?
Students who are on an approved leave of absence may participate in online Priority Registration and their CCA email account remains active during this period.
Students on an approved leave are able to return to CCA under their original academic requirements and will not be subject to the requirements in effect at the time of their return.
Filing is simple, and students will learn important information about taking a leave and how to register for classes when they return.
How many semesters may I take off?
Undergraduate students may take a leave of absence from the college for a maximum of two full consecutive semesters. In the case that a student was not enrolled in classes or drops all classes in a semester, this term will count as one full semester of leave.
In the case that a student withdraws from all classes in a term, this will not count as a leave semester and the student is eligible to take a leave for the next 1-2 semesters.
Students may take a maximum of two nonconsecutive leaves (of two full semesters each).
How do I file for a leave of absence?
Undergraduate students seeking a leave of absence must initiate the process by contacting the Undergraduate Advising Office on either campus to set up a brief exit interview.
The official leave of absence process is finalized when a student has had an exit interview, obtained all required signatures on the form, dropped or withdrawn from all classes for the semester, and submitted the Request for Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form to the Advising or Student Affairs Office.
Undergraduate students on an official leave of absence are eligible for priority registration appointments.
However, if a student has not met all obligations, financial and otherwise, to the college and returned all property, they will not be able to register for classes until they have reconciled business with all appropriate offices.
May I take courses outside of CCA while I'm on a leave of absence?
Undergraduate students who wish to receive credit for courses taken outside of CCA during their leave must also file a Transfer Credit Approval Request prior to commencing any courses.
Mandatory leave of absence
The college reserves the right to place a student on a leave of absence for nondisciplinary reasons when it concludes that a leave is in the best interest of the student due to personal or health-related conditions that apparently have not or cannot be resolved in a timely fashion, or if it deems such a leave necessary due to a threat to the student's or other students' health or safety.
The student may register again upon satisfaction of such terms as the college determines are appropriate to the situation.
Students who wish to withdraw from the college must initiate the process by meeting with an associate/assistant director of advising in the Undergraduate Advising Office.
Students who decide to withdraw must also complete the Request for Withdrawal from CCA; obtain all required signatures; and submit the Request form to Advising/Student Affairs (undergraduate) or to the appropriate program manager (graduate).
Returning to CCA
How do I return from an approved leave of absence?
Undergraduate students on an official Leave of Absence will receive an email at their CCA email address with information about how to request a Priority Registration appointment for the upcoming semester.
Undergraduate students who do not hear from CCA as expected should contact the Student Records Office.
May I return to CCA if I did not obtain an approved leave of absence or if I was absent for more than two semesters?
Undergraduate students who did not obtain an approved leave of absence or have been absent from the college for more than one year, or those who did not obtain an official leave, must complete a Return to Active Status petition, obtained from the Student Records Office.
The petition must be received by the first business day in August for students intending to return for the following fall semester, and by the first business day in November for students who intend to return the following spring semester.
Students who wish to return in the summer should contact Student Records as early as possible.
If the Return to Active Status petition is accepted, the student will be subject to academic requirements in effect at that time.
Students are responsible for the degree requirements in effect for the semester in which they reenroll at CCA. Students with questions regarding this process should contact the Student Records Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking a leave does not affect your eligibility to enroll in CCA summer or CCA Extension courses.
Students who have been dismissed
Undergraduate students who have been dismissed from CCA should refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding the process for reinstatement following academic suspension or dismissal.
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Crime Reports: Oakland & SF Campuses
To view a year-by-year comparison of crime statistics for either campus (three years back up to the previous year), follow these instructions:
- Visit U.S. Dept. of Education: Campus Safety & Security
- Click the text in RED in the upper right-hand corner
- Type "California College of the Arts" in the institution field (Note: Just the college name is sufficient)
- Hit enter or "Search"
- Select either San Francisco or Oakland campus