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Health Concerns & Academics

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  1. Seek care. If you are experiencing a health concern, please pursue appropriate care by seeking attention at the Student Health and Wellness Center (610-328-8058), contacting the Sports Medicine Department (610-328-8223), seeking care through Counseling and Psychological Services CAPS (610-328-8059 during business hours; CAPS on-call 24/7 610-328-7768), calling Public Safety's Emergency number (610-328-8333), or seeking care off-campus. Public Safety is available via their emergency number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Communicate directly with your professors. It is important that you keep in good, direct communication with your professors about any course requirements, especially time sensitive course requirements. Be sure to read the Medical Excuse Policy and your course syllabi, so that you are familiar with the guidelines before you experience a health concern. Only your professors have authority over the requirements of their courses, but sometimes they require confirmation from a dean that you are experiencing serious health difficulties. 
  3. Reach out to your dean for additional support, if needed. If you need academic support related to a health concern, please contact your professors and your assigned dean. You do not need to share all of the details of your health concern with you professor, but you can let them know that you are experiencing a serious health concern and that you have also reached out to your dean for support. As you balance your health concerns and your academics, it can be helpful for you to talk with a dean to map out a plan for next steps. With urgent concerns at night or on weekends, you can reach on-call staff (including dean's staff) by contacting Public Safety (non-emergency: 610-328-8281; emergency 610-328-8333).

Notes on specific types of health concerns:

  • Concussions: If you have sustained a concussion, please see information on concussions and academic support.
  • Disabilities: If your condition persists for six weeks or longer and/or your medical needs might require longer-term disability accommodations, then please contact Student Disability Servicesstudentdisabilityservices@swarthmore.edu.
  • Honors Exams: If you experience a health concern that may impact your ability to complete Honors Exams, please contact Registrar Martin Warner after you connect to health care. You do not need to share the details of your health concern with Registrar Warner - rather, you can inform the registrar that you have a health concern and have been in contact with the Health and Wellness Center. His role is to help you coordinate the logistics of your next steps with Honors exams. 
  • Hospitalization: If you are hospitalized and your dean is aware of your hospitalization, then your dean will typically let your professors know that you need to be away from campus due to an emergency. If you are hospitalized, then you need to follow the return process described in the student handbook before returning to classes and the residence halls. 
  • Injuries: If you have sustained an injury and need help coordinating your care, transportation, academics, housing, or other concerns, please reach out to Student Health and Wellness and a dean. (See above steps for more details.) 

For faculty and staff:

If a student reaches out to you about a health concern, then please encourage them to seek medical care at the Student Health and Wellness Center (or the other aforementioned resources) and to work with their dean for academic support if needed. If a student has been in conversation with a dean and the student has given permission to share information with you, then the dean will reach out to you as-needed about academic assistance and the student's return to study.