College Dismissal Advisor - Delaware

Four-year college degrees are often the credentials young adults need to begin a career path of their choosing, meriting them stability and a foundation on which to build a family. Student life can be fraught with obstacles such as academic rigors, peer pressure, and transitioning into adulthood. Sometimes, even good students of honorable character get into trouble, leaving them fighting for their opportunity to remain in school.

Disciplinary boards at Delaware colleges and universities suspend or expel students for numerous infractions of their codes of conduct. The grievance process is speedy and complex. If a student is not prepared with a coherent, cohesive argument against alleged misconduct, sanctions can effectively end their opportunity to obtain an education. Although the process can be overwhelming, that does not mean you do not have options to rectify the situation.

Many students and their parents fail to retain professional assistance until the institution hands down severe punitive measures. Regardless, college dismissal advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can ensure that students in Delaware are protected against hard-line school disciplinary boards and can remain focused on their studies.

Appealing Disciplinary Sanctions

The code of conduct at any Delaware college or university will list the various charges—academic misconduct, non-academic misconduct, Title IX violations— for which a student can be suspended or expelled. The code of conduct includes the guidelines by which students can appeal decisions leading to suspension or expulsion.

Generally, there are a limited number of situations that fulfill student-school grievance requirements. Delaware State University explains in its code of conduct that students may appeal disciplinary decisions if the following criteria are met:

  1. Appropriateness of the penalty: The appeals board may consider student grievances if the sanctions can be proven excessive based on the findings of the allegations and the disciplinary board's determination of responsibility.
  2. New evidence: Evidence that emerges following the determination of responsibility must have been undiscoverable during the review process and unknown to the accused.
  3. Due Process: The accused must demonstrate that the adjudicatory process lacked conformity with the procedures outlined in the school's code of conduct, including bias or conflict of interest with anyone involved during the grievance process.

School administrations allow little time after the grievance hearing's determination of responsibility for a student to appeal a suspension or expulsion. You and your college dismissal advisor will review your school's specific appellate rights and procedures to ensure you do not waive the opportunity to file an appeal within the allotted time.

Typically, the timeframe to file an appeal is between two and ten days, but it varies from school to school. Goldey-Beacom College, for example, gives students ten business days upon written notification of the disciplinary board's decision to file an appeal. In contrast, Delaware State University offers students three business days.

Once the school's appeals review board concludes its review, it may move forward with the following:

  • Affirming the finding
  • Denying the appeal
  • Modifying the consequences
  • Reopening the case
  • Reversing the discovery and punishment

Decisions on appeals cannot be reversed. Students threatened with the immediate end of their academic careers may be emotionally overwhelmed. They may believe there are no other options of redress available and depart the school. They may also be asking themselves:

  • Do the sanctions fit the charges?
  • Has new evidence emerged?
  • How can infringements on due process be proven?

Students do not have the tools necessary to navigate these situations. Additionally, if students are suspended or expelled, they may be banned from campus even though the appellate period remains active. Therefore, students need professional, proven assistance to help them with their last chance for defense.

Separation From Studies

School administrations may impose punishments on students for failing to achieve satisfactory academic progress (SAP) or by other reasoning to protect the school's scholastic reputation. At Wilmington University, if a student does not complete 67 percent of their credit hours, they begin a slippery path toward suspension from the school through a semester of probation and the loss of financial aid eligibility. At the University of Delaware, a student can be dismissed temporarily from the school pending formal grievance procedures, which is not appealable.

Just because your Delaware college or university has given up on you, that does not mean you should. Fight back against unfair discipline with a solid defense. Institutions of higher education in Delaware sometimes make mistakes in suspending or expelling students. They may fail to consider a student's extenuating circumstances.

Relatively common but unfortunate life events that may affect a student's academic performance or behavior on campus are:

  • Death of a family member or close friend
  • Hard transition to campus life
  • Injury or illness of an immediate family member
  • Overwhelming course loads
  • Physical or emotional trauma

You need professional help to keep you in the classroom. If your