2.1 Leave Policy for Graduate Students The Department of Communication recognizes that graduate students have a variety of long term family obligations that may from time to time make it difficult to complete their obligations as a graduate student or teaching assistant. These obligations include but are not limited to birth or adoption of a child, long term illnesses or death of family members or close friends, and so forth. In the case of such obligations, the Department of Communication will attempt to make reasonable accommodations as it attempts to support the student and fulfill the obligations for instruction and for maintaining the standards of the graduate program. In such instances, graduate students are encouraged to make their advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Chair aware of the circumstances at the earliest possible date. In making accommodations for long term obligations, the Department will consider the following options: Reduced teaching loads for teaching assistants. Reduced course work load Extensions of teaching assistantships beyond the usual four years after a leave Extensions of deadlines for work in courses Extensions of the 5-year limit on completing the course work or extensions of the 5-year limit on completing the dissertation. These extensions must be granted by the Graduate School, but the Department will recommend and support such requests.