Resources for Students with Concussions

This list of resources was created by the university to help the JWU community understand the nature of concussive injuries and the resources available to students with concussions. This is intended to serve as a guide following a diagnosis of concussion from a qualified medical professional — it is not considered medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.


Although there are numerous definitions, concussions are generally defined as a change in brain function following a force to the head. Concussions can be accompanied by a temporary loss of consciousness and subsequent neurologic and cognitive dysfunction. Depending upon the severity, concussions can affect and, at times, severely impact students’ physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. Concussions manifest differently in different students and can even manifest differently in the same individual who has suffered a repeated concussion. In the context of a students’ academic program, concussions can affect a student’s concentration, memory, cognition and emotional well-being and cause a number of disruptive symptoms, including headaches, nausea and dizziness. Although most concussions resolve spontaneously in a few weeks to 6 months, taking the appropriate time to rest may lead to a faster recovery.

The university is committed to helping students with concussions by providing a number of resources to help students in their healing process. The university recognizes that while physical rest is essential to post-concussive care, cognitive rest may also be necessary. The university will work with students with concussions to identify the appropriate steps the student should take to promote recovery.

Johnson & Wales University offers the following services to eligible students:

  • Policies that Protect Students Who Are Injured While Participating in University-sanctioned Events: Under the university's Attendance Policy, students adversely affected by illness and injury due to participation in a university-sanctioned event will be allowed to make up all necessary work without prejudice. 

  • Academic Accommodations: At Johnson & Wales University, the Center for Academic Support (CAS) will provide reasonable academic accommodations to eligible students with disabilities. In order to be eligible for accommodations, a student must provide appropriate documentation from a medical provider to show that they have been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment. Upon receipt of such documentation, CAS will engage with students on a case-by-case basis in an interactive process to determine the appropriate accommodations. An accommodation plan may include physical and cognitive rest and approved absences and, when appropriate and on a temporary basis, may include (but is not limited to) additional time on examinations and copies of classroom notes. Under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), accommodation plans developed by CAS must be implemented as written. In the event a faculty member has questions or concerns surrounding the implementation of the requested reasonable accommodation(s), they should contact the CAS advisor listed on the accommodation plan to discuss possible alternatives. Students should contact CAS as soon as possible after their injury. Accommodations are not retroactive. Students will be encouraged to contact their instructors to determine a mutually agreeable plan and timeline for making up missed assignments or tests. The CAS advisor will work with both the identified student and faculty member(s) to assist in determining appropriate plans and timelines, as necessary.

  • Other Academic Support: The Center for Academic Support will empower students with concussions, whether or not they are eligible for academic accommodations, to meet with their faculty or instructors to discuss their condition and inquire about alternative arrangements. While these arrangements may not be "accommodations," professors have the discretion to make modifications to course requirements, as they deem appropriate. Tutoring support is also available to students who may desire extra support. For more information, contact the Center for Academic Support.

  • Medical Withdrawal and Other Leaves of Absence: Students may choose to apply for a voluntary medical withdrawal if they need to leave school for a period of time to address illness or physical or mental health conditions that significantly impair their ability to function successfully or safely as a member of the university community. Students who are granted voluntary medical withdrawals may be eligible for an additional tuition credit to their student account upon their return to the university. Students who are considering a voluntary medical leave of absence are encouraged to reach out to Student Health Services or reference the Student Handbook for more information on that process.

  • If Eligible, Consultation with Athletic Trainers. After initial consultation with their own medical provider, student athletes participating in athletics that utilize an athletic trainer may reach out to that athletic trainer as a resource. For more information, students should speak with their athletic trainer, coach or the director of athletics.

  • Student Counseling Services: Counseling Services provides confidential services for JWU students, including individual counseling for students undergoing challenging life situations. For more information, please contact Student Counseling Services.