Student Advancement, Promotion, and Graduation Standards

Student Advancement, Promotion, and Graduation Standards

Last updated: July 14th, 2022 at 01:32 pm

The Student Progress Committee (SPC) monitors student academic and professional standards as determined by the faculty and makes recommendations on academic assessment or for academic action to the Chair of the Committee. SPC reviews academic performance after each course and upon receipt of scores on all required national / local exams and determines each student’s academic standing. The Dean may also request the Committee to review any issue pertaining to a student’s evaluation and/or performance. Students in good standing who have passing grades and evaluation reports automatically advance to the next course of instruction. Each year the SPC also endorses the graduation of all students who have successfully completed all graduation requirements.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

a. A student is expected to complete their medical school training within the following guidelines:

i. A student not participating in an approved graduate study, or research leave, must complete graduation requirements within seven (7) years of matriculation.

ii. A student may not take more than a total of eighteen months of leave of absence.

iii. A student who takes a leave of absence must meet all agreed upon terms of the approved leave.

iv. A student must take the appropriate school or national examination by the dates set by the school.

v. A student must meet the terms of an isolated deficiency remediation.

vi. A student must meet the terms of a corrective action plan as outlined by the committee.

vii. Good Standing: A student in good standing:

1. has maintained the SPC guidelines for satisfactory academic progress.

2. does not have a current academic deficiency that the Committee considers eligible for placement on academic probation (See Section VI).

Advancement/Promotion

a. The grades, narrative evaluations, USMLE scores and other academic or performance measures of each student are routinely reviewed by the SPC to assess a student’s academic progress.

b. The SPC also conducts ad hoc reviews when necessary to address unsatisfactory academic performance, including unacceptable professional or behavioral performance. In those cases, students will be provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard, and may appeal SPC decisions (See Due Process/Appeal Procedures)

c. Promotion will be determined for each successive semester of study by the SPC, which will make a formal determination of promotion based on whether the student has satisfied the following requirements:

i. Passed all required courses, clerkships, and electives in the semester under review

ii. Completed any required formative assessments, including the NBME Comprehensive Knowledge Assessments

iii. Demonstrated acceptable professional behaviors and attitudes as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and/or as defined in a specific course.

d. For promotion to clerkships, the student must also receive pass the USMLE Step 1 examination.

Graduation Standards

a. WAUSM awards the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree to students who successfully demonstrate achievement of the WAUSM educational program objectives and competencies.

b. Candidates for the MD degree must achieve all competencies, complete the prescribed course of study, and pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and all other curricular requirements.

c. Students enrolled in the MD degree program must complete the program within seven (7) years from the date of matriculation into the program.

Academic Probation

a. A student may be placed on probation by the SPC after review and recommendation by the SPC for any of the following academic deficiencies:

i. fails a course, required clinical rotation, or elective clinical rotation

ii. fails a required NBME exam

iii. fails a required school exam

iv. fails to maintain acceptable academic standards, ethics, or professional behavior

v. fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress (See Satisfactory Academic Progress)

b. The SPC will review the status of all students on probation on a semester basis.

c. A student must be in a good academic, and behavioral, standing to hold elected office at the class or the University level, to serve on committees, or to represent the University to outside organizations, either on or off campus. Before a student can assume an elected or appointed position, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs must determine student suitability, based on the student’s documented history of academic performance and professional behavior. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs has the authority to limit the number of positions held by any student.

Isolated Deficiency

A student may be placed on academic probation by the SPC if they receive an isolated deficiency in a course, unit, clerkship, or elective after the student’s academic record is reviewed by SPC. Alternatively, after review by SPC, the Chair of the Committee may also assign a specific isolated deficiency remediation without placing the student on academic probation.

Additional Academic Concerns

The Office of Student Affairs will monitor formative feedback/evaluations pertaining to students and may recommend the student meet with the SPC if the student receives feedback from small groups, units, clinical rotations, or elective clinical rotations when they are noted for borderline performance on repeated formative evaluations, final grade evaluations or national examinations. After reviewing the concerns, the Committee may recommend placement and the Chair of the Committee may place the student on academic probation for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress. After review by the SPC, the Chair of the Committee may also assign remediation without placing the student on academic probation.

Removal of Academic Probation/Return from Leave of Absence

a. Administrative Action: At the discretion of the SPC, a student can be administratively removed from academic probation and reinstated to good standing between SPC meetings once the required remediation has been successfully completed. This action will be acknowledged at a subsequent regularly scheduled Committee meeting.

b. Committee Recommendation and Action

i. Probation: The Committee must review the academic record of any student who has appeared before the Committee related to their academic deficiency and probation to ensure they have met the required remediation and determine if the student can be removed from academic probation and reinstated to good standing.

ii. Leave of Absence: The Committee must review the academic record and evidence of the student’s fulfillment of the conditions of the leave of absence and provide their assessment as to whether the student has successfully met the conditions of the leave before the student may return to the academic program.

Suspension

Upon recommendation of the SPC, the Chair of the Committee may suspend a student from school for failure to meet acceptable academic standards, ethics, professional behavior, or satisfactory academic progress.

Dismissal

The SPC may recommend a student’s dismissal from the university for any of the following reasons and that student will be required to meet with the SPC:

fails two semesters in the first and/or second year/phase

fails a course, required clinical rotation, or elective clinical rotation while on academic probation

fails two required clinical rotations

fails two elective rotations

fails an elective rotation and a required clinical rotation

fails a national exam two times

receives any isolated deficiency or is noted for Additional Academic Concerns (Section VI) when currently on Academic Probation

has been cited for lack of acceptable academic standards, ethics, or professional behavior

is not making satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of their degree

Due Process/Appeal Procedures

a. Initial SPC Review:

i. A student will be contacted by the Chair of the Committee when a corrective or adverse academic action is being considered.

ii. The Chair will notify the student of the general nature of the academic concern, the potential adverse action(s) that may be considered, advise the student of their rights, and provide a copy of the relevant policies that describe the appeals process, including a personal appearance before the SPC.

iii. SPC meetings are limited to the student and appropriate university representatives.

iv. The student may not have an advisor during the personal appearance.

v. The student will have an opportunity to make an opening and closing statement and to take notes during the meeting.

vi. The student may submit written materials to the SPC in advance of or at the meeting.

vii. The student will not be permitted to be present during deliberations of the SPC.

viii. Decisions of the Chair of the Student Progress Committee that result in any action other than suspension or dismissal are final.

b. Request for Reconsideration of Suspension or Dismissal:

i. A student may request to meet again with SPC after receiving the Committee’s recommendation and Chair’s decision in favor of suspension or dismissal.

ii. The student’s request for reconsideration must be received, in writing, by the Chair of the Committee within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the date of the Committee’s action.

iii. A student’s presentation for reconsideration must provide new information not previously communicated to the Committee.

iv. The two possible outcomes of this process are:

1. The reconsideration results in reversal or revision of the original action, and the student remains on academic probation and must complete the Committee’s remediation plan, or

2. The reconsideration does not result in a change to the original action and the recommendation for suspension or dismissal is forwarded to the Dean. The student has five (5) business days to notify the Dean of the student’s intention to appeal the Chair of the SPC’s decision.

v. If the student does not appeal or withdraw within twenty-one (21) days of the date of the Committee’s action, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean for review.

vi. The Dean’s decision is final and may not be appealed. See Withdrawal Section regarding the student’s option to withdraw.

c. Appeal to Executive Dean:

i. Upon receipt of a student’s notice of intent to appeal a suspension or dismissal, the Dean will convene an ad hoc committee comprised of 3 faculty members not serving on the SPC.

ii. The ad hoc committee will meet with the student within ten (10) business days of receiving the student’s appeal.

iii. The meeting with the student is limited to the student and appropriate university representatives.

iv. The student may not have an advisor during the meeting.

v. The student will have an opportunity to make an opening and closing statement and to take notes during the meeting.

vi. The student may submit written materials to the Dean in advance of or at the meeting.

vii. The student will not be permitted to be present during discussions or deliberations of the ad hoc committee.

viii. The ad hoc committee will make a recommendation to the Dean.

ix. Actions of the Dean are final.

Withdrawal

a. A student who has been recommended for dismissal by the SPC may request to withdraw from the university at any point prior to the Dean’s final decision. The Chair of the SPC can grant this request.

b. A student requesting to withdraw after the SPC upholds the original recommendation for dismissal must be granted by the Executive Dean.

c. In cases of ethical or academic misconduct, the request to withdraw must always include the approval of the Executive Dean. A student’s approved withdrawal is considered as permanent and not reversible.

Probation After Successful Appeal of Dismissal

a. Students whose academic dismissal is reversed by successful appeal and who are permitted to repeat coursework will be placed on probation and will automatically be dismissed if they receive a grade of F (fail), or unsatisfactory or an unsatisfactory competency evaluation in any course, unit, or clerkship during the time on probation.

b. If the coursework is satisfactorily completed, the student will continue on probation for an additional calendar year, at which time the student may be removed from probation by favorable action of the SPC.

c. Students who are allowed to repeat fourth year coursework will remain on probation until they have successfully completed all the requirements for graduation.

d. Students whose dismissal for deficits in the competency of professionalism is reversed by successful appeal and who are permitted to continue in their training will be on probation and may be dismissed automatically if further unprofessional behavior is identified by the SPC.

SPC Committee Member Responsibilities

a. Any voting member of the SPC who has had extensive direct involvement in a matter under review by SPC, which involvement could constitute a conflict for such member, shall recuse himself or herself from voting on such matter.

b. The SPC is charged with the responsibility of making decisions about the standards and procedures relating to student evaluation, advancement, graduation, and academic action including dismissal and applying such standards and procedures to students.

c. Academic and professional performance will be evaluated by a variety of methods approved by faculty committees governing the curriculum, described in each course or clerkship syllabus, and will include not only formal examinations but also assessments based on observation of student performance in the classroom, examinations, laboratories, and all other clinical and academic settings of the university or clerkship.

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