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General Policies and Procedures

Policy A8

Background
The dismissal or threat of dismissal from a COE academic program is a serious undertaking for the student, faculty, and the program.  In most cases significant amounts of time and energy have been expended by all parties, as well as significant economic investment.  The gravity of dismissal requires that the COE develop comprehensive and sensitive guidelines to assist programs in developing specific student dismissal policies.  Students encounter three types of problems that could lead to program dismissal:

  1. Behavioral problems include the student's inability or unwillingness to follow directions, to accept and respond appropriately to feedback, to work successfully with others, extreme social insensitivity and other similar health situations which affect the student's ability to successfully complete this program.
  2. Academic factors may include the student's inability or unwillingness to acquire and demonstrate competence in program content, or to comply with program, college, and university procedures.
  3. Legal/ethical factors may include the student's use of inappropriate language or actions, and violation of university rules (such as cheating, plagiarism, lying, and other offenses detailed in university and college policy and published in the Schedule of Classes each term) or state laws, which demonstrate the student does not meet professional standards.

The following policy emphasizes accountability, prevention, equitable treatment, and early remediation.  The first line of defense is to avoid serious situations where students are not performing adequately or are not making adequate progress toward degree completion or licensure.

Policy
Each program is responsible for having comprehensive policies and procedures to deal efficiently and effectively with students having problems that could potentially lead to dismissal from the program.  These procedures are designed to require programs to operate so that student problems and potential problems are identified early and students are offered assistance to remediate problems unless the gravity of the problem is such that faculty members believe the specific problem(s) is not possible to remediate such that professional standards will be met.  In situations where problems are not possible to remediate or remediation efforts are not successful, programs are encouraged to redirect students to other options that could be more successful, including program dismissal.  Nothing in this policy or supporting program policies and procedures obligates program faculty members to follow or provide specific procedures or activities since each situation will be unique and efforts and decisions must be individually tailored to each situation.

Each program's student policies must include plans for remediation/retention and dismissal according to the following guidelines:

  1. A written description of the academic and professional standards students must meet to successfully complete the program.  For example, in licensure program students must be able to relate well to clients in assigned field sites, communicate effectively, and follow field site rules.  When possible, these criteria should be grounded in the standards of licensing or other professional organizations.
  2. Relevant and high admission and retention standards.
  3. Early screening procedures to assure admitted students have the necessary skills to succeed (e.g., CDS screens for speech and hearing problems).
  4. Written procedures for developing action plans to assist and support students who do not perform adequately on screening/admission procedures and clear timelines for demonstrating adequate correction when remediation is an appropriate alternative to immediate dismissal.
  5. Ongoing student evaluation to assure early detection of problems that may interfere with student performance and progress.
  6. Specific written procedures for developing action plans when serious deficiencies are noted.*
  7. Specific written procedure for counseling students about future options who are not making adequate progress according to item 6.  Programs may choose to include the following options: additional remediation of unsatisfactory work or deficiency; offering alternative strategies for moving forward; assistance in transferring to another program; and dismissal from the program.
  8. When this process results in a decision to terminate a student from a program, the major director will forward a letter to that effect through the academic secretary to the associate dean for curriculum and academic programs who will forward it to the appropriate university office.

*When serious deficiencies are noted, students are to be notified in writing by the appropriate faculty member or program coordinator with a copy of the letter to the major director.  Similarly, when serious deficiencies are noted in practicum or field study, regardless of the time during the term, practicum supervisors, in collaboration with the practicum/program coordinators will prepare a letter for the student with a copy to the major director.  The letter must include:

  • A description of the issues to be addressed,
  • A plan for addressing each issue,
  • A description of any previous efforts to address or prevent each issue,
  • Criteria for determining the issues have been remedied or resolved, and
  • A timeline for review.

All COE and university policies and procedures regarding student grievance rights apply throughout the dismissal procedures described here.

This electronic document supersedes all previous versions and is subject to change.

"General Policies and Procedures"/ Axe

revised:Sep-28-2005




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