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The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Allied Health Student Handbook 2020-2021

6 - Academic and Professional Progress Policies

Students receive and may solicit counsel on their academic and professional progress from their department faculty or program director throughout the semester.  The judgment of satisfactory academic and professional progress of each student is vested in the faculty of the department.

To monitor academic and professional progress, each department has an Academic and Professional Progress Committee (APPC) consisting of teaching faculty of the department.  The APPC will meet at the end of each semester, and more often if needed, to review the progress of each student. 

The APPC analyzes each student’s overall academic, clinical, and professional performance and makes recommendations in writing to the Dean regarding each student’s academic and professional progress.  The APPC may recommend that the Dean commend, promote, retain, place on or continue probation, suspend, or dismiss a student. Recommendations may also include, but are not limited to:

  • Individualizing course sequence and selection.
  • Modifying standard timing and sequence of coursework.
  • Repeating courses.
  • Adding courses to strengthen basic competencies.
  • Assigning specialized academic and/or clinical projects.
  • Making program modifications to allow for higher-level work and advanced studies for students making exceptional progress.

When a student's semester grades and/or clinical and/or professional performance do not constitute required progress, that student is informed of the recommendations of the Academic and Professional Progress Committee by letter from the Dean, which includes the Dean’s decision and necessary sanctions.

6.1 - Professional Performance and Behavior

College of Allied Health students in an academic and clinical environment are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner.  They should respect the dignity of each individual with whom they are associated.  The following considerations are intended to supplement, not replace, any code of professional performance and behavior that might exist in the College of Allied Health program in which the student is enrolled.

6.1.1 - Professional Dress Code

  • Students assigned to clinical rotations will comply with the regulations regarding personal appearance and dress established by the clinical faculty/organization with which they are associated and by the College of Allied Health department in which they are enrolled.
  • Students who are not on specific rotations but whose daily activities may require them to be in a clinical environment for portions of the day should be familiar with the regulations regarding personal appearance and dress and should use discretion and judgment in complying with these regulations to the best of their ability.
  • Attire for students not in a clinical environment shall be appropriate for a student aspiring to their particular profession, yet should also allow for performance of the activities associated with coursework and related educational experiences.  

6.1.2 - Professional Conduct

Anticipation of all situations arising in the academic or clinical setting and in the interaction of students with the professional and/or patient community is impossible.  However, the basic guidelines outlined below in conjunction with specific guidelines established by the departments in the College of Allied Health should provide direction to students in how to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

Self-discipline is required in student relationships with patients, peers, supervisors, and other members of the professional community.  Personal preference and interests must be secondary to patient care.  Failure to observe professional standards of practice is unacceptable and may result in academic sanctions and/or disciplinary action.  Additionally, the student may be subject to legal actions by the patient and/or clinical site.

  • Student actions, comments, and personal appearance must be tailored to project an image of confidence, cooperation, and trust.
  • Students should maintain a pleasant, courteous, and respectful attitude toward others in both the academic and clinical settings.
  • Students must preserve the confidentiality of patients’/clients’ medical and personal history at all times.
  •  Students should reflect at all times a concern for the rights and welfare of patients/clients and their families.
  • Students should consider the behavior of the patient/client, even if overly belligerent or otherwise disagreeable, in the context of the patient’s illness and handle the situation accordingly. 
  • Students should be respectful of and responsive to faculty and staff and should observe the defined line of authority with respect to clinical assignments and activities.
  • Students are expected to abide by established procedures of their particular discipline regarding performance, patient treatment, and departmental duties in the clinical environment.
  • Students should avoid the use of inappropriate language in academic and clinical settings.
  • Students must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when in the academic or clinical environment.
  • Students should avoid the use of tobacco products.
  • Students should not discuss personal matters with or around patients.
  • Students must avoid personal biases in all circumstances.
  • Students should avoid interruption of patient care to question or dispute orders in the clinical setting. Students may request clarification of any written or verbal order, but only at an appropriate time.  If the student strongly disagrees with orders given by clinical personnel, the course of action should follow one of the following depending on standard rules and procedures of the discipline.
    • Perform their immediate duties, including the ordered treatment, and then consult their clinical coordinator in order to resolve the misunderstanding or disagreement, or
    • Request to be excused from doing the treatment and report immediately to their clinical coordinator to resolve the issue.

Please also see Regents’ Professionalism policy in the OUHSC Faculty Handbook.

6.1.3 - Prohibited Conduct

Generally, the imposition of discipline shall be limited to conduct that adversely affects the College community’s pursuit of its educational objectives, violates or shows disregard for the rights of individuals within the College community, or damages property.  College officials charged with enforcement of these regulations shall have the authority in execution of such enforcement duties, to perform such acts as are required to maintain the security, well-being, safety, or tranquility of the College community, its members, and its guests.  The following conduct is subject to disciplinary action:

  • Intentional disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration, disciplinary proceedings or other College or University activities.
  • Verbal or physical abuse of any person on University premises or at College or University-sponsored or College or University-supervised functions.
  • Failure to display professional behavior on University premises or at College or University-sponsored or College or University-supervised functions.
  • Failure to comply with lawful directions of University officials acting in performance of their duties.
  • Mis-use of University property to include but not be limited to university technology (computers, DE equipment), fire alarms, fire equipment, and elevators.
  • Destruction, unauthorized removal, theft, defacement of property, or possession of stolen property owned by the University, including trees and shrubbery, or property leased to or controlled by the University, such as art work or decorations, whether or not it occurs in conjunction with a prank or college rivalry here or on another campus.
  • Littering on University property.
  • Possession or use of firearms, fireworks, explosives, or incendiary devices of any description including air rifles and pistols, on the University campus.
  • Hazing or physical or mental harassment, in any form on or off the campus.
  • Unauthorized participation in, agitation for, or instigation of an activity that interferes with ingress or egress from University facilities; interrupts any activity of the University or College, including classes; damages property, or breaches the peace of the University community in its normal functioning.
  • The use, possession, sale, or distribution of controlled or illegal substances.
  • Defacement by writing, drawing, or marking of any kind upon any permanent interior or exterior wall or sign, or similar vertical surface, in any medium, including chalk, felt-marker, etc., or any writing, drawing, or marking of any kind in any permanent medium, such as paint, upon any sidewalk, mall, patio, terrace, or street, except as authorized.
  • Disturbance of the public peace.
  • Other conduct considered Academic Misconduct.

6.2 - Sanctions for Professional Misconduct

Sanctions may be recommended to the Dean by the student’s departmental Academic and Professional Progress Committee in the event it determines progress is deficient.  Sanctions are not hierarchical, in that any one may be the first and only recommendation of the Academic and Professional Progress Committee.  The sanctions are:

Probation: The Dean places a student on probation when the student fails to maintain the College of Allied Health standards for good standing.  Probation is noted on the student’s transcript, in the Office of Academic and Student Services, and in the Department records.  A student on College academic probation may not serve as an officer or representative nor be a candidate for an elected position in any College-sponsored organization.

  • If a student fails to meet each of the standards for good standing, the departmental Academic and Professional Progress Committee (APPC) may recommend probation.
  • If so, the APPC states the specific deficiency(s) leading to its recommendation, the recommended length of probation, and the recommended conditions necessary to remove probation.
  • The Dean will make the final decision regarding the sanction of probation and will notify the student in writing of the reason(s) for probation and the required conditions to be removed.
  • Should a student on College probation not correct the conditions of probation in the subsequent semester or summer session, as required in the letter from the Dean, the APPC may recommend continued probation, suspension, or dismissal from the College.

Suspension: Suspension from a program is for a period of not less than one semester or summer session or more than two calendar years and may result from deficient performance in academic or clinical coursework or other elements of good standing.  The duration of suspension varies depending on the specific circumstances.  A student may be reinstated to the program after the duration and conditions for suspension have been satisfactorily fulfilled.  Suspension is permanently noted on the student’s transcript, in the Office of Academic and Student Services, and in the Department records.

  • Suspension is a sanction reserved for serious deficiencies requiring removal of the student from the program for a stated length of time.
  • Conditions leading to suspension may include, but are not limited to:
    • Earning an F or U grade in any program course;
    • Failure to achieve the required GPA in more than one sequential semester;
    • Failure to correct the conditions of academic probation, as required;
    • Demonstrated lack of clinical or academic progress;
    • Other serious deficiencies related to the elements of good standing, which, in the judgment of the Academic and Professional Progress Committee (APPC), necessitate suspension from program activities.
  • The APPC will define the conditions of suspension and will forward its recommendations to the Dean stating the deficiency(s) leading to suspension, the recommended duration of suspension, and the recommended conditions necessary to end suspension.
  • The Dean will make the final decision regarding the sanction of suspension and will notify the student in writing of the reasons of suspension and the required conditions for reinstatement.
  • A student who is reinstated after suspension must maintain all standards for good standing.
  • The Dean shall not reinstate a student who has been on suspension twice.

Dismissal: Dismissal is termination of student status because of severely deficient performance in academic, professional, or clinical coursework or in other elements of good standing.  A student dismissed from a program may apply for readmission or admission to another program by following admissions procedures for new students. Dismissal is permanently noted on the student’s transcript, in the Office of Academic and Student Services, and in the Department records.

  • Dismissal is a sanction resulting in termination of student status in the College.
  • Conditions leading to dismissal may include, but are not limited to:
    • Severely deficient performance in academic and clinical coursework;
    • Inability to master the demands of a professional curriculum;
    • Lack of professional behavior and performance;
    • Inability to correct academic or clinical deficiencies within a reasonable time;
    • Other serious deficiency(s) which, in the judgment of the APPC, result in the recommendation of dismissal from the program.
  • The APPC will define the circumstances of dismissal and will forward recommendations to the Dean, stating the rationale for the recommendation for dismissal.
  • The Dean will make the final decision regarding the sanction of dismissal and will notify the student in writing.
  • A student dismissed from the College of Allied Health may apply for readmission or admission to another program, following regular procedures for new students. However, a student’s performance in the College is a matter of record and will be considered during any future admission process. 

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