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Promotion/Probation and Dismissal

Each student must meet the minimum standards and requirements set by the PA Studies Program and the UNTHSC to remain in good standing. A student on academic probation is not considered to be a student in good standing. The PA Student Performance Committee (PASPC) may be called upon to evaluate an individual student's progress and/or performance in order to provide recommendations on matters of probation, dismissal, promotion, continued retention, graduation, and remediation. Normal progression through the curriculum requires students to satisfactorily complete all course requirements to graduate. The program does not guarantee any student that they will accomplish all degree requirements once enrolled. Students who do not meet standards for promotion and graduation may be offered opportunities to correct deficiencies according to college guidelines and/or program policy.

Non-Academic Probation

Enrollment at the UNTHSC is considered implicit acceptance of the rules, regulations, and guidelines governing student behavior and promulgated by the institution. The student is responsible for being aware of these requirements and posted changes. In addition, all students are expected to know and obey the requirements of federal, state, and local laws. Any student who violates a provision of those laws is subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion, notwithstanding any action taken by civil authorities on account of the violation. Special care shall be taken to assure due process and to identify the defined routes of appeal when a student feels their rights have been violated. PA students may be subject to misconduct penalties and placed on non-academic probation for breaches of conduct contained in the Student Code of Conduct and/or a course syllabus.

Academic Probation

“Good” standing requires maintenance of a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 or better. Academic probation serves notice to the student that their continued enrollment is subject to satisfactory performance in all subsequent courses. A student who fails to meet minimum standards of academic performance specified by the PA Student Performance Committee or who fails to pass a course a second time will be recommended for dismissal. Students not in good standing or on academic probation are not eligible to hold office in sanctioned student groups and therefore may be required to resign from any elected or appointed positions held.

Any student who has failed a course or clinical practicum, or whose semester or cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.5, will be placed on academic probation. In all cases, grading and learning requirements listed in the course or practicum syllabus will be used to determine a remedy plan for obtaining a passing grade. Subsequent failure of a course or any other course while on academic probation will result in dismissal, unless otherwise recommended for retention by the PA Student Performance Committee and approved by the Dean. Students may be permitted to continue in courses until all remediation opportunities have been completed. Removal from academic probation will only be made upon approval of the Dean or his/her designee.

Marginal Performance

Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for a single semester will be considered as having marginal performance. First or second year PA students with marginal performance will be required to meet with the Chair of PA Studies (or designee) to develop a plan for improving their performance.

Dismissal

A student may be dismissed from the program if that student:

  • Earns a failing grade in any course
  • Fails a course due to unprofessional behavior
  • Fails any course a second time
  • Fails to progress satisfactorily as outlined in an approved remediation plan
  • Fails to comply with the Student Code of Conduct

Failure to earn a passing grade for a course will be considered grounds for automatic dismissal unless otherwise approved for retention by the Dean. The PA Student Performance Committee is not restricted from recommending PA students for probation or dismissal for reasons of unethical, unprofessional, and/or unacceptable behavior by the student. Failure due to poor class participation must be documented. Students who do not meet the standards specified for promotion and graduation may be given opportunities to correct deficiencies. Any student failing a course while on academic probation is subject to automatic dismissal, unless otherwise recommended for retention by the PA Student Performance Committee and approved by the Dean.

Re-Admission after Dismissal

Any student seeking re-admission after dismissal from the PA program must apply through the normal admissions process. The academic record of any student who applies for re-admission will automatically become a part of the data considered by the admissions committee. Any student who is re-admitted and subsequently receives a failing grade in any course will be automatically recommended for dismissal without an opportunity for subsequent re-admission.

Requirements for Graduation: *

Graduation requirements are listed in the catalog at the time of the student's entry into the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program. Normally, these requirements can be satisfied within 36 consecutive months. Students may be required to meet additional requirements in order to meet other Health Science Center, accreditation, state or national standards and/or regulations. Students who have met all requirements and been recommended for graduation may be awarded the MPAS degree provided they meet the conditions listed below:

  1. Have satisfactorily completed all academic requirements of the program.
  2. Have completed six academic years of credit at an accredited college or university, of which at least three were completed at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
  3. Have complied with all legal and financial requirements of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
  4. Have exhibited the ethical, professional, behavioral, and personal characteristics necessary for practice as a physician assistant.
  5. Have completed an exit questionnaire and returned to the Office of the Registrar a clearance check form.
  6. Have attended the commencement ceremony at which the degree is to be awarded.
  7. Have met the following requisites and time limits: If a student withdraws, decelerates, or is dismissed and later re-enters the program, or if a student is granted an extension beyond 36 months, that student must meet the requirements listed for the class with whom he or she will graduate. A student who has been dismissed due to poor academic progress, and later is readmitted to the program, has no more than 36 months from the date of re-entry to pass any academic course(s) that was (were) failed and must also complete any subsequent incomplete courses. A student dismissed due to a failing grade in a clinical practicum course, who later is re-admitted to the program, has not more than 12 months from the date of re-entry to successfully complete the course that was failed and any subsequent incomplete courses. The maximum time limit for completing all graduation requirements is 72 months.

* Students who do not fulfill all graduation requirements by the day of graduation will not be allowed to participate in commencement ceremonies without permission of the Dean (or designee). Students will not be considered graduates in any capacity until they have successfully completed all graduation requirements.

Withdrawal

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program adheres to the UNTHSC policy on course withdrawals. A student who withdraws from a course or fails to complete it within specified time periods will not be permitted to progress in the curriculum or to graduate.

Application for voluntary withdrawal must be made in writing. Except in rare and unusual circumstances, the application for withdrawal will be accompanied by a personal interview with the Department Chair, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and the Dean. Students who withdraw or fail to attend classes or clinical experiences without notifying the Registrar and/or the Dean and without completing the established withdrawal procedures within 30 days, will automatically be dismissed.

At the time withdrawal is granted, an entry will be made on the official permanent record indicating the academic standing of the student. “Withdrawal in good standing” will be recorded if the student is not on academic probation and has maintained a passing grade in each enrolled course during the semester in which the withdrawal is requested. “Withdrawal not in good academic standing” will be recorded if the student is on academic probation or has maintained a cumulative GPA below 2.5 in enrolled courses during the semester in which the withdrawal is requested.

Students must obtain and complete a withdrawal form from the Registrar before they can officially withdraw from the educational program. Students who do not complete the withdrawal process will not be entitled to an official withdrawal and consequently, cannot be considered for readmission at a later date. Re-admission is not assured unless it is a part of the final decision and/or agreement made by the withdrawing student, the Chair of the PA Department and the Dean. This final decision and/or agreement will be in writing. Students who are granted re-admission following withdrawal in good academic standing usually will re-enter at the beginning of the next academic year and must register for all courses scheduled during that academic year, including those previously completed and passed, unless stipulated otherwise in a written agreement with the Dean.

Students who withdraw, who are not in good academic standing may request readmission through regular the admissions process. The admissions committee will evaluate the student's entire academic record and make a recommendation to the Dean. Any student who withdraws due to poor academic progress, re-enters the Health Science Center and receives a failing grade in any course will be recommended for dismissal without opportunity for readmission.

Menial Tasking

Students may be asked to perform menial tasks such as transporting patients, collecting laboratory specimens, answering telephones, paging team members, or filing reports as long as they are not paid for performing these services and as long as the activities do not conflict with the student's overall learning experience.

Supervision of Medical Services

PA students are prohibited from performing any medical services or function without appropriate supervision.

Employment

Students are expected to give attendance to completion of assignments and rotation requirements priority over employment. Some assignments may call for the student to attend patient care activities at unusual or irregular hours or at places that are geographically separate from the main campus and/or their primary residence. Failure to meet course expectations due to employment conflicts may be cause for dismissal from the program.

Weekends and Nights

Class learning activities during the didactic phase of PA education are typically conducted Monday through Friday during normal business hours. However, some courses may require your attendance during the evening hours or on weekends.

Off-Campus Educational Activities

Some clinical practica and educational experiences take place off-campus and outside the immediate vicinity of Fort Worth. Attempt is made to assist students in obtaining housing; however, students are not guaranteed its availability and cannot be afforded special consideration due to employment concerns. Students should recognize that securing housing and transportation to off-campus clinical educational activities at remote clinical sites is a student responsibility. Assistance with locating housing is a service provided for students and is not a program obligation. At no time should the university or PA program be considered responsible for paying student housing costs at any time during off campus educational activities.

Course/Instructor Evaluation

Each student is responsible for providing constructive evaluation of each course, clinical practicum, and instructor in the curriculum within five (5) class days after each course ends. This responsibility is met by participation in the course evaluations and as defined in administrative policy. All evaluations must be current before students can register for the next semester or graduate.

This page last modified May 5, 2010