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Catalog 2014 - 2015

Grading Policies

Each student who is enrolled at the Health Science Center is responsible for knowing and abiding by the policies and procedures that apply to his or her program of study.  The section below details the policies and procedures that apply to the PharmD program.  Other general policies and procedures that apply to the Health Science Center student population are presented elsewhere in this catalog.  All Health Science Center student policies are also published in other Health Science Center documents, including the student policies on the Health Science Center website.

Registration

Registration is conducted prior to each fall and spring semester and prior to the summer term following the first and second professional years.  The dates for registering for each semester or summer term are published in the Academic Calendar at the beginning of this section on the SCP.  Registration consists of paying for tuition and fees and completing forms for the Registrar, Office of Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, and Office of Student Affairs.  Students may register only for those courses that appear on the official academic schedule for the professional year in which they are enrolling.  Students may not register for two or more courses that meet simultaneously.

Only students who have been enrolled by the Registrar or who have been approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may attend classes.  Individuals who are not enrolled in the professional program may not sit for examinations or any other assessments.    

Late fees are assessed for missing the published deadline for registration payment.  Deadlines for payment are published in the Academic Calendar at the beginning of this section and are described in detail in the Health Science Center Fiscal Policies.

Health and Technical Standards

All candidates must meet certain health and technical standards to be admitted and enrolled in the pharmacy education program of SCP. Because the doctor of pharmacy degree signifies that the holder is an individual prepared to sit for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination and for entry into the practice of pharmacy as a generalist, it follows that the graduates must have the requisite knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care. This requires the development of broad knowledge, skills, behaviors, ongoing self-directed learning, and the ability to deliver competent pharmaceutical care within a reasonable time frame and within the context of the legal and ethical framework of the profession.

A candidate for the doctor of pharmacy degree must have abilities and skills in five areas: observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social. Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law, however, the candidate must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate's judgment must be mediated by someone else's power of selection and observation. Therefore, assistance from trained intermediaries in meeting these technical standards may eliminate an essential element of the program and is not a  a reasonable accommodation. The College of Pharmacy will work with the candidate to determine whether reasonable accommodations are available.

The following technical standards describe the essential functions candidates and students must possess and demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general pharmacy education, and thus, are prerequisites for admission, progression, and graduation from the College of Pharmacy.

1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences and practice-based activities including, but not limited to, medical illustrations and models, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Candidates must be able to observe and interpret presented information including but not limited to, monitoring of drug responses and reading EKGs, drug blood levels, and other laboratory results. Observation requires the functional use of visual, auditory, olfactory and somatic senses.

 2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, hear and listen to patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive and accurately report verbal as well as nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their caregivers, peers, faculty, and staff. Communication includes not only speech but also reading, writing, hearing, and computer literacy. Candidates should be able to communicate with and supervise technical support staff. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written English with all members of the health care team. Students must be able to complete forms or appropriately document activities according to directions in a complete and timely fashion.

3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic tasks in the practice of pharmacy including, basic laboratory tests, administering immunizations, compounding sterile and nonsterile dosage forms (including specialty dosage forms), and processing multiple types of drug orders. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements which are reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of pharmacists include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the rapid and accurate administration of appropriate intravenous medication, and the application of pressure to stop bleeding. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, judgment, and synthesis. Especially important is the appropriate and rapid and accurate calculation of dosages for a variety of clinical conditions and calculations involving appropriate dilution or reconstitution. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of pharmacists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. The candidate must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The ability to incorporate new information from peers or teachers, and to locate and evaluate new information from the literature to be used appropriately in formulating assessments and pharmaceutical care plans is essential, as is good judgment in patient assessment and therapeutic planning for disease management. A candidate must be fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.

5. Behavior and Social Attitudes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the screening and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients of differing cultures and backgrounds. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress or with distractions. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of pharmacy and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the profession. Students are expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and if necessary, respond quickly, appropriately and cooperatively by modification of behavior.  Compassion, integrity, honesty, patience, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and education process.

Students are required to certify that they meet these technical standards, with reasonable accommodations if necessary, prior to matriculation and on an annual basis. Individuals with questions or concerns about their ability to meet these standards or with questions regarding reasonable accommodations should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the UNT System College of Pharmacy.

Semester Credit Hours and Grades

One semester credit hour (SCH) is assigned to each 16 hours of scheduled student activity.  Students receive one SCH for each week that they spend in an Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience(IPPE) or Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE).

Assignment of Grades

In accordance with the policies of the Health Science Center, students in the SCP will receive course grades of A, B, C, or F, or in some cases a P (Pass) or NP (No Pass) or an I (Incomplete).  There is no "D" grade.  An "I" in a course must be made up in a time frame specified by the College or else the grade turns to an "F".   

Academic Progression

To maintain good academic standing and progress within the professional degree program, students must: (i) Successfully complete all pharmacy courses, elective courses, and introductory pharmacy practice experiences during the first three professional years; (ii) earn a grade of "C" or better in any pharmacy course, elective course, or pharmacy practice experiences which is used for computation of the grade point average; (iii) earn a “P” in any course in which the pass/no pass option is applied; (iv) maintain a cumulative and per semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.5; (v) earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to be promoted from one professional year to the next; and (vi) complete the professional coursework for the PharmD program within a period of 6 years from the time of admission, including remediation, withdrawals, and leave of absences.

Academic Probation

Any student in the professional pharmacy program may be placed on academic probation if that student: (i) earns a semester or cumulative GPA less than 2.5; or (ii) earns a grade of "F" or "NP" in a pharmacy course, elective course, or pharmacy practice experience. A student placed on academic probation will receive written notification from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs stating the conditions of probation. Academic probation serves as official notice to the student that the quality of the student's performance must improve in order to remain eligible for continued enrollment in SCP.  Students on academic probation may not hold any elected or appointed office in any student organization at UNTHSC or receive SCP funds for travel to professional meetings or other SCP-sponsored events. Such restriction shall become effective with the determination of probation by the Student Performance Committee and shall remain in force until probation is lifted. A student is generally released from academic probation after a period no less than one semester when all courses are successfully completed and no additional grades of "F" or “NP” have been earned. Release from academic probation is made only upon recommendation of the Student Performance Committee and approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

 Remediation

Remediation is available to pharmacy students who do not earn a grade of "C" in a graded course or “P” in a pass/no pass course. Students will be offered an individualized remediation plan that may include: repetition of course or pharmacy practice experience, re-examination, additional course work, reduced course load, mandatory attendance, independent study, and/or tutoring sessions. In cases of course repetition, students will not be permitted to register for any course in the professional program more than two times. Students who are allowed to remediate the course by examination must do so prior to the beginning of the next academic semester. 

Missed and Incomplete Coursework or Credit

Excused absences from exams, regularly scheduled activities, or required coursework are generally granted for emergencies (i.e., death in the family) or personal illness. Under certain circumstances, absences for SCP-sponsored or professional activities may also be approved. Approval of excused absences must be documented and obtained prior to the absence. The SCP does adhere to the UNTHSC Absence for Religious Holidays Policy. If the student cannot make-up the coursework within two weeks of the course’s end date, he or she will receive an “I” in the course.  In order to progress to the next academic year, the student must complete the coursework prior to the first day of class. 

Leave of Absence

A student may request or be required to take a leave of absence with the occurrence of a medical problem, substantial personal problem or as recommended by the Student Performance Committee. Students requesting a leave of absence must apply to the Dean of SCP and also notify the Office of the Registrar. In the event of a medical problem, the request must be accompanied by a letter from the treating physician or a licensed professional describing the nature of the disability for which the leave is requested and the estimated length of time needed for recovery. After consultation with the student, the Dean of SCP will determine whether or not the leave will be granted and the conditions under which the student may return to school. Students must report to the Office of Student Affairs to obtain a Leave of Absence Form and complete it before they are officially placed on an approved leave. A leave of absence may be requested for up to three semesters (one academic year). A student on leave of absence cannot receive funding as a graduate student. Leave of absence status may affect student loans. Before a student may be readmitted, a written request for readmission must be submitted by the student to the Dean. In the case of a medical leave, a letter from the treating physician or a licensed professional must accompany the readmission request stating that the student has recovered from the disability for which the medical leave was granted and is able to participate in a full academic program.

 Dismissal

Any student in the professional pharmacy program may be dismissed if that student: (i) earns a grade of "F" or “NP” in any course while on academic probation; (ii) earns a grade of "F" or “NP” on any remediation exam; (iii) earns less than 2.5 semester GPA while on academic probation with failure to achieve a cumulative GPA ≥ 2.5 within 2 semesters; (iv) earns less than 2.5 semester GPA for more than one semester whether consecutive or non-consecutive semester; and (v) earns more than one grade of "F" or “NP” in one semester.

Grade Appeals

Special care is taken to ensure due process when students feel that they have been unfairly assigned a grade. SCP students have the right to appeal decisions made by the Student Performance Committee. Students who wish to appeal academic recommendations made by the Student Performance Committee may do so, first to the Associate Dean Academic Affairs and then to the Dean. The decision of the Dean is final.

Readmission

Any student seeking re-admission after dismissal from the SCP must apply through the normal admissions process. The Admissions Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean after counsel with the Student Performance Committee. The Dean’s decision is final. A student who is administratively withdrawn or suspended from the SCP because of non-professional conduct or academic integrity may apply for re-admission. The Senior Student Affairs Officer will review the application and make a recommendation to the Dean. The Dean’s decision is final. If a student is expelled from SCP, then the student is permanently severed from UNTHSC.

Advanced Placement Waivers

Requests for advanced placement or waiver for any course must be declared by the pharmacy student on or before the first day of enrollment at the College. The student must present all required, supporting documents to the Office of the Registrar. The student is required to attend all classes and take all examinations until a decision is made regarding the advanced placement request. To be placed in advanced standing, a student must have taken a course judged to be equivalent by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the course director. The course must have been taken within two years of the first day of classes and must have been awarded a minimum grade of "B". Alternatively, the student must have completed a similar course and obtained a minimum grade of "B" in a written comprehensive exam administered by the course director prior to the first day of classes at the College.

Determination of Equivalency of Non-Credit Coursework to Credit Coursework

The SCP does not count non-credit coursework toward any credit coursework in the curriculum.

This page last modified March 25, 2013