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Student Fitness and Performance Appraisal

Program Standards

Students enrolled in all academic programs in the Graduate College must maintain high scholastic standards and develop a mastery of the knowledge and methods of their respective discipline. Students are expected to demonstrate emotional and mental fitness in their interactions with others, use skills and methods that are generally accepted by others in the profession, and conform to the code of ethics of their respective discipline, and the university’s honor code. A student’s acceptance in any program does not guarantee the student’s fitness to remain in that program.  The faculty is responsible for verifying that only those students who continue to meet program standards are allowed to continue in any program.

Evaluation of Student Fitness and Performance

Members of the faculty, using their professional judgments, evaluate student fitness and performance continuously. The criteria used by the faculty to make such judgments include instructors’ observations of student performance in class or in activities related to courses, evaluations of student performance on theses and practica, site supervisors’ evaluations of student performance in practica, and the codes of ethics noted above. Students who are not making satisfactory progress or who are not meeting program standards should consider withdrawing from the program.

In this context, the term “satisfactory progress” refers to an academic judgment made regarding the student’s fitness and performance. It is a judgment that the student has failed to meet program standards rather than a judgment made on the basis of the student’s violation of valid rules of conduct. Disciplinary matters are referred to Student Justice.

Student Review Process

If a faculty member believes that a student is not making satisfactory progress or meeting program standards, he or she should discuss the situation with the student. If the faculty member believes that the student’s performance cannot improve to acceptable standards, the faculty member should refer the student to the Program Standards Committee of the appropriate department. The Program Standards Committee consists of three faculty members appointed by the department chair in consultation with the department’s senior faculty.  The Committee will notify the student of the reasons that he or she is not making satisfactory progress or meeting program standards and will give the student an opportunity to meet with the Committee to respond and to present information and witnesses to the committee. The Committee will also meet with the faculty member who referred the student to the Committee. After considering the matter, and within ten working days of meeting with the student, the Committee will report its decision to the student and the department Chair, stating that the student should either remain in or leave the program. The committee may make other decisions, such as placing restrictions or conditions on the student’s continuing in the program. Within ten working days of receiving the Committee’s decision, the student will notify the department Chair of the student’s acceptance or rejection of the committee’s decision. If the student rejects the committee’s decision, he or she may appeal to the department Chair.  Within ten working days of receiving the student’s appeal, the Chair will make a decision as to the student’s continued presence in the program. Before making the decision, the Chair will meet with the student. However, the Chair need not meet with the student before making a decision if the student was given a reasonable opportunity to meet, and the student either failed or refused to meet. The Chair will notify the student of the decision.

If the student is dissatisfied with the Chair’s decision, he or she may appeal to the Dean of The appropriate college. However, in order for the Dean to consider an appeal, the student must submit a written notice of appeal to the Chair and the Dean within ten working days of receiving the Chair’s decision. The Dean will consider the matter based on information compiled by the Chair and notify the student of the decision within ten working days of the Dean’s receipt of the appeal from the Chair. The Dean may meet with the student and give the student an opportunity to address the issues. The Dean’s decision is final.