COSSS (Twin Cities)

Policies and Procedures of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing

University of Minnesota Medical School Twin Cities students are governed by the COSSS policy that corresponds to the year they matriculated into the school

2016 and Forward Matriculation Year

Applies to students who matriculated in 2016 and forward

Effective: July 30, 2016 
Last Updated: May 13th, 2016 
Responsible University Officer: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs 
Policy Contact: Michael Kim, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, mikekim@umn.edu

 

Foreword

The University of Minnesota Medical School has two campuses (Twin Cities and Duluth). Each campus has a Scholastic Standing Committee which has been charged with the responsibility of monitoring the progress of medical students enrolled on that campus. These bodies are: the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing – Twin Cities (COSSS), and the Scholastic Standing Committee – Duluth (SSC). This document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Twin Cities campus. A separate document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Duluth campus.

Role and Jurisdiction of Scholastic Standing Committee

The SSC has jurisdiction over students who matriculated on the Duluth campus during the first two years of course work. Once the students transition to the Twin Cities campus for their clinical years, they are under the jurisdiction of COSSS. The COSSS has jurisdiction over students who matriculate on the Twin Cities campus and students who have transitioned from Duluth after completing their coursework. 

Both Committees strive to assist students who are experiencing academic difficulty and to assure fairness to each student. The Committees evaluate student performance based on the student's individual record, taking into account the unique circumstance of each student's situation. Student performance encompasses academic knowledge and clinical skills, as well as development of the personal and professional attributes expected of a practicing physician. Any student behavior that reflects on a student's qualifications or potential to become a competent and ethical professional will be within the jurisdiction of the appropriate scholastic standing Committee.

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS)

"The COSSS is a standing Committee of the Executive Faculty and reports to the Executive Faculty and the Faculty Assembly. The Faculty Assembly is composed of members of the various Medical School Departments with appointment designated as 94XX in the University Professorial ranks with the exception of volunteer community-based faculty."

The responsibilities of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) are: to ensure that the students of the Medical School have met the requirements for awarding the M.D. degree; to monitor each student's progress through Medical School; and to ensure that the work of the Committee has been conducted properly, providing fairness to each student. These responsibilities are defined in the Constitution of the University of Minnesota Medical School (pdf) (Article II, Section B.2) and the Bylaws to the Constitution (pdf) (Article I, Section D.3).

Composition of the COSSS

The COSSS is composed of 15 faculty members broadly representing the basic science and clinical areas, two student representatives (one voting representative and one alternate), and the non-voting ex officio member the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Other members of the Medical Education staff may be invited as consultants or guest members as needed. Faculty members are nominated by the Chair of the Committee with input from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and appointed by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. Each faculty member will serve a term of three years and may be re-elected to serve additional terms. Each student representative is selected by the Student Council in their second academic year for a two year term beginning in their third year of medical school. Student representatives must be in good academic standing at the time of their appointment to the Committee and must remain in good standing throughout their tenure on the Committee. Additional medical school administrative staff will attend all Committee meetings and record the Committee's actions. An attorney from the Office of the General Counsel will be available to advise the COSSS as needed. The Committee members will vote annually to elect a member to serve a one-year term as Committee Chair. The Chair can be re-elected to serve additional terms. The Committee Chair will appoint a Committee member to serve a one-year term as Associate Chair, subject to approval (by majority vote) of the Committee. The Associate Chair can be re-appointed (subject to approval by the Committee) to serve additional terms.

As a rule, the Committee will only act upon motions presented to the group. The Committee Chair shall only retain voting privileges in the event a tie is achieved by the voting membership. The Chair will attend and preside over all COSSS meetings; if unable to attend, the Chair may appoint the Associate Chair or another voting faculty member to sit as Acting Chair. A majority of the voting COSSS membership must be present to establish a quorum in order to consider and act upon all agenda items. Decisions of the Committee are carried by a motion and determined by a majority vote of members present. Members may choose to vote in favor of a motion, against a motion, or may abstain from voting altogether. Should at any time a member have a bias or conflict of interest, that member may recuse him or herself from the Committee's deliberation and consideration of an action item without regard to whether a quorum will remain in place.

 


 

I. Introduction

These are the policies and procedures followed by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) when evaluating medical students' academic performance and related issues. The role of the Committee is to monitor each student's progress through Medical School and to ensure that each student is qualified to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree. For students enrolled at the Duluth campus, this monitoring is accomplished by review of written reports from the SSC. These policies and procedures will be applied taking into account the unique circumstances of each student's situation. The policies of the Committee are developed to conform to broader University policies on academic performance and ethics.

The COSSS shall monitor the quality of student performance in a continuous fashion. To this end, it shall determine guidelines for student academic standing, and it shall monitor each student’s progress toward the Doctor of Medicine degree. The COSSS will report on its activities to the Education Council and the Faculty Assembly at least once each year. Any action to deny advancement to students deemed ineligible will be reported to the Dean of the Medical School through the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. 

 


 

II. Graduation Requirements 

Medical students must complete all required courses satisfactorily and meet the credit requirements, and successfully complete the Clinical Competency Assessment and Milestone Examinations for the M.D. degree as outlined in the current Medical School Handbook or as stated by the Office of Curriculum and Evaluation, the course director, and/or the COSSS; complete all regularly scheduled assignments; take all scheduled examinations; and follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook when there is a problem in taking an examination at the scheduled time. Failure to follow this latter procedure could result in the forfeiture of the student's opportunity to take an examination at another date. Not following this procedure also could result in a failure for the course. It is each student's responsibility to be aware of any grades and/or evaluations received in each course. Any student with questions about examinations or grading procedures is encouraged to consult the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Final decisions on student progress and promotions are made by the COSSS. 

The maximum duration of undergraduate medical education should be six years from matriculation, three years from matriculation to the end of year 2 and the passing of Step 1 and three years from the start of Year 3 to the completion of Year 4 and the passing of both Step 2 exams. Students enrolled in any dual degree program are granted additional time as long as they otherwise remain in good academic standing in the Medical School. Students who fail to meet these expectations must petition the COSSS to request permission to remain in the program. Failure to receive permission constitutes evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress and will trigger a hearing for dismissal. Students may petition to have up to one year of leave of absence from matriculation to graduation not count towards these benchmarks with no more than one year allowed over their entire enrollment.

A) Completion of all Year 1 and 2 Coursework:

Medical students must complete all Year 1 and 2 basic science and clinical coursework during the first three years of medical school exclusive of an LOA.

  1. Grading: In Years 1 and 2 the grades used are P (Pass), N (Not Pass), H (Honors), and I (Incomplete). Students who have not completed all coursework including any outstanding makeup examinations may not begin any Year 3 clinical courses without receiving permission of the COSSS. 

  2. Re-Examinations: Students who receive an N (Failing) grade in a Year 1 or 2 course must petition the COSSS for permission to either sit for a re-examination (if available) or retake the course. The decision rests with the COSSS; however, the course director's recommendation will be solicited and given serious consideration. If re-examination is approved by the COSSS and the student passes the re-examination, the new grade will appear after the N on the transcript (see policy: Reporting Grades on Transcripts (pdf)). If the student fails the re-examination, the N (failing) grade will remain on the transcript and the student will be required to repeat the course. If the COSSS deems that re-examination is not appropriate, the student must repeat the course. The original N (failing) grade as well as the grade received upon repeating the course will be recorded on the student's transcript. Should the COSSS decide to not grant the student permission to either sit for a re-examination or repeat a failed course, the student will then be subject to a hearing for dismissal. 

  3. Repeating Basic Science Courses: After taking the re-examination(s), students who have not achieved a passing grade(s) may repeat the course(s) the following year if COSSS approval is obtained. Failure to obtain COSSS permission is evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress and will trigger a hearing for dismissal from Medical School (see VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals). The repeat of any Medical School course takes precedence over any other coursework, and requires taking all examinations, unless a COSSS-approved alternative arrangement has been made with the course director. 

    It is the student's responsibility (in consultation with the Office for Medical Education) to register and integrate the course into the schedule during the following year. In instances where an individual retakes a basic science course, both grades, i.e. the original N and the subsequent P will be recorded on the student's transcript. Any student with an N or I grade in any Year 1 or 2 required course will not be eligible to begin Year 3 courses until successful completion of these courses. 

    A student is permitted to take a Year 1 or 2 course twice, but is only permitted one re-examination (pending COSSS approval) in that course. Failure to pass the course the second time will trigger a hearing for dismissal.


B) Completion of all Clinical Science Coursework

All medical students are required to complete a minimum of 76 clinical credits in Years 3 and 4 in addition to the clinical course(s) in Years 1 and 2. The maximum duration form the beginning of Year 3 to the completion of Year 4 and the passing of both Step 2 exams should be three years exclusive of LOA.

  1. Grading: 
    In Years 3 and 4, the grades used by the Medical School are as follows:H (Honors), E (Excellent), S (Satisfactory), P (Pass), I (Incomplete), and N (Failing). An H represents outstanding achievement. An E represents achievement that is significantly greater than the level required to satisfy course requirements but not judged to be at honors level. An S represents achievement that satisfies the basic clinical course requirements.

    1. I (Incomplete Grade): An I (Incomplete) grade is given when work in a course has not been completed, either through an excused absence from course activities or delay in completion of requirements as permitted by the Course Director. The student should contact the Course Director to determine what is required to remove the Incomplete.

    2. N (Failing) Grade: An N (Failing) grade is given after the final course examination, when a student's performance in the course fails to meet the Medical School's minimum passing standards. It may also be given when, through an unexcused absence, a student fails to meet course requirements. N grades may also be assigned for failure to meet the Medical School's established standards of professionalism within a course.

    3. Grade Changes: In clinical courses an N grade can be changed only by successful repetition and completion of the course. Both grades will appear on the student transcript

  2. Repeating Clinical Courses
    Students who receive an N (Failing) grade in a clinical course will be required to appear before the COSSS to request permission to repeat that course. Failure to receive permission to repeat the course from the COSSS is evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress, and triggers a hearing for dismissal (see VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals).

C) Flexible MD Program

Some students may elect to apply for the Flexible MD program. This program is designed to promote independent enrichment for medical students on a path towards achievement of the MD degree. In order to qualify for the Flexible MD program, a student must propose to the Flexible MD Oversight Committee an academic project or experience that will serve as an addition to the standard curriculum that is designed to achieve personal educational goals and competencies as part of progress towards the MD degree. The Flexible MD Program may take up to one year. Students must have successfully completed all Year 1 and 2 courses and be in good academic standing to be eligible. All proposals must be approved by the Flexible MD Oversight Committee. Those students who are approved will be monitored by the Office of Student Affairs on behalf of COSSS.

D) Successful Completion of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS Examinations

Each student must pass Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS of the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) before receiving the MD degree. Passing standards are those established by the NBME. Year 2 students on the Minneapolis campus and students who have transitioned from the Duluth campus who are taking the Step 1 Examination for the first or second time may enroll in the Year 3 curriculum pending notification of the results. Under no circumstances will such a student be permitted more than 18 weeks of clinical work before receiving notification of passing USMLE Step 1. 

 


 

III. Referrals to COSSS 

Student issues brought to the attention of the COSSS may or may not require the individual student to meet directly with the Committee. If appearance petition is required, a written notice will be sent by the Chair of the Committee. The Associate Dean for Students on the Duluth Campus is copied on the notice if the student matriculated in Duluth.

A) Decelerated Programs

Requests for a decelerated program during Years 1 and 2 on the Twin Cities Campus and extension of Years 3 and 4 beyond two years require approval of the COSSS. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of any request that will extend graduation beyond the traditional four years (see II.C. for details on the Flexible MD Program). A student desiring an extended clinical program must submit a "Delayed Graduation Request Form" (available in Office for Medical Education) or a letter stating the reason for the request and a description of the proposed extension to the COSSS at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The COSSS also may recommend or require a student with academic difficulties or other problems to be placed on a decelerated program.

B) Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are granted to Year 1 and 2 students on the Twin Cities Campus and to Year 3 and 4 students at the sole discretion of the COSSS. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of a leave of absence request. Reasons for leaves include, but are not restricted to, the pursuit of academic research and study, academic difficulties and personal or health issues. The approval process for the Flexible MD Program includes a request for delay of graduation. A student desiring a leave of absence must submit a completed and signed "Request for Leave of Absence" form (available in the Office for Medical Education) or letter stating the purpose for the leave and its anticipated duration, to the COSSS at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The Committee may also require a student to take such a leave. If a decision regarding a leave of absence needs to be made prior to the next COSSS meeting, the Chair may act on behalf of the Committee. This decision will be reviewed at the next COSSS meeting. Leaves are granted for a specific period of time. Two months prior to the end of that period of time, the student must either request permission to return from the leave or file for an extension. If the student fails to contact the Committee when the leave expires, the COSSS will hold a hearing for dismissal based on lack of academic progress.

C) Academic Progress and Performance Reviews

The COSSS will review the academic performance of each student to assure that he/she is making satisfactory academic progress. The COSSS will request this information from the Basic Science and Clinical Course Directors and/or the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Students experiencing performance difficulties may be required to appear before the COSSS or its subcommittee for further review.

D) Basic Science or Clinical Course Failures

Students who have failed any basic science or clinical course must appear before the COSSS or its subcommittee who will report to the full committee. If a student is granted permission to re-take a course and fails the course again or fails any other clinical or basic science course, a hearing for dismissal will be held.

E) Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

At the discretion of the COSSS, a student who has not completed a basic science course or clinical rotation on schedule, or who has failed to make satisfactory academic progress in completing the basic science or clinical curriculum as prescribed, may be required to appear before the COSSS.

F) USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS Failures

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing has established the following policies with regard to the United States Medical Licensing Examinations:

  1. Students who fail to pass Step 1 after two attempts, or either part of Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge (CK) or Clinical Skills (CS) – after one attempt must petition the COSSS or meet with a Subcommittee to obtain permission to retake the licensing examination. The Committee may recommend or require remedial action before the student retakes the exam.

  2. Any failure to pass any USMLE exam after failing two course or failing a second USMLE exam will result in a hearing for dismissal at which time the student's entire academic record will be considered.

G) Behavioral, Conduct Code or Professionalism Violations

Any student who has violated any policy of the medical school or commits an egregious or repetitive professionalism concern may be required to appear before the COSSS. At that time, the student's entire academic record will be considered and the COSSS may impose sanctions, make recommendations, and/or decide to hold a hearing for dismissal. 

 


 

IV. COSSS Decisions and Outcomes

The COSSS is empowered by the Executive Faculty to make decisions which can affect, alter, modify or even halt a student's academic progress. The COSSS may make its decisions with or without the student's consent or approval. Students who wish to challenge or appeal decisions made by the COSSS may do so, but only in accordance with the terms and guidelines found in Section IV: Hearings and Appeals. 

A) Academic Difficulties (Basic Science, Clinical Science and USMLE)

Students who experience academic difficulty will be required to appear before the COSSS or its subcommittee. At its discretion, the Committee will then determine whether the student shall be:

  1. Allowed to continue academic progress without interruption;

  2. Allowed to continue academic progress at a reduced academic load;

  3. Required to suspend academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;

  4. Given the opportunity to take re-examinations, if available;

  5. Complete defined remedial coursework;

  6. Placed on academic probation; or

  7. Subject to a hearing for dismissal.

B) Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Committee may subject students who have failed to make satisfactory academic progress to a number of options including, but not limited to:

  1. Allowing the student to complete the currently enrolled course;

  2. Granting a leave of absence, or

  3. Recommending a hearing for dismissal.

C) Behavioral, Conduct Code or Professionalism Violations

The Committee may subject students who have violated the University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code (pdf), Medical Student Professionalism Code or the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility to a number of options including, but not limited to:

  1. Allowing the student to continue academic progress without interruption;

  2. Requiring that certain conditions be met to resume academic progress;

  3. Imposing a leave of absence;

  4. Suspending academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;

  5. Requiring additional or specially-designed coursework;

  6. Requiring participation in programs outside of the Medical School; or

  7. Recommending a hearing for dismissal. 

 


 

 

V. Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress 

A) Good Academic Standing 

Students are in good academic standing when they obtain a passing grade in each course in the curriculum, complete other requirements including Milestone Examinations, and make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. In order to make satisfactory academic progress, students must adhere to the established Medical School schedule for degree completion within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, including satisfactory completion of the established curriculum in each successive term. The COSSS may modify this schedule by giving a student permission for a leave of absence, part-time status or other modified programs, such as the Flexible MD.

Even with modifications approved by the COSSS, students will be expected to complete Years 1 and 2 curriculum and USMLE Step 1 within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, and the Years 3 and 4 curriculum and USMLE Step 2 within a three-year period, not to exceed seven years total from the beginning date of enrollment, with the exception of those enrolled in the MD/PhD or other dual degree programs as noted above. Students who fail to meet this expectation are not making satisfactory academic progress and must appear before the COSSS (see III. Referrals to COSSS).

B) Academic Status

  1. At Risk Status

    An important function of the COSSS is to help the student attain satisfactory academic performance. If a student has received a failing grade (N) or an incomplete grade (I) in any basic or clinical course, or has failed the USMLE Step 1 or Step 2CK or Step 2 CS once, the student is notified by letter from the Chair of the Committee, and placed on "At Risk" status.. Note that students placed on At Risk status are no longer in good academic standing. Students on At Risk status who experience further academic difficulties may be placed on Academic Probation, or be subject to a hearing for dismissal. 

    Students with a grade of N in a basic science or clinical course must petition the COSSS to receive permission to take a re-examination, or to repeat the course. Students who successfully pass the course through re-examination or by repeating the course return to good academic standing. Failure to pass the course on re-examination or by repeating the course will result in the student being placed on Academic Probation (see below, 2. Academic Probation) and will trigger a hearing for dismissal.

    In certain cases the COSSS may determine the circumstances surrounding a course failure are of sufficient concern to justify placing the student on Academic Probation (see below, 2. Academic Probation).

    Any student who has questions concerning overall academic progress in Medical School, is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Students may also be placed on At Risk status by the COSSS if, in the Committee's judgment, the student is not demonstrating progress on an approved decelerated schedule

  2. Academic Probation

    Students with continuing and/or more serious academic deficiencies including any of the following will be placed on Academic Probation: 

    a) Students who fail a basic science or clinical course upon re-examination or after re-taking the course, 

    b) Students with two failures on USMLE Step 1, 

    c) Students with one failure on USMLE Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS, and 

    d) Any student who otherwise fails to make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. 

    e) In addition, any student who has previously failed a course (irrespective of whether they had subsequently passed the course via re-examination or retake) will be immediately placed on Academic Probation should they fail a second course. 

    Students placed on Academic Probation will petition the COSSS. At the conclusion of this meeting the COSSS members will determine whether to continue the student on Academic Probation, or to hold a hearing for dismissal. Students who are placed on Academic Probation will be provided with written notification of the conditions they must satisfy in order to return to good standing. Failure to satisfy these conditions will trigger a hearing for dismissal. 

  3. Interim Suspension

The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or delegate may impose an immediate suspension on a student pending a hearing before COSSS (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the University community, including patients at facilities where medical students take clinical courses, or to preserve the property of the University or its clinical affiliates, (2) to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being, or (3) if the student poses an ongoing threat of disrupting or interfering with the operations of the Medical School or clinical affiliates. During the interim suspension, the student may be denied access to all Medical School and clinical affiliate activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. The student has a right to a prompt hearing before the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs or delegate on the questions of identification and whether the interim suspension should remain in effect until the full hearing is completed. 

C) Removal from Academic Probation 

Any student who has been placed on academic probation due to a grade or grades of “N” will be eligible to be removed from academic probation and returned to good academic standing after satisfactory completion of all remedial programs. A change of grade shall be submitted by the course director immediately to update the student’s academic record. If it is deemed necessary to place a student on academic probation only due to multiple Incompletes (I’s), that student will be removed from probation when all Incompletes have been removed. Removal from academic probation shall be communicated to the student in writing by the COSSS. In certain cases, the COSSS may determine the circumstances surrounding an academic difficulty are of sufficient concern to justify keeping the student on Academic Probation.

 


 

VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals 

Serious academic deficiencies or other violations of Medical School or University policies, including but not limited to those outlined herein, may result in a student dismissal from Medical School. While it is anticipated that in many instances students who receive notification of a hearing for dismissal are likely to already have been placed on At Risk or Academic Probation status, it should be understood that under appropriate circumstances a student previously in good academic standing could be subjected to a hearing for dismissal. 

A hearing will be held by the COSSS prior to dismissal. The hearing is intended to allow presentation of relevant facts and arguments to the COSSS before a decision is reached. At that time the student's entire overall performance in Medical School and other pertinent information about the student's qualifications to become a physician will be reviewed. Based on that review and on evidence presented at the hearing, the COSSS will render its decision. As an alternative to dismissal, the COSSS may require successful completion of remedial course work or modifying the standard curriculum.

A) Grounds for Dismissal or Other Action

Grounds for dismissal from the University of Minnesota Medical School by the COSSS include, but are not limited to:

  1. Academic Deficiencies

    A student may be required to take remedial work or may be dismissed for failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic performance including, but not limited to, any one of the following: 

    a) Failure of the same course twice;

    b) Failure of any combination of three courses or USMLE Step exams;

    c) Failure to complete Years 1 and 2 and pass Step 1 in three years or failure to complete Years 3 and 4 and pass Step 2 CK and CS in three years, exclusive of LOA;

    d) Egregious or repetitive professionalism concern(s) in academic, clinical, or other related professional settings

  2. Behavioral, Conduct Code or Ethical Violations

    A student will be subject to COSSS recommendations, sanctions or dismissal for the following behaviors:

    a) Conduct which violates any of these behavior codes: University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code (pdf), Medical Student Professionalism Code or the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility; policies/rules of affiliated sites which apply to students in a clinical experience.

    b) Conduct which violates behavioral and/or ethical standards of the medical profession; disrupts the operations of the University, Medical School or clinical training sites; or disregards the rights or welfare of patients, fellow students, Medical School clinical staff or other individuals.

    c) Unlawful conduct or improper behavior within or outside the University of Minnesota community which impairs the student's capacity to function as a medical student/prospective physician.

B) Procedures for Hearing to Consider Dismissal

  1. While considering dismissal, the COSSS will be guided by considerations of fairness to the student and other persons involved. Any student subject to a formal hearing to consider dismissal will be given the opportunity to be present before the COSSS, and the hearing will be recorded. An oral recording of the hearing will be available to the student within thirty (30) days from the date of the hearing.

  2. Students will be sent written notice of such a hearing at least ten (10) days before the hearing date. The notice will include a statement of the grounds for possible dismissal.

  3. The COSSS will consider as evidence in a case all material contained in the student's file in the Office for Medical Education, grades and examination scores, documents submitted at the hearing, and the statements of all witnesses appearing before the COSSS.

  4. Students who are the subject to a hearing may: a) Examine their student file prior to or at the hearing. b) Examine witnesses appearing before the COSSS and present their own statement and/or the statements of their witnesses. c) Have an advisor appear at the hearing. The advisor may be a faculty member, fellow student, attorney, or any other person. If students intend to have an advisor present they must notify the COSSS of the advisor's name and status two days prior to the scheduled hearing date.

  5. A quorum consisting of a majority of voting members must be present to conduct the hearing. At the beginning of the hearing, students have the right to challenge any member of the COSSS whose objectivity they feel is in question. Likewise, COSSS members are permitted to voluntarily remove themselves from a hearing. The COSSS will rule on all challenges.

  6. All witnesses will be advised that the proceedings will be recorded.

  7. In an executive session after the hearing, the COSSS members hearing the evidence will reach a decision by simple majority vote.

  8. For students subject to a dismissal hearing on academic grounds, the COSSS may: 

    a) Continue the student's present enrollment in the curriculum on either a full-time or part-time basis. 

    b) Place the student on Academic Probation or At Risk status with specific criteria to satisfy in order to return to good academic standing and/or remain in the Medical School. 

    c) Require the student to stop academic progress in order to receive appropriate intervention before being allowed to proceed in the full curriculum. Re-entry in the full curriculum is contingent upon successful completion of the designated remedial program. 

    d) Interrupt the student's curriculum for a specified period. At the end of the stipulated time, the student may petition for permission to resume the full curriculum. Failure to contact the COSSS at that time will be interpreted as a resignation from Medical School. 

    e) Dismiss the student from Medical School. 

  9. For students found to have committed non-academic behavioral violations, the COSSS may impose disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited to: warning, required compliance, probation, suspension and/or dismissal. Such sanctions will become a permanent part of the student's academic file.

  10. The COSSS will notify the student of its decision and provide the student with a statement of the reasons for the decision.

  11. Students may submit a written request to the COSSS for reconsideration of the decision within ten (10) days of the hearing, but only upon the basis of new information not reasonably available at the time of the hearing.

  12. Following reconsideration, decisions of the COSSS are final, subject to the student's right to appeal findings of behavioral violations to the Provost's Appeal Committee (pdf). 

 


 

VII. Students with Personal, Medical or Emotional Problems

The COSSS considers the student as a whole person and realizes a student may have personal, medical or emotional problems which contribute to the student's academic deficiencies and/or behavioral violations. These problems may be recognized by the student, faculty members, fellow students, or the COSSS. 

If the problem is substance abuse/dependence the student will be required to follow a standard monitoring plan developed by the Medical School. This monitoring information does not become a permanent part of the student's file unless the student violates the plan. If this occurs, the student must meet with the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and/or the COSSS chair, who will determine whether the student is required to appear before COSSS.

When a student appears before the COSSS based either on academic deficiencies or alleged behavioral violations, the Committee may recommend evaluation and/or counseling for the student if it determines that personal, medical or emotional difficulties have contributed to the student's situation. The student's progress in addressing these difficulties may be a factor in the Committee's decision regarding the student's status in the Medical School. If a student with academic deficiencies or behavioral violations is placed on a mandatory leave of absence, the student may be required to demonstrate progress in treatment or counseling as a condition of re-entry into the Medical School and continuing student status. The student's provider must provide a letter to COSSS certifying that the student is ready to re-enter medical school. Any evaluation or treatment information transmitted to the COSSS is private, will be maintained separate from the student file and will not be released outside the Committee without the written consent of the student, except as legally required.

2010 to 2015 Matriculation Years

Applies to students who matriculated between 2010 and 2015

Effective July 29, 2010

Forward

The University of Minnesota Medical School has two campuses (Twin Cities and Duluth). Each campus has a Scholastic Standing Committee which has been charged with the responsibility of monitoring the progress of medical students enrolled on that campus. These bodies are: the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing – Twin Cities (COSSS), and the Scholastic Standing Committee – Duluth (SSC). This document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Twin Cities campus. A separate document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Duluth campus.

Role and Jurisdiction of Scholastic Standing Committee

The SSC has jurisdiction over students who matriculated on the Duluth campus during the first two years of course work. Once the students transition to the Twin Cities campus for their clinical years, they are under the jurisdiction of COSSS. The COSSS has jurisdiction over students who have matriculated on the Twin Cities campus for all four years and Duluth students after completing coursework in the first two years. The COSSS has jurisdiction over students who matriculate on the Twin Cities campus and students who have transitioned from Duluth after completing their coursework and passing Step 1 of the USMLE. Students from Duluth who have begun clinical rotations pending results of the Step 1 exam are under the jurisdiction of the COSSS for purposes of that clinical work, but remain under the jurisdiction of the SSC regarding their course work at Duluth until they pass the Step 1 exam and are approved for transition to the Twin Cities campus.

The SSC provides a formal written report to the COSSS at the end of each year documenting status of all students enrolled on the Duluth campus. Both Committees strive to assist students who are experiencing academic difficulty and to assure fairness to each student. The Committees evaluate student performance based on the student's individual record, taking into account the unique circumstance of each student's situation. Student performance encompasses academic knowledge and clinical skills, as well as development of the personal and professional attributes expected of a practicing physician. Any student behavior that reflects on a student's qualifications or potential to become a competent and ethical professional will be within the jurisdiction of the appropriate scholastic standing Committee.

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS)

"The COSSS is a standing Committee of the Executive Faculty and reports to the Executive Faculty and the Faculty Assembly. The Faculty Assembly was established by the Executive Faculty (tenured and tenure-track faculty) and charged with responsibility for the academic affairs and internal policies of the school, including entrance requirements, curricula, instruction, examinations, grading, degrees and disciplinary matters. The Faculty Assembly is composed of members of the various Medical School Departments with appointment designated as 94XX in the University Professorial ranks with the exception of volunteer community-based faculty."

The responsibilities of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) are: to ensure that the students of the Medical School have met the requirements for awarding the M.D. degree; to monitor each student's progress through Medical School; and to ensure that the work of the Committee has been conducted properly, providing fairness to each student. These responsibilities are defined in the Constitution of the University of Minnesota Medical School (Article II, Section B.2) and the Bylaws to the Constitution (Article I, Section D.3).

Composition of the COSSS

The COSSS is composed of 15 faculty members broadly representing the basic science and clinical areas, two student representatives (one voting representative and one alternate), and the following non-voting ex officio members: the Director of Student Support, and the Lead Academic Advisor. Faculty members are nominated by the Faculty Advisory Council Nominating Committee with the input of the COSSS and elected by the Faculty Advisory Council. Each faculty member will serve a term of three years and may be re-elected to serve additional terms. Each student representative is selected by the Student Council in their second academic year for a two year term beginning in their third year of medical school. Student representatives must be in good academic standing at the time of their appointment to the Committee, and must remain in good standing throughout their tenure on the Committee. Additional medical school administrative staff will attend all Committee meetings and record the Committee's actions. An attorney from the Office of the General Counsel will be available to advise the COSSS as needed. The Committee members will vote annually to elect a member to serve a one-year term as Committee Chair. The Chair can be re-elected to serve additional terms. The Committee Chair will appoint a Committee member to serve a one-year term as Associate Chair, subject to approval (by majority vote) of the Committee. The Associate Chair can be re-appointed (subject to approval by the Committee) to serve additional terms.

As a rule, the Committee will only act upon motions presented to the group. The Committee Chair shall only retain voting privileges in the event a tie is achieved by the voting membership. The Chair will attend and preside over all COSSS meetings; if unable to attend, the Chair may appoint the Associate Chair or another voting faculty member to sit as Acting Chair. Two-thirds of the voting COSSS membership must be present to establish a quorum in order to consider and act upon all agenda items. Decisions of the Committee are carried by a motion and determined by a majority vote of members present. Members may choose to vote in favor of a motion, against a motion, or may abstain from voting altogether. Should at any time a member have a bias or conflict of interest, that member may recuse him or herself from the Committee's deliberation and consideration of an action item without regard to whether a quorum will remain in place.

I. Introduction

These are the policies and procedures followed by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) when evaluating medical students' academic performance and related issues. The role of the Committee is to monitor each student's progress through Medical School and to ensure that each student is qualified to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree. For students enrolled at the Duluth campus, this monitoring is accomplished by review of written reports from the SSC. These policies and procedures will be applied taking into account the unique circumstances of each student's situation. The policies of the Committee are developed to conform to broader University policies on academic performance and ethics.

II. Graduation Requirements

Medical students must complete all required courses satisfactorily and meet the credit requirements, and successfully complete the Clinical Competency Assessment and Milestone Examinations for the M.D. degree as outlined in the current Medical School Handbook or as stated by the Office of Curriculum and Evaluation, the course director, and/or the COSSS; complete all regularly scheduled assignments; take all scheduled examinations; and follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook when there is a problem in taking an examination at the scheduled time. Failure to follow this latter procedure could result in the forfeiture of the student's opportunity to take an examination at another date. Not following this procedure also could result in a failure for the course. It is each student's responsibility to be aware of any grades and/or evaluations received in each course. Any student with questions about examinations or grading procedures is encouraged to consult the Director of Student Support. Final decisions on student progress and promotions are made by the COSSS.

A) Completion of all Year 1 and 2 Coursework:

Medical students must complete all Year 1 and 2 basic science and clinical coursework during the first two years of medical school. Extensions of this two-year time limit may be granted on a case by case basis by the COSSS.

1) Grading:

In Years 1 and 2 the grades used are P (Pass), N (Not Pass), H (Honors), and I (Incomplete). Students who have not completed all coursework including any outstanding makeup examinations may not begin any Year 3 clinical courses without receiving permission of the COSSS.

2) Re-Examinations:

Students who receive an N (Failing) grade in a Year 1 or 2 course must petition the COSSS for permission to either sit for a re-examination (if available) or retake the course. The decision rests with the COSSS; however, the course director's recommendation will be solicited and given serious consideration. If re-examination is approved by the COSSS and the student passes the re-examination, the new grade will appear after the N on the transcript (see policy: Reporting Grades on Transcripts) . If the student fails the re-examination, the N (failing) grade will remain on the transcript and the student will be required to repeat the course. If the COSSS deems that re-examination is not appropriate, the student must repeat the course. The original N (failing) grade as well as the grade received upon repeating the course will be recorded on the student's transcript. Should the COSSS decide to not grant the student permission to either sit for a re-examination or repeat a failed course, the student will then be subject to a hearing for dismissal.

3) Grade Changes:

If the student passes a failed course, the new grade will appear after the N on the transcript (see Policy for Reporting Grades on Transcripts). Standards set for re-examinations shall reflect the standards of the regular course examinations.

4) Repeating Basic Science Courses:

After taking the re-examination(s), students who have not achieved a passing grade(s) may repeat the course(s) the following year if COSSS approval is obtained. Failure to obtain COSSS permission is evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress and will trigger a hearing for dismissal from Medical School (see VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals). The repeat of any Medical School course takes precedence over any other coursework, and requires taking all examinations, unless a COSSS-approved alternative arrangement has been made with the course director.

It is the student's responsibility (in consultation with the Office for Medical Education) to register and integrate the course into the schedule during the following year. In instances where an individual retakes a basic science course, both grades, i.e. the original N and the subsequent P will be recorded on the student's transcript. Any student with an N or I grade in any Year 1 or 2 course will not be eligible to begin Year 3 courses until successful completion of these courses.

A student is permitted to take a Year 1 or 2 course twice, but is only permitted one re-examination (pending COSSS approval) in that course. Failure to pass the course the second time will trigger a hearing for dismissal.

B) Completion of all Clinical Science Coursework

All medical students are required to complete a minimum of 76 clinical credits in Years 3 and 4 in addition to the clinical course(s) in Years 1 and 2.

1) Grading

In Years 3 and 4, the grades used by the Medical School are as follows:

H (Honors), E (Excellent), S (Satisfactory), P (Pass), I (Incomplete), and N (Failing). An H represents outstanding achievement. An E represents achievement that is significantly greater than the level required to satisfy course requirements but not judged to be at honors level. An S represents achievement that satisfies the basic clinical course requirements.

a) I (Incomplete Grade)

An I (Incomplete) grade is given when work in a course has not been completed, either through an excused absence from course activities or delay in completion of requirements as permitted by the Course Director. The student should contact the Course Director to determine what is required to remove the Incomplete.

b) N (Failing) Grade

An N (Failing) grade is given after the final course examination, when a student's performance in the course fails to meet the Medical School's minimum passing standards. It may also be given when, through an unexcused absence, a student fails to meet course requirements. N grades may also be assigned for failure to meet the Medical School's established standards of professionalism within a course.

c) Grade Changes

In clinical courses an N grade can be changed only by successful repetition and completion of the course. Both grades will appear on the student transcript.

2) Repeating Clinical Courses

Students who receive an N (Failing) grade in a clinical course will be required to appear before the COSSS to request permission to repeat that course. Clinical courses include Physician and Society, Physician and Patient, and/or Essentials of Clinical Medicine and all required courses in the Years 3 and 4 curriculum. Failure to receive permission to repeat the course from the COSSS is evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress, and triggers a hearing for dismissal (see VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals).

C) Flexible MD Program

Some students may elect to apply for the Flexible MD program. This program is designed to promote independent enrichment for medical students on a path towards achievement of the MD degree. In order to qualify for the Flexible MD program, a student must propose to the Flexible MD Oversight Committee an academic project or experience that will serve as an addition to the standard curriculum that is designed to achieve personal educational goals and competencies as part of progress towards the MD degree. The Flexible MD Program may take up to one year. Students must have successfully completed all Year 1 and 2 courses and be in good academic standing to be eligible. All proposals must be approved by the Flexible MD Oversight Committee. Those students who are approved will be monitored by the COSSS.

D) Successful Completion of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS Examinations

Students are expected to successfully complete Years 1 and 2 curriculum and Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) within four years from the student's beginning date of enrollment, and the Years 3 and 4 curriculum and USMLE Step 2 CK and CS within a three year period, not to exceed seven years total from the beginning date of enrollment. Students enrolled in dual degree programs such as the MD/PhD program or others (i.e., MD/MPH, MD/JD, MD/MHI, MD/MS in Biomedical Engineering, and MD/MBA) are granted additional time as long as they otherwise remain in good academic standing in the Medical School. Students who fail to meet these expectations must appear before the COSSS to request permission to remain in the program. Failure to receive permission constitutes evidence of failure to make satisfactory academic progress and will trigger a hearing for dismissal.

It is the policy of the Medical School, as approved by the Executive Faculty, that each student must pass Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS of the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) before receiving the MD degree. Passing standards are those established by the NBME. Year 2 students on the Minneapolis campus and students who have transitioned from the Duluth campus who are taking the Step 1 Examination for the first or second time may enroll in the Year 3 curriculum pending notification of the results. Under no circumstances will such a student be permitted more than 18 weeks of clinical work before receiving notification of passing USMLE Step 1. Students receiving a failing Step 1 score for the second time may not enroll in any additional clinical work. Students accepted on transfer from all other medical schools must provide evidence of having passed Step I before commencing clinical work.

E) Graduation

Graduation from Medical School requires successful completion of all basic science coursework, completion of the required clinical courses in Years 1 and 2, and the required number of clinical credits in Years 3 and 4, passing the institutional Milestone examinations, and successfully passing Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS of the United States Medical Licensure Examination.

III. Referrals to COSSS

Student issues brought to the attention of the COSSS may or may not require the individual student to meet directly with the Committee. If an appearance is required, a written notice will be sent by the Director of Student Support. The Associate Dean for Students on the Duluth Campus is copied on the notice if the student matriculated in Duluth.

A) Decelerated Programs

Requests for a decelerated program during Years 1 and 2 on the Twin Cities Campus and extension of Years 3 and 4 beyond two years require approval of the COSSS. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of any request that will extend graduation beyond the traditional four years (see II.C. for details on the Flexible MD Program). A student desiring an extended clinical program must submit a "Delayed Graduation Request Form" (available in Office for Medical Education) or a letter stating the reason for the request and a description of the proposed extension to the COSSS at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The COSSS also may recommend or require a student with academic difficulties or other problems to be placed on a decelerated program.

B) Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are granted to Year 1 and 2 students on the Twin Cities Campus and to Year 3 and 4 students at the sole discretion of the COSSS. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of a leave of absence request. Reasons for leaves include, but are not restricted to, the pursuit of academic research and study, academic difficulties and personal or health issues. The approval process for the Flexible MD Program includes a request for delay of graduation. A student desiring a leave of absence must submit a completed and signed "Request for Leave of Absence" form (available in the Office for Medical Education) or letter stating the purpose for the leave and its anticipated duration, to the COSSS at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The Committee may also require a student to take such a leave. If a decision regarding a leave of absence needs to be made prior to the next COSSS meeting, the Chair may act of behalf of the Committee. This decision will be reviewed at the next COSSS meeting. Leaves are granted for a specific period of time. Two months prior to the end of that period of time, the student must either request permission to return from the leave or file for an extension. If the student fails to contact the Committee when the leave expires, the COSSS will hold a hearing for dismissal.

C) Academic Progress and Performance Reviews

The COSSS will review the academic performance of each student to assure that he/she is making satisfactory academic progress. The COSSS will request this information from the Basic Science and Clinical Course Directors and/or the Director of Student Support. Students experiencing performance difficulties may be required to appear before the COSSS or its subcommittee for further review.

D) Basic Science or Clinical Course Failures

Students who have failed any basic science or clinical course must appear before the COSSS or its subcommittee who will report to the full committee. If a student is granted permission to re-take a course and fails the course again or fails any other clinical or basic science course, a hearing for dismissal will be held.

E) Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

At the discretion of the COSSS, a student who has not completed a basic science course or clinical rotation on schedule, or who has failed to make satisfactory academic progress in completing the basic science or clinical curriculum as prescribed, may be required to appear before the COSSS.

F) USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS Failures

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing has established the following policies with regard to the United States Medical Licensing Examinations:

1) Students who fail to pass Step 1 after two attempts, or either part of Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge (CK) or Clinical Skills (CS) – after one attempt must appear before the COSSS or meet with a Committee representative to obtain permission to retake the licensing examination. The Committee may recommend or require remedial action before the student retakes the exam.

2) Failure to pass Step 1 after three attempts or either part of Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge (CK) or Clinical Skills (CS) – after two attempts will result in a hearing for dismissal at which time the student's entire academic record will be considered.

G) Behavioral, Conduct Code or Professionalism Violations

Any student who has violated any policy of the medical school may be required to appear before the COSSS. At that time, the student's entire academic record will be considered and the COSSS may impose sanctions, make recommendations, and/or decide to hold a hearing for dismissal. 

IV. COSSS Decisions and Outcomes

The COSSS is empowered by the Executive Faculty to make decisions which can affect, alter, modify or even halt a student's academic progress. The COSSS may make its decisions with or without the student's consent or approval. Students who wish to challenge or appeal decisions made by the COSSS may do so, but only in accordance with the terms and guidelines found in Section IV: Hearings and Appeals.

A) Academic Difficulties (Basic Science, Clinical Science and USMLE)

Students who experience academic difficulty will be required to appear before the COSSS. At its discretion, the Committee will then determine whether the student shall be:

1) Allowed to continue academic progress without interruption;

2) Allowed to continue academic progress at a reduced academic load;

3) Required to suspend academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;

4) Given the opportunity to take re-examinations, if available;

5) Complete defined remedial coursework;

6) Placed on academic probation; or

7) Subject to a hearing for dismissal.

B) Non-Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Committee may subject students who have failed to make satisfactory academic progress to a number of options including, but not limited to:

1) Allowing the student to complete the currently enrolled course;

2) Granting a leave of absence, or

3) Recommending a hearing for dismissal.

C) Behavioral, Conduct Code or Professionalism Violations

The Committee may subject students who have violated the University of Minnesota Student Conduct CodeMedical Student Professionalism Code or the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility to a number of options including, but not limited to:

1) Allowing the student to continue academic progress without interruption;

2) Requiring that certain conditions be met to resume academic progress;

3) Imposing a leave of absence;

4) Suspending academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;

5) Requiring additional or specially-designed coursework;

6) Requiring participation in programs outside of the Medical School; or

7) Recommending a hearing for dismissal.

V. Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress

A) Good Academic Standing

Students are in good academic standing when they obtain a passing grade in each course in the curriculum, complete other requirements including Milestone Examinations, and make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. In order to make satisfactory academic progress, students must adhere to the established Medical School schedule for degree completion within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, including satisfactory completion of the established curriculum in each successive term. The COSSS may modify this schedule by giving a student permission for a leave of absence, part-time status or other modified programs, such as the Flexible MD.

Even with modifications approved by the COSSS, students will be expected to complete Years 1 and 2 curriculum and USMLE Step 1 within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, and the Years 3 and 4 curriculum and USMLE Step 2 within a three-year period, not to exceed seven years total from the beginning date of enrollment, with the exception of those enrolled in the MD/PhD or other dual degree programs as noted above. Students who fail to meet this expectation are not making satisfactory academic progress and must appear before the COSSS (see III. Referrals to COSSS).

B) Academic Difficulties

1) At Risk Status

An important function of the COSSS is to help the student attain satisfactory academic performance. If a student has received a failing grade (N) or an incomplete grade (I) in any basic or clinical course, or has failed the USMLE Step 1 or Step 2CK or Step 2 CS once, the student is notified by letter from the Director of Student Support, and placed on "At Risk" status. The student may be required to meet with the COSSS. Note that students placed on At Risk status are no longer in good academic standing. Students on At Risk status who experience further academic difficulties may be placed on Academic Probation, or be subject to a hearing for dismissal.

Students with a grade of N in a basic science or clinical course must appear before the COSSS to receive permission to take a re-examination, or to repeat the course. Students who successfully pass the course through re-examination or by repeating the course return to good academic standing. Failure to pass the course on re-examination or by repeating the course will result in the student being placed on Academic Probation (see below, 2. Academic Probation) and will trigger a hearing for dismissal.

In certain cases the COSSS may determine the circumstances surrounding a course failure are of sufficient concern to justify placing the student on Academic Probation (see below, 2. Academic Probation).

Any student who has questions concerning overall academic progress in Medical School, is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the matter with the Director of Student Support. Students may also be placed on At Risk status by the COSSS if, in the Committee's judgment, the student is not demonstrating progress on an approved decelerated schedule

2) Academic Probation

Students with continuing and/or more serious academic deficiencies including any of the following will be placed on Academic Probation:

a) Students who fail a basic science or clinical course upon re-examination or after re-taking the course,

b) Students with two failures on USMLE Step 1,

c) Students with one failure on USMLE Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS, and

d) Any student who otherwise fails to make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion.

e) In addition, any student who has previously failed a course (irrespective of whether they had subsequently passed the course via re-examination or retake) will be immediately placed on Academic Probation should they fail a second course.

Students placed on Academic Probation will meet with the COSSS. At the conclusion of this meeting the COSSS members will determine whether to continue the student on Academic Probation, or to hold a hearing for dismissal. Students who are placed on Academic Probation will be provided with written notification of the conditions they must satisfy in order to return to good standing. Failure to satisfy these conditions will trigger a hearing for dismissal.

VI. Dismissal Hearings and Appeals

Serious academic deficiencies or other violations of Medical School or University policies, including but not limited to those outlined herein, may result in a student dismissal from Medical School. While it is anticipated that in many instances students who receive notification of a hearing for dismissal are likely to already have been placed on At Risk or Academic Probation status, it should be understood that under appropriate circumstances a student previously in good academic standing could be subjected to a hearing for dismissal.

A hearing will be held by the COSSS prior to dismissal. The hearing is intended to allow presentation of relevant facts and arguments to the COSSS before a decision is reached. At that time the student's entire overall performance in Medical School and other pertinent information about the student's qualifications to become a physician will be reviewed. Based on that review and on evidence presented at the hearing, the COSSS will render its decision. As an alternative to dismissal, the COSSS may require successful completion of remedial course work or modifying the standard curriculum.

A) Grounds for Dismissal or Other Action

Grounds for dismissal from the University of Minnesota Medical School by the COSSS include, but are not limited to:

1) Academic Deficiencies

A student may be required to take remedial work or may be dismissed for failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic performance including, but not limited to, any one of the following:

a) One or more failures in Medical School coursework;

b) Three failures on USMLE Step 1 or two failures on Step 2 CK or Step 2 CS;

c) Failure to satisfactorily complete any required Medical School course; or

d) Failure to make satisfactory academic progress.

2) Behavioral, Conduct Code or Professionalism Violations

A student will be subject to COSSS recommendations, sanctions or dismissal for the following behaviors:

a) Conduct which violates any of these behavior codes: University of Minnesota Student Conduct CodeMedical Student Professionalism Code or the Statement of Intellectual Responsibility; policies/rules of affiliated sites which apply to students in a clinical experience.

b) Conduct which violates behavioral and/or ethical standards of the medical profession; disrupts the operations of the University, Medical School or clinical training sites; or disregards the rights or welfare of patients, fellow students, Medical School clinical staff or other individuals.

c) Unlawful conduct or improper behavior within or outside the University of Minnesota community which impairs the student's capacity to function as a medical student/prospective physician.

B) Procedures for Hearing to Consider Dismissal

1) While considering dismissal, the COSSS will be guided by considerations of fairness to the student and other persons involved. Any student subject to a formal hearing to consider dismissal will be given the opportunity to be present before the COSSS, and the hearing will be recorded. An oral recording of the hearing will be available to the student within thirty (30) days from the date of the hearing.

2) Students will be sent written notice of such a hearing at least ten (10) days before the hearing date. The notice will include a statement of the grounds for possible dismissal.

3) The COSSS will consider as evidence in a case all material contained in the student's file in the Office for Medical Education, grades and examination scores, documents submitted at the hearing, and the statements of all witnesses appearing before the COSSS.

4) Students who are the subject to a hearing may:

a) Examine their student file prior to or at the hearing.

b) Examine witnesses appearing before the COSSS and present their own statement and/or the statements of their witnesses.

c) Have an advisor appear at the hearing. The advisor may be a faculty member, fellow student, attorney, or any other person. If students intend to have an advisor present they must notify the COSSS of the advisor's name and status two days prior to the scheduled hearing date.

5) A quorum of 2/3 of voting members must be present to conduct the hearing. At the beginning of the hearing, students have the right to challenge any member of the COSSS whose objectivity they feel is in question. Likewise, COSSS members are permitted to voluntarily remove themselves from a hearing. The COSSS will rule on all challenges.

6) All witnesses will be advised that the proceedings will be recorded.

7) In an executive session after the hearing, the COSSS members hearing the evidence will reach a decision by simple majority vote.

8) For students subject to a dismissal hearing on academic grounds, the COSSS may:

a) Continue the student's present enrollment in the curriculum on either a full-time or part-time basis.

b) Place the student on Academic Probation or At Risk status with specific criteria to satisfy in order to return to good academic standing and/or remain in the Medical School.

c) Require the student to stop academic progress in order to receive appropriate intervention before being allowed to proceed in the full curriculum. Re-entry in the full curriculum is contingent upon successful completion of the designated remedial program.

d) Interrupt the student's curriculum for a specified period. At the end of the stipulated time, the student may petition for permission to resume the full curriculum. Failure to contact the COSSS at that time will be interpreted as a resignation from Medical School.

e) Dismiss the student from Medical School.

9) For students found to have committed non-academic behavioral violations, the COSSS may impose disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited to: warning, required compliance, probation, suspension and/or dismissal. Such sanctions will become a permanent part of the student's academic file.

10) The COSSS will notify the student of its decision and provide the student with a statement of the reasons for the decision.

11) Students may submit a written request to the COSSS for reconsideration of the decision within ten (10) days of the hearing, but only upon the basis of new information not reasonably available at the time of the hearing.

12) Following reconsideration, decisions of the COSSS are final, subject to the student's right to appeal findings of behavioral violations to the Provost's Appeal Committee.

VII. Students with Personal, Medical or Emotional Problems

The COSSS considers the student as a whole person and realizes a student may have personal, medical or emotional problems which contribute to the student's academic deficiencies and/or behavioral violations. These problems may be recognized by the student, faculty members, fellow students, or the COSSS.

If the problem is substance abuse/dependence the student will be required to follow a standard monitoring plan developed by the Medical School. This monitoring information does not become a permanent part of the student's file unless the student violates the plan. If this occurs, the student must meet with the Director of Student Support and/or the COSSS chair, who will determine whether the student is required to appear before COSSS.

When a student appears before the COSSS based either on academic deficiencies or alleged behavioral violations, the Committee may recommend evaluation and/or counseling for the student if it determines that personal, medical or emotional difficulties have contributed to the student's situation. The student's progress in addressing these difficulties may be a factor in the Committee's decision regarding the student's status in the Medical School. If a student with academic deficiencies or behavioral violations is placed on a mandatory leave of absence, the student may be required to demonstrate progress in treatment or counseling as a condition of re-entry into the Medical School and continuing student status. The student's provider must provide a letter to COSSS certifying that the student is ready to re-enter medical school. Any evaluation or treatment information transmitted to the COSSS is private, will be maintained separate from the student file and will not be released outside the Committee without the written consent of the student, except as legally required.

 

[Ratified by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing on July 29, 2010; revised by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing on February 23, 2012]

Prior To 2010 Matriculation Year

Applies to students who matriculated prior to 2010

These policies were effective through July 28, 2010.

Forward

The University of Minnesota Medical School has two campuses (Twin Cities and Duluth). Each campus has a Scholastic Standing Committee which has been charged with the responsibility of monitoring the progress of medical students enrolled on that campus. These bodies are: the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing – Twin Cities (COSSS), and the Scholastic Standing Committee – Duluth (SCC). This document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Twin Cities campus. A separate document outlines the policies and procedures governing student scholastic standing at the Duluth campus (reference).

Role and Jursidiction of Scholastic Standing Committee

Students who matriculate on the Duluth campus are under the jurisdiction of the SCC during their first two years of course work and until they pass Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). The COSSS has jurisdiction over students who matriculate on the Twin Cities campus and students who have transferred from Duluth after completing their coursework and passing Step 1 of the USMLE. Students from Duluth who have begun clinical rotations pending results of the Step 1 exam are under the jurisdiction of the COSSS for purposes of that clinical work, but remain under the jurisdiction of the SCC regarding their course work at Duluth until they pass the Step 1 exam and are approved for transfer to the Twin Cities campus.

The SSC provides a formal written report to the COSSS at the end of each year documenting status of all students enrolled on the Duluth campus. Both Committees strive to assist students who are experiencing academic difficulty and to assure fairness to each student. The Committees evaluate student performance based on the student's individual record, taking into account the unique circumstance of each student's situation. Student performance encompasses academic knowledge and clinical skills, as well as development of the personal and professional attributes expected of a practicing physician. Any student behavior that reflects on a student's qualifications or potential to become a competent and ethical professional will be within the jurisdiction of the appropriate scholastic standing Committee.

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS)

"The COSSS is a standing Committee of the Executive Faculty and reports to the Executive Faculty and the Faculty Assembly. The Faculty Assembly was established by the Executive Faculty (tenured and tenure-track faculty) and charged with responsibility for the academic affairs and internal policies of the school, including entrance requirements, curricula, instruction, examinations, grading, degrees and disciplinary matters. The Faculty Assembly is composed of members of the various Medical School Departments with appointment designated as 94XX in the University Professorial ranks with the exception of volunteer community-based faculty."

The responsibilities of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) are: to ensure that the students of the Medical School have met the requirements for awarding the M.D. degree; to monitor each student's progress through Medical School; and to ensure that the work of the Committee has been conducted properly, providing fairness to each student. These responsibilities are defined in the Constitution of the University of Minnesota Medical School (Article II, Section B.2) and the Bylaws to the Constitution (Article I,Section D.3) (http://www.med.umn.edu/prod/groups/med/@pub/@med/documents/article/med_article_146856.pdf).

Composition of the COSSS

The COSSS is composed of 15 faculty members broadly representing the basic science and clinical areas; two student representatives (one voting representative and one alternate); and the following non voting ex officio members: the Associate Dean for Students and Student Learning; and the Director for Clinical Advising. Faculty members are nominated by the Faculty Advisory Council Nominating Committee with the input of the COSSS and elected by the Faculty Advisory Council. Each faculty member will serve a term of three years and may be re-elected to serve additional terms. Each student representative is selected by the Student Council in their second academic year for a two year term beginning in their third year of medical school. Student representatives must be in good academic standing at the time of their appointment to the Committee, and must remain in good standing throughout their tenure on the Committee. Additional medical school administrative staff will attend all Committee meetings and record the Committee's actions. An attorney from the Office of the General Counsel will be available to advise the COSSS as needed. The Committee members will vote annually to elect a member to serve a one-year term as Committee Chair. The Chair can be re-elected to serve additional terms. The Committee Chair will appoint a Committee member to serve a one-year term as Associate Chair, subject to approval (by majority vote) of the Committee. The Associate Chair can be re-appointed (subject to approval by the Committee) to serve additional terms.

As a rule, the Committee will only act upon motions presented to the group. The Committee Chair shall only retain voting privileges in the event a tie is achieved by the voting membership. The Chair will attend and preside over all COSSS meetings; if unable to attend, the Chair may appoint the Associate Chair or another voting faculty member to sit as Acting Chair. Two-thirds of the voting COSSS membership must be present to establish a quorum in order to consider and act upon all agenda items. Decisions of the Committee are carried by a motion and determined by a majority vote of members present. Members may choose to vote in favor of a motion, against a motion, or may abstain from voting altogether. Should at any time a member have a bias or conflict of interest, that member may recuse him or herself from the Committee's deliberation and consideration of an action item without regard to whether a quorum will remain in place.

I. Introduction

These are the policies and procedures followed by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) when evaluating medical students' academic performance and related issues. The role of the Committee is to monitor each student's progress through Medical School and to ensure that each student is qualified to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree. These policies and procedures will be applied taking into account the unique circumstances of each student's situation.

The policies of the Committee are developed to conform to broader University policies on academic performance and ethics. Insofar as student behavior reflects on any student's qualifications or potential to become a competent and ethical professional, such conduct will be within the jurisdiction of this Committee.

The responsibilities of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing (COSSS) are: to ensure that the students of the Medical School have met the requirements for awarding the M.D. degree; to monitor each student's progress through Medical School; and to ensure that the work of the Committee has been conducted properly, providing fairness to each student.

The responsibility of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing is expressed in the following statement:

"The COSSS is a standing committee of the Executive Faculty and reports to the Executive Faculty and the Faculty Assembly. The Faculty Assembly was established by the Executive Faculty (tenured and tenure-track faculty) and charged with responsibility for the academic affairs and internal policies of the school, including entrance requirements, curricula, instruction, examinations, grading, degrees and disciplinary matters. The Faculty Assembly is composed of members of the various Medical School Departments with appointment designated as 94XX in the University Professorial ranks with the exception of volunteer community-based faculty."

This was taken from the Constitution and By-laws.

The Committee is composed of faculty members nominated by the Faculty Advisory Council and elected by the Faculty Assembly; two student representatives (one voting representative and one alternate); and non-voting ex-officio members from the Education Office.

II. Policies of the Faculty Assembly of the Medical School

A.  Course Requirements

Medical students must complete all required courses satisfactorily and the credit requirements for the M.D. degree as outlined in the current Medical School Bulletin, or as stated by the Office of Curriculum Affairs, the course director, and/or the COSSS; complete all regularly scheduled assignments; and take all scheduled examinations follow the established procedures outlined in the Student Handbook when there is a problem in taking an examination at the scheduled time. Failure to follow this procedure could result in the forfeiture of the student's opportunity to take an examination at another date. Not following this procedure also could result in a failure for the course.

It is each student's responsibility to be aware of any grades and/or evaluations received in each course. Any student with questions about examinations or grading procedures is encouraged to consult a dean in the Office of Student Affairs.

All Years One and Two curriculum and Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) must be successfully completed within four years from the student's beginning date of enrollment, and the Years Three and Four curriculum and USMLE Step 2 within a three year period, not to exceed seven years total from the beginning date of enrollment, with the exception of those enrolled in the MD/PhD program or other dual degree programs (i.e., MD/MPh and MD/MBA). These students must be in good academic standing in the medical school while pursuing a second degree in order to receive an extension of any time limit.

B.  Examination and Grading Policy

The following is the examination and grading policy as approved by the Medical School. Final decisions on student progress and promotions in the curriculum are made by the COSSS.

1. Grades Used

In Years 1 and 2 the grades used are P (Pass), N (Fail), and I (Incomplete). See section II D for Year 1 grading policy.

In Years 3 and 4, the grades used by the Medical School are as follows: H (Honors), E (Excellent), S (Satisfactory), P (Pass), I (Incomplete), and N (Failing). An H represents outstanding achievement. An E represents achievement that is significantly greater than the level required to satisfy course requirements but not judged to be at honors level. An S represents achievement that satisfies basic course requirements.

2. I (Incomplete) Grade

An I (Incomplete) grade is given when work in a course has not been completed, either through an excused absence from course activities or delay in completion of requirements (permitted by the Course Director or Year Coordinator). The Course Director should be contacted to see what must be done to remove the Incomplete.

3. N (Failing) Grade

N (Failing) grade is given after the final course examination, when a student's performance in the course fails to meet minimum passing standards. It may also be given when, through an unexcused absence, a student fails to meet course requirements. (See II E).

C.  Re-Examinations

1. Eligibility

Students who receive a grade of N (Failing) in Years One and Two in a basic science course will have the opportunity to pass the course through a re-examination. Students who have failed two or more courses over Years One and Two will not be eligible to take re-examinations without the express approval of the Committee.

After the conclusion of scheduled courses in Year One and Year Two, a time shall be set aside which students shall use for independent review of course material. This time shall be followed by a scheduled period used for re-examination of students with N grades. There will be only one scheduled re-examination offered for any Medical School course during any given year.
Students may not begin any Year Three clinical courses until they have completed all outstanding makeup examinations.

2. Grade Changes

In clinical courses, an N grade can be changed only by successful repetition and completion of the course in its entirety.

Passage of a re-examination in a basic science course or accepted completion of a repeated clinical course shall result in a change of an N grade to an S grade but no higher regardless of the scores achieved. Standards set for the re-examination shall reflect the standards of the regular course examinations.

D.  Repeating Courses

Years One and Two

After taking the re-examination(s), students who have not achieved a passing grade(s) may repeat the course(s) the following year. The repeat of any Medical School course takes precedence over any other coursework, includes attendance at all lectures and laboratory exercises, and requires taking all examinations.
It is the student's responsibility (in consultation with the Education Office) to register and integrate the course into the schedule during the following year. Students may not enroll in a full time class schedule if they have more than one N or I grade from the previous year.

Any student with an N or I grade in any First or Second year course will be required to get permission from the COSSS to enroll in or continue in any Year Three clinical courses.

A student is permitted to take a basic science course twice, but is only permitted one reexamination in that course. Failure to pass the basic science course the second time will result in a hearing for dismissal.

Years Three and Four

Students who receive an N (Failing) grade in a clinical course) will be required to appear before the COSSS to request permission to repeat that course. Clinical courses include the physician and patient courses in Years One and Two and all courses in the Years Three and Four curriculum. If permission to repeat the course is denied by the COSSS, the student will be subject to a hearing for dismissal.

Students must complete a course once it has been started. In the case of students who begin a rotation and cannot complete it during that period, a grade of I (Incomplete) will be given. This will be changed to a performance grade when the work is completed.

At the discretion of the Committee, a student who has not completed a clinical rotation on schedule, or who has failed to make satisfactory academic progress in completing the clinical curriculum within two years, may be required to appear before the COSSS. On that occasion, the Committee will have a number of options including, but not limited to:

  1. Allowing the student to complete the course,
  2. Granting a leave of absence, or
  3. Recommending a hearing for dismissal.

E.  Course Failure

1. Years One and Two

Students who have failed two or more basic science courses, including courses initally failed but later successfully remediated or repeated, must appear before the COSSS or meet with a Committee representative who reports to the full Committee. The Committee will then determine whether the student shall be:

  1. Aallowed to take more classes, but possibly at a reduced academic load;
  2. Arequired to suspend academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;
  3. Agiven the opportunity to take re-examinations;
  4. Aplaced on academic probation; or
  5. Asubject to a hearing for dismissal.

2. Clinical Courses

Students who have failed a clinical course (physician and patient courses in Years 1 and 2 and all courses in Years 3 and 4) must appear before the COSSS. The Committee will determine whether the student shall be:

  1. allowed to repeat the course;
  2. required to suspend academic progress in Medical School until specified conditions are met;
  3. laced on academic probation;or
  4. subject to a hearing for dismissal.

If a student is granted permission to re-take a course and fails the course again or fails any other clinical course, a hearing for dismissal will be held.

III. Decelerated Programs

Requests for a decelerated program during the pre-clinical years and extension of the clinical program beyond two years require approval of the COSSS. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of any request that will extend graduation beyond the traditional four years. A student desiring an extended clinical program must submit a “Delayed Graduation Request Form” (available in Education Office) or a letter stating the reason for the request and a description of the proposed extension to the COSSS at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The COSSS also may recommend or require a student with academic difficultlies or other problems to be placed on a decelerated program.

IV. Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students are in good academic standing when they obtain a passing grade in each course in the curriculum and make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. In order to make satisfactory academic progress, students must adhere to the established Medical School schedule for degree completion within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, including satisfactory completion of the established curriculum in each successive term. The COSSS may modify this schedule by giving a student permission for a leave of absence, part-time status or other modified program. Even with modifications approved by the COSSS, students will be expected to complete Years One and Two curriculum and USMLE Step 1 within four years of the beginning date of enrollment, and the Years Three and Four curriculum and USMLE Step 2 within a three-year period, not to exceed seven years total from the beginning date of enrollment, with the exception of those enrolled in the MD/PhD or other dual degree program.

V. Academic Difficulties: At Risk Status

An important function of the Committee is to help the student attain satisfactory academic performance. If a student has one failing grade (N) or an incomplete (I) in course work, or has failed the USMLE Step 1 or 2 once, the student is notified by letter from the Education Office, and placed on “At-Risk” status. The student may be asked to meet with the COSSS. If the failing grade is in a clinical course, the student will be required to appear before the COSSS to request permission to repeat the course. (See Section II.D.2.) Students with an N in a course must obtain a passing grade in the course through reexamination or repeating the course in order to return to good academic standing. Any student who has questions concerning overall academic progress in Medical School, is encouraged to make an appointment to discuss the matter with a Dean or Director in the Education Office and/or the appropriate Course Director. 

VI. Academic Probation

Students with continuing and/or serious academic deficiencies may be placed on academic probation. Students who experience the following academic difficulties will be required to appear before the COSSS: two failing or incomplete grades (Nor I) in Years One and Two basic science coursework; one failing grade in a clinical course; two failures on USMLE Step 1; one failure on USMLE Step 2; and/or failure to make satisfactory academic progress toward degree completion. At the conclusion of the student’s meeting with the COSSS, the Committee will determine whether to place or continue the student in At-Risk status, place the student on academic probation or hold a hearing for dismissal. Students who are placed on academic probation must satisfy the probationary criteria established by the COSSS in order to return to good standing.

VII. Graduation

Graduation from Medical School requires successful completion of all basic science coursework, completion of the required number of clinical credits and passing both Steps 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensure Examination.

VIII. Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are granted to students at the sole discretion of the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing. Students must submit adequate reasons and/or documentation in support of a leave of absence request. Reasons for leaves include, but are not restricted to, the pursuit of academic research and study, academic difficulties and personal problems. A student desiring a leave of absence must submit a completed and signed "Request for Leave of Absence" form (available in the Education Office) or letter stating the purpose for the leave and its anticipated duration, to the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing at least two months prior to the requested effective date. The Committee may also require a student to take such a leave. Leaves are granted for a specific period of time. Two months prior to the end of that period of time, the student must either request permission to return from the leave or file for an extension. If the student fails to contact the Committee when the leave expires, the COSSS will consider that he/she has resigned from Medical School.

IX. United States Medical Licensure Examinations

It is the policy of the Medical School, as approved by the Executive Faculty, that each student must pass Steps 1 and 2 of the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) before receiving the M.D. degree. Passing standards are those established by the NBME. Year Two students on the Minneapolis campus and transfer students from Duluth taking the Step 1 Examination for the first or second time may enroll in the clinical phase of the Medical School curriculum pending notification of the results. Under no circumstances will such a student be permitted more than 18 weeks of clinical work before receiving notification of passing Step 1. Students receiving a failing Step 1 score for the second time may not enroll in any additional clinical work. Students accepted on transfer from all other medical schools must provide evidence of having passed Step I before commencing clinical work.

The Committee on Student Scholastic Standing has established the following policies with regard to the United States Medical Licensing Examinations:

  1. Students who fail to pass Step 1 after two attempts, or either part of Step 2—Clinical Knowledge (CK) or Clinical Skills (CS)-- after one attempt must appear before the COSSS or meet with a Committee representative to obtain permission to retake the licensing examination. The Committee may recommend or require remedial action before the student retakes the exam.
  2. Failure to pass Step 1 after three attempts or either part of Step 2- Clinical Knowledge (CK) or Clinical Skills (CS)- after two attempts will result in a hearing for dismissal at which time the student's entire academic record will be considered.

X. Dismissal

A hearing will be held by the Committee prior to dismissal. The hearing is intended to allow presentation of relevant facts and arguments to the Committee before a decision is reached. At that time the student's entire overall performance in medical school and other pertinent information about that individual's qualifications to become a physician will be reviewed. Based on that review and on evidence presented at the hearing, the Committee will render its decision. As an alternative to dismissal, the Committee may require successful completion of remedial course work modifying the standard curriculum.

A.  Grounds for Dismissal or Other Action

Grounds for dismissal from the University of Minnesota Medical School by the Committee on Student Scholastic Standing include, but are not limited to:

1. Academic Deficiencies

A student may be required to take remedial work or may be dismissed for failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic performance including but not limited to any one of the following:

  1. One or more failures in Medical School coursework. (As defined in II D and E)
  2. Three failures on USMLE Step 1 or two failures on Step 2. (See IX A and B)
  3. Failure to satisfactorily complete any required Medical School course. (See II D 1 and 2)
  4. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress. (See IV)

2. Behavioral Violations

Student will be subject to Committee recommendations, sanctions or dismissal for the following behaviors:

  1. Conduct which violates any of these behavior codes: Medical School Statement of Intellectual Responsibility; University of Minnesota Statement of Student Conduct; policies/rules of affiliated sites which apply to students in a clinical experience.
  2. Conduct which violates behavioral and/or ethical standards of the medical professions; disrupts the operations of the University, Medical School or clinical training sites; or disregards the rights or welfare of patients, fellow students, college/clinical staff or other individuals.
  3. Unlawful conduct or improper behavior within or outside the University of Minnesota community which impairs the student’s capacity to function as a medical student/prospective physician.

B.  Procedures for Hearing to Consider Dismissal

  1. While considering dismissal, the Committee will be guided by considerations of fairness to the student and other persons involved. Any formal hearing to consider dismissal will be held with the student present before the Committee, and the hearing will be recorded. The transcript of such a recording (or the tapes) will be available to the student within one month.
  2. Students will be sent written notice of such a hearing at least ten (10) days before the hearing date. The notice will include a statement of the grounds for possible dismissal.
  3. The Committee will consider as evidence in a case all material contained in the student's file in the Education Office: grades and examination scores, documents submitted at the hearing, and the statements of all witnesses appearing before the Committee.
  4. Students who are the subject to a hearing may:
    1. Examine their student file prior to or at the hearing.
    2. Examine witnesses appearing before the Committee and present their own statement and/or the statements of their witnesses.
    3. Have an advisor appear at the hearing. The advisor may be a faculty member, fellow student, attorney, or any other person. If students intend to have an advisor present they must notify the Committee of the advisor's name and status two days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
  5. At the beginning of the hearing, students have the right to challenge any member of the Committee whose objectivity they feel is in question. Likewise, Committee members are permitted to voluntarily remove themselves from a hearing. The Committee will rule on all challenges.
  6. All witnesses will be advised that the proceedings will be recorded.
  7. In an executive session after the hearing, the Committee members hearing the evidence will reach a decision by simple majority vote.
  8. For students subject to dismissal on academic grounds, the Committee may.
    1. Continue the student's present enrollment in the curriculum on either a full-time or part-time basis.
    2. Place the student on academic probation with specific criteria to satisfy in order to return to good academic standing and/or remain in the Medical School.
    3. Require the student to stop academic progress in order to receive appropriate help before being allowed to proceed in the full curriculum. Re-entry in the full curriculum is contingent upon successful completion of the designated remedial program.
    4. Interrupt the student's curriculum for a specified period. At the end of the stipulated time, the student may petition for permission to resume the full curriculum. Failure to contact the COSSS at that time will be interpreted as a resignation from Medical School.
    5. Dismiss the student from Medical School.
  9. For students found to have committed non-academic behavioral violations, the Committee may impose disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited to: warning, required compliance, probation, suspension and/or dismissal.
  10. The Committee will notify the student of its decision and provide the student with a statement of the reasons for the decision.
  11. Students may request reconsideration of the decision of the Committee within ten (10) days of the hearing but only upon the basis of new information not reasonably available at the time of the hearing.
  12. Following reconsideration, decisions of the Committee are final, subject to the student's right to appeal findings of behavioral violations to the President's Student Behavior Review Panel.

XI. Students with Personal, Medical or Emotional Problems

The Committee considers the student as a whole person and realizes a student may have personal, medical or emotional problems which contribute to the student’s academic deficiencies and/or behavioral violations. These problems may be recognized by the student, faculty members, fellow students, or the Committee.

When a student appears before the Committee based either on academic deficiencies or alleged behavioral violations, the Committee may recommend evaluation and/or counseling for the student if it determines that personal, medical or emotional difficulties have contributed to the student’s situation. The student’s progress in addressing these difficulties may be a factor in the Committee’s decision regarding the student’s status in the Medical School. If a student with academic deficiencies or behavioral violations is placed on a mandatory leave of absence, the student may be required to demonstrate progress in treatment or counseling as a condition of re-entry into the Medical School and continuing student status. Any evaluation or treatment information transmitted to the Committee is private, will be maintained separate from the student file and will not be released outside the Committee without the written consent of the student, except as legally required.

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