Academic Evaluation and Progress

I. Grading

A Pass (P), Fail (F) grading system is in place for the didactic portion of the curriculum.

If a student has not completed all course work by the time final grades must be submitted, the student may receive a Credit Pending (CP). It is the course director’s obligation to set a deadline for the completion of outstanding work and to inform the student that if the deadline is not met. At the course director's discretion, the CP can be changed to an F if the deadline is not met.

Course directors determine whether a student meets the requirements in the course. The grading policy will be made known to the students at the beginning of the course and be applied fairly and without subsequent changes. Grading policies for each course can be found on CourseWorks, as shared by the course director at the beginning of the semester.

II. Policy on posting grades and evaluations

Final course grades are posted after course evaluations have been completed by students. The evaluations are anonymous in content and are accessed on-line in the OASIS environment. At the end of each course all registered students receive an e-mail message alerting them that the evaluation is now “live”.

Course evaluations are performed by both faculty and students. The results are analyzed by the Center for Educational Research and Evaluation (CERE), which prepares reports that are reviewed at several levels: the College’s Committee on Instruction, the Dean for Academic Affairs, the appropriate Division Director, and the Course Director. Weaknesses are identified and action is taken to address them.

It is essential for proper quality assurance that all students participate in the evaluation of all courses for which they are registered. Students provide important insights in the delivery of the course content, the learning environment, etc.

The evaluations must be completed in the designated time frame (usually two weeks). Once evaluations are received, final grades are released on Student Services Online (SSOL).

III. Academic Progress Committees

The 1st and 2nd year Academic Progress Committee monitors the academic progress of students during the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical science curriculum of the 1st and 2nd . The committee is empowered by the faculty to determine  1) the promotion of students to years two and three 2) the types and form of remediation required for students to progress to year two and three and 3) the dismissal of students who have failed to meet academic standards in the 1st or 2nd years.  Students have the right to appeal the decisions of the academic progress committee.  The committee shall select awards given to students in the 1st and 2nd year except when gifted awards have specific selection committee requirements. The committee shall meet a minimum of twice a semester. The Associate Dean for Predoctoral Academic Affairs shall serve as the ex-officio chair of the committee. The Dean shall appoint a co-chair who has voting privileges. The Associate Dean for Students Affairs and the Advanced Standing Program Director serves as ex-officios members. The Dean shall also appoint directors of courses given during the first two years of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and of the College of Dental Medicine to serve on the committee. The members of the curriculum management team will serve as the administrators of the committee.

The 3rd & 4th year Academic Progress Committee monitors the academic progress of students in the clinical , and didactic courses taken during the third and fourth years The committee is empowered by the faculty to determine promotion of students to year four and if necessary, the types and form of remediation required for students in years three and four. The committee makes recommendations to the Faculty as to student readiness for graduation and  receipt of a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.  Degrees may be conferred  in May, June or October . The committee shall select awards given to students in the 3rd and 4th year except when gifted award have specific selection committee requirements. The committee shall meet a minimum of once a month. The Associate Dean for Predoctoral Academic Affairs shall serve as the ex-officio chair of the committee. The Dean shall appoint a co-chair who has voting privileges. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and theAdvanced Standing Program Director serve as ex-officios members. The Dean shall appoint members from the Faculty of the College of Dental Medicine’s course directors of courses taught in the third and fourth year  to serve on the committee. Group Practice Leaders of the student clinical groups will serve on the committee. The members of the curriculum management team will serve as the administrators of the committee. 

IV. Academic Progress 

Student academic progress is monitored by the two Academic Progress Committees (1st & 2nd year, 3rd & 4th year). Course grades and course director's concerns are submitted to the approprite Academic Progress Committee for review. If it is determined during a course that a student's performance is unsatisfactory, that the student is in danger of failing a course, or that the student has failed an exam, the Academic Dean and/or Academic Progress Committee shares the information with the Associate Dean for  Student Affairs. The Associate Dean meets with the students to discuss tutoring services and other services available for the student’s well-being, through the Student Success Network as well as support services. In order to help students improve their learning experiences, tutorial support will be offered as soon as we identify poor progress. Students are also informed by the course directors of their progress after every exam.

If a student has failed a course or is having significant academic difficulty they will be placed on Monitored Status; an internal designation made by the Academic Progress Committees. Monitored Status designation means that the appropriate Academic Progress Committee will review the student’s academic performance at their regular meetings to further identify any difficulties. The Academic Dean and Progress Committee, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs may intercede with tutors, guidance and other support systems to improve the student’s learning experience and ensure success. All measures will be taken to support students and get them to meet academic progress standards. While students are on Monitored Academic Status, they may not serve in any leadership or club positions (including travel to conferences as CDM representative). The Academic Dean will inform students when they are removed from Monitored Status, after a vote by their respective Academic Progress Committee. This designation is not recorded in the permanent record.

Students experiencing academic difficulty should, at their earliest opportunity, speak first with the Course Director regarding their performance and, secondly, with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs regarding tutorial support, personal counseling opportunities, or related matters.

V. Academic Promotion

A student with a satisfactory academic record, ethical and professional behavior in all areas will be recommended for advancement by the Faculty.

VI. Remediation Policies

The Academic Progress Committees, in consultation with the relevant course director(s) make the final decision on remediation to correct a completed course failure. Final course grades are submitted to the Dean for Academic Affairs and to the appropriate Academic Progress Committee chairperson. Final grades for all completed courses are reviewed by the Committees at the close of each academic year.

Remediation may be by:

  • re-examination may occur after a reasonable period of guided or independent study at the recommendation of the course director and with permission of the Academic Progress Committee, which has overview of the student’s total performance
  • successful completion of a remedial program determined by the course director and the committee
  • successful completion of an acceptable extramural equivalent course at an institution approved by the Course Director; a passing grade is required in the latter instance.

Failure of the remediation will result in the student having to repeat the course or academic year. Any course failure is open to one remediation attempt only. Students who are required to remediate a course failure may have a modified academic or clinical schedule, which can lead to a delayed graduation and additional tuition and fees. The Dean for Academic Affairs determines final course scheduling.

VII. Right to Review Academic Progress Committee Decisions

The student has the right to request a review of a decision made by the Academic Progress Committees. The request must be made in writing within seven days of the time the student is notified of the decision, and it must clearly state the grounds for review. Such request should be sent to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A hearing with a committee from College of Dental Medicine Faculty then takes place with the student. A faculty advocate may be chosen by the student to accompany them to the hearing; if not, one will be appointed by the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs in consultation with the student.

If the committee from College of Dental Medicine Faculty reaffirms the original decision, then the student may appeal the decision within seven days of notification, to the Dean of the College of Dental Medicine.

The Dean may serve alone or may appoint an ad hoc committee to review the decision of the Academic Progress Committee. The charge of the ad hoc Committee is to review and determine the adequacy of due process, taking care to ensure that any evidence regarding mitigating circumstances has been considered and the correct protocol observed. If in place, the Committee, upon completion of its investigation, will render its decision promptly in writing to the Dean of the College.

On such an appeal, the Dean of the College of Dental Medicine relies solely upon the written record and does not conduct a new factual investigation. Moreover, the Dean focuses upon whether, in the Dean’s view, the decision made is reasonable under all of the circumstances of the case. There is no further appeal within the University.

VIII. DDS Degree Requirements

In addition to successfully completing all course requirements in each phase of the curriculum, students are required to pass NBDE Part 1 and take NBDE Part 2 to be eligible for graduation from the College of Dental Medicine.

At the close of the senior year, the Academic Progress Committee recommends to the Faculty for award of the degree, those students who have successfully completed the entire curriculum. The committee must be assured that students have acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for the safe assumption of responsibility for patient care.

IX. MS Degree and Certificate of Training Requirements

In addition to successfully passing all course and clinical requirements, attending assigned rotations, and completing any required thesis, students are required to pass prescribed written, oral, and practical examinations at the end of residence.