Student Progress and Early Intervention Policy and Procedures

Last revised by the UW SOP Faculty February 2022

The Progress Committee reserves the right to review and revise these policies and procedures every quarter, especially as students and faculty gain additional experience with the Purple Curriculum.

1.0  Background

This policy and procedures statement on student progress has been developed, in part, to respond to the 2016 ACPE Accreditation Standards 17. The specific accreditation standard is as follows:

ACPE Accreditation Standard 17: Progression

The college or school develops, implements, and assesses its policies and procedures related to student progression through the PharmD program. Key elements:

17.1. Progression policies – The college or school creates, makes available to students and prospective students, and abides by criteria, policies, and procedures related to: academic progression, remediation, missed course work or credit, academic probation, academic dismissal, dismissal for reasons of misconduct, readmission, leaves of absence, rights to due process, and appeal mechanisms (including grade appeals).

17.2. Early intervention – The college or school’s system of monitoring student performance provides for early detection of academic and behavioral issues. The college or school develops and implements appropriate interventions that have the potential for successful resolution of the identified issues.

For the purpose of this policy, “instructors of record” will be referred to as “course masters.”

2.0  School of Pharmacy Academic and Professional Progress Committee

2.1  Background

Applicants to the PharmD program are carefully selected by the Admissions Committee for their demonstrated potential to successfully complete the four-year program. There is a basic assumption that every individual admitted to the School can and should make satisfactory progress toward graduation. The Academic and Professional Progress Committee (Progress Committee) and individual students have a shared responsibility to meet academic and professional standards, and decisions of the Progress Committee regarding progression are made on an individual but consistent basis.

2.2  Mission

The Progress Committee works to ensure that student pharmacists maintain the academic and professional standards necessary for successful progress in the PharmD program.

2.3  Committee Charge

The Progress Committee will review academic progress, monitor and uphold standards for academic progress (including early intervention) and professional conduct, advise faculty and facilitate remediation where appropriate, and recommend to the Dean regarding student probation and dismissal, approval of a leave of absence or an expanded curricular program, and other ad hoc duties as assigned by the Dean. The Progress Committee will report PharmD program performance metrics to the Assessment Committee and other School faculty.

2.4  Academic and Professional Progress Committee Membership

Faculty and staff are appointed to the Progress Committee in accordance with the School’s Bylaws. The Progress Committee will include the Director of Advising and Student Success as a non-voting appointee. All Committee proceedings are strictly confidential.

3.0  Academic Withdrawal

Student pharmacists may withdraw from the PharmD program at any time. The request must be communicated in writing to the Associate Dean for Professional Pharmacy Education, who will communicate the request to the Progress Committee. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from all courses in which they are currently enrolled.

4.0  Course Withdrawal and Leave of Absence

Students who wish to withdraw from only one course must notify the course masters and then follow UW policy for course withdrawal. We strongly encourage students considering course withdrawal and/or a leave of absence to consult with their academic advisor. See: https://registrar.washington.edu/registration/changes/

Student pharmacists in good academic standing may, for valid reasons, request a leave of absence from the program. This written application to the Progress Committee must include the reason for and the length of the leave requested. Upon review of circumstances and recommendation of the Progress Committee, with the approval of the Dean, a student may be granted academic leave for up to one year; renewable for an additional year for reasons upon petition. The decision regarding the request will be communicated to the student in writing. Students who do not contact the School to either request a leave of absence, or do not return by the time specified in an approved leave of absence, will be considered to have withdrawn from the PharmD program and will be so notified.

4.1  Reenrollment

Students returning from leave of absences are subject to both UW and School of Pharmacy reenrollment policies. A student who has not attended classes for two quarters or more must reapply as a former student returning to the UW. A student on approved leave, who has not attended classes for two quarters or more, must have their enrollment approved by the Progress Committee and the Dean of the School of Pharmacy. If approved for readmission to the PharmD program, any financial, immunization or other types of holds must be removed prior to re-admission being granted. A student who has been on leave for only one quarter does not need to reapply; however, return to the PharmD Program must be approved by the Progress Committee and the Dean of the School of Pharmacy. Returning students must submit a letter accompanied by an academic progression plan requesting reinstatement to the Committee.

4.2  Internship Eligibility During Academic Leave

The Washington Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (WPQAC) requires that a student make satisfactory progress towards degree requirements in order to retain their intern registration. A student on academic leave is not completing coursework and is therefore not eligible to continue work as an intern during the period of leave. The School will notify the WPQAC that the student is no longer making satisfactory progress during the time of the leave.

5.0  Progression in the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program

Progression of student pharmacists into any subsequent quarter is dependent on successful completion of the current quarter. In general, this requires successfully passing all courses in which the student is registered, and maintaining sufficient GPAs (see Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirements below).

Satisfactory progress in the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program is defined as registration, enrollment and participation in courses in the PharmD curriculum, whether full-time or part-time (depending on individual circumstances/academic plan), with the student meeting the minimum cumulative UW GPA and School of Pharmacy Professional GPA as well as standards of professional conduct as outlined in the School’s Admission, Retention and Graduation Standards.

Students are generally expected to complete all PharmD curriculum requirements within 4 to 5 years. If a student remains enrolled more than 7 years after their first quarter of matriculation, the Progress Committee will review any coursework older than 7 years and the student may be asked to repeat that coursework.

5.1  Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirements

Minimum University Cumulative GPA

The overall cumulative UW GPA is calculated on the basis of numeric grades in ≥ 300-level courses taken at UW while enrolled in the PharmD Program. PharmD students are required to maintain a University Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.

Minimum Cumulative Professional GPA (PGPA)

The overall cumulative PGPA is calculated on the basis of all numerically graded, core (required) courses in the PharmD program. Electives are not considered in calculating the PGPA. PharmD students are required to maintain a PGPA of 2.0 or above.

5.2  Low Scholarship

The School’s Low Scholarship Policy can be found at: https://sop.washington.edu/pharmd/student- resources/academic-professional-policies-procedures/low-scholarship/

A flow chart regarding the application of this policy can be found in the Academic Progress Standards Algorithm: Warning, Probation, Dismissal, & Appeal Process at: https://sop.washington.edu/wp- content/uploads/SOP-Progress-Algorithm-NEW.pdf 

5.3  Grade Appeal Process

The School of Pharmacy follows the University of Washington’s Scholastic Regulations, Student Governance and Policies. A student who believes that a course master erred in the assignment of a grade, or who believes a grade recording error or omission has occurred, will follow these steps to resolve the matter:

  1. The student should first discuss the matter with the course master before the end of the following academic quarter.
  2. A student who is not satisfied with the course master’s response may submit, no later than 10 class days after her/his discussion with the course master, a written appeal to the Chair of the Department with a copy of the appeal to the course master. This time may be extended by the Chair in exceptional circumstances, such as the situation in which the student did not learn of the appeals process deadlines in time. If the Chair has a conflict of interest, the appeal will be heard by a Chair’s designee pre-determined from among the Department’s faculty.
  3. Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Chair will consult with the course master to determine whether the evaluation of the student’s performance was fair and reasonable or whether the course master’s conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious.
  4. If the Chair determines that the course master’s evaluation of the student’s performance was not arbitrary or capricious, the Chair notifies the student that the appeal is denied and that the assigned grade is final.
  5. If the Chair believes the course master’s conduct in assigning the grade was arbitrary or capricious, the Chair will request that the course master revise the grade.
  6. If the course master declines to revise the grade, the Chair, with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty of that department to evaluate the student’s performance and assign a grade. The Chair will inform the Dean and Provost of this action. The department’s decision will be final.
  7. The Dean will refer the matter to the Chair of the Progress Committee, who will review the Department Chair’s decision to ensure that the appeal process was followed correctly.
  8. Once a student submits a written appeal, this document and all subsequent actions on this appeal shall be recorded in written form in a school file residing with the Chair of the Progress Committee.

6.0  Missed Course Work or Credit

Student pharmacists are responsible for notifying course masters of any course where assigned work might be missed. It is the discretion of the course master to allow missed work.

7.0  Early Detection, Academic Support, Progress, and Remediation

Students and faculty are best served by recognizing potential or actual student performance challenges as early as possible to identify the most appropriate intervention to support learning. It is the intention of the School to provide meaningful (timely and targeted) remediation of learning within courses where possible. Remediation is not a right, but a privilege that a student may earn by good faith attention to the requirements of the course. Every School of Pharmacy-based core course will have a remediation policy that is available to students.

7.1 Early detection and intervention to support academic progress

When a course master first identifies academic performance issues (e.g., a failed exam or major assignment), they should immediately be brought to the attention of the student and the School’s Director of Advising and Student Success. Any applicable plan for remediation, as outlined for the specific course, will be confirmed. The course master will work with the student to devise a remediation plan to address the student’s specific deficiencies within the same quarter. The format of the remediation plan and the acceptable level of performance will be determined by the course master. This remediation plan must be accepted in writing by the course master and the student, and completed within the quarter. After the remediation, if the student’s performance is deemed satisfactory by the course master, the student will receive a numerical grade.

7.2  Post-Quarter Remediation

Courses may or may not permit post-quarter remediation; refer to individual course syllabus.

For courses that do NOT permit post-quarter remediation: If a student has satisfactorily completed a course at the end of the quarter, the instructor will assign a numerical grade or Credit. If a student has not satisfactorily completed a course at the end of the quarter, the instructor will assign a grade of zero. In this situation, the student will receive an Academic Warning from the Progress Committee and must successfully complete the course the next time it is offered. If the student does not pass the course a second time, they will be dismissed from the program, after which they can appeal the decision.

For courses that permit post-quarter remediation: If within-quarter remediation was unsuccessful, the course master may choose to record an “X” temporarily in the student’s transcript for the core course and develop a post-quarter remediation plan that addresses the course deficiencies. Any remediation plan must be accepted in writing by the course master and the student, and completed by the last day of instruction of the following academic quarter using performance criteria defined by the course master (see Remediation Extension below for information about requesting an extension). In addition, the course master must notify the Director of Advising and Student Success about the remediation so the Director can develop a student-specific academic progress plan.

If the student meets the criteria defined in the remediation plan, the X grade will be converted to the minimum passing grade for the course. If the remediation performance does not meet expectations, or the student does not complete the remediation by the last day instruction of the following academic quarter, a grade of zero will be recorded. Either result will be communicated to the Progress Committee. The Director of Advising and Student Success will continue to work with the student to address academic progress, as outlined in the student-specific academic progress plan.

7.3  Remediation Extension

Students completing post-quarter remediation may request an extension by first seeking approval from the course master, and then submitting a written request to the Progress Committee and receiving written approval. The request should include 1) the reasons for the extension, 2) verification of the course master’s approval for the extension, and 3) a new proposed deadline for completion.

7.4  Remediating multiple courses at once

Pursuing post-quarter remediation in multiple courses is not recommended. Students qualifying for post-quarter remediation in multiple core courses must be reported to the Progress Committee and are required to work with the Director of Advising to devise an appropriate academic progression plan. The Progress Committee must approve the academic plan for all students who are pursuing post quarter remediation in multiple core courses. Typically, remediating more than two courses at the same time is not permitted.

8.0  Course failure, course retake, and progression

Students who receive a failing grade in a core course will receive an Academic Warning from the Progress Committee notifying them that they must retake and successfully complete the course the next time it is offered. If students retaking a core course (due to previous course failure) have not satisfactorily completed the course at the end of the quarter, they are not eligible for post-quarter remediation and will be dismissed from the program, after which the student may appeal the decision.

Note that “course failures” refer to courses for which students receive a grade of 0.0 or No Credit, and not to courses for which students have X (“no grade”), I (“Incomplete), or Registrar Drop (RD). While grades of X, I, or RD are not considered course failures, they are not considered a passing grade for a course and as such may affect a student’s ability to progress to subsequent coursework.

8.1  Multiple core course failures

Any student in the PharmD Program who has failed two core courses (including failed courses that they ultimately passed) will be placed on probation and delayed an academic year in their progression in the PharmD curriculum. The Progress Committee will consider each individual student’s situation and work with the Director of Advising and Student Success to outline an appropriate academic plan for progression in the program. Any student who has failed three core courses (including failed courses that they ultimately passed) will be dismissed from the program, after which the student may appeal the decision.

8.2  Progression into APPEs

Students must pass all core courses, and complete all required elective credits, prior to beginning their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs). The only exception is if students are in the geriatric certificate program, which requires Pharm 550 be taken during APPEs. If a student receives an X (No Grade), I (Incomplete), or a failing grade (0.0 or No Credit) for a core course in the quarter immediately preceding their first APPE rotation, they will be delayed in beginning their APPEs. Students must successfully complete any post-quarter remediation, resolve any Incompletes, and successfully retake any failed core courses prior to starting their first APPE rotation.

8.2  Time limit for core coursework

The Progress Committee will review the academic plan for any student who extends their academic plan and progression in the program. The committee reserves the right to require a student to repeat a course older than 7 years if the material learned in it is deemed to be significantly out of date with current practice. In this case, a student may be required to retake the course.