MD: CAPES - Assessing Academic Achievement & Professionalism
The policies and procedures listed below are adopted by the faculty and administration of the School of Medicine concerning review of student academic performance and professional integrity.
Overall academic and professional evaluation of students at the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) will be made by the Committee on the Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students (CAPES). The Committee on the Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students operates under the Rules Governing Review of Student Performance. Please visit the CAPES section below for more information.
Rules Governing Review of Student Performance
On this page:
Preface | CAPES | Grades and Grade Appeals | Academic Support and Accommodations | Indications for Review of Academic Performance | Procedures Concerning Review of Academic Performance | Indications for Review of Professional Integrity | Procedures Concerning Review of Professional Integrity | CAPES Appeals Process | Glossary | Appendices | CAPES Booklet
This document describes procedures adopted by the faculty and administration of the School of Medicine concerning review of student academic performance and professional integrity. Students are encouraged to read this information for a thorough understanding of the contents. Any questions arising from the procedures laid out herein should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs or the Office of the Registrar.
Major revisions to this document will be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee.
Questions about this document may be directed to:
Lisa Moscoso, MD, PhD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Michael Donlan, PhD
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Registrar
Updated Jan. 25, 2018
Purpose and Jurisdiction
Students at the Washington University School of Medicine must demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge and the capability of becoming a safe and effective physician. In addition, they must demonstrate the principles of professionalism including sound judgment, honesty, integrity, responsibility, a sensitivity and compassion for individual needs, and compliance with applicable laws, policies and regulations.
Serious or repeated academic failures or breaches of these principles in professionalism will be referred to the Committee on the Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students (CAPES) for review. Throughout the enrollment of a student, it is within the jurisdiction of the CAPES to terminate the enrollment of a student who has demonstrated serious academic failure or a breach of professionalism. The deliberations of the CAPES are generally positive in approach and are committed to the ultimate aim of assisting students to successfully complete the courses of study required by the school. The principle that careful selection of students will minimize attrition from the school is strongly endorsed by the CAPES.
The text contained herein outlines rules governing the review of student performance. For further information, refer to the Professionalism & Conduct Policies section of this Bulletin.
Responsibility of the Committee
The ultimate responsibility of the Committee on the Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students (CAPES) is to assess whether each student meets the academic and ethical standards necessary to enter the profession of medicine. To accomplish this mission, CAPES undertakes the following tasks:
- Student Advancement: The CAPES annually recommends promotion of students who have successfully completed all requirements of the current academic year to the studies of the subsequent year.
- Degree Recommendations: The CAPES recommends to the Executive Faculty those students who have successfully completed all prescribed requirements of the school and are qualified to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree.
- Academic Remediation Reviews: When a student is in need of academic support services, the CAPES will recommend student status and remediation measures, which may include entry of a student into an Individualized Study Program.
- Disciplinary Action: The CAPES will review cases requiring disciplinary action due to unprofessional behavior or a breach of integrity.
Students for Whom the Rules Apply
- All students engaged in preclinical and clinical education requirements for the MD degree
- Students in all years of the Five-Year MD program
- All students in joint and dual degree programs including but not limited to MD/MPH, MD/MSCI and MD/PhD (MSTP) programs taking preclinical or clinical portions of their MD education
Joint or Dual Degree Students:
When a student enrolled in a joint or dual degree program is found in violation of the other program's academic or professional integrity policy or is found to have committed any disciplinary violations, including violations of the University Student Conduct Code, such matters may be brought to the attention of the CAPES for review and further action. Notwithstanding decisions made by the other schools or programs, the CAPES reserves the right to take further action when a student is found in violation of such policies. If a student enrolled in a joint or dual degree program is not meeting academic performance expectations of the other program or school such that the student's status in that program or school may be impacted, the CAPES reserves the right to determine whether any action should be taken with respect to the student's status at WUSM.
- Appointed and ex officio membership: Twelve voting faculty members of the CAPES are appointed for a four-year term by the dean of the School of Medicine following nomination by the department heads and/or associate deans. Faculty members may be reappointed to serve on the CAPES. Membership will include both clinical and preclinical department faculty. In addition, the CAPES membership will include, in ex officio capacity, the registrar (nonvoting) and the associate dean for student affairs (nonvoting). The senior associate dean, the associate deans for medical education, admissions and diversity programs, and the director of Student Health Services may attend the CAPES meetings as nonvoting participants.
- Chair: A faculty member will be appointed by the dean from within the CAPES committee to serve as chair. The term of the chair will be four years and may be reappointed.
- When the committee is addressing issues related to academic performance, a course director who is not a member of the CAPES but who submitted a Fail/Incomplete grade for a student who is to be discussed at the meeting will be present at the meeting to provide information regarding the student's performance. A course director may send a designated representative or may submit information in writing. In the event that a course director or designated representative is not present or sufficient information has not been forwarded, final action for the student will be deferred until adequate information is available.
- Similarly, when the committee is addressing issues of professionalism, the individual filing the professionalism concern form will be present for the meeting or in some instances may be allowed to submit information in writing.
- Any faculty, administrator or staff may be invited at the discretion of the chair.
Meeting Frequency and Quorum
The CAPES meetings must occur in a timely manner after final examinations or re-examinations, as soon as practical after grades are submitted to the registrar. Generally grades will be submitted to the registrar within 10 days of completion of an examination. A meeting of the CAPES may also be convened at any time such that timely review of a matter is deemed necessary.
Seven voting members must be present to consider academic or disciplinary actions.
Courses in the first- and second-year curriculum are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Third- and fourth-year courses use a graded scale. Specific grades for each grade level are detailed elsewhere in this Bulletin.
Final grades will be submitted online within 10 business days of the final examination or final class meeting for the first two years. For the third and fourth years, grades are due within four weeks of the receipt of standardized examination scores or the last day of the rotation if no examination was given.
Students may appeal a grade with the course director by filing a grade appeal request form. Grade appeals must be filed within 10 business days after the grade has been posted.
If reasons beyond the student's control delay the appeal past the July 15 deadline, the registrar must be notified so that the final transcripts, grade distributions and class rankings for the match process can be held pending resolution of the matter. If this notice is not received by the registrar prior to the deadline, the new grade cannot be accepted. Students participating in the residency match process should also notify the office of career counseling whenever a grade appeal is in process. After the course director considers any appeal, they will indicate the resolution for the appeal on the grade appeal form and forward it to the registrar and the associate dean for student affairs.
No grade changes are permitted for the prior academic year after July 15.
The CAPES may invoke remediation requirements for individual courses that are different from those determined by the course director. In such cases, the CAPES determination will supersede that of the course director. The CAPES may also require the student to repeat a full academic year or portion thereof if it is judged necessary given the academic history. Occasionally, in order to remediate a failed course in the first or second year, students are permitted to complete equivalent course work at other institutions with the permission of the responsible department and written notification to the registrar.
Grade Point Average, Ranking and Distribution
The School of Medicine does not calculate grade point averages. Hours of credit appearing on the transcript reflect clock hours scheduled for the course or clinical rotation. For the purpose of residency applications only, students are placed in the upper, middle or lower third of the class according to a formula which considers weighting of courses in each academic year. This ranking is not recorded on the permanent academic record and does not appear on transcripts. It may appear in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). At the conclusion of the academic year, when all the official grades have been received, the official transcript, in addition to listing courses and grades achieved, gives the grade distribution in each course with the exception of elective and selective courses.
Students experiencing difficulty in any course may request tutorial assistance. Such requests should be initially directed toward the course director and thereafter to the associate dean for student affairs. Students who are repeating courses will be offered tutorial assistance, and the CAPES may also require it. There is no charge to the student for tutorial assistance.
Students who have difficulty handling the normal academic course load will enter an Individual Study Program (ISP) requiring five years to complete rather than four years. The intent of an ISP is to optimize the prospect that the student will successfully complete the curriculum. An ISP may be requested by the student or recommended or required by the committee.
- ISP: Scope and Sequence
The content and sequence of courses will be determined by the associate dean for student affairs with the input from the student, relevant course directors and the CAPES. The plan for execution of an ISP will be recorded in the student's file in the Registrar's Office and a copy will be provided to the student.
- ISP: Examination Schedules
Unless extenuating circumstances exist, ISP students are required to take the examinations for a particular course in their usual temporal relationship to the course work. Requests for exceptions should be recorded in the student's file in the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Approval of such requests is considered according to the Washington University School of Medicine guidelines for exam administration found elsewhere in this Bulletin.
- ISP: Single Fail or Incomplete Grade
In the event that a single Fail or Incomplete grade is recorded for a student after entry into an ISP, the CAPES will again review the student's record. Consequences may include remediation, repeat of the course or dismissal from the school.
- ISP: Grounds for Dismissal
Students on an ISP who have not successfully completed and received a grade of Pass or above in all required courses of the first- and second-year curricula by the start of the second six-week period in the year of the clinical clerkship may be dismissed from the school.
It is the responsibility of students to alert the CAPES regarding personal concerns, health problems, or any other factors that may be adversely affecting their academic performance, and to bring such matters to the attention of the director of Student Health Services or the associate dean for student affairs for possible accommodations.
"Indications for Review of Academic Performance" refers to the guidelines used at the school in the event a student either fails exams or a course or fails to complete a course in the requisite time. In general, the school guidelines for the "Indications for Review of Academic Performance" are as follows:
Exam failures can warrant meeting with the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA) and/or lead to referral to the CAPES. Consult the conditions below for further details relevant to each student-year level.
Single Course Failure – Meeting with the ADSA
In the event of any initial failure of a course the student will meet with the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA) to formulate a remediation plan in coordination with the course director.
Multiple Course Failures – Referral to the CAPES
Two or more courses in one year
- If either a failing or incomplete grade in two or more courses occurs in a single year, the student's academic performance will be referred to the CAPES for review and determination of a course of action.
Three courses (cumulatively across multiple years)
- If either a failing or incomplete grade in three courses occurs across multiple years, the student's academic performance will be referred to the CAPES for review and determination of a course of action.
Individualized Study Program (ISP)
Refer to the ISP section within this CAPES policy for full details on guidelines pertaining to the review of students engaged in an ISP.
No student may take more than three years to complete the course work required for the first two years of study. Time periods included in an approved leave of absence are not counted in these three years.
In the absence of extenuating circumstances or an approved leave of absence, no student may take more than two academic years to complete the course work required in any individual curricular year. Time periods included in an approved leave of absence are not counted in these two years.
Maximum Attempts at Passing a Course
Students have a maximum number of three attempts to pass any individual course during enrollment in the school.
Joint or Dual Degree Program Students
If a medical student enrolled in a joint or dual degree program is not making satisfactory academic progress or is not meeting academic performance expectations of the other program or school such that the student's status in that school or program may be impacted, the CAPES reserves the right to determine whether any action should be taken with respect to the student's status within the School of Medicine. Further details pertaining to joint or dual degree program students are listed in the section describing students for whom the rules governing student performance apply.
Note: Specific conditions warranting review of academic performance are detailed below for each student-year level. Conditions for review of student performance due to professionalism issues are found in the policy section regarding professionalism.
First-Year Students – Indications for Review of Academic Performance
All first-year courses must be completed before the start of the second-year curriculum. Failure to meet this requirement typically means one of the following conditions has occurred:
Failure of a Single Exam (for First-Year Medical Students)
Failure of a single exam is not an immediate indication for review of academic performance by the CAPES. However, failure of a single exam that comprises a significant portion of the final grade (typically 20% or more) must be reported by the course director to the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA). The course director may allow one attempt at remediation of the exam at a time the course director prescribes. The scheduling of the remedial exam will be agreed upon by the course director and the student, but it should generally not extend beyond 30 days after the end of the course. Days of recess for winter and spring break will not be counted in the 30 days. A grade of "E" (i.e., temporary grade signifying the pending make-up of a failed exam) will be submitted by the course director if the remedial exam is not accomplished within the course dates. This grade will stand on the academic record until it is replaced with a valid final grade of Pass or Fail. Grades of "E" that are not resolved within 30 days will be replaced with a grade of Fail (F). In rare circumstances, the ADSA may approve an extension of this deadline. If the student successfully remediates the exam, and has otherwise passed the course, a Pass (P) will be recorded by the registrar. A student may remediate only one examination in any course.
Failure of Two or More Exams
The ADSA may request that the CAPES reviews performance of a student who has failed two or more examinations. In such cases, the CAPES will recommend a course of action.
Failure of a Course
If a student receives a Fail/Incomplete grade in a single first-year course, the ADSA will meet with the student to formulate a remediation plan in coordination with the course director. The remediation plan may include the following options:
- Take a re-examination as approved by the course director.
- Enroll in and successfully complete, at the level designated by the course director, a summer course at a different institution, such a course being completed and passed by the beginning of the second year.
If a student fails to successfully complete an approved summer course or fails the re-examination taken to remediate a failed course, they will be referred to the CAPES for review and recommended course of action. The CAPES may require the student to enter an ISP or be dismissed from the school. The CAPES may permit a second re-examination. If the second re-examination is failed, the student will be dismissed from the school.
Failure of Two or More Courses
A student for whom the registrar has recorded a Fail/Incomplete grade in two or more courses during the first year will be referred to the CAPES for determination of a course of action. The committee may decide to permit the student to take re-examinations, if a re-examination has not already been taken. Such re-examinations will generally occur during the inter-academic year break. If a re-examination is failed the student may be required to enter an ISP or be dismissed from the school.
Second-Year Students – Indications for Review of Academic Performance
Students in their second year will be referred to either the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA) or the CAPES for review and resolution of a recommended course of action when any one of the following conditions has occurred:
Conditions for Meeting with the ADSA for Second-Year Students
Failure of a single interval exam within a year-long course or failure of one block-long course (for Second-Year Students):
- An initial failure of a single exam does not signal an automatic referral to the CAPES.
- A second-year student who receives a final grade of Fail or Incomplete in a single interval exam in a year-long course will first meet with the ADSA.
- A second-year student receiving a failing/incomplete grade in one block-long course must first meet with the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA).
Re-examination Scheduling and Resolution
- Re-examinations for year-long courses will generally be offered during the inter-academic year break, prior to entry into the third year.
- Re-examinations for individual block-long courses will generally be offered at a time determined by the course director and the ADSA. All such re-exams must be offered to students and completed prior to the start of the next academic year.
- Students failing the re-examination of a single block-long course (or failing a re-examination of a single year-long course) will be referred to the CAPES to determine a course of action. If the examination is failed for a third time, enrollment will be terminated.
Deferral of Clinical Rotation Start Date
The CAPES may allow the student to defer beginning the clinical rotations so that re-examinations may be taken up to six weeks after the beginning of the usual cycle of clinical clerkships. Such extra time used for study and preparation will ordinarily mean that the student will not have the usual unscheduled time in the elective year.
Note: No student is permitted to begin Clinical Rotations of the Third Year until all first- and second-year courses have been successfully completed.
If Re-examinations Are Not Allowed
- ISP: In the event that the CAPES decides to not permit re-examination, an ISP may be recommended.
- Dismissal/Termination: The CAPES has the option to recommend any such student be dismissed.
Conditions for Referral to the CAPES for Second-Year Students
Second-year students will be referred to the CAPES for review and resolution under any of the following categories:
- Failure of an interval exam in one year-long course and one block-long course
- Failure of two interval exams in year-long courses
- Failure or Incomplete recorded in any re-examination
- Failure or Incomplete grade in one year-long course
- Failure or Incomplete grades in two or more block-long courses
Remediation for Second-Year Students Reviewed by the CAPES
The committee may permit the student to take re-examinations in the courses for which a Fail or Incomplete has been recorded (provided that a re-examination has not already been taken for a given course). Such re-exams will generally occur during the inter-academic year break. Note: In the event that a Fail/Incomplete grade is recorded after a re-examination, the CAPES may require that a student enter an ISP or that enrollment in the School of Medicine be terminated. The CAPES may decide that a second re-examination may be offered.
Cumulative Academic Review (at End of Second Year)
Prior to promotion to the clerkship year, the CAPES will review the cumulative academic record of each student brought forth by the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA) to determine whether the student's academic performance justifies advancement to the clinical phase of the medical education without warning. Typically, multiple remediated examinations and/or failing grades during the first two years of the curriculum will raise concerns about the student's knowledge and readiness to participate in clinical care of patients.
Students with overall records indicating globally poor performance may have one of the following actions taken upon them with written notification:
- Required to repeat specific preclinical course work
- Advancement to Clinical Year with Academic Warning, with a required meeting with the ADSA in order to –
- Review and pursue available resources for academic intervention
- Review and plan an effective clerkship schedule to consider schedule changes helping to facilitate successful clinical experiences
- Recommend students seek tutorial assistance through each clerkship director and address any additional or unique circumstances
- Probation – Contingencies for continued enrollment on probationary status and for return to good standing will be specified by the CAPES.
- Dismissal – Globally poor performance may be deemed grounds for dismissal by the CAPES. In addition, a third-year student who is advanced with academic warning and then fails any component of a clinical clerkship may be dismissed from the school.
Indications for Review of Academic Performance for Third and Subsequent Years
Failure of any core clinical rotation without successful remediation will prevent proper advancement toward the student's degree and may result in significant consequences for career planning. For these reasons, the following list itemizes the conditions under which the CAPES committee will convene.
Failure of One Course Required for Third or Subsequent Years
The ADSA will meet with any student for whom a single Fail/Incomplete/E grade has been recorded for a course beyond the second year of the MD curriculum. Discussion will include the requirements stipulated by the relevant course director in order to remediate the academic encumbrance. Options will generally include a re-examination or the repeating of all or a portion of the course. If a single failing grade for a clerkship course or elective has been recorded, the student may be referred to the CAPES for review and course of action. If a Fail grade has been entered following the prescribed remediation, the student will always be referred to the CAPES to determine a course of action. When such a student is referred to the CAPES, the committee may permit a re-examination or retaking/repeating of all or any portion of the course. If the course is failed a third time, the student will be dismissed from school.
Failure of any Component of a Clerkship while on Academic Warning
A student who advances to the clinical years under academic warning, and who fails any component of a clerkship will be referred to the CAPES for action including possible dismissal from the school.
If Poor Academic Performance is Reported for Two or More Courses
The ADSA may request that the CAPES review performance of a student who has been reported as having demonstrated poor academic performance in two or more courses at interval evaluations conducted throughout the courses. In such instances, the CAPES may determine a course of action.
Failure of Two or More NBME Subject/Shelf Examinations
Any student who fails to achieve a passing grade on any two or more NBME subject/shelf examinations conducted as part of any clerkship evaluation will be referred to the CAPES for review and course of action. Note: A passing grade for any subject/shelf examination is defined as any score greater than or equal to the 10th percentile as reported by the NBME.
Recording of Failed Grades, Remediation, Re-examinations, Repercussions, or Dismissal (for Students in their Third Year and Beyond)
A student who fails any clinical component of a clerkship or elective will have a Fail grade recorded on the permanent academic record. At the discretion of the course director or the CAPES, the student must repeat either the portion failed or the entire clerkship or elective in order to remove the academic degree encumbrance. The failing grade will, however, remain visible on the permanent academic record. Any new passing grade for any such remediated course will display on the transcript; thus, both the original failing grade and the newly recorded grade for the course will be visible on the permanent academic record.
In addition, a failing grade for clinical clerkships will be officially recorded onto the permanent academic record whenever a student fails the subject/shelf examination for the second time. A failing grade is defined as a score of less than the 10th percentile as reported by the NBME.
For students referred to the CAPES for failed/incomplete grades, the committee may endorse or amend the remediation recommendations of the corresponding course director(s). In the event a student fails a course remediation defined by the course director and approved by the CAPES, the CAPES may require that the clerkship rotation be repeated or that enrollment of the student in the school be terminated. Students will generally be permitted three attempts to achieve a passing grade in any clerkship course. If three failing NBME subject examination grades or final clerkship grades have been submitted for a course, the student will be dismissed from the school.
A. Convening a Meeting
Actions for Academic Review of students shall be referred to the CAPES for consideration by way of the associate dean for student affairs (ADSA) or registrar. The ADSA will convene a meeting of the CAPES, notifying the student in writing regarding the reason for the review and the date, time, and place of the meeting. A meeting of the CAPES may be convened at any time when a timely review of an issue is deemed necessary.
The associate dean for student affairs, the registrar, and the course director(s) or their designated representatives shall present the matter to the CAPES in a closed and confidential CAPES meeting.
C. Student Responsibility
All students will be asked to be available to appear before the committee to provide additional information relevant to the concern. If the student fails to be available to appear at the meeting, the committee may postpone the meeting or may conduct the meeting and impose sanctions without the student present. Failure of a student to appear or provide information requested by the CAPES may result in the committee's filing a professionalism concern form. Meetings may be rescheduled at the discretion of the CAPES chair.
It is the responsibility of the student to alert the CAPES of any extenuating circumstances or contributing factors that should be considered regarding the student's status. The student shall be permitted, upon request in advance of the CAPES meeting, to appear before the CAPES on their own behalf. At the student's request, they may be accompanied by a member of the faculty, staff or fellow student of the school.
D. Student Record Considered
A student's entire academic and professionalism record will be considered in deliberations regarding student status.
E. Meeting Minutes
A record of the CAPES meeting shall be preserved and will be available for review by the School of Medicine's Appeals Committee, as necessary.
F. Outcomes Possible
Actions taken by the CAPES may include but are not limited to dismissal, suspension, probation, defined penalty, advancement with academic warning, remediation, and/or additional oversight. The CAPES may also rule that the MSPE/Dean's Letter should include a citation regarding the matter. The CAPES decision shall be made by simple majority unless the vote is for dismissal which requires a three-fourths majority.
G. Notifying Students of Final Committee Decisions
The associate dean for student affairs will inform the student verbally of the decision of the CAPES. The registrar will inform the student in writing within 10 business days.
Matters involving a possible breach of professional integrity shall be brought to the attention of the associate dean for student affairs. The individual(s) raising the questions of possible misconduct shall present a Professionalism Concern Form providing detailed written information as necessary. Individuals submitting such forms are reminded of the need for complete confidentiality regarding all matters of conduct.
Behaviors inappropriate to the medical profession shall include but are not limited to:
- cheating or unauthorized use of materials during examinations
- other seriously improper conduct in relation to patients or colleagues
- breach of confidentiality and trust
- misconduct in violation of university policies
- violation of the University Student Conduct Code
- substance abuse
- failure of judgment including that related to noncompliance in the treatment of any personal medical condition
- misrepresentation or failure in personal actions or meeting obligations
- any combination of the above items, and others which might raise serious unresolved doubts about the integrity of the student with regards to entering the practice of medicine
For more information, consult the Professionalism & Conduct Policies section of this Bulletin.
At the discretion of the associate dean for student affairs, in cases of serious or repeated breaches of professional integrity, the associate dean for student affairs will convene a meeting with the associate dean for admissions, the associate dean for medical student education, or the senior associate dean for medical education to review the complaint(s) and to decide whether further action is necessary.
If further inquiry is deemed necessary, the associate dean for student affairs and either the associate dean for medical student education, the associate dean for admissions, or the senior associate dean for medical education will discuss the complaint with the student. If the two associate deans deem that further action is warranted, the following procedure will occur:
A. Convening of Meeting
The associate dean for student affairs will convene a meeting of the CAPES. Whenever possible, the CAPES shall convene within two weeks after the initial meeting between the student and the associate dean for student affairs. If the person bringing the complaint is a member of the CAPES, they will not vote but may participate in the discussion. If the person bringing the complaint is not a member of the CAPES, they will be asked to present the complaint and will then be excused. The CAPES chairperson will oversee the procedures of the meeting. The registrar will record the minutes.
B. Gathering of Pertinent Information and Meeting Attendees
Prior to the meeting, the associate dean for student affairs will forward information concerning the matter to the committee. In addition the associate dean for student affairs will inform the student in writing regarding the time, date and place of the meeting. A copy of the complaint will be provided to the student. The notification shall state that the proceedings are confidential. The student may bring a faculty member, staff member or fellow student for guidance and support. If this person is not a fact witness to the complaint, they may not address the committee.
C. Student Responsibility
Any student to be considered at a CAPES meeting will be asked to be available to appear before the committee to provide additional information relevant to the concern. If the student fails to be available for the meeting, the committee may postpone the meeting or may conduct the meeting and impose sanctions without the student present. Failure of a student to appear or provide information requested by the CAPES may result in the committee's drawing adverse conclusions. Meetings may be rescheduled at the discretion of the CAPES chair.
D. Student Record and Pertinent Documentation/Materials
The CAPES will consider evidence which tends to prove or disprove the alleged conduct. If the CAPES finds that the student engaged in misconduct, it may consider additional evidence of prior conduct, evidence as to the charged student's character, the student's entire academic and disciplinary record, or any other evidence which would assist the CAPES in determining appropriate action. The chair of the CAPES will rule on whether or not evidence or testimony will be considered. The CAPES has neither the advantages nor limitations inherent in a court of law. During the meeting the student will have access to the written evidence presented and may present evidence and fact witnesses on their own behalf. The student should be prepared to discuss the circumstances of the complaint after which the CAPES will excuse the student from the room.
E. Objective Approach By Committee
The purpose of the CAPES meeting is to provide fair and prompt review of the inquiry. The committee is not positioned in an adversarial role against the student, but simply serves to review the evidence as presented and determine a decision regarding disciplinary action if necessary. The decision as to whether the student committed the alleged act will be made solely on the basis of evidence and testimony presented at the meeting. Innocence of the student will be presumed. A CAPES member must find in favor of the student unless the member is persuaded that it is more likely than not that the student engaged in the alleged misconduct.
F. Outcomes Possible
Actions taken by the CAPES may include but are not limited to dismissal, suspension, probation, defined penalty, fine and restitution, advancement with academic warning, remediation and/or additional oversight. Contingencies for continued enrollment on probationary status and for return to good standing will be specified by the CAPES in each individual case. The CAPES may also rule that the MSPE/Dean's Letter should include a citation regarding the matter. The CAPES decision shall be made by simple majority unless the vote is for dismissal which requires a three-fourths majority.
G. Notifying Student of Committee Decisions
The associate dean for student affairs will inform the student verbally of the decision of the CAPES. The registrar will inform the student in writing within 10 business days.
H. Meeting Minutes and Confidentiality
The record of such proceedings will be held confidentially with access restricted to committee members, the student involved and relevant members of the administration.
- The university does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who bring forward complaints or who participate in the CAPES process.
- Unless determined by the associate dean for student affairs that extraordinary circumstances exist, the student will be permitted to continue in the usual academic activities during CAPES proceedings. However, if there is a reasonable basis for believing that the continued presence of the student on campus or in clinical rotations poses a substantial threat to the student, to patients, or to the rights of others to engage in their normal university functions and activities, the procedure outlined under the school's Leave of Absence Policy will apply.
J. Both Academic Performance and Professionalism Concerns Exist
Should a student be referred to the CAPES for an issue involving both academic performance and professionalism concerns, the procedures for Professionalism Concerns will be followed.
The School of Medicine has the right and responsibility to assure that each student, during the time of enrollment, demonstrates levels of academic achievement and ethical stature appropriate to the practice of medicine. The school must also ensure provision of fairness in discharging those rights and responsibilities. As such, an appeals process is in place as outlined below:
A. Request for an Appeal
Within 14 working days of the date on which an academic or disciplinary decision is rendered by the CAPES, the student may request in writing to the registrar, that the School of Medicine's Appeals Committee review the record of the CAPES decision to determine that the appropriate CAPES procedures were followed or that the Appeals Committee requests that the CAPES consider additional, new relevant information which was not previously presented to the CAPES for good cause. The letter to the registrar should include the basis for appeal as well as any new relevant information and an explanation as to why it was not timely presented to the CAPES.
B. Establishing an Appeals Committee
An Appeals Committee, composed of faculty members appointed by the dean of the School of Medicine, shall be created to review appeal of decisions by the CAPES. Members of the CAPES may not be appointed to the Appeals Committee. A quorum of this committee shall consist of five members.
C. Review by the Appeals Committee
The Appeals Committee shall review the record of the CAPES decision solely to determine whether the pertinent CAPES procedures were followed and whether all relevant information was considered by the CAPES. If the appeal is based on a contention that all relevant information was not presented to the CAPES, the written appeal must provide the Appeals Committee with adequate reason why the student did not present this information at the CAPES meeting in question. In all cases, the Appeals Committee shall not substitute its judgment of the facts or its opinions of the merit of the matter for those of the CAPES.
D. Appeals Committee Decision Types
- Remand the case to the CAPES
The Appeals Committee may decide to remand the matter to the CAPES for reconsideration with its explanation for the remand. If the matter is remanded to the CAPES, all documents, minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting, and information submitted by or for the student in support of the appeal will be made available to the CAPES.
The Appeals Committee may decide to deny the appeal.
E. Decision Notification to the Student
The Appeals Committee shall provide its decision in writing to the student, the dean of the School of Medicine, the associate dean for student affairs and the registrar. The associate dean for student affairs shall determine whether the student may continue their curriculum pending the Appeals Committee review of a CAPES decision.
F. Student Appeal to the Dean
Within 10 business days of the date of an Appeals Committee decision, the student may request in writing that the dean of the School of Medicine review the decision of the Appeals Committee. The decision of the dean of the School of Medicine shall be final.
The following definitions are applied when the indicated terms are used in relation to the foregoing rules concerning review of academic performance and professional integrity:
Academic Warning, Advancement with
A supervised status that may be imposed if a student's cumulative academic review indicates that special oversight is warranted. Refer to the sections on Cumulative Academic Review and Academic Warning for additional information.
An action, including counseling and penalties, taken by the School of Medicine, after consideration of the disciplinary problem.
Termination of a student's enrollment from or eligibility to return to the School of Medicine by the university where the student has:
A. failed to register and has not sought a leave of absence; or
B. not returned from an approved leave of absence within the designated period of time and where an extension of the leave of absence has not been timely requested and approved by the CAPES.
Involuntary separation of a student from the School of Medicine because they have not met the academic requirements.
Involuntary separation of a student from the School of Medicine as a result of action taken because of misconduct.
As a record or transcript notation, it signifies that the student is eligible to continue, to return, or to transfer elsewhere. It implies good academic standing as well as good citizenship and replaces such terms previously used as honorable dismissal, honorable withdrawal, withdrawn, voluntary withdrawal, eligible to return and clear record.
Indicates there is still a possibility of credit after further work. Used when the instructor is not prepared to give a final mark for the term in view either of sickness of the student or some justifiable delay in the completion of certain work. It is accompanied by a note that explains the circumstances and indicates how and when the incomplete may be resolved. A definitive mark for the term is recorded on the official transcript when the work is completed and the incomplete grade is removed. In case the work is not completed within the time allowed, the recorded grade will be changed to fail.
Permanent Academic Record
The all-inclusive abstract of academic achievement. This is also commonly referred to as the official educational record or official transcript.
Probation status may be for academic and for disciplinary reasons. Academic probation is the result of unsatisfactory scholarship. It is not a penalty but a warning and provides an opportunity to improve. Usually the student is required to make regular specified improvement in his record in order to avoid dismissal.
Disciplinary probation is the middle status between good standing and suspension or dismissal. The student remains enrolled but under stated conditions according to school policies. Disciplinary probation covers a stated trial period during which it is determined whether the student is returned to good standing having met the stated requirements or dismissed from enrollment at the end of the period for failure to meet the stated requirements.
Professionalism Concern Form
A form completed by a member of the university community to communicate an instance of unprofessional behavior to the associate dean for student affairs. Serious or repeated instances of unprofessional behavior may be referred to the CAPES by the associate dean for student affairs.
Suspension is an involuntary separation of the student from the school but it differs from dismissal from enrollment in that it implies and states a time limit when return will be possible. Thus, suspension may extend for a specified time, until a specified date or until a stated condition is met.
A release from enrollment. A student may request that they be allowed to withdraw from enrollment. Such requests are directed to the registrar or the associate dean for student affairs. When a student has requested withdrawal status, the school, by action of the CAPES, will determine whether the withdrawal will be annotated with good standing or not in good standing in the official academic record. Such annotations may be accompanied by explanations in the official educational record.
Evaluations and Grades
Please visit the Evaluation and Grades section of this Bulletin for more information.
Grade Appeal Form
Please visit the Office of the Registrar website for more information.
Professionalism Concern Form
Please visit the Office of the Registrar website for more information.
A booklet of this information (PDF) that includes a table of contents and an index is also available.