MD: Committee for Academic Promotion Bylaws

1. Charge

In order to successfully complete their studies at the Washington University School of Medicine, students must demonstrate the ability to become a safe and effective physician by the attainment of competency in the WUSM Medical Student Program Objectives which are organized into six domains:  

  1. Foundational knowledge for practice
  2. Patient care
  3. Systems-based practice
  4. Practice-based learning and improvement
  5. Interpersonal and communication skills
  6. Professionalism

The Committee for Academic Promotion is charged by Academic Affairs Committee and has the responsibility to ratify decisions of competence (not yet competent, competent, competent with distinction where applicable) made by the Competency Attainment Committee (CAC), the Clerkship Competency Committees (CCCs), and the associated recommendations for academic promotion (promotion, delay, suspension, dismissal). This document describes the bylaws and procedures of the Committee for Academic Promotion (CAP). 

2. Responsibilities

Review of the recommendations made by the competency committees occur at times of adverse student actions (i.e., remediation without promotion or dismissal), at the time of promotion to each phase of the curriculum, and at graduation. Students will be notified at least 10 days prior to such reviews. When an adverse student outcome is recommended (remediation without promotion, suspension, or dismissal) or when decisions of competence without distinction are made, students may present themselves, in person and/or in writing, to the CAP to state their case. The CAP reviews any details that the student provides in addition to minutes of the CAC or CCC deliberations and any additional evidence as needed leading to the recommendation. Based on this review, the CAP would take one of the following courses of action: 

  • Ratify and uphold the CAC and/or CCC decisions and recommendations 
  • Remand back to the original committee for re-review 
  • Overturn the decision of the original committee if the CAP perceives an inability for the original committee to make an unbiased recommendation

3. Membership

3.1 There will be a minimum of five voting members of the CAP representing leadership of the Gateway Curriculum plus a faculty member who represents the broader WUSM educational community. Each member will serve a three-year term with the possibility for two one-year extensions. If a voting member is temporarily unable to serve in this role during their term, the Dean or the Dean’s designee may appoint a faculty member to the CAP to fulfill that member’s responsibilities as needed. 

3.2 In addition, CAP membership will include non-voting, ex officio members based on their broad understanding of the competency-based program of assessment and their role in student advocacy and support. These members will include the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Student Success, the Assistant Dean for Assessment, the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education, the Associate Dean for Admissions, and the Director of Student Health Services.

3.3 Chair: The chair of the CAP will be a voting member selected by other voting members. The chair will serve a two-year term and may be reappointed for up to two additional terms.

3.4 Guests: Any faculty, administrator, student, or staff member may be invited as a guest, at the discretion of the chair, if their presence is deemed important for providing additional evidence in support of decisions of competency attainment. Guests would be present to provide said evidence and/or answer questions but would not be present during nor participate in deliberations or voting.

4. Meeting Frequency and Quorum

4.1 CAP meetings occur at transitions in the curriculum (end of Phase 1, end of Phase 2, graduation) or on an ad hoc basis when adverse student outcomes are recommended by the CAC or CCC. 

4.2 A quorum will constitute attendance, virtual or in person, of four of the five voting members, excluding those with conflicts of interest.*

4.3 Decisions of the CAP must be supported by four of the five voting members, excluding those with conflicts of interest.* 

4.4 In the rare situation where a quorum cannot be met because too many members have a conflict of interest,* an ad hoc committee will be convened by the Assistant Dean for Assessment. 

5. Deliberations and Outcomes

CAP deliberations and outcomes will be summarized in the meeting minutes. Students will be notified in writing by the Registrar of all decisions, generally within 7 calendar days of the review. CAP outcomes include one of the following: 

  • Ratify and uphold the CAC and/or CCC decisions and recommendations 
  • Remand back to the original committee for re-review 
  • Overturn the decision of the original committee if the CAP perceives an inability for the original committee to make an unbiased recommendation

6. Notification of CAP Decisions

Decisions regarding remediation that would result in delays in education or individualized or modified schedules will also be communicated to the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education to ensure feasibility for re-entry and successful completion. Decisions regarding dismissal will be reported to the Senior Associate Dean of Education. Decisions of remediation without progression, dismissal, probation, or suspension will also be communicated to Financial Aid to support necessary alterations in aid.

7. Student Engagement With the CAP

Students may present themselves, in person or in writing, prior to the ratification of decisions of competency without distinction as an appeal of that decision. Students may also present themselves, in person or in writing, prior to the ratification of recommendations for adverse outcomes to state their case. This does not serve as a formal appeal, as appeals would only be made in the setting of CAP ratification and, as such a decision is made, for an adverse outcome. Further details for these procedures can be found in the Formal Appeal Procedures for Competency Attainment and Promotion Decisions