Policy on Academic Progression
- Adopted May 21, 2003, for implementation fall term 2003 for PY1 students
- Revised August 19, 2009
- Revised December 12, 2011
Introduction: The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty intends that every student admitted to the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum achieves excellence in their professional knowledge, skill, and aptitude. The objectives, abilities, or outcomes defined for the curriculum and for each course within it provide the framework for assessment of student achievement.
Students enrolled in the PharmD curriculum receive a grade of A, B, C or F reflective of their achievement of the acquisition of knowledge and/or skills. The grade A denotes outstanding academic achievement and/or professional skill. The grade B indicates more than acceptable academic achievement and/or professional skill. The grade C indicates that the student has achieved acceptable and satisfactory knowledge and/or professional skills. The grade F indicates unacceptable achievement and/or performance and requires further study and/or practice by the student.
In view of its responsibility to the people of North Carolina and to the profession, the faculty reserves the right to dismiss a student from the PharmD program who does not in its judgment show sufficient promise to justify continuation, regardless of her/his academic record. If a student’s performance, including academic record, promise, or professional conduct is considered unsatisfactory, the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee will make appropriate recommendations regarding the student’s continuation to the associate dean for professional education. The Committee will decide whether a student should be allowed to enter a review program (including appropriate reexamination), enter a decelerated curriculum, repeat a portion of an academic year or entire year, take a leave of absence with conditions upon return, or be dismissed. The recommendation for a dismissal or for a leave of absence will be transmitted to the associate dean for professional education for final dispensation.
Academic Guidelines for Progression in the Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum
- Students must demonstrate acceptable knowledge and/or skills in all courses and practice experiences in the doctor of pharmacy curriculum. Acceptable knowledge and/or skills are determined through evaluation of student performance that reflects objectives or competencies defined for each course within the context of competencies defined for the PharmD curriculum. Acceptable knowledge and/or skills in all courses administered by the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are denoted by any of the grades A, B, or C (or H or P in practice experiences and approved courses).
- Students who do not demonstrate acceptable knowledge and/or skills will be given the grade F. A student who receives an F grade in a required course must remedy that grade, which must include the demonstration of acquisition of acceptable knowledge and/or skill for that course. The student may not enroll in subsequent courses for which the “failed” course serves as a prerequisite until the student has passed the prerequisite course. A student who again receives an F grade upon repeating a course, or who receives F grades in two or more required courses is subject to dismissal from the PharmD curriculum. The Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee will determine whether such a student will be allowed to continue in the PharmD curriculum, and, if allowed to continue, specify conditions for continuation.
- The temporary grades of IN (incomplete) and AB (absent from the final examination) can be used consistent with the guidelines within the Undergraduate Bulletin or the Graduate School Handbook.
- Students admitted to the PharmD curriculum must complete the curriculum within five academic years from entry into the Program (including any leaves of absenses), subject to review of individual circumstances by the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee.
Policy on Final Grade Appeal
The student must first attempt to resolve any disagreement with the course coordinator. If the student fails to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal the grade in accordance with the following Policy on Final Grade Appeal:
- The student must submit the appeal in writing along with a description of the results of the communication with the coordinator, any relevant test papers/term papers/graded materials to the Chair of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee. The information that the student presents to the Committee will be shared with the involved course coordinator who will be given an opportunity to respond to the student’s appeal. The student’s appeal should be made as soon as possible, but must be made within 5 business days after the official end of semester grades are reported for the course in question.
Appropriate Grounds for Final Grade Appeal
For an appeal of a final course grade to be considered, it must be based upon one or more of the following grounds and upon allegation that the ground or grounds cited influenced the grade assignment to the student’s detriment:
- arithmetic or clerical error
- arbitrariness, possibly including discrimination or harassment based upon the student’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
- personal malice
- student conduct cognizable under the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance
Policy on Non-Academic Progression
The faculty of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy has a legal and ethical responsibility to protect members of the public and of the health care community from unsafe, unethical, or unprofessional pharmacy practices. The School is charged with preparation of competent pharmacists. Because competence must be assured not only in the knowledge and technical abilities of the student, but also in their standards of personal and professional conduct, student progress is carefully monitored to certify that students have acquired and can demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, behavioral characteristics, and ethical principles.
The Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee reserves the right to dismiss or sanction a doctor of pharmacy candidate at the end of any semester, regardless of the student’s grades, if the student does not, in the judgment of the Committee, show sufficient promise to justify allowing the student to continue the study of pharmacy. Repeated failure to demonstrate professionalism, consistent with published codes of ethics for pharmacists (ex. APhA & NCAP) and the School’s Technical Standards, with respect to the management of patients or in interactions with other students, staff, faculty or preceptors constitutes grounds for dismissal. Any acts or patterns of behavior consistent with physical, emotional, or behavioral problems, that impair the student’s ability to interact effectively with others, prevent others from fully participating in the educational process, endanger the well-being of the student or others, threaten patient safety or confidentiality, discredit the profession, or in any other way that raises serious questions about the student’s fitness for professional practice will serve as a basis for review by the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee. Any student who fails to participate in or does not respond to appropriate interventions (eg. treatment, counseling, community service, additional or repeated course or clerkship requirements) within a specified period of time is subject to dismissal from the Program. These non-academic factors serve as critical indicators of the student’s capacity to deliver a high standard of health care, meeting all technical, ethical, and legal requirements, and thus are considered by the faculty to be of equal importance with academic performance when making progression decisions.
If a faculty member or a student colleague believes there is evidence supporting a non-academic progression policy violation for a particular student, they should follow the guidelines listed below under Procedure for Dismissal (or Sanction) based on Non-Academic Performance. The Committee will decide if a dismissal or a sanction is an appropriate action.
Leaves of Absence
Students enrolled in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy who wish to take a leave of absence may return to the School within one year of the date of leave. All leaves must be approved by the Office of Student Services. Students desiring to take a leave of absence should schedule a meeting with the director of student services to discuss the leave of absence and readmission process. Students who have been absent from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy for more than one year from last enrollment must reapply for admission to the School and must compete for readmission with the other applicants for the entering class in that year. In situations involving medical leave, it is possible to extend the one year leave on a case by case basis. If the student is readmitted to the School, the Scholastic Achievement and Progressions Committee will review completed coursework and make recommendations for completing the program. Students may be required to re-take some or all of previously completed coursework in the School of Pharmacy or complete competency testing.
Decisions Rendered by the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee
Decisions rendered by the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee may include, but are not limited to: adjustment of academic load; repetition of course or curriculum segments; participation in psychological counseling or other services offered on-campus (e.g., the writing center, tutoring, learning disabilities), academic probation, and dismissal.
The Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee is not permitted to change the evaluation of student performance by the course coordinator unless there are grounds for appeal (see section on Final Grade Appeal).
Academic Probation: Students will be placed on academic probation for one year (subsequent fall and spring semesters) after they receive a grade of F in any required course. Students who are on academic probation shall not be allowed to:
- Serve as officers or committee members in any School of Pharmacy organization
- Participate in University extracurricular activities
Dismissal: Students may be dismissed from the School of Pharmacy for any of the following reasons:
- Receive grades of F in two or more required courses
- Persistent failure to demonstrate adherence to academic or non-academic responsibilities, including the Technical Standards for the School of Pharmacy
- Attitudinal, behavioral, or criminal problems which interfere with the student’s responsibilities and progress through the curriculum
Dismissal from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Procedure for Dismissal based on Academic Performance:
- Students who are in jeopardy of dismissal from the School of Pharmacy will be notified by the Chair of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee at least 5 business days prior to the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee meeting, at which a decision will be made.
- Students so desiring may provide a written plea to the Committee noting their circumstances and any evidence that they feel is relevant and appropriate to bring forth. If the student does not respond to the Committee Chair within 5 business days, the Committee will make its decision in the absence of such information.
- The Committee will make its decision known to the associate dean for professional education, who will notify the student in writing of the Committee’s decision.
Procedure for Dismissal (or Sanction) based on Non-Academic Performance:
- When, in the judgment of a faculty member or a student colleague, a student’s behavior constitutes conduct of a nature that warrants dismissal (or sanction), the faculty member or student colleague shall so notify the Chair of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee in writing.
- The Chair of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee will then notify the student and the faculty member or student colleague in writing within two weeks of the request as to the time and place for the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee hearing to determine whether, in the Committee’s judgment the dismissal (or sanction) is warranted. A minimum of 72 hours notification will be given for the hearing.
- The Committee will hold a closed hearing at which the faculty member or student colleague may be present and provide oral or written evidence regarding the behavior that in the faculty member’s or student colleague’s judgment is grounds for dismissal (or sanction). The student may be present and given an opportunity to provide oral or written evidence regarding his/her behavior. The evidentiary proceedings will be recorded. Support persons, including legal counsel, cannot participate in the hearing process. Failure of the student to participate or be present, will not stop the proceedings of the Committee.
- Following the evidentiary presentation, the Committee will convene in executive session to determine whether dismissal or other recommendations are warranted.
- The Committee shall make its decision known in writing to the Associate Dean for Professional Education, the student, and the person initiating the charge.
Note: Some student conduct may be both an unsafe or unprofessional pharmacy practice and also an offense under the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. In such a case, the matter will be referred first to the pharmacy student attorney general. If the pharmacy student attorney general determines that the alleged behavior does not constitute an offense under the Instrument, the School of Pharmacy will proceed under this Policy for Non-Academic Progression. If the pharmacy student attorney general determines that the alleged behavior constitutes an offense under the Instrument and that there is sufficient evidence to charge the student with an offense, the case will be heard by the Pharmacy Honor Court. If the Honor Court finds the student guilty of behavior that would also call the student’s professional fitness into question, the School of Pharmacy will consider the behavior under this Policy for Non-Academic Progression. However, if the pharmacy student attorney general determines that the alleged behavior would constitute an offense under the Instrument but that there is insufficient evidence to charge the student, the matter will not be considered under this Policy for Non-Academic Progression. Similarly, if the student is charged but the Honor Court finds the student not guilty, the matter will not be considered further under this Policy for Non-Academic Progression.
Policy for Appeal of Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee Decision
A decision of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee may be appealed in writing by the student, if done so within 5 business days of the receipt of the letter notifying them of the decision. The written appeal should be addressed and delivered to the dean of the School of Pharmacy. If the dean of the School upholds the decision of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee, a student may appeal the decision to the University Provost.
It is the student’s responsibility to maintain contact (including current address, phone, and email information in Student Central) with the chair of the Scholastic Achievement and Progression Committee to ensure that the student promptly receives all relevant communications. If the student fails to maintain contact (including current address, phone, and email information in Student Central) with the chair, decisions made in the student’s absence will nonetheless be binding.
The University’s Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Appendix B of this Policy provides specific information for students who believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of one or more of these protected classifications.
Students who want additional information regarding the University’s process for investigating allegations of discrimination or harassment should contact the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office for assistance:
Equal Opportunity/ADA Office
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
100 E. Franklin Street, Unit 110
Campus Box 9160
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
Telephone: (919) 966-3576
Fax: (919) 962-2562
Any administrator or supervisor, including a department chair, associate dean or other administrator, who receives a student’s complaint about prohibited harassment or discrimination must notify the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office within five (5) calendar days of receiving the complaint. If a student raises a claim of prohibited harassment or discrimination during an academic appeal, an investigation of the student’s claim must be performed under the direction of the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office. The school or department must await the results of the harassment or discrimination investigation before deciding the student’s academic appeal.