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academic due process/practicals

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pinkshoes

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I wanted to share my experience and get input from other schools.
I failed a class in second year. The clinical one where you learn the full eye exam. My class average was 80% and I passed every individual skill. My lab grade was failing by one point out of 117 on the final practical. This was less than one percentage point of my lab grade.

This was a huge setback. It puts me on academic probation and sets my graduation date back a year. I had the option to take 2 classes for the first part of spring semester and one class for the second half at full tuition. That didn't make any financial sense to me, so I'm on a year long break.

There were some questionable things that happened during the practical. The coursemaster was grading me for this practical. I couldn't get an unbiased 3rd party. She recommended to the academic committee that I repeat. I was informed that the committee almost always goes with the coursemasters opinion. I wrote a letter explaining my solid academic record, and also argued some points. (I just needed one!)
Anyway, they went with the coursemaster's opinion.

I scheduled an appointment to appeal with the dean. He just referred back to the the coursemaster. Does this sound like due process? I don't think so. Is this normal in optometry schools? I'm considering going to my school's provost but I doubt he cares. I'm starting to think my school enjoys getting 5 years worth of tuition. 7/43 of my class has been held back.

Has anyone been through an academic appeal? I'd love to hear other experiences.
 

KHE

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I wanted to share my experience and get input from other schools.
I failed a class in second year. The clinical one where you learn the full eye exam. My class average was 80% and I passed every individual skill. My lab grade was failing by one point out of 117 on the final practical. This was less than one percentage point of my lab grade.

Yikes.

This was a huge setback. It puts me on academic probation and sets my graduation date back a year. I had the option to take 2 classes for the first part of spring semester and one class for the second half at full tuition. That didn't make any financial sense to me, so I'm on a year long break.

How much is the tuition? Does it make MORE financial sense to wait a year and then to lose a whole year of doctor level income? Think that over. It may make more sense to just pay for the courses now. :confused:

There were some questionable things that happened during the practical. The coursemaster was grading me for this practical. I couldn't get an unbiased 3rd party. She recommended to the academic committee that I repeat. I was informed that the committee almost always goes with the coursemasters opinion. I wrote a letter explaining my solid academic record, and also argued some points. (I just needed one!)
Anyway, they went with the coursemaster's opinion.

I don't see how that's questionable. You think she was biased towards you in some way simply because she was the coursemaster? Based on what?

I scheduled an appointment to appeal with the dean. He just referred back to the the coursemaster. Does this sound like due process? I don't think so. Is this normal in optometry schools? I'm considering going to my school's provost but I doubt he cares. I'm starting to think my school enjoys getting 5 years worth of tuition. 7/43 of my class has been held back.

If you had gotten the result that you wanted, would you be complaining about due process? It sounds like you're upset with the result, not the process.

What IS the process at your institution? Surely there is a formal appeals process. Is that what you've done or did you just go to the Dean and ask for the point?

If you're going to appeal to the provost you need to make a formal appeal, in writing and it is going to have to be based on something more than "cmon....I'm a good person. Just give me the one point."

On a somewhat non-related note, I think that there is a signifiant problem with any institution where 7 out of 43 students in a professional program are "held back." Either the curriculum is off or the admissions process is off.
 

socal2014

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I wanted to share my experience and get input from other schools.
I failed a class in second year. The clinical one where you learn the full eye exam. My class average was 80% and I passed every individual skill. My lab grade was failing by one point out of 117 on the final practical. This was less than one percentage point of my lab grade.

This was a huge setback. It puts me on academic probation and sets my graduation date back a year. I had the option to take 2 classes for the first part of spring semester and one class for the second half at full tuition. That didn't make any financial sense to me, so I'm on a year long break.

There were some questionable things that happened during the practical. The coursemaster was grading me for this practical. I couldn't get an unbiased 3rd party. She recommended to the academic committee that I repeat. I was informed that the committee almost always goes with the coursemasters opinion. I wrote a letter explaining my solid academic record, and also argued some points. (I just needed one!)
Anyway, they went with the coursemaster's opinion.

I scheduled an appointment to appeal with the dean. He just referred back to the the coursemaster. Does this sound like due process? I don't think so. Is this normal in optometry schools? I'm considering going to my school's provost but I doubt he cares. I'm starting to think my school enjoys getting 5 years worth of tuition. 7/43 of my class has been held back.

Has anyone been through an academic appeal? I'd love to hear other experiences.

Let me guess, you attend NOVA?
 

pinkshoes

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Sorry, I don't know how to quote appropriately.




If I take classes now, or next year, my graduation date is still delayed to 2014. The option given was to take 2 classes in Spring A, and one class in Spring B for full tuition. Then take one class in the summer. Then repeat year 2.



I think she was biased. But it would take about 4 pages to explain why. I also think her syllabus is "built to fail". I passed every skill (goldman, slit lamp, precorneal, alternative tonometry, cumulative skill, and oral exam.) I made B+s on my written exams. One part of her bias against me is I believe she sees me as weak b/c I have performance anxiety. She has questioned my ability to work with patients. She has also used whiteout all over my final practical. She has used whiteout on the "overall deductions" and written over it.



"If you had gotten the result that you wanted, would you be complaining about due process? It sounds like you're upset with the result, not the process. "
Obviously if I had gotten what I wanted I would have not be complaining about due process. I'm upset with the process b/c this individual was involved at every point of the decision making, so how is that unbiased?


"What IS the process at your institution? Surely there is a formal appeals process. Is that what you've done or did you just go to the Dean and ask for the point?"
The process is if you fail a course you can write a letter of appeal to the academic review committee if you believe you have extenuating circumstances. I wrote this letter. But before that, I spoke with the coursemaster. I was informed by student affairs that the committee almost always goes with the coursemaster's opinion. By the way, the coursemaster is the head of academic review committee. So, the next step was to appeal to the dean. I wrote a formal appeal and met with him for 45 minutes. He just referred back to the coursemaster.



"If you're going to appeal to the provost you need to make a formal appeal, in writing and it is going to have to be based on something more than "cmon....I'm a good person. Just give me the one point."
Obviously! I go to a big university. The dean is the highest in the chain of command. Next step is the provost, but he is outside of the school. I only wanted to discuss due process. I've already missed the boat on class of 2013, I'm looking at 2014. This coursemaster has been my judge, jury, and executioner. What's to say she won't do it again. I've seen students fail twice, and I've seen people on a six year plan.



"On a somewhat non-related note, I think that there is a signifiant problem with any institution where 7 out of 43 students in a professional program are "held back." Either the curriculum is off or the admissions process is off."
I believe the admissions committee is accepting more students with the intention of failing a certain amount. Our clinic is not growing. I think they are trying to put at 15-25% on a 5 year plan. Heck, some are on a 6 year plan. The correct class size for our clinic is 40. Yet they have started accepting more, and believe it's with the anticipation of them being failed.
Maybe the school is in financial trouble, I don't know.


KHE, I appreciate your devils advocate, other side of the coin questioning. However, what I was really looking for was other people's experiences with an academic appeal.
 
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Ryan_eyeball

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I think she was biased. But it would take about 4 pages to explain why. I also think her syllabus is "built to fail". I passed every skill (goldman, slit lamp, precorneal, alternative tonometry, cumulative skill, and oral exam.) I made B+s on my written exams. One part of her bias against me is I believe she sees me as weak b/c I have performance anxiety. She has questioned my ability to work with patients. She has also used whiteout all over my final practical. She has used whiteout on the "overall deductions" and written over it.

I would hire a lawyer to review her final practical that she used to evaluate you. Medical documents can not be simply "white-out", but a line must be draw through the error, and initialed. A lawyer would be a lot cheaper than paying for another year's worth of tuition. If you do pursue this course of action, a transfer may be in order. This teacher would have great distaste for your future work.

Ryan
 

Meibomian SxN

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I wanted to share my experience and get input from other schools.....

I scheduled an appointment to appeal with the dean. He just referred back to the the coursemaster. Does this sound like due process? I don't think so. Is this normal in optometry schools? I'm considering going to my school's provost but I doubt he cares. I'm starting to think my school enjoys getting 5 years worth of tuition. 7/43 of my class has been held back.

Has anyone been through an academic appeal? I'd love to hear other experiences.

Many times these classes and practicals are a way of trapping many students who are borderline or who have had a slip. Your school should have formal appeal procedures, which should be with several staff and a student representative.

Sometimes it helps, as I have seen some students get a chance to repeat their slip (through a written test, etc). I have seen others be made to repeat the semester. Almost never is the appeal boards decision repealed.

Sometimes it is more beneficial to start the semester over rather than repeat a class and chance failing again, resulting in expulsion.

Hang in there. Many of professional students (MD, DDS, OD, JD, DPM etc) have had to do 5 year or even 6 year programs.

One thing is for sure, once you reach the light at the end of the tunnel, the experience will only make you stronger. :xf:
 
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