Pharmacy Failing 2 courses in pharmacy school this semester and they won't let me remediate. What should I do?

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Mr.Smile12

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      Hello,

      I ended up failing 2 classes this semester due to the stress of the pandemic and classes being shifted online. My school is wanting me to repeat the whole year instead of letting me take the remediation class or courses over the summer. Do you think this is fair considering the pandemic?

      This is what the school handbook states and I wrote my situation in bullet points.

      On pages 79-82, the student handbook states:

      Students scoring between 59.5 and 69.4% (60-69) in a course will take a remedial examination. Students need to score at least a 70% to pass a remediation course or exam.
      a. A Remedial Examination Fee will be assessed to all individuals taking a remedial exam. This fee will be $100. The fee must be paid to the Registrar’s Office prior to the student taking the remedial exam.
      b. All remedial examinations must be taken when scheduled by the ASP Committee.
      c. Failure of the Remedial Exam will result in the student being considered in a
      similar manner to those students receiving less than 59.5% in a course. (See Item 2 below.). Students in the distance education pathway will complete their remedial course(s) at home with the use of synchronous online meetings with faculty as needed.
      • I received a 60-69 in the 2 courses that I failed in this semester and did not get the chance to take the remedial exam.


      In the Bradenton and DE pathways, students may have a maximum of two original course failures per academic year. Exceeding maximum remediation limits will result in a review by the ASP committee which may recommend dismissal. Any failure will be referred to the ASP committee.
      • I had 3 original course failures in an academic year, however, here it did not specify the number of remediation limits. It also said it “may” recommend dismissal, nothing definite. It also adds in the end “any failure” will be referred to the ASP committee. I failed 2 courses during a global pandemic and the abrupt shift to online classes in the middle of the semester was very disruptive and stressful.


      Decisions regarding remediation will be made on an individual basis after considering all pertinent circumstances. The decision will be made by the Dean, based upon the recommendations of the ASP Committee. The ASP Committee will base its recommendations on the student’s academic record and consideration after consultation with the Preceptor, Course Coordinator as well as the student involved when appropriate.
      • Here it states that decisions regarding remediation will be made on an INDIVIDUAL BASIS after considering ALL pertinent circumstances. Due to a global pandemic that I had to go through for the first time, it was a stressful and distracting transition in the middle of the semester. If given the chance to take the remedial exam or course for the 2 classes I failed this semester, I can still ensure mastery of these courses and advance to P3 year.


      H. The need to participate in more than two remediation courses or rotations in the same academic year.
      • This statement was put under the reasons the ASP committee “may” recommend dismissal. A student can be dismissed for participating in more than 2 remediation COURSES in the same academic year. However, I will not be having to take more than 2 remediation courses in the summer as I passed the remedial EXAM for Basic PK in the Fall 2019.

      On page 76 it states:

      The coursework for students at ? is offered in sequence. A student who is unsuccessful with remediation at the end of an academic year will be evaluated by the ASP Committee according to the established procedure and will be required to either repeat the entire year or be dismissed. ? policy requires a pace of 100% (completed course credits/attempted course credits) per academic year. Students who are repeating a year are not eligible for federal financial aid during the year in which they are repeating already taken course work.
      • Here it states that if a student is unsuccessful with REMEDIATION will be required to either repeat the year or be dismissed. It states clear and definite options here. However, I wasn’t even given the chance to take the remediation exam or course atleast given the global pandemic circumstances.
      Considering the circumstances, are remediation courses possible or available in the summer? If this is the decision of the ASP Committee and your dean, what recourse do you have if you wish to suggest an alternative? Who is your advocate, and what is their advice?
       

      Mr.Smile12

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        Yes, the remediation exam is next week and if I don’t pass those then have to take remediation course over the summer, which are available. However, the committee is not even letting me take the remediation exam atleast even given the pandemic circumstance.
        Do you think I can send them the bullet points I wrote with the handbook? Are they valid?

        They let students who cheat repeat the year. Here I am an honest student yet the only option they are giving me is to repeat the year with NO federal financial aid. I would also have to repeat my IPPEs.
        We are not lawyers, so this is not legal advice.

        Your advocate should point out those items in your student handbook to the committee/Dean, and so a reason should be provided to you if you are refused. I would be careful not to escalate it but document everything that could show how much they deviated from their policies. That said, they could make the current pandemic an issue, but they need to say it in writing how and why they are justified in not following their policies.
         

        Mr.Smile12

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          i don’t have an advocate in this school. I’m on my own here. What can I do? Send my points to them to appeal the decision? Or what else?
          Let me see if the other experts here agree: I would raise your concern formally citing the passages in your student handbook, at least requesting an explanation why taking the remediation exams are not possible. Is it logistics to administer the exam, and can there be any flexibility? You have to make sure to present this as a win-win whenever you can, and that giving you an exam now gives you a better chance to perform well in the class as opposed to a total retake under differing conditions (online or in-person unknowns) over the next year (summer forgetfulness).

          so if I chose to retake the year, it starts next month because the school had to change its class schedule from October to June due to students not being able to do IPPEs (rotations) over the summer due to the pandemic. And next month isn’t too far from today and they haven’t given me the formal notification yet. So how am I supposed to decide in like a week to repeat the year when I have to figure out finances and maybe get a co-signer in a week? That too I’m burnt out and I’m a human being that’s getting no break at all due to the pandemic.

          Would it be a good idea to drop out if they make me repeat the year and reapply to another pharmacy school? Bc I don’t like their treatment towards students and how the handbook isn’t clear
           
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          lord999

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            As for the handbook, it seems that the faculty gave themselves an out as they may offer but do not have to. That is something you will have to advocate for. If it is the school I am thinking of, I would absolutely keep detailed notes.
             

            lord999

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              I failed basic PK last semester and passed the remediation exam. This semester I failed Medicinal Chemistry 1 and Pharmacotherapy 1. This semester is not reflective of my best work due to the pandemic and I wasn’t even given the option to take the remedial exam. They even changed the grading scale for PT final from 20% to 40% after the pandemic.

              Ok, I have no particular agenda here, but if I were on your retention committee, I would probably ask you to repeat the year or possibly retake biochemistry and physiology depending on the course coordinator reports. The classes you have failed put you in a position that even if you do remediate, you actually are at a high risk for failure in the immediate next term and honestly, the school has a duty to ensure that you have a reasonable chance of passing the Boards which you do not have with those scores.

              PK is a self-contained class, but it is considered part of the calculation series that failure used to mean an immediate fail out because that is something you cannot get wrong in patients. If you failed the two of the fundamental three pharmacy core classes (those being Pharmacology, Med Chem, and Pharmacotherapy), I can see a committee not allowing a remediation on grounds that you would be a guaranteed failure in the next term for lack of fundamental sequence preparation. You have three failures over the academic year, which could mean a dismissal, but the classes you failed are ones that are cumulative issues preventing you from succeeding next term. Those three classes, you have to do especially well in. In terms of calculations (PK), failure of that class used to be an automatic dismissal until the last decade with no remediation (it was considered to be the high stakes class for that reason).

              If you want to petition for a remediation, you need to take notes on what you did to advocate for yourself in front of the ASD committee. However, there are judgment matters where they would take your entire class portfolio into account before making a decision, and if you already came into the term with a failure on a calculations class, that would be something that would unfortunately count heavily against you on a baseline assessment issue.

              You have to work on your basic sciences knowledge in order to do well in the core courses. Your transcript is probably too shaky to proceed to the next term. I would focus on remedying those deficiencies at this point if you wish to continue.

              i received a B average on the PCOA compared to my peers. I also was above average in the basic sciences category compared nationally in the PCOA. I also was someone to receive an 86% on the PCAT. I received an A in microbiology and calculations class in P1 year. I also never failed P1 year.

              this semester me failing 2 classes was due to the pandemic stresses and it’s not reflecting my best work. I didn’t receive a 40% on PT. The course coordinator changed the grading scale for the final to make the final worth 40% of our grade in the middle of a pandemic, which was not fair.

              I’m confident that I’ll do better my next semester and the boards. I just feel like unprecedented times call for exceptional measures and this pandemic was very disruptive and the shift to online classes was not ideal.

              there are students in my school who cheat during an exam using their phones and they get the chance to repeat the year when they really should be dismissed. There are students who fail 2 classes every year and still advance. They fail Medicinal Chemistry and PT every year and are given the chance to remediate because that is not exceeding more than 2 classes in a year. How are those students easily given the chance to proceed and remediate? How are these students ready for the boards? The school doesn’t make them go to the ASP committee because they are within their 2 course failure in a year limit.
               
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