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Departmental Policy Statement:
Students in Academic Difficulty:
Departmental Position and Process

The philosophical beliefs of faculty members within the Department of Occupational Therapy shape a departmental position regarding faculty interactions with students who experience academic difficulty. We believe that each student has the capacity to reason, self-direct, and assume personal responsibility. We believe that the role of faculty is to facilitate the development of these capacities. We hope that the modeling of such facilitation for students will help them to develop similar interactional skills for future practice in client-centered environments.

The departmental system of advisement is one in which students are expected to seek counsel from their faculty advisors if they need advice about or experience difficulties with academic performance or expectations for professional behavior. Sessions with advisors are documented when an advisor determines that a situation may have a significant impact on performance in either the academic or fieldwork portions of the program. Such documentation is included in the student's departmental file. Situations warranting the awareness and support of all departmental faculty are shared, with the student's permission, in a confidential meeting.

When a student earns a failing grade in any course, the advisor is informed by the course instructor. Students are encouraged at orientation and during the monthly Chair's Hour to approach their advisors in the event of receiving any failing grade so that they can be fully informed of all of the resources that are available to them.

When faculty receive word of a student's having earned a failing grade in a course, they engage in the following:

  1. Contact the student to set up a brief meeting to (a) discuss the student's plan to address the situation, (b) advise the student of the resources available through the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, and (c) suggest that a visit to the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions might allow them to become more fully apprised of possible resources.
  2. Complete a departmental consultation form and place it in the student's file.
After such a session, a student is expected to assume responsibility and take initiative in accessing whatever help he or she deems appropriate. Such proactive and professional behavior will be expected in the fieldwork portion of the program.