CMSV 311 Academic Warning/Academic Probation

Policy Name: Academic Warning/Academic Probation

The College of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program has established standards for academic performance. All students in the program are expected to maintain good academic standing. The program considers a cumulative GPA of 3.00, or a “B,” to be evidence of good academic standing. Students are generally allowed one semester on probation to improve their academic performance and to raise their cumulative GPA to 3.00. Students with serious or continuing deficiencies will be academically dismissed from the program.

A student in the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program who fails to satisfy the academic standards of the program usually will be placed on ‘Academic Warning’ or ‘Academic Probation.’ There remains, however, certain instances and circumstances when a student who fails to satisfy the applicable academic standards will be dismissed from the program, even though they were not placed on a formal warning/probation status. Please see the Academic Dismissal Policy for more information.

No student will be allowed to progress through the program if the student fails any assigned course. The parameters are as follows:

  • Any course with a letter grade below a “C-” (70%) in conjunction with:
    • A failed comprehensive make-up examination.
    • A second failure of an assigned course within the didactic phase (year) of the program.
  • Any pass/fail course assigned with an “F” as the final grade.

Please note: No student will be allowed to progress through the program if the student has an “I” (Incomplete) as a course designation. 

Academic Warning
This is a designation given to students who are shown to be having academic difficulties in assigned areas of study. The placing of a student within the ‘Academic Warning’ category is up to the discretion of the Academic Performance Committee (APC) based upon a review of a student’s didactic/clinical performance history. The criteria for ‘Academic Warning’ status can include, but is not limited to:

  • Failure of two or more examinations within a given didactic semester course of study.
  • Failure of multiple examinations over the varied courses of study within the didactic semester.
  • Receiving a grade of less than a “C-” in any course of study with a passing remediation (make up) examination or project.
  • Failure of an end-of-rotation examination (EORE) with subsequent successful remediation of the failed exam.
  • Failure of a clinical course or preceptor evaluation.

Academic Probation
This is a designation assigned to students who through their academic performance failed to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 by the end of a didactic semester. Affected students will be given one (1) semester to strengthen their cumulative GPA to 3.00.

Remediation of a Failed Course of Study
If a student receives a failing grade (less than a “C-“) within a program didactic course, they will be allowed to remediate the failed course by completing a remediation assignment as designated by the course coordinator/instructor. This may take the form of:

  • A comprehensive remedial examination.
  • Oral examination.
  • Other assignment(s) designed to demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills required to successfully complete the CMSV-level course.

The student in question must receive a “B-” (80%) or higher on a comprehensive remedial examination.

  • The highest final grade a student can receive if the comprehensive examination is passed is a “C-” (70%) in a letter-graded course or a “P” in a pass/fail course.

Probationary Status (On-Going)
If the student successfully achieves the above stated criteria, along with maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.00 within the interim between the semester in which the failure occurred and the beginning of the following semester, the student shall be allowed to progress in the program under the designation of “Academic Warning.’

  • If the resulting failure of the course of study, along with the successful passing of the comprehensive remedial make up examination results in a student’s cumulative GPA to fall below the 3.00 benchmark, that student will be placed on ‘Academic Probation’ and have one (1) semester to return their cumulative GPA to 3.00.
  • Only two (2) comprehensive course make up examinations will be granted during the didactic year.
  • A failure of a second course within the didactic year will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

Please note: If a student fails a comprehensive course make up examination, the student will be dismissed and/or decelerated from the program following a review and recommendation from the APC.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) Below a 3.00
If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the required 3.00, that student will appear in front of the APC and be placed on ‘Academic Probation.’ At the conclusion of the probationary semester, the student must have a 3.00 or higher cumulative GPA.

  • The student will have 1-full semester to bring his cumulative GPA to a level of 3.00 or greater.
  • If, by virtue of past academic performance, a student can not mathematically achieve the required 3.00 GPA within the one (1) semester timeframe, that student will be dismissed from the program.

Conditions of Deceleration
Deceleration is a mechanism for allowing students in the program an opportunity to complete the 28-month curriculum through required repetition of a portion of the curriculum as a result of failure to meet the program’s standards for progression. A student who is decelerated will be required to repeat all, or part of, the didactic and/or clinical portion of the curriculum dependent on the recommendation from the APC and approval by the program director.

Deceleration of a student within the program will only be granted under certain criteria:

  • During the course of the didactic and/or clinical phase of study, the student develops a documented medical condition that precludes the student from completing their assigned course(s) of study. Final decision will rest with the program director.
  • A documented personal issue that precludes the student from completing their assigned course(s) of study. Final decision will rest with the program director.
  • Deceleration may occur as a result of an academic failure and the subsequent recommendation of the APC.

Please note: Academic failure does not necessarily mean that the student will be granted deceleration. The deceleration recommendation is made by the APC and forwarded to the program director for final determination of status.

Process of Deceleration
Please review the College’s Deceleration Protocol.

Grievance Procedures
Please review the College’s Student Academic Grievances (CMSV 204)