Section 7: Technical Standards, Academic and Clinic Progress

7.1 NUNM Technical Standards

NUNM Technical Standards and Expectations

Health sciences programs have a societal responsibility to train competent graduates, healthcare providers and scientists that demonstrate critical judgment, extensive knowledge and well‐honed technical skills. Students and graduates are engaging in a career in a profession that requires the highest standards of ethical conduct, honesty, and professionalism. NUNM students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the high ethical standards expected of professionals who may be required to assume responsibility for the life, health, and wellbeing of others. Every student is expected to demonstrate a level of competence consistent with these professional responsibilities and NUNM has the right to discipline, suspend or expel, at any time, any student considered unfit for a career as a practitioner of naturopathic and/or Chinese medicine, in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth in in the university student handbook.

The Technical Standards define the essential functions that an applicant or student must be able to perform to be admitted to NUNM, progress satisfactorily through an NUNM program of study, and to graduate.

To be qualified for health sciences programs at NUNM, those individuals must be able to meet both NUNM’s academic standards and the technical standards, with or without any reasonable accommodation as established by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Technical Standards for all Programs

For entry, participation and graduation from all NUNM programs, students must be able to:

Communication Skills

  • Communicate effectively, accurately and sensitively with all community members (including but not limited to faculty, administrators, staff, peers, patients, and/or clients) both orally and in writing.

Empathy Toward Diversity

  • Recognize personal perspectives on cultural and personal identity and the potential intersection with others’ cultural identities.
  • Actively work to subjugate their own biases so as to act in the best interest of others.

Flexibility

  • Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function within the uncertainty inherent to situations encountered within diverse health sciences programs.

Motor Skills

  • Manipulate the equipment, instruments, apparatus, and tools necessary to complete program requirements.

Observation and Participation

  • Observe demonstrations and participate in laboratory work, such as dissection of cadavers and gross and microscopic examination of specimens.

Personal Responsibility

  • Admit errors and assume personal responsibility for mistakes.
  • Respond to feedback, suggestions and criticism in a constructive manner and modify behavior appropriately.

Physical Capability

  • Tolerate physically taxing workloads, environments, schedules and/or travel. Function effectively in times of stress.

Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

  • Solve problems and think critically to develop appropriate products and services.
  • Acquire and synthesize information to develop and defend conclusions regarding observations and outcomes.

Relationships

  • Maintain professional, respectful, mature and compassionate relationships with all community members. Demonstrate concern for others.
  • Maintain appropriate professional boundaries.
  • Demonstrate the ability to express opinions, alternative points of view and/or support or challenge others in a non-conflictual manner.
  • Contribute effectively within a team, and as an individual.

Self-Awareness

  • Demonstrate self-awareness of one’s emotional state and reactions and how they impact others.
  • Practice appropriate strategies for effectively dealing with stress, uncertainty, and conflict.

Timeliness

  • Respond and complete all assignments, duties and requests in a timely manner.

Trustworthiness

  • Maintain standards of honesty and integrity, including intellectual honesty

Technical Standards for Clinical Programs

For entry, participation and graduation from NUNM’s programs that include a clinical component, students must meet the criteria listed above in addition to the following:

Communication Skills

  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, their families and members of the healthcare team.
  • Obtain a medical history in a timely fashion, interpret non-verbal aspects of communication and establish therapeutic relationships with patients.
  • Record information accurately and clearly; and communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals in a variety of clinical settings.

Motor Skills

  • Possess the capacity to perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers.
  • Respond to emergency situations in a timely manner and provide general and emergency care.
  • Adhere to universal precaution measures and meet safety standards applicable to outpatient settings and other clinical activities.

Observation

  • Accurately observe patients and assess findings.
  • Obtain a medical history and perform a complete physical examination in order to integrate findings based on these observations and to develop an appropriate diagnostic and treatment plan. These skills require the use of vision, hearing and touch, or the functional equivalent.

Professional Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the ethical and legal standards of the profession.

7.2 Satisfactory Academic Progress – Graduate Level

Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree in order to continue in the program and to continue to receive federal, state and institutional financial aid. Students must enroll in courses per published and/or approved curriculum layouts (unless on an approved deviated track).

“Satisfactory Academic Progress” is defined as:

  • Passing grades in all academic courses and clinical rotations (for clinical students); and
  • Passing all program requirements within one and one-half (1.5) times the length of the longest published enrolled program, generally between 5-7 years; and
  • Maintaining a minimum of 11 credits each term (excluding summer unless applicable), unless on an approved deviated track.

Clinical students who receive two (2) or more failing grades of “D” or “F” in courses, clinic rotations, or OSCE exam are considered not making satisfactory academic progress in a 12-month period.

School of Graduates Studies students who receive  three (3) or more grades of “C” or lower in their academic career, or two or more failing grades of “D” or “F”, or falling below full-time status for more than one term (unless on an approved deviated track), are considered not making satisfactory academic progress.

The Academic Progress Committee meets twice per academic term to determine students’ academic progress. Students making unsatisfactory academic progress will be referred to the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC) as described in Section 7.6.

If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress in a course prior to the end of the term, the faculty member may request the student to access tutoring; and may share concerns with the program dean and/or director of academic access and success about classroom attendance, performance on examinations, and any other factors that may impact the student’s success in the course.

Financial aid recipients who fail to make satisfactory academic progress in any term will be subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies in place for that office (see Section 10.10 Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility). These policies are separate from NUNM’s satisfactory academic progress policies.

Students who have “reached maximum timeframe status,” as outlined in Section 10.13, depending on the enrolled program, are considered not to be making satisfactory academic progress and will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

Maintaining Active Enrollment for Satisfactory Academic Progress

To maintain an active enrolled student status, a minimum enrollment of one credit is required. Any student who does not enroll in a minimum of one (1) credit each quarter will be considered withdrawn and must reapply, and will be subject to the graduation requirements in the catalog specific to the year of reapplication (this does not apply to standard summer breaks).

Students who have met all course requirements but have outstanding graduation requirements such as a DSOM capstone, MSiMR thesis, clinical hours, clinical proficiency objectives (CPOs), preceptor hours, or other graduation requirements, must register for either one (1) credit of “Thesis/Capstone Completion” or one (1) credit of “Graduation Completion” each term until all graduation requirements are met. DSOM and MSiMR student have a maximum of one (1) academic year to complete their thesis/capstone. ND students have a maximum of two academic terms to finish all outstanding requirements. Students also must adhere to the maximum length of program requirement. Students are not eligible for financial aid while registered for a Thesis/Capstone or Graduation Completion credit.

Failure to register each term for thesis/capstone/graduation completion credit will constitute a withdrawal.

If a student wants to continue beyond the maximum length of program timeline, they will be required to meet with the director of academic access and success and their program dean to determine if they may continue at NUNM. The director of academic access and success and program deans will assess if the student can demonstrate knowledge retention and skills of their program. If it is determined that the student has gaps of knowledge and/or skills, the student will be required to complete additional academic and/or clinical work. Students who are granted an extension to continue their program beyond the maximum length of program deadline will then be matriculated under the university catalog of the year of their extended program, and are subject to the graduation requirements of their program listed in that catalog. Students will be required to sign an academic contract.

7.3 Academic Probation – Graduate Level

Students who fail any course (“F” or “D” grade) or clinic rotation, failing an OSCE exam twice, or receive two or more “FR” grades (regardless of whether remediated) will be placed on academic probation. When placed on probation, all students must meet with an academic advisor to sign an academic contract within one week. This agreement will delineate a timetable for repeating failed courses, identify other needed resources, such as remedial work or additional coursework, and requires that the student not fail any other required courses during the probationary period. Students may not register or receive financial aid until a current academic contract is on file in the Registrar’s Office. See Section 10.10 Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility for financial aid SAP policies. Students who fail to complete an academic contract will be withdrawn from any courses in which they are currently enrolled. Students are advised to meet with their university advisor(s) to discuss strategies for successful completion of their program.

Students are removed from academic probation once any courses or clinic shifts are repeated and passed, and the terms of the academic contract are met.

7.4 Satisfactory Academic Progress – Undergraduate Level

Undergraduate students must maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree in order to continue in the program and to continue to receive federal, state and institutional financial aid.

“Satisfactory Academic Progress” is defined as:

  • Meeting and maintaining the minimum grade point average requirements (2.00); and
  • Having a completion rate of 67% of courses attempted per term; and
  • Having less than the maximum of 1.5 times the number of credits required to graduate, i.e., students cannot enroll in more than a cumulative of 136 attempted credits; and
    • Multiple withdrawals from courses will impact a student’s eligibility to make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Degree completion within the maximum length of study (defined as 1.5 times the length of the longest undergraduate program); and
  • Taking a minimum of 12 credits each term (excluding summer unless applicable), unless on an approved deviated track.

Students who earn a term GPA of less than 2.00 and have a cumulative GPA below 2.00, or earn a term GPA of less than 1.50 and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00-4.00, are considered not making satisfactory academic progress.

The Academic Progress Committee meets twice per academic term to determine students’ academic progress, and students may be referred to the Center for Academic Success or to the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC). Students must enroll in courses per published and/or approved curriculum layouts.

A minimum enrollment of one (1) credit is required to maintain student status. Any student who does not enroll in a minimum of one (1) credit each quarter will be considered withdrawn, must reapply, and will be subject to graduation requirements under the new catalog (this does not apply to standard summer breaks).

Students who have met all graduation requirements, except for the capstone/internship, must register each term for one (1) credit of “Graduation Completion” until they have completed their requirements (students will not be aid-eligible at this point); with a maximum of two academic terms. Failure to register each term for the graduation completion credit will constitute a withdrawal.

If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress during a course prior to the end of the term, the faculty member may request the student to access tutoring and may share concerns with the program dean and/or the Center for Academic Success about classroom attendance, performance on examinations, as well as any other factors that may impact the student’s success in the course.

Financial aid recipients who fail to make satisfactory academic progress in any term will be subject to the terms and conditions outlined in the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies in place for that office (see Section 10.10 Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility). These policies are separate from the institution’s satisfactory academic progress policies.

Students who have “reached maximum timeframe status”, as outlined in Section 10.14, are considered not to be making satisfactory academic progress and will no longer be eligible for federal financial aid.

If a student wants to continue their program beyond the deadlines, they will be required to meet with the Center for Academic Success and program dean to determine if they may continue at NUNM. The academic advisor and program dean will assess if the student can demonstrate knowledge retention and skills of their program. If it is determined that the student has gaps of knowledge and/or skills, the student will be required to complete additional academic work. Students who are permitted to continue their program beyond the one and one-half (1.5) times the length of the longest published enrolled program will be required to follow the university catalog of the year of their extended program. These students are subject to the graduation requirements of their program listed in that catalog and are required to sign an academic contract.

7.5 Undergraduate Academic Standing

Academic standing and credit completion are monitored for all students at the end of each term (including summer) by the Registrar’s Office, which will notify the student and the Center for Academic Success when the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. Students receiving financial aid need should review the financial aid satisfactory academic progress requirements for continued eligibility in Section 10.

The Registrar’s Office monitors student GPAs (both term and cumulative) for academic standing and credit completion to determine sufficient progress toward degree completion. Incomplete grades are not calculated as a part of a student GPA. Academic standing and insufficient credit completion are evaluated separately as described below.

Academic Standing

The Registrar Office and the Center for Academic Success use the following categories to describe a student’s academic standing when unsatisfactory. These categories are as follows:

Academic Warning

Academic warning status occurs when a student earns a letter grade of “D” or less in an individual course. A student may still be considered to be in good academic standing if their cumulative GPA is at or above a 2.00. A letter grade of “D” is identified as a concern of potential academic problems if not rectified. While on a warning status, a student is expected to meet with an academic advisor to develop a plan to address the concern.

Academic Probation

Academic probation occurs when a student earns a term GPA of below 2.00 and has a cumulative GPA below 2.00; or earns a term GPA of less than 1.50 and has a cumulative GPA of 2.00-4.00.

When placed on academic probation, a student must meet with an academic advisor in the Center for Academic Success to sign an academic contract within one week of notification. The academic contract will identify needed resources, including but not limited to remedial work, additional coursework, tutoring, or repeating course(s), and requires that the student improve their GPA.

Students are removed from academic probation once they have earned a minimum term GPA of 2.25 and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00, and the terms of the academic contract are met.

Students may not register or receive financial aid until a current academic contract is on file in the Registrar’s Office. See Section 10.10 Criteria for Continued Student Eligibility for Financial Aid SAP policies. Students who fail to complete an academic contract within one week may be withdrawn from any courses in which they are currently enrolled and/or placed on registration hold.

A student who does not meet the criteria to be removed from the current level of standing, and who does not escalate to the next level of standing, will continue on in the current standing and be subject to the same requirements.

While on academic probation, if a student receives an additional term GPA of less than 2.00, they will be referred to the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC), as outlined in Section 7.6.

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension occurs when a student is ineligible to enroll at the university for a specified period of time. Suspended status is noted on the student’s official transcript. Suspension is determined through the ARAC process.

A student has the right to appeal an academic suspension as outlined in Section 7.8.

7.6 Academic Review and Appeals Committee

The Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC) is an institutional process with a degree-program specific outcome. The committee is composed of four faculty members and chaired by the registrar, who convenes the meetings. Program deans appoint faculty members who serve on the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC). Meetings of the ARAC are not legal proceedings. No attorneys may be present at any meeting of the committee. Students should submit any supporting paperwork for early review to the registrar, prior to the meeting with the ARAC.

Graduate Programs

ARAC reviews student progress both in required courses and in the clinic. A student required to attend an ARAC meeting is not permitted to withdraw or take a leave of absence from NUNM until they have resolved the referral to the committee.

Essential elements reviewed by ARAC during student hearings include but are not limited to:

  • Failure of a course, clinic shift or OSCE
  • Failure to complete an academic contract in a timely manner
  • Failure to comply with the terms of an academic contract
  • Remediated courses
  • Failure of two or more required courses in different degree programs
  • Failure to follow approved and/or published curriculum layout
  • Failure to make satisfactory progress in a required research project (MSiMR students)

The committee will review the situation, meet with the student, and make a recommendation to the program dean(s). Recommendations may be, but not limited to, any of the following regarding the student’s change of status:

  • Probationary status requiring counseling or support for the conduct in question;
  • Development of a revised academic contract outlining a timeline for converting the failing grades to passing grades that may include restrictions on new coursework undertaken by the student until the failing grades are changed. This will allow financial aid eligibility to be maintained.
  • Suspension from NUNM or from a specific program

Suspension from a single university program or from all university programs may occur in the following cases:

  • Failure to satisfy an academic contract
  • Failure of two clinic shifts in an academic career
  • Failure of two required classes in a given quarter, including electives
  • Failure of two sequential classes
  • Failure of same class twice
  • Failure to meet technical standards
  • Receiving three or more RCs, RPs, or grades of “D” or less in an academic career
  • Failure of any OSCE three (3) times for ND students
  • Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress

Undergraduate Programs

ARAC reviews student progress in courses. A student required to attend an ARAC meeting is not permitted to withdraw or take a leave of absence from NUNM until they have resolved the referral to the committee.

Essential elements reviewed by ARAC during undergraduate student hearings include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure of courses
  • Failure to complete an academic contract in a timely manner
  • Failure to comply with the terms of an academic contract
  • Failure to follow approved and/or published curriculum layout
  • Failure to make satisfactory progress in the capstone project

The committee will review the situation, meet with the student, and make a recommendation to the program dean(s). Recommendations may be, but not limited to, any of the following regarding the student’s change of status:

  • The ability to continue in the program under academic probation status;
  • Requirement of personal counseling or support for the conduct in question;
  • Develop and sign a revised academic contract with the Center for Academic Success that outlines a timeline for resolving GPA concerns. This may include additional restrictions on new coursework undertaken by the student until the probation status is lifted.
  • Suspension from NUNM

Suspension from NUNM may occur in the following cases:

  • Failure to satisfy an academic contract
  • A term GPA of less than 2.25 and a cumulative GPA below 2.00 while on academic probation
  • Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress

A student who is academically suspended a second time will be expelled from NUNM, and will forfeit the opportunity to enroll at NUNM. See Section 14.13 for expulsion.

7.7 Record of Academic Review and Appeal Committee Proceedings

An audio recording of the meeting and/or hearing and confidential deliberations will be made, and individual members and/or the chair may take notes during the hearing. The recording and any notes are prepared by and for the committee members, and for the provost, to aid in his or her review of the hearing and any appeal of the committee’s decision. To protect student confidentiality and the integrity of its process, neither the recording nor the notes are available for student review.

No other electronic devices (including, but not limited to, cell phones, computers and additional recorders) may be used during the hearing or committee meeting, unless expressly permitted by the committee chair.

The official record will include:

  • Notice of hearing
  • Written submissions by the student, including supporting documents
  • Evidence received or considered, including written statements and exhibits by other students, faculty and others, and summaries of any witness testimony at the hearing or meeting
  • Statement of the matters officially noticed
  • Findings and conclusions by the committee
  • Written summary of the hearing
  • Final decision letters, including any appeal decision letters
  • Stipulations and agreements
  • Documentation of fulfillment of, or failure to, fulfill any sanction

These documents will become a part of the student’s Student Academic Records file, and will be part of a student’s permanent record.

7.8 Appeal of Academic Suspension

A student suspended will have three (3) business days from the date of the sanction notification to submit an intention to appeal to the provost, or the provost’s designee, in writing. The student then has seven (7) calendar days to submit the written appeal and supporting documentation to the provost or designee. The written appeal does not provide an opportunity for the committee to rehear the case. The provost, or the provost’s designee, will respond to the written appeal with a final decision within ten (10) business days, not including weekends and published holidays that the university is closed, based on assessment of the information presented by the dean and the committee, the student, and a review of the investigation process and procedure. In an unusual circumstance the provost, or the provost’s designee, may require more than 10 business days given additional information that must be taken under consideration. The provost, or the provost’s designee, will notify the student with an approximate decision date if it appears that the appeal will take longer than 10 business days. An appeal must contain the basis for the appeal limited to one or more of the following issues:

  • Failure of the program dean or the Academic Review and Appeals Committee (ARAC) to follow the procedures set forth in the policy on unsatisfactory academic progress.
  • The sanction is grossly out of proportion/alignment with the offense.
  • Information relevant to the decision that was not available to the committee for consideration at the time of the hearing. Failure to appear at an ARAC meeting is not grounds for an appeal without an approved excused absence.

The provost may elect to uphold the decision of the dean; reverse the decision; request a different resolution; or refer the case back to the ARAC if there is new information that was previously not available to the ARAC for consideration.

7.9 Reapplication and Readmissions Policy for Academic Suspension – Graduate Level

Students who have been suspended cannot submit an application for readmission to NUNM for a minimum of one (1) calendar year from time of suspension, unless noted differently in the suspension letter. A suspended student who wishes to apply for readmission to NUNM must meet one of the following criteria at the time of suspension:

  • The student had a serious illness or medical issue.
  • An event, or series of events, occurred that prohibited the student’s academic performance due to high levels of stress. Examples would include a death in the family, divorce or separation from a long-term partner, assault.
  • Documentation of a disability that can be, but has not been previously or reasonably, accommodated.
  • The student experienced any other serious problem that significantly affected academic performance.

Documentation may be required to prove that the situation leading to suspension has been remedied. NUNM may impose the following requirements upon readmission for a student who was academically suspended:

  1. Complete remedial work prior to readmission, repeating some courses and/or clinic shifts.
  2. Meet with the Center for Academic Success to sign and comply with all conditions of an academic contract.
  3. Return on academic probation for a minimum of one (1) academic year, and until all previously failed courses have been resolved.

Students who have withdrawn, either administratively or voluntarily, from NUNM must wait one application cycle to apply for readmission. Withdrawn students are required to follow the application process as outlined by the Office of Admissions. NUNM may impose one or more of the following requirements for a student who applies for readmission, and has been separated from NUNM for more than one year:

  1. Take an entrance exam prior to entering the clinic to assess skill level.
  2. Complete remedial work, which may include repeating some courses and/or clinic shifts.
  3. Meet with the Center for Academic Success to sign and comply with all conditions of an academic contract if on academic probation when withdrawn. The student will remain on academic probation until all previously failed courses have been resolved.
  4. Submit and pass an additional drug screening and/or background check.

Expelled students are ineligible for reapplication or readmission to NUNM.

Completing these steps does not guarantee readmission to NUNM. These are the criteria for consideration for reapplication. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the director of admissions, the program dean or dean of students.

7.10 Reapplication and Readmissions Policy for Academic Suspension – Undergraduate Level

Undergraduate students who have been academically suspended cannot submit an application for readmission to NUNM until the following criteria have been met:

  • Demonstrated success of a minimum of 12 credits from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.50 or above. (Submit transcript to the Office of Admissions.); and
  • Submit a reapplication to the Admissions Office. The student should include a personal assessment of their poor performance, and a plan of action for successful completion of their NUNM degree.

NUNM may impose the following requirements upon readmission for a student who was academically suspended:

  1. Student must meet with the Center for Academic Success to sign and comply with all conditions of an academic contract.
  2. Return on academic probation until the student earns a minimum term GPA of 2.50 and has a cumulative GPA of 2.00.

Expelled students are ineligible for reapplication or readmission to NUNM.

Completing these steps does not guarantee readmission to NUNM. These are the criteria for consideration for reapplication. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the director of admissions, the program dean or dean of students.