Procedure for Institutional Policy E-09: Attendance

Effective
August 29, 2019
Updated
N/A
Previous
N/A

1.    PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to implement and clarify Institutional Policy E-09:  Attendance.

2.    APPLICABILITY

2.1

This procedure applies to all West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) students.

2.2

WVSOM reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate.

3. DEFINITIONS

3.1

“Appropriate Associate Dean” means the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education for Year 1 and Year 2 students and the Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education for Year 3 and Year 4 students. 

3.2

“Instructor of Record” means the course director who is responsible for a particular course. For third 
and fourth year students this would be your Preceptor. 

4. EXCUSED AND UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

4.1 Excused Absences 

4.1.1

Year 1 and Year 2 students are to provide a request via e-mail to the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education (adpreclin@osteo.wvsom.edu). In the case of Year 3 and Year 4 students, he or she will provide a request to the instructor and Regional Assistant Dean to be excused from mandatory activities.  The Associate Dean for Preclinical Education, or in the case of Year 3 and Year 4 students, their Regional Assistant Dean, will determine if the student may be excused and will provide a written excused absence to the office or notify the preceptor for Year 3 and Year 4 students and will copy the student.  The student is to follow up with the Course Director or Year 3 or Year 4 preceptor to make up the required activity.  In the event that the mandatory activity is an exam, the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education, or in the case of Year 3 and Year 4 students, their Regional Assistant Dean, in conjunction with the Office of National Boards and Exam Center, will determine the make-up date for the exam.  If the student misses a graded activity in Year 1 or Year 2 for medical reasons, the student may subsequently be required to present to the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education a written confirmation of his/her illness from a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, none of whom may be in a familial relationship with the student, stating that the student was “too ill to attend on the day of the activity” and specifying the date that the student is to return to class. Year 3 and Year 4 students should submit an exception request form to their Regional Assistant Dean.  

4.1.2

A limited number of excuses may be granted for certain occurrences, such as the following: 

a.

Illness: Student illness and illness in the immediate family that prevent the student from attending any mandatory activity. If the student misses a graded activity in Year 1 or Year 2 for medical reasons, the student may subsequently be required to present to the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education a written confirmation of his/her illness from a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner, none of whom may be in a familial relationship with the student, stating that the student was “too ill to attend on the day of the activity” and specifying the date that the student is to return to class.  Year 3 and Year 4 students are required to be present during all of the clinical rotation and must inform their preceptor and Statewide Campus office if they are unable to attend a day of rotation due to illness to avoid failing the rotation.

b.

Transportation Problems:  Student may be excused if they physically cannot be present due to a documented transportation problem; ex. car broke down, interstate closed down, flight delayed.

c.

Weather Problems: Student who is unable to make it to campus because of a documented weather condition, ex. ice or snow storm, may be excused at the discretion of the appropriate associate dean.

d.

Weddings: Students participating in a wedding are expected to make every reasonable effort to attend classes as scheduled. However, a student who has an immediate family member being married may be excused in Years 1 and 2 at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education. Documentation of the wedding is required for excused absences. Students in Years 3 and 4 will need to schedule vacation time to attend a wedding.

e.

Funerals:  Student may be excused for funerals of a family member or close friend.

f.

Religious Observance:  Students may be excused for up to five (5) days for observance of religious holy days.  Absences from graded activities should be avoided.  Students in Years 3 and 4 should consult their statewide campus office regarding being excused for the observance of religious holidays.

g.

Off Campus Professional Meetings:  Student may be excused for attending an off campus professional meeting if they meet academic criteria and are a club officer.  Student must submit the "Off campus meeting form" to the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education or, in the 3rd and 4th year, to their Statewide Campus Regional Assistant Dean.

h.

DO Day on the Hill: All Year 1 and Year 2 students, unless on Academically-at-Risk 2, are eligible to be excused for DO Day on the Hill. Year 3 and Year 4 students may be excused from rotations, providing that participation does not detract from the cumulative number of days on rotation. Year 3 and Year 4 students will need to submit an exception request form to their Regional Assistant Dean for approval.

4.2 Unexcused Absences 

4.2.1

Year 1 and Year 2 Students with an unexcused absence for a mandatory activity will have points 
or a percentage of their grade deducted. 

4.2.2

Students who miss a mandatory activity will be required to make up the activity whether the absence is excused or unexcused. For Year 1 and Year 2 Students the course director or his or her designee will determine the makeup activity.  All courses are required to develop a mechanism for documenting attendance at mandatory activities.  

4.2.3

An absence from any rotation without approval will be regarded as an unexcused absence. In the event of an unexcused absence, a written explanation from the student must be sent to the WVSOM Statewide Campus Regional Assistant Dean, who will handle the problem. A student who leaves a rotation site without authorization of WVSOM’s Statewide Campus office will automatically receive a failing grade. The student will not be permitted to participate in any future rotations until the WVSOM Statewide Campus Regional Assistant Dean has authorized the return to clinical rotations. 

4.3 Chronic Lateness 

4.3.1

Documented chronic lateness is considered unprofessional behavior. Progressive discipline will be used to address students who are late to mandatory activities, which includes all Year 3 and 4 rotations. Verbal feedback will initially occur followed by a written warning; chronic lateness will be reported to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs as unprofessional behavior and may result in further action in accordance with the policies and procedures of Institutional Policy ST-01:  Academic and Professional Standards. 

4.3.2

Year 1 and Year 2 Students who do not complete all course assignments, including makeup activities, according to the due date on the syllabus will receive a grade penalty unless there are extenuating circumstances in the judgment of the course director that prevented the student from completing all course work. Students with documented extenuating circumstances will receive an Incomplete (I) until the course assignment(s) has been completed within the time frame determined by the course director. 

5. OFF-CAMPUS MEETING ATTENDANCE

5.1

The following procedure pertains to all student leave from classes/rotations to attend off-campus meetings even if no classes/rotations will be missed. It recognizes that the medical student’s major responsibility should be to attend class, labs, and other designated activities in order to gain the mastery of skills and knowledge that is necessary to practice medicine. While attending national meetings can be instructive and add to a student’s overall knowledge base, students must first gain basic skills and information from the classroom. Thus, while it is recognized that students have discretion to attend certain classes, it is also recognized that it is a privilege, not a right, for a medical student to be allowed to attend national meetings. Therefore, students will be required to adhere to the following procedure whether or not they would be missing a required class or exam. 

5.2 Criteria for Meeting Leave Approval 

5.2.1

Student must meet the appropriate Class Eligibility Requirements noted below. 

5.2.2

Student must be in good academic standing. 

5.2.3

Students must have a cumulative overall grade point average of 80 or greater. 

5.2.4

The meeting must have a student educational component. (e.g., there must be an educational program at the meeting specifically for students, such as the student programs at the AOA, AAO, ACOFP, or SOMA.) OR, the student must hold an office which must be represented at a board meeting, (e.g., representative to the SGA meeting.) 

5.2.5

The meeting leave must first be approved by the student’s Regional Assistant Dean, if 
applicable, and the appropriate Associate Dean. 

5.2.6

The meeting leave must also be approved by the Instructor of Record where appropriate. (See 
below.) 

5.2.7

Depending on the nature of the meeting attended, the student may be required to provide an oral report on the meeting to an appropriate constituent group.

5.3 Process for Applying for Meeting Leave 

5.3.1

Students should initiate the process by filling out the Off-Campus Meeting Attendance Request Form, which is available at the Statewide Campus offices or at the appropriate Associate Dean’s office. Approval must be obtained at least THREE WEEKS prior to the commencement of the trip. Forms must be filled out by each individual student. This form will only be given to students who are eligible to ask for meeting leave. Students MUST fill out this form whether they are missing any required course work or not. Failure to fill out this form will result in revoking permission to go to other meetings during student years and may result in other academic sanctions, including, for Year 1 and Year 2 students, the mention of this unprofessional behavior in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation. Students must also verify that their health insurance provides coverage in the State they wish to travel. 

5.3.2

Year 3 and Year 4 students must next seek approval for the trip from the appropriate Regional Assistant and then from the Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education by obtaining his or her signature on the form. 

5.3.3

Once the trip has been pre-approved by the appropriate Associate Dean, if the student is going to miss any mandatory activities (e.g., classes, exams, quizzes, labs, TBLs, presentation wrap-ups or other activities), he or she must also receive written approval from the involved Instructor(s) or Preceptor of Record. The Instructor(s) of Record or Preceptor will NOT sign off on any trip until the appropriate Associate Dean has signed the form. NOTE: Although the Associate Dean may approve student meeting leave, the Instructor(s) of Record or Preceptor may be aware of specific performance issues, or have other concerns which would preclude them from approving a student’s trip. That is why, under the circumstances above, both must sign of in order for the trip to be approved. 

5.3.4

Written approval by the Instructor(s) of Record or Preceptor (per #3 above) must state how and when the required activities are going to be made up. (Instructors of Record have the right to specifically identify a non-negotiable time and date for all make-up exams as well as other work due). If more than one required class will be missed, students must have each Instructor of Record involved approve and sign off on the leave.

5.3.5

After receiving the appropriate signatures, Year 1 and Year 2 students must return the form to the Associate Dean for Pre-Clinical Education’s office for final approval. If the form is not returned at least TWO WEEKS prior to the commencement of the trip, permission to attend the meeting will be revoked. In the case of Year 3 and Year 4 students, the form must be returned to their Statewide Campus office at least three weeks prior to the commencement of the trip. The Associate Dean for Predoctoral Education will then determine if the student may take leave. 

5.4 Class Eligibility Requirements  

5.4.1

Year 1 Students:  No Year 1 student may be permitted to attend state and/or national meetings from August through December of the first year. Year 1 students will be allowed to attend one national meeting from January through May, provided they meet the criteria set forth above. All required academic activities missed must be made up. Arrangements for make-up must be made and approved in writing by the Instructor of Record a minimum of THREE WEEKS prior to attending the meeting. Instructors of Record have the right to specifically identify a non-negotiable time and date for all make-up work due. A first year student will not be allowed to miss exams to attend a meeting, unless their attendance is required by a national organization. 

5.4.2

Year 2 Students:  Year 2 students may be allowed to attend one meeting per year providing they meet the criteria set forth above. All required activities missed must be made up. Arrangements for make-up must be made and approved in writing by the Instructor of Record a minimum of THREE WEEKS prior to attending the meeting. Instructors of Record have the right to specifically identify a non-negotiable time and date for all make-up exams as well as other work due

5.4.3 Year 3 and Year 4 Students:

a.

Year 3 students may be allowed to attend one meeting during their third year. However, students will not be able to attend meetings during core required rotations unless the attending preceptor is also attending the meeting. Students may not attend meetings during any two-week rotation.

b.    

Year 4 students may attend one meeting during their fourth year as long as it is not during a required rotation (unless the preceptor is also attending the meeting) or during a two-week rotation.  Year 4 students may attend a second meeting, if there is a valid reason, with permission of the Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education and the preceptor.

c.

All Year 3 and Year 4 required activities must be made up. Arrangements for make-up must be made and approved by the preceptor/Director of Medical Education and the appropriate Regional Assistant Dean at least THREE WEEKS prior to attending the meeting. Students must still meet the criteria listed in section Ill above. No student should buy a nonrefundable ticket or pay a nonrefundable conference fee before receiving final approval from the Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education.

5.5 Exceptions for Student Officers

5.5.1

Students, who hold an office in a school-supported club or organization and are required to attend national meetings because of this office, may be allowed to attend more than one meeting per year in order to fulfill this obligation. (e.g., students may still attend one meeting of their choice as well as the meetings they are required to attend by virtue of their office.) Student officers must still meet all of the criteria listed above. In addition, officers must document the necessity for their attendance. 

5.5.2

Proxies attending required organization meetings will be allowed under unusual circumstances if permission is sought and obtained from the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. The proxy must also meet all of the criteria listed above. 

5.6 Other Exceptions 

5.6.1

A single meeting each year can be attended for the purpose of presentation of scholarly activity such as papers or posters. This exception will be considered for primary authors or presenters only. The total time away from clinical rotations cannot exceed two (2) days. 

5.6.2

D.O. Day on the Hill in Washington is exempt from meeting limitations listed in this policy. (For Year 3 and Year 4 students, this is subject to approval by the Regional Assistant Dean.) 

5.6.3

On occasion, meetings will be held back-to-back in the same place (e.g., SOMA and AOA). When this occurs, students may petition to attend both or parts of both meetings where appropriate, but must show a valid purpose for their attendance. 

5.6.4

The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean reserves the right to deny any student request for meeting leave, or grant other exceptions when appropriate.