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Procedures and Guidelines

Academic Expectations, Academic Advancement and Promotion

Categories: MPT PT advancement expectations promotions Physical Therapy

Updated on:

Scope

These academic standards concur with the Policy and Procedures of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. They apply to both the theoretical and experiential learning activities of the MPT program; that is, they apply equally to theoretical, laboratory, and clinical components of the program.

Definitions: For the purpose of this document, a MPT graduate “course” refers to ALL of the following:

  • Any course with assigned credit units, regardless of the number of credit units assigned
  •  Any single clinical placement, regardless whether it is situated within a clinical practice course comprised of more than one clinical placement.

Academic Standards

  • The passing mark for a MPT graduate course as per CGPS policy is 60% (CGPS P&P 5.8) except for courses where there is an approved Pass or Fail verses assignment of a percentage mark. In addition to achieving an overall course grade of 60% or a Pass, some MPT graduate courses may have specific stipulations (e.g., successful completion of certain assignments, successful completion of laboratory or OSCE examinations, competency checklists or other components of evaluation) that require a higher passing mark (i.e. 70% or greater) in order to pass a particular course. Any such specific stipulations must be identified in the Course Outline.
  • A cumulative weighted average of 70% is a requirement at each promotion point in the program [1]. A cumulative weighted average [2] (CWA) of 70% is required to meet the convocation requirements for the Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.). Students may be required to re-enter the program, take remedial courses or be Required to Discontinue the program if their CWA falls below 70% at any point in the program.
[1] Promotion points occur at the end of Modules 2, 5 and 10
[2] The Cumulative Weighted Average is calculated by dividing the sum of the products of the grade and the credit unit value for each course taken, by the total number of credit units taken.

Academic Monitoring

  • Course instructors (including for Clinical Practice Courses) will notify the Chair of the School of Rehabilitation Science (SRS) Academic Affairs Committee, (the Director) or Designate regarding academic performance that does not meet minimum standard expectations (e.g., failure of a course component designated as needing to be passed, failure of a clinical placement or failure of a course).
  • The Academic Affairs Committee monitors and reviews all student academic advancement. Granting of and processes to follow for supplemental examinations &/or supplemental clinical placements is considered based on MPT Examination Regulations and related Clinical Practice Courses procedures.
  • The Academic Program Assistant will update the student record at the end of each module.
  • If at any time student progress does not meet minimum achievement expectations to advance, the Director or Designate will report to the School of Rehabilitation Science Academic Affairs Committee who will consider and recommend appropriate action.
  • The Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) will meet on a regular basis to review academic performance. They will approve promotion to continue in the program at the end of modules 2 and 5. Approval of meeting academic requirements for convocation will be reviewed after module 10, and a motion will be forwarded to the School of Rehabilitation Science Faculty Council for approval.
  • Students receive a written report providing their CWA at each promotion point, and will be notified at regular intervals (i.e., at the end of Module II and V) what their CWA is.

Unsatisfactory Academic Performance

Unsatisfactory academic performance pertains to failure to meet established standards. The School of Rehabilitation Science follows the literal descriptors for Academic Standards for interpretation of performance in graduate course work as per the CGPS policies. Situations where students do not meet the expectations regarding professional behavior and ethical conduct may also result in unsatisfactory academic performance. Refer to the Standard Operating Procedures for Procedure for Concerns with Masters of Physical Therapy Student Professional Behaviour. For the purpose of this policy, unsatisfactory academic performance includes:
  • Failure to achieve a Pass on a Pass/Fail Course (which includes any single clinical placement regardless whether embedded into a Course)
  •  Failure to achieve a grade of 60% in a graded course
  • Failure to successfully meet minimum mandatory requirements for any stipulated components of a course
  • Failure to maintain a CWA of 70% at each promotion point.
  • Note: The requirements for successful completion of the five clinical practice courses must be fulfilled in correct sequence: PTH 850.1, PTH 852.4, PTH 854.4, PTH 856.15, PTH 858.6 .(Refer to Clinical Practice Courses Procedures and Guidelines)
In determining the consequences for unsatisfactory academic performance, the MPT Academic Affairs Committee will deliberate utilizing one or more of the following resources and information: 1) the student’s academic and professional behavior record, 2) provision of accommodations in the case where a student is registered with AES, 3) written submission from the student to Academic Affairs, 4) discussion and decision from the Clinical Practice Courses Subcommittee in determination of a pass/fail, 5) information regarding significant patient safety or professionalism concerns in a clinical placement or clinical practical examination, 6) other relevant information from course instructors OR 7) consultation with the Associate Dean of CGPS.
Upon the first incidence of unsatisfactory academic performance (as noted above; i.e. failure of a course component designated as needing to be passed, failure of a clinical placement or failure of a course), the course of action would normally include one or more of the following:
  • Supplemental examination or supplementary clinical placement,
  • Remediation as determined by SRS Academic Affairs, in consultation with the instructor(s),
  • Delayed Clinical Placement or Course,
    • (As the M.P.T. program schedule may not allow sufficient time to prepare for a supplemental exam or take a remedial course, delays and disruptions to the normal timeline for completion of the MPT may be required).
Upon the second incidence of unsatisfactory academic performance (i.e. a failed stipulated component of a course, a course, a clinical placement, failure to meet the 70% CWA at a second promotion point, or failed supplemental examination or clinical placement), the course of action would normally include one or more of the following:
  • Stopping any further advancement in the program
  • Re-entry into the program at a stipulated time point which would normally include repeating courses previously completed in order to provide sufficient remediation in bringing performance to a level where the chances for successful re-entry are optimized.*
  • A recommendation for Requirement to Discontinue sent to the Associate Dean of CGPS.**
The student would be provided the opportunity to submit in writing any extenuating circumstances or rationale for not meeting academic expectations to the Director or Designate
SRS Academic Affairs will review all evidence including course marks, pass/fail of courses and clinical placements, professional behaviour, CWA, and any other performance indicators documented by AA, and other documentation submitted by the student.
* This decision normally would be made in situations where: 1) the student has demonstrated consistently satisfactory academic and professional performance in other courses; and/or 2) there are legitimate extenuating circumstances that may have impacted performance that could not have feasibly been identified or reported prior to the evaluation.
**Requirement to discontinue (CGPS 15.1) recommended for approval by the Associate Dean of CGPS. A requirement to discontinue would normally be the course of action when:
  • all other options as described above have been exhausted,
  • the student does not meet the criteria for consideration of re-entry in the program or
  • in the case where the student has re-entered the program due to previous unsatisfactory academic performance, the student subsequently does not attain the minimum academic requirements for ANY subsequent mandatory course component, course mark or clinical placement after re-entry.
When the Academic Affairs Committee recommends to the Associate Dean, CGPS that a student is required to discontinue, the committee must also inform the student in writing by providing a copy of the recommendation. Refer to the CGPS policy and procedures link above for more information.

Promotion and Convocation

  • Faculty Council of the School of Rehabilitation Science will review recommendations from the School of Rehabilitation Science Academic Affairs Committee regarding academic progress of the students at the intermediate promotion point (i.e., spring Faculty Council Meeting in May) and approve advancement decisions.
  • Faculty Council of the School of Rehabilitation Science will review recommendations from the School of Rehabilitation Science Academic Affairs Committee regarding academic progress at the final promotion point (fall Faculty Council Meeting in October) and approve recommendations for convocation to the CGPS.
  • Graduate Council of the CGPS Convocation recommends candidates for the granting of degrees (CGPS P&P – 9.1)

Promotion Points

  • End of Module II (May)
  • End of Module V (September)
  • End of Module X (October)

Appeals

The School of Rehabilitation Science will apply the appeals procedures of the U of S and the CGPS. Important documents outlining these procedures are:
University of Saskatchewan
CGPS Policy and Procedures Manual Section 16 of CGPS Policy and Procedures Manual at https://cgps.usask.ca/policy-and-procedure/index.php.

Monitoring Academic Progress