Sep 26, 2022  
2015-2016 Academic Catalog (Jan 2016) 
2015-2016 Academic Catalog (Jan 2016) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College-Wide Policies

College of Health Professions Policies

The College of Health Professions adheres to all academic and student affairs policies of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center as described at: Policies outlined below govern all programs offered through the College. Additional program-specific policies are outlined in the respective sections.

Attendance Requirement

Because of the intensity of all educational programs in the College of Health Professions , students should not miss any planned learning experience except under the most unusual circumstances. Students are, therefore, required to participate in all planned learning experiences including lectures, laboratories, clinical assignments, discussion boards etc. The department chair, program director, or appropriate faculty member in each program will inform students in writing of the consequences of failure to adhere to this general college requirement.

Student Identification and Dress Code

All onsite students are required to wear the UTHSC identification badges issued during registration. Such cards are to be worn in a visible fashion and must be presented to university police officers, administration, or faculty upon request. If a student’s identification badge is lost or misplaced, a new one must be acquired from the Campus Police office for a fee. Students, upon graduation, may retain their ID badge since it contains an expiration date. Students, upon withdrawal, must return their ID badge to the Campus Police office. Students are expected to adhere to the dress code of the program in which they are enrolled. Dress requirements are explained during each program’s orientation.


Each program establishes and follows a grading policy that is appropriate for the academic level, intensity and professional expectations for program graduates. Please refer to the specific program section for the assignment of grades. However, refer to this college policy for the awarding of grades when students withdraw from courses. Recording the withdrawal will be in accordance with the following:

  • For those courses in which < 50% of the total points have been completed, the student will receive a “W.”
  • For those courses in which 51 - 70% of the total points have been completed, the student will receive either “WP” or “WF” depending on his/her standing in the course at the time of withdrawal.
  • For those courses in which >70% of the total points have been completed, the student (if no compelling extenuating circumstances exist) will receive zero credit for those assignments that the student fails to complete, and the zero credit will be incorporated into the final grade calculation.
  • Students with compelling extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Program Progress and Promotions committee for an exception to this policy. Cases will be considered on  an individual basis.

When students are unable to complete coursework by the end of a term, the Program Progress and Promotions committee may decide to allow the student to earn a grade of incomplete (“I”) for the missed coursework. The Program Progress and Promotions committee will determine what impact the missed coursework will have on the student’s academic progress and communicate this to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for notification of the student.  Incompletes may impact the student’s financial aid eligibility.

Dropping/Adding Courses

Programs determine whether or not students are allowed to drop or add individual courses. Students should reference the UTHSC Course Drop-Add Policy for information regarding the effect of dropping a course on tuition refunds and grade recorded for dropped courses.

Auditing a Course

Students are not typically allowed to audit courses in the College. Student wishing to audit courses must obtain permission from the department chair for the program. Students that are appealing an academic dismissal can attend classes during the appeal process. Students should refer to the UTHSC Procedure for Changing Student Status during Academic Appeals/Review policy for information regarding the procedure and effects on eligibility for federal financial aid.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy

The COHP has a policy of mandatory attendance and therefore, no excused absences. The College understands that absences may be necessary during a portion of an academic program, but students should be aware that there may be limited suitable options for making up of missed assignments/activities even with short term absences, given the intensity, complexity and fast pace of UTHSC programs.

Valid absences are determined at the program level. A student should follow the program’s procedure for informing the program director/faculty about the absence. Examples of valid absences include, but are not limited to illness/injuries, funerals and family emergencies. The validity of short term (1 to 5 working days) absences are determined by the program director who may request documentation that supports the conditions of the absence. The validity of longer term (>5 working days) absences are decided by the program director usually in consultation with the program’s progress and promotions committee. Longer term absences must consider the academic impact to the student.

  1. Students are required to make up all course work for absences determined to be valid. The student may not be allowed to makeup course work if the absence was ruled invalid.
  2. If a student will be absent more than 10 working days, the program director in consultation with the Progress and Promotions Committee, may recommend that the student withdraw and return sometime in the future. Lockstep programs may require a student to return the following year at the start of the same term as when s/he left. The student who withdraws with the expectation of returning, must follow the written conditions outlined by the program, including informing the program that their return is imminent.
  3. If the leave of absence exceeds the pre-approved time, the student will most likely need to reapply for admission. In certain limited circumstances, the student may be eligible to resume or restart the program with the next matriculating cohort of students; however, eligibility to return will be determined on a case by case basis by the student progress and promotions committee and will be based upon academic performance prior to the leave of absence, the amount of time spent away from the program, and the availability of space within the program.
  4. A Change in Student Status Form must be completed by the program at the time of the leave of absence.
  5. Special considerations will be given to veterans requesting return after completing military service.
  6. Any leave of absence requires that the student consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding financial obligations/liabilities.

Minimum Number of Students per Course

A minimum of three students are required to be enrolled in any post-professional course or the course may be cancelled.

Grade Appeal Policy*

The purpose of the Grade Appeal Policy is to provide the student with a procedure to safeguard against receiving an undeserved or unfair final course grade.  Grade appeals must be based on problems of process and not on differences in judgment or opinion concerning academic performance.   The burden of proof rests on the student to demonstrate that one or more of the following occurred:

  • The grading decision was made on some basis other than academic performance and other than as a penalty for academic misconduct.
  • The grading decision was based upon standards different from those that were applied to other students in the same course and section.
  • The grading decision was based on a departure from previously articulated standards. 

The chairperson, grade appeals ad hoc committee chaired by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, or Dean may recommend grade changes but shall have the power to alter grades only in cases of clearly established procedural error or substantial capriciousness or arbitrariness in evaluation.

First Level:
A student will attempt to resolve the issue informally with the professor before filing a written grievance.  This attempt at informal resolution must occur within 10 class days after the grade is visible in Banner.  Should attempts at informal resolution fail, the student may wish to file a formal grade appeal. 

The formal (written) appeal to the faculty member must occur within 15 class days after the grade is visible in Banner.  After receiving a formal appeal, the faculty member shall assure that a written decision with express reasons is delivered to the student within 5 class days.  Should the student fail to take further action within 5 class days after receiving the faculty member’s decision, the decision shall stand.  If the student is dissatisfied with the decision or does not receive a response from the faculty member within 5 class days, he/she may proceed to the second level of appeal.

Second Level: Department (Chair/Program Director)
If the student elects to continue the appeal, he/she must appeal to the chair or program director if there is no chair.  The appeal must be submitted within 5 class days of the unsatisfactory decision.  The chair or director shall assure that a written decision or recommendation about the appeal, with express reasons, is available or delivered to the student within 5 class days following submission of the appeal.  Should the student or faculty member fail to take action on the chair’s decision or recommendation within 5 class days following its receipt, the accepted recommendation of the faculty member or new decision by the department chair shall be final.

Third Level:  Appeals Committee
If the student elects to continue the appeal after the chair’s decision or recommendation has been received, he/she must take the matter to the COHP Assistant Dean for Student Affairs who shall convene an ad hoc Appeals Committee.  The committee shall meet no later than 5 class days after a written, dated request for appeal at this level has been received.  All deliberations of the committee will be closed and confidential.  A written recommendation will be furnished by the committee within 5 class days after the conclusion of the committee’s deliberations.

Fourth Level:  Dean
If the student elects to continue the appeal, he/she must appeal to the Dean.  The appeal must be submitted to the Dean within 5 class days of receipt of the Appeals Committee decision.  The dean shall ascertain within 5 class days whether the appeal procedures at the first, second and third levels have been duly followed.

The Dean’s decision is final except when the grade may result in a requirement that the student repeat some of the curriculum, or may result in dismissal.  In the latter cases, the student has the right to appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs and/or to the Chancellor.  Refer to College of Health Professions Policy on Progress and Promotions for a description of this appeal process.

*This policy and procedure are modeled after University of Denver found at