Committee on Academic and Professional Evaluation of Students (CAPES)

This document describes procedures adopted by the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS) concerning review of student academic performance and professional integrity.  Students are encouraged to read this information for a thorough understanding of the contents.  Any questions arising from the policies or procedures laid out herein should directed to the PACS Program Director.

Purpose and Jurisdiction

Students in PACS must demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge and the capability of becoming a safe and effective professional.  In addition, they must demonstrate the principles of professionalism, including sound judgement, honesty, integrity, responsibility, a sensitivity and compassion for individual needs, and compliance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations.

Serious or repeated academic failures or breaches of these principles in professionalism will be referred to the CAPES for review.  Throughout the enrollment of a student, it is within the jurisdiction of the CAPES to terminate the enrollment of a student who has demonstrated serious academic failure or a breach of professionalism.  The deliberations of the CAPES are generally positive in approach and are committed to the ultimate aim of assisting students to successfully complete the courses of study required.  The principle that careful selection of students will minimize attrition from the programs is strongly endorsed by the CAPES>

The text contained herein outlines rules governing the review of student performance.  For further information, refer to the Guiding Principles of Professionalism.

Responsibility of the CAPES

  • The ultimate responsibility of the CAPES is to assess whether each student meets the academic, professional, and ethical standards to enter their profession. To accomplish this mission, the CAPES undertakes the following tasks:
  • Student advancement: The CAPES annually recommends promotion of students who have successfully completed all requirements of the current academic year to the studies of the subsequent year.
  • Degree recommendations: The CAPES recommends those students who have successfully completed all prescribed requirements of their degree program and are qualified to receive the degree.
  • Academic remediation reviews: When a student is in need of academic support services, the CAPES will recommend student status and remediation measures, which may include entry of a student into an Individualized Study Program (ISP).
  • Disciplinary action: The CAPES will review cases requiring disciplinary action due to unprofessional behavior and/or breach of integrity.

Students for Whom the Rules Apply

  • Students in the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) program
  • Students in the Master of Science in Deaf Education (MSDE) program
  • Students in the Speech and Hearing Sciences (PhD) program*
  • SNCD students enrolled in PACS

*Policies of The Graduate School may take precedence over those included here for PhD students.

CAPES Membership

  • Appointed and ex-officio membership: Five voting members of the CAPES will be drawn from the faculty and staff of PACS. Members are appointed by the PACS Program Director; appointments are made for one-year terms and determined prior to each academic year.  In addition, the CAPES membership will include, in ex officio capacity, a representative from the School of Medicine administration. 
  • Chair: The PACS Program Director will serve as the chair.
  • Guests:
    • When the CAPES is addressing issues related to academic performance, a course instructor who is not a member of the CAPES, but who submitted the grade/issue in question may be present at the meeting to provide information related to the student’s performance. The course instructor may send a designated representative or submit information in writing in lieu of attending in person.  If insufficient information is available, final action for the student will be deferred until adequate information is available.
    • Similarly, when the CAPES is addressing issues of professionalism, the individual filing the Professionalism Concern Form will be present for the meeting, available by phone or video conference, and/or submit information in writing.
    • Any faculty member, administrator, or staff member may be invited at the discretion of the chair.

Meeting Frequency and Quorum

The CAPES meetings must occur in a timely manner after all final examinations and as soon as possible after grades are submitted to the University (following the fall, spring, and summer semesters).  A meeting of the CAPES may also be convened at any time such that timely review of a matter is deemed necessary.

Three voting members must be present to consider academic or disciplinary actions.

Grades

A grade is used to report the final standing in each class. Final grades are assigned to represent the level of competence achieved.

Grades for Credit Notes
A+, A, A- Superior/Outstanding Will appear on the transcript
B+, B, B- Good/Acceptable Will appear on the transcript
C+, C, C- Conditional

Units of instruction which carry a grade of ‘C’ are not creditable toward fulfillment of advanced degree requirements, unless they are accompanied by an equal number of units of instruction carrying a grade of A.  These grades do count toward the GPA and do appear on the transcript.

 

F Failing Units of instruction that carry a grade of ‘F’ are not creditable toward the fulfillment of advanced degree requirements, but will appear on the transcript.  In the event that a failed PACS class is repeated, both grades will appear on the official transcript; the higher grade does not replace a previous or lower grade.
Audit Grades
L Audit (Successful)

The audited class and the grade received will appear on the transcripts, but the class is not creditable toward the fulfillment of advanced degree requirements.  Please see “Waiving and Auditing Classes” for more information.

 

 

Z Audit (Unsuccessful)
Pass/Fail Grades
P# Pass Pass/Fail grades are not creditable toward the fulfillment of advanced degree requirements, but will appear on the transcript.
F# Fail
Credit/No Credit Grades
CR# Credit Credit/No Credit grades are not creditable toward the fulfillment of advanced degree requirements, but will appear on the transcript.
NCR# No Credit
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades
S Satisfactory Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade options are only used in dissertation research and other special classes where there is no feasible basis for comparison with the performance of other students past or present, and furthermore, when there is no sensible way to evaluate the student’s accomplishments against any recognized academic standard.  This grade option is rarely used.  Satisfactory grade options do count toward advanced degree requirements, and will appear on the transcript.
U Unsatisfactory
Other Grade Notations
I Incomplete

With the consent of the instructor, students may leave classes incomplete and receive an “I” for a class.  The instructor and student should come to a mutual agreement in advance as to the terms for completion.  The student will have one academic year from the date the grade was given to complete the work.  Upon the instructor’s submission of a special grade report, the “I” will be changed to the appropriate grade; until that time, the grade will appear on the transcript.  If the student fails to fulfill the terms of the agreement, the “I” will become part of his/her permanent record and appear on the transcript. 

 

Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 semester hours of unfinished credits, which includes grades of I (Incomplete).  Students may be denied permission to register in such cases.

N No Grade Reported

Will appear on the transcript.

 

Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 semester hours of unfinished credits, which includes grades of N (No Grade Reported).  Students may be denied permission to register in such cases.

 

W Withdrawal Will appear on the transcript if student withdraws after date published on the academic calendar to withdraw without notation.
R Repeat In the event that a PACS class is repeated, both grades will appear on the official transcript; the higher grade does not replace a previous or lower grade.
X Final Examination Missed

Will appear on the transcript.

 

Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 semester hours of unfinished credits, which includes grades of X (Final Examination Missed).  Students may be denied permission to register in such cases.

 

Grade Submission

  • Final grades must be submitted by the date indicated on the University calendar following the end of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  • The class instructor determines grade criteria for his/her class, describes the class grading system in the syllabus, and assigns final semester grades and, as applicable, mid-term grades. University policy requires that mid-term grades be reported for all undergraduate freshmen. Instructors are also encouraged to report mid-term grades for any upper-class or graduate student who is performing poorly (equivalent to C- or below for undergraduate students; equivalent to B- or below for PACS students) and for all students on an ISP.  Mid-term grade information helps students assess their progress and have a meaningful discussion with faculty members or academic advisors about their options.  Sound academic decisions, made while options are still available to the students, will help them finish the semester as successfully as possible.  PACS recommends that any student receiving a B- or below at mid-term meet with his/her academic advisor and the instructor(s) who assigned the grade to develop a plan for finishing the class successfully.  Instructors with serious concerns about a student’s performance at mid-term should report those concerns to a member of the CAPES for a more formal intervention.
  • Students may access grades through WebSTAC; paper grade reports are not distributed. 

Grade Point Average, Class Rank, and Grading Distribution

Grade point average (GPA) is calculated for each semester, as well as cumulatively. To calculate the GPA, first determine the point value associated with the final grade received by the number of semester hours for that class. Total the points for each class in the semester to get a calculation of total points.  Then total the number of credits for each class to get the total semester credits, subtracting the classes in which non-qualifying grade options were elected.  Divide the total number of semester points by the total semester credits to calculate the semester GPA.  Students’ GPAs are also available through WebSTAC.

Students are expected to obtain and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in classes approved for their degree program. Failure to do so could result in placement of the student on probationary status and/or termination of financial assistance. In addition, Washington University discourages the continuation of students with accumulations of grades indicative of unsatisfactory or uncompleted study. 

A/A+=            4.00

A-    =              3.70

B+   =              3.30

B     =              3.00

B-    =              2.70

C+   =              2.30

C     =              2.00

C-    =              1.70

F      =              0.00

Other grade options are not calculated into the GPA.

Classes are not ranked and grading distribution is not released.

Grade Remediation

The CAPES may invoke remediation requirements for individual courses that are different from those determined by the instructor.  In such cases, the CAPES determination will supersede that of the instructor.  The CAPES may also require a student to repeat a full academic year or a portion thereof if it is judged necessary given the academic history. 

Competencies

Graduates of the AuD program will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the foundations, theories, and applications of audiology practice;
  • clinical competence in the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of auditory, vestibular, and related communication disorders;
  • knowledge of research principles, ability to synthesize and critique research literature in audiology, and ability to integrate research into evidence-based clinical practice in audiology;
  • knowledge and practice of ethical and legal standards and professional conduct expected in audiology practice; and
  • proficiency in oral and written English communication skills.

Graduates of the MSDE program will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the foundations and theories of learning and how hearing loss affects overall child development;
  • practical competencies in the evaluation and facilitation of successful communicative, cognitive, and social development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • knowledge of research principles, ability to synthesize and critique research literature in deaf education, and ability to integrate research into evidence-based practice in deaf education; and
  • proficiency in oral and written English communication skills.

Learning outcomes are based on accreditation, certification, and licensure standards, as well as additional learning outcomes established by PACS.  Each component of the curricula is designed to provide students with specific knowledge and/or skills necessary to achieve the learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes are assessed through a variety of mechanisms, including:

  • Performance in academic classes;
  • Performance in observation, practicum, and externship experiences;
  • Capstone Project or Independent Study;
  • Clinical checkpoints (AuD); and
  • Passing score on the national examination for certification/licensure for the profession.

Academic Support and Accommodations

Individual Study Program (ISP)

The educational programs are designed to assist the individual needs of all PACS students, but occasionally students who have difficulty handling the normal requirements and expectations of the curriculum will enter into an Individualized Study Program (ISP). The intent of an ISP is to optimize the prospect that the student will successfully complete the curriculum. An ISP may be requested by the student or recommended by the CAPES.

  1. ISP Scope and sequence: The content and sequence of courses will be determined by the CAPES, with input from the student, instructor(s), and director of the degree program considered.  The plan for execution of the ISP will be recorded in the student’s file in PACS and a copy will be provided to the student.
  2. ISP Examination schedules: Unless extenuating circumstances exist, ISP students are required to take the examinations for a particular course in their usual temporal relationship to the coursework.  Requests for exceptions must be made to the CAPES
  3. ISP Single fail or incomplete grade: In the event that a single Fail or Incomplete grade is recorded for a student after into the ISP, the CAPES will again review the student’s record.  Consequences may include remediation, repeat of the course/practical experience, or dismissal from the program.
  4. ISP Grounds for dismissal: Students on an ISP who have not successfully completed and received a passing grade in all required courses may be dismissed following any semester of the ISP.

Accommodations

It is the responsibility of the student to alert the CAPES regarding personal concerns, health problems, or any other factors that may be adversely affecting their academic performance, and to bring such matters to the attention of the director of Student Health Services and/or the PACS Program Director for possible accommodations.  More information is available in the Students with Disabilities Policy.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); failure to do so may result in disciplinary action and/or ineligibility for financial aid awards. SAP has both quantitative and qualitative criteria.

Quantitative: Quantitative criteria are based on GPA requirements. For AuD, MSDE, and SNCD students in PACS, 3.00 or above cumulative GPA must be maintained. Failure to maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA will result in automatic placement on probation for one semester, at minimum; students may be placed on probation for failure to achieve a semester GPA of 3.00. A 3.00 minimum cumulative GPA will also be required for recommendation for the AuD and MSDE degrees by PACS.

Qualitative: Qualitative criteria are based on the ratio of credits earned divided by credits attempted, known as the “pace”. Students must be on pace to complete the degree by attempting no more than 150% of the credits required. All students must follow the prescribed curriculum set forth for their specific degree program and year, or be following an ISP that has been approved by the CAPES. Students may not carry at any time more than nine (9) semester hours for which the grades of I (Incomplete) or N (No Grade Reported) are recorded.  Permission to register will be denied in these cases and students must resolve all such unfinished classes before they can be recommended for the degree.

The criteria for SAP for PhD students are detailed in The Graduate School Bulletin, which can be found at http://graduateschool.wustl.edu.  Specific policies and procedures related to SAP are available from Student Financial Services.

Indications for Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • The CAPES may review the academic performance of students at any time if there is a concern, but generally, the indications for review are as follows:
  • A student receives a semester and/or cumulative GPA of under 3.00
  • A student receives a grade of C+ or below in any individual course
  • Another academic concern, such as the failure of an exam, has been reported.

If there are concerns about a student’s academic progress between regularly-scheduled meetings, a special meeting may be called at any time if a timely review of an issue is deemed necessary.

Procedures for Review of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Convening a Meeting

The chair of the CAPES will convene a special meeting, notifying the student in writing regarding the reason for the review and the date, time, and location of the meeting.

Attendees

The members of the CAPES and, if applicable, the course instructor or their designee (a written summary may be submitted in lieu of attendance with prior approval) shall discuss the matter in a closed and confidential meeting.

Student Responsibility

The student may be asked to be available to appear before the CAPES to provide additional detail relevant to the concern.  In the event the student is completing a clinical requirement outside of St. Louis, an alternate method will be determined by the chair.  If the student fails to appear at the meeting, the CAPES may postpone the meeting or may conduct the meeting and impose sanctions without the student present.  Failure of a student to appear or provide information requested by the CAPES may result in the CAPES filing a Professionalism Concern Form.  Meetings may be rescheduled at the discretion of the chair.  It is the responsibility of the student to alert the CAPES of any extenuating circumstances or contributing factors that should be considered regarding the student’s status.  The student shall be permitted, upon request in advance of the CAPES meeting, to appear before the CAPES on their own behalf.  At the student’s request, they may be accompanied by a member of the faculty, staff, or fellow student of the program.

Student Record Considered

A student’s entire academic and professionalism record will be considered in deliberations regarding student status.

Meeting Minutes

A record of the CAPES meeting shall be preserved and will be available for review, if necessary. 

Outcomes Possible

Actions taken by the CAPES may include, but are not limited to, dismissal, suspension, probation, defined penalty, advancement with academic warning, remediation, and/or additional oversight.  The CAPES decision is by simple majority unless the vote is for dismissal, which will require a four-fifths majority.

Notifying Students of Final CAPES Decisions

The chair of the CAPES will information the student of the decision within 10 business days.

Indications for Review of Professionalism

Matters involving a possible breach of professional integrity shall be brought to the attention of the PACS Program Director.  The individual(s) raising or communicating the questions of possible misconduct shall present a Professionalism Concern Form providing detailed written information, as necessary.  Individuals submitting such forms are reminded of the need for complete confidentiality regarding all matters of conduct.

Behaviors inappropriate to the professions shall include, but are not limited to:

  • cheating or unauthorized use of materials during exams
  • abuse
  • misrepresentations
  • other seriously improper conduct in relation to colleagues or patients/students
  • breach of confidentiality and trust
  • misconduct in violation of university or school policies
  • illegalities
  • substance abuse
  • failure of judgment, including that related to noncompliance in the treatment of any personal medical condition
  • misrepresentation or failure in personal actions or meeting obligations
  • undue and/or unprofessional criticism of fellow students, colleagues, faculty, staff, or supervisors, or of the university, school, or program
  • any combination of the above items, and others that might raise serious unresolved doubts about the integrity of the student with regard to enter the profession for which they’re training

Procedures for Review of Professionalism

At the discretion of the CAPES chair, in cases of serious or repeated breaches of professional integrity, a meeting of the CAPES will be convened to review the complaint(s) and decide whether further action is necessary.  If further inquiry is deemed necessary, the CAPES chair or a designee will discuss the complaint with the student.  If further action is warranted, the following procedures will occur.

Convening a Meeting

The chair of the CAPES will convene a special meeting, notifying the student in writing regarding the reason for the review and the date, time, and location of the meeting. Whenever possible, the CAPES shall convene within two weeks of the initial meeting with the student or receipt of report.  If the person bringing the complaint is a member of the CAPES, they will not vote, but may participate in the discussion.  If the person bringing the complaint is not a member of the CAPES, they will be asked to present the complaint and will then be excused.  If unavailable to meet in person, the person bringing the complaint may use an alternate method that will be determined by the chair.  The notification to the student shall state that the proceedings are confidential. 

Attendees

The members of the CAPES and, if applicable, the person bringing the complaint shall discuss the matter in a closed and confidential meeting.

Student Responsibility

The student may be asked to be available to appear before the CAPES to provide additional detail relevant to the concern.  In the event the student is completing a clinical requirement outside of St. Louis, an alternate method will be determined by the chair.  If the student fails to appear at the meeting, the CAPES may postpone the meeting or may conduct the meeting and impose sanctions without the student present.  Failure of a student to appear or provide information requested by the CAPES may result in the CAPES filing a Professionalism Concern Form.  Meetings may be rescheduled at the discretion of the chair.

It is the responsibility of the student to alert the CAPES of any extenuating circumstances or contributing factors that should be considered regarding the student’s status.  The student shall be permitted, upon request in advance of the CAPES meeting, to appear before the CAPES on their own behalf.  At the student’s request, they may be accompanied by a member of the faculty, staff, or fellow student of the program.

Student Record Considered and Pertinent Documentation/Materials

The CAPES will consider evidence that tends to prove or disprove the alleged conduct.  If the CAPES finds that the student engaged in misconduct, it may consider additional evidence or prior conduct, evidence as to the charged student’s character, the student’s entire academic and disciplinary record, or any other evidence that would assist the CAPES in determining appropriate action.  The chair of the CAPES will rule on whether or not evidence or testimony will be considered.  The CAPES has neither the advantages nor limitations inherent in a court of law.  During the meeting, the student will have access to the written evidence presented and may present evidence and fact witnesses on their own behalf.  The student should be prepared to discuss the circumstances of the complaint, after which the CAPES will excuse the student from the room.

Objective Approach by CAPES

The purpose of the CAPES meeting is to provide fair and prompt review of the inquiry.  The CAPES is not positioned in an adversarial role against the student, but simply serves to review the evidence as presented and determine a decision regarding disciplinary action, if necessary.  The decision as to whether the student committed the alleged act will be made solely on the basis of evidence and testimony presented at the meeting.  Innocence of the student will be presumed.  A CAPES member must find in favor of the student unless the member is persuaded that it is more likely than not that the student engaged in the alleged misconduct.

Meeting Minutes

A record of the CAPES meeting shall be preserved and will be available for review, if necessary. 

Outcomes Possible

Actions taken by the CAPES may include, but are not limited to, dismissal, suspension, probation, defined penalty, fine and restitution, advancement with academic warning, remediation, and/or additional oversight.  Contingencies for continued enrollment on probationary status and for return of good standing will be specified by the CAPES in each individual case.  The CAPES decision is by simple majority unless the vote is for dismissal, which will require a four-fifths majority.

Notifying Students of Final CAPES Decisions

The chair of the CAPES will information the student of the decision within 10 business days.

Disclaimers

The University does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who bring forward complaints or who participate in the CAPES process.

Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, as determined by the CAPES chair, the student will be permitted to continue in the usual academic activities during the CAPES proceedings.  However, if there is a reasonable basis for believing that the continued presence of the student on campus or in practicum rotations poses a substantial threat to the student, to patients or students, or to the rights of others to engage in their normal university functions and activities, the procedure outlined under the Leave of Absence Policy will apply.

Both Academic Performance and Professionalism Concerns Exist

Should a student be referred to the CAPES for an issue involving both academic performance and professionalism concerns, the procedures for professionalism concerns will be followed.

Appeals Process for CAPES Decisions

PACS has the right and responsibility to assure that each student, during time of enrollment, demonstrates levels of academic achievement and ethical stature appropriate to the professions. The provision of fairness must also be ensured in discharging those rights and responsibilities. As such, an appeals process is in place, as outlined below.

Request for an Appeal

Within 14 working days of the date on which a disciplinary action decision is rendered by the CAPES, a student may request, in writing to the chair of the CAPES, that an appeals committee review the record of the CAPES decision or that the appeals committee request that the CAPES consider additional, new, relevant information that was not previously presented to the CAPES for good cause. The letter should include the basis for the appeal, as well as any new, relevant information and an explanation as to why it was not presented in a timely manner to the CAPES.

Establishing an Appeals Committee

An appeals committee, composed of faculty members appointed in consultation with the Dean, Registrar, and/or Associate Dean of Education of the School of Medicine, shall be created to review appeal of decisions by the CAPES.  Members of the CAPES may not be appointed to the appeals committee.  A quorum of this committee shall consist of five members.

Review by the Appeals Committee

The appeals committee shall review the record of the CAPES decision solely to determine whether the pertinent CAPES procedures were followed and whether all relevant information was considered by the CAPES. If the appeal is based on a contention that all relevant information was not presented to the CAPES, the appeal must provide the appeals committee with adequate reason why the student did not present this information at the CAPES meeting in question. In all cases, the Appeals Committee shall not substitute its opinions of the merit of matter and appeal for those of the CAPES.

Appeals Committee Decision Types

  1. Remand the case to the CAPES: The appeals committee may decide to remand the matter to the CAPES for reconsideration with it explanation for the remand. If the matter is remanded to the CAPES, all documents, minutes of the appeals committee meeting, and information submitted by or for the student in support of the appeal will be made available to the CAPES.
  2. Denial: The appeals committee may decide to deny the appeal.

Decision Notification to the Student

The appeals committee shall provide its decision in writing to the student and the chair of the CAPES.  The chair of the CAPES shall determine whether the student may continue their studies pending the appeals committee review of a CAPES decision.

Student Appeal to Dean

Within 10 business days of the date of an appeals committee decision, the student may request, in writing, that the Dean of the School of Medicine review the decision of the Appeals Committee.  The decision of the Dean will be final.