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Retention and Dismissal Policies

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The program faculty annually review each student's performance and progress in the Program. Faculty also may initiate a review of a student's status in the event of any evidence indicating impairment, unprofessional behavior, or a violation of the University's regulations (for MSU General Student Regulations see Spartan Life:, legal statutes, or ethical and professional standards.  Evidence of cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that interfere with the graduate training process and/or threaten client welfare may also lead to a Review. Examples of impairment include, but are not limited to, substance abuse, mental health problems, and interpersonal difficulties. The review process consists of examining, together with the student, evidence regarding the apparent impairment or alleged misconduct. The outcome of such a review may be (a) to retain the student in good standing, (b) to allow the student to continue in the program on probationary status until specified conditions are met, or (c) to immediately dismiss the student from the program. The faculty reserves the right to restrict student's participation in coursework or internships during the Review process. The formal procedures for a Retention and Dismissal Review are described below. 

A. Retention and Dismissal Review Procedures

To protect student due process rights, as well as faculty rights to uphold the academic and professional standards of the training program, the following steps will be taken as part of the Retention and Dismissal review process:

  1. The student will be informed in writing by the Program Director of any charge, event,
    performance, or circumstance that suggests impairment or violation of University, legal,
    ethical, or professional codes.  Such charges or complaints may emanate from members of the
    Program, College, or University faculty, clinical supervisors, clients, or professionals or
    agents outside of the University community.
  2. As part of the above communication, the Program Director may initially advise the student to
    seek an informal resolution of the charge or complaint with the accusing party, and to inform
    the Director of the outcome of this action within 30 days.
  3. If, however, informal methods at problem resolution are inappropriate or unsatisfactory, the
    Program Director will inform (in writing) the student, the student's advisor, and other
    interested parties that the student's status in the Program is being reviewed, and a formal
    meeting of the Program faculty will be necessary to evaluate the nature of the problem and
    determine a course of action.  Depending on the nature of the charge, event, performance, or
    circumstance, a student's status in the program may be in immediate jeopardy, with the goal
    of the Review, in that case, for faculty to decide whether to retain or dismiss the student.  The
    Program Director may invite any persons judged to have relevant information to submit it
    either in person at the review meeting, or in writing prior to the meeting.  In advance of the
    meeting, the student will be given copies of all written materials under consideration.  The
    student and, if desired, his/her counsel (as defined in the Graduate Student Rights and
    Responsibilities document) will be invited to attend this meeting and present testimony.  In
    addition, the student may invite other individuals who have relevant testimony to attend, or to
    offer written information.  The student will provide the Program Director with a list of these
    individuals at least 5 days in advance of the scheduled meeting. 
  4. Following the presentation of testimony and evidence, the Program faculty will convene
    separately to deliberate and arrive at a decision regarding the student's standing in the
    Program.  This decision may result in (a) retention of the student in the program in good
    standing, (b) a judgment to allow the student to continue in the program on probationary status
    until specified conditions are met, or (c) immediate dismissal of the student from the MQM
  5. Following completion of the Program faculty's decision-making, the Program Director will
    inform the student and student's advisor (in writing) of the faculty's decision and, if
    appropriate, clearly specify any conditions that must be satisfied by the student to maintain
    good standing within the Program.  The student will also be advised that if he or she wishes to
    grieve the outcome of the faculty's decision, the grievance procedures specified in Graduate
    Student Rights and Responsibilities should be followed.  This document can be obtained from
    the Graduate School or the Ombudsman's Office or found on the web at

B. Dismissal Policy

The dismissal of a student from the MQM Program is a significant event for both the student and the program faculty. It represents the conclusion of the faculty that the student has cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that interfere with professional functioning, or that the student has not demonstrated an adequate level of competency in either academic or clinical skills, or professional conduct. Dismissal action is generally the final outcome of several informal and formal communications with the student regarding his or her unsatisfactory progress through the Program and, when appropriate, special efforts at helping the student meet Program requirements and training objectives. The final decision regarding whether or not a student should be terminated from the Program, or under what conditions a student making unsatisfactory progress will be allowed to continue, rests with the MQM faculty.

C. Reasons for Dismissal from the Program

At any point during the student's matriculation through the Program, the faculty retains the right to review any student circumstances or personal performances that may negatively affect the student's competencies for independent professional practice or that may threaten client welfare. The following are offered as examples of circumstances or performances that may be the basis for dismissal action: 

  1. Failure to maintain minimum academic standards 
  2. Unsatisfactory performance in practice courses (e.g., practicum or internship) 
  3. Academic dishonesty 
  4. Criminal misconduct 
  5. Failure to comply with established University or Program timetables and requirements 
  6. Unethical practices and/or unprofessional conduct as specified in APA or NASP guidelines for 
    ethical behavior
  7. Cognitive, affective, and/or behavioral impairments that obstruct the training process and/or 
    threaten client welfare 
  8. Failure to make satisfactory progress in completing program requirements. 
  9. Failure to maintain regular contact with the program and one's advisor. 

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