School Policies and Procedures
The School Policies and Procedures apply to all students of the School of Dentistry, including the dental hygiene program and advanced education.
Midyear Progress Reports
Final grades awarded at midyear will be submitted to the University Registrar and the Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs for each student enrolled in a course when that course has been completed.
- A student can be considered for dismissal from the School for academic deficiencies or violation of including but not limited to the School of Dentistry Professionalism Expectations. The Academic Performance Committee is responsible for considering students for academic dismissal.
- Disciplinary Dismissal and Probation
- Violation of but not limited to the School of Dentistry Professionalism Expectations concerning standards of conduct which compromise professional integrity and/or competence may make a student eligible for academic dismissal. Procedures for dismissal will be governed by the academic dismissal process.
- Disciplinary Dismissal and Probation
- If not dismissed, a student may be placed on disciplinary probation. While on probation, any academic failure or professionalism relapse will be grounds for dismissal.
- Students must successfully maintain professionalism for promotion and/or graduation.
- It is the responsibility of every student to be aware of and comply with rules and regulations of the Health Science Center delineated in the procedures and regulations governing Student Conduct and Discipline. In carrying out their responsibilities and ensuring fair examinations and honesty on the part of all students, students must follow these policies:
- Except when specifically authorized to do so, students shall not use notes, books, manuals, models, audio tapes, or any other items or sources of information (cell phones, electronic ear buds or headphones, smart watches, watches or other electronic communication devices). During written examinations, such items must be left in a designated area of the examination room or, preferably, not brought into the room. During examinations in MD laboratories, these items shall be placed in closed cabinets.
- Students shall not communicate with other students in any manner, i.e., verbally, in writing, by visual signals or code, etc., during written or practical examinations.
- Before beginning an examination, students should be prepared to complete the examination and ensure the privacy computer screen is used. If a student must leave the room temporarily while an examination is in progress, the student’s examination materials and computer shall be collected and held by a faculty proctor. Ordinarily, no more than one student will be permitted out of the examination at any one time. The student may not converse with another student or refer to reference material while out of the room.
- If a student needs to do something outside the established protocol during a practical examination, such as unscrew or loosen a practical tooth or borrow an instrument, a proctor should be called for assistance and verification.
- Students must refrain from all activities that detract from a quiet testing environment.
- Students must take reasonable precautions to ensure that responses to examination questions or projects cannot be seen by other students.
- Students must turn in their examination papers and practical examination projects promptly at the termination of an examination period, unless specifically instructed to do otherwise.
- Students are expected to report any observed violation of these examination policies, or any other act they believe may compromise a fair examination process, to the Course Director or to the Assistant Dean for Students.
- Students are expected to maintain the highest integrity during the examination.
- If testing is in an electronic format, students must adhere to the specific policies governing those exams. Policies will be updated and sent to the students at the beginning of the new academic year.
- It is also the responsibility of every student to request accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should be needed. The School of Dentistry does comply with the provisions set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADAAA. A qualified individual with a disability requesting accommodation must submit the appropriate request for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended. Students must submit a Student/Resident Request for Accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), form ADA-100, to the Executive Director, Academic, Faculty, Student Ombudsperson and ADA Compliance Office with a copy of the current job description (if appropriate).
However, the School of Dentistry does not allow testing accommodations for preclinical or clinical skills testing. Skill tests are structured to simulate the general practice of dentistry.
Requests to Changes Schedule of Examinations
The official dates and times of all examinations are published in the final Class Schedules after consultation with Course Directors and representatives of all classes. Students or the Course Director may initiate requests for changes in the schedule of examinations. All requests should be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs, as applicable.
A request to move an examination to a later date must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the original date of the examination. A request to move an examination to an earlier date must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the proposed date of the examination.
All requests for changes to the examination schedule published in the final Class Schedule must be accompanied by:
- A written reason for the move that must be compelling and academically sound.
- A written statement from the Course Director stating he/she is in agreement with the change.
- The Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs (AFSA) or applicable Director will review the request and can approve it if the following requirements. A vote/survey will be conducted by the office of AFSA or the Director.
- The request has been submitted within the guidelines.
- The reason for the move is valid.
- No member of the class present and voting opposes moving the examination to an earlier date; or, 90 percent of those voting are in favor of moving it to a later date.
- An appropriate classroom is available at the proposed time.
Academic Grievance Policies
Due Process Grade Assignment Disagreement
A student wishing to appeal the assignment of a grade must submit her/his grievance to the Course Director/Program Director within seven (7) days of the grade assignment. The appeal mechanism for challenging a grade is limited to: (1) possible clerical errors in calculating or recording a grade, or (2) allegation of mistakes or unfairness in application of the published academic standards in the assignment of a grade. It is the responsibility of the student to substantiate her/his assertion that an incorrect grade has been assigned.
If the student’s concerns are not resolved after a meeting with the Course Director/Program Director the student may submit a written appeal to the appropriate Department Chair. The written appeal must be made within seven (7) days of the student’s meeting with Course Director/Program Director and must contain information to substantiate the assertion that an incorrect grade has been assigned.
If the disagreement is not resolved at the departmental level, the student may submit a written appeal to the Dean of the School of Dentistry within seven (7) days of the departmental decision. If the Dean agrees to review the matter, he/she will review only that the appeal process was conducted appropriately. This School of Dentistry policy supersedes any other grievance policies, and decisions made in this process are final.
- A student may appeal an Academic Performance Committee decision that recommends a) remediation, b) repetition of the year or c) academic dismissal. The student submits written notification of his/her desire to appeal to the Dean’s office. This written request must be received by the Dean’s office within 5 days following the student’s receipt of the written notification of the Academic Performance Committee’s recommendation.
- The Dean will consult with appropriate individuals and render a decision to uphold or overturn the Academic Performance Committee decision. The student will receive written notification of the Dean’s final decision.
Mistreatment of students will not be tolerated. Mistreatment, intentional or unintentional, occurs when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and interferes with the learning process. Student mistreatment may take many forms all of which impact student performance. For more information, reference the institution's Student Mistreatment Policy.
Student Appeals and Grievances
Student non academic appeals and non academic grievances are handled through established policies institution's Student Mistreatment Policy.
Clinical Attire and Grooming
An excellent dental education is dependent on the number of patients and the diverse patient needs that allow students to provide a broad scope of oral health care to a large number of patients. As this is a totally voluntary system on the patient side, it is incumbent upon the School of Dentistry to provide an environment that gives patients the confidence to come to this institution knowing they will be treated in a professional manner, by professionals, and in a safe environment. To achieve this goal, first impressions are important; therefore, all students in the School of Dentistry need to look professional in dress and grooming since patient contact can occur in many areas of the building. When students have direct patient contact in the clinics, additional issues require students to pay particular attention to clinic attire and grooming because they affect patient safety as well as their own. The clinic manual is published on the School of Dentistry Intranet site, http://dserver.uthscsa.edu/. The manual includes general guidelines for attire and grooming, as well as specific requirements that relate to patient and personal safety.
Students are expected to attend and actively participate in all regularly scheduled classes, laboratories, and clinical periods. The policy regarding attendance and the consequences for failure to comply is the prerogative of the course director and the department responsible for that portion of the curriculum, and will be provided in the course syllabus at the beginning of each course. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange with the faculty for making up any work that is missed.
Absences may be considered sufficient cause for issuing failing grades in courses requiring attendance.
When a student must be absent from the School of Dentistry, he/she must report their absence online (https://fmcgi.uthscsa.edu/absence/). The office will maintain a roster of absentees and the reported reasons for absence. The submission of an online absence form does not guarantee an excused absence.
In cases of absence during an assigned rotation or clinic, all students (including freshmen and sophomores) are responsible for contacting appropriate Rotation Directors immediately.
Students who will be absent from any examination must notify their Course Directors directly as well as complete an online student absence report.
Students are responsible for contacting Course Directors upon their return to school to schedule required makeup work.
It is the policy of the Health Science Center to grant an excused absence from class attendance to a student for the observance of a religious holy day when all procedures for making the request for an excused absence have been met by the student. Absences for religious holidays must be formally approved by the appropriate course instructor(s) in advance of the actual holiday. The form is included on the website of The Office of the University Registrar. This form shall be submitted no more than 15 days after the start of the semester.
School of Dentistry Social Media Guidelines
The purpose of this policy is to promote the safety and privacy of students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. Students, faculty members, and staff must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when using social media.
No student, staff or faculty may post, release, or otherwise disclose photos, identifiable case descriptions, images, or records related to the educational, clinical, or research activities of the school via social networking sites, non-educational blogs, message boards, Internet websites, personal e-mail, or anything other than standard professional means of query and/or dissemination.
No student, staff or faculty may post statements about the School of Dentistry community (employees, staff, students, and visitors) that are defamatory, obscene, threatening or harassing.
Failure to comply with this policy may be a violation of legal, professional, and/or ethical obligations. Violation will result in disciplinary action by the School of Dentistry up to and including reduction in professional grades, loss of clinical or pre-clinical privileges, additional HIPAA training, probation, termination of employment and/or dismissal from the School of Dentistry.
The School of Dentistry assumes no duty to monitor Internet activity but reserves the right to take appropriate action in accordance with this policy.
The School of Dentistry has developed Netiquette Guidelines which align with the social media policy.
- Think twice before posting- Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Before each posting, students are encouraged to consider how the item may reflect both on the author of the post and the School of Dentistry. Something that would not be said in person should not be posted in social media. Imagine your posting on the front page of the local newspaper.
- Strive for accuracy- Students should be certain that anything they post on a social media site is factual. The posting should be reviewed for grammatical and spelling errors, especially when posting on behalf of the School of Dentistry.
- Be respectful- Posted responses and comments should be respectful and considerate.
- Photography- Students should be aware that photographs posted on social media sites can easily be accessed by visitors to those sites. Posting unauthorized photos on a website or social media network site can result in disciplinary action.
- Rules- It is important to review the terms of service, privacy settings, and other policies of the social media network before use.
- Familiarize yourself with existing UT Health San Antonio’s employment policies and disclaimers. All communication professionals should follow all rules and policies.
- Do not engage in any communication or activity that is prohibited under federal, state or local laws. These laws include, but are not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), copyright, libel and false advertising laws.
- Do not discuss or disclose any confidential or proprietary information of UT Health San Antonio, or any non-public information on social media.
- Acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly. Be professional, use good judgment and be accurate and honest in your communications; errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on UT Health San Antonio and may result in liability. Link directly to online references and original source materials, when possible.
- The UT Health San Antonio Marketing, Communications & Media team reserves the right to edit, modify, remove or delete any content or other information or materials on official UT Health San Antonio social media profiles, groups or pages. UT Health San Antonio also reserves the right to delete or suspend official UT Health San Antonio accounts if violations are committed.
- Social media platforms are owned by third parties, which have their own policies and rules for operating accounts on the site and, often, specific rules for brands and businesses. It is important that account managers understand the rules or guidelines they agree to abide by in operating any account.
- UT Health San Antonio reserves the right to revise this policy at any time.
Leave of Absence
Students in good academic standing who wish an extended leave of absence for extenuating physical or personal reasons must submit a written request to the Dean stating reasons for such a request, the period of time involved, and intentions concerning resumption of dental studies. The Dean will consider such requests on their individual merit.
Generally, a leave of absence shall not exceed one academic year. Any additional leaves of absence must be reviewed and recommended by the Academic Performance Committee and approved by the Dean. The Dean’s Office and Program Director must be notified of intentions to re-enroll by the first day of April prior to the next academic year.
Upon approval, the student must request and complete a Student Clearance E- Form found on the student portal and arrange to check out of either simlab or clinic.