By undertaking a health administration degree, you're embarking on a journey to join a prestigious and valued sector of our society. Health administrators are responsible for keeping the health and care sectors operating smoothly, and it's a privilege for any individual to graduate into this field.
Joseph Lento knows how seriously you take your future if you're entering this competitive and challenging branch of healthcare. However, he also knows that things don't always go to plan, and adversity can affect any student. If you find yourself accused of misconduct or you're falling behind on your program, the consequences for your future prospects can be severe – here's a look at the challenges health administration students face and how you might overcome misconduct accusations.
Health Administration Careers
Health administration students are dedicated, talented individuals who can thrive working in bustling healthcare environments. A degree or qualification in health administration opens many doors, and students often find the jobs such as:
- Healthcare program director
- Hospital administrator
- Insurance compliance manager
- Medical and health service manager
- Nursing home administrator
Working as a health administrator typically means completing a four-year degree at an accredited institution or a master's degree for more senior positions. In any case, you're investing a significant number of years in your education, and you deserve the opportunity to reach your full potential.
The Challenges Facing Health Administration Students
No degree is easy. Every student pursuing a professional education can expect to face certain trials, such as learning how to manage their time effectively, studying for exams, and handling challenging workloads.
However, allied health professionals, including health administrators, face unique challenges that reflect the trust placed in their profession and the level of responsibility they have in the workplace. Health administrators, for example, manage confidential data, so students must behave ethically and show they can always be trusted. They may also have supervisory roles in institutions such as hospitals – positions that require a high level of integrity.
Unsurprisingly, then, schools hold health administration students to strict academic and conduct standards. Let's consider these expectations in more detail.
Health Administration Student Standards
Every health administration student must abide by the policies set by their school or college. To ensure that students meet certain academic and performance thresholds, schools should provide students with copies of their conduct codes and disciplinary procedures. Students can usually request a copy of these codes from the relevant faculty, but they should also be outlined in the student handbook.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recommends that students always attend accredited institutions to improve their employment prospects and ensure they're receiving a quality education. Bodies such as the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) may impose additional conduct and attainment requirements on accredited schools, meaning that students are held to an even higher level of behavioral and academic integrity.
Students must familiarize themselves with the standards expected of them – the consequences for violating school conduct codes can range from verbal warnings to expulsion from the program.
Types of Disciplinary Charges
The types of disciplinary charges a health administration student might face can be broken down into three broad categories:
- Academic misconduct
- Behavioral misconduct
- Sexual misconduct
The allegations a student can face vary considerably, from a noise violation all the way to sexual harassment accusations. To help you better understand the types of actions a school could bring against you – and how a defense attorney or attorney-advisor might help – here is a breakdown of each category.
Academic achievement is the cornerstone of any health degree. The public expects health administrators to demonstrate a certain level of skill and knowledge, and schools closely monitor student attainment to ensure they're meeting the required standards.
Academic misconduct, as defined by a school, can take many forms but typically includes violations such as cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized assistance, or misrepresentation. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), for example, expects students to:
- Attain certain grades (at least a 3.0)
- Attend class regularly
- Report any suspicions of academic dishonesty
- Represent their work fairly and truthfully
Students who fail to respect these rules or meet their responsibilities may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings. The penalties include warnings, probation, receiving a failing grade in a certain module, or expulsion from a program.
How to Challenge Academic Misconduct Allegations
Just as you want to complete your program, schools want their students to succeed. However, they don't always get their disciplinary procedures right. It's important that they take all mitigating circumstances and available evidence into consideration, and they must ensure that the accused student has every opportunity to defend their position. Unfortunately, schools may rush to a decision and unfairly suspend or reprimand a student – damaging their academic record and their prospects as a result.
Joseph Lento has worked with numerous students to overcome academic misconduct allegations and help them continue their studies with minimal disruption. He understands how to effectively communicate with school faculty members to help facilitate a satisfactory outcome, so contact him to learn more about his services.
Just as academic misconduct accusations can undermine your attempts to complete your degree, behavioral misconduct allegations can also disrupt your education.
Taking the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) as an example, behavioral misconduct may include:
- Disruptive or disorderly conduct
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Failure to comply with school directives and codes
- Falsification of records
- Property damage
- Violating state or federal laws
Punishments range from a verbal reprimand to expulsion, depending on the accusation.
Schools also expect high levels of professionalism from students graduating into fields like healthcare to reflect the standards expected of these individuals during their careers. In its academic catalog, UAMS expects students to:
- Act and behave honestly
- Attend classes and complete all assignments on time
- Communicate professionally
- Respect the privacy of others
- Take pride in their appearance
- Treat everyone fairly and respectfully
In the worst-case scenarios, behavioral or professional misconduct allegations can prevent a student from finishing their health administration program.
Challenging Behavioral and Professional Misconduct Accusations
In many cases, behavioral misconduct accusations are unfair, exaggerated, unfounded, or simply mishandled by the school. As an experienced student defense attorney, Joseph Lento can help you challenge such allegations and reach a fair outcome by presenting evidence in support of your position where possible and ensuring the school treats you fairly at every stage.
Professionalism is a skill that individuals acquire over time. You deserve the chance to refine your abilities and develop your potential – the Lento Law Firm can help ensure one mistake doesn't ruin your prospects.
Sexual Misconduct Violations
Schools across the US typically have rules in place for handling sexual misconduct allegations, whether it's a Title IX or non-Title IX accusation.
Title IX Misconduct
Any school receiving federal funding must strictly prohibit all forms of sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence to comply with Title IX requirements. Schools typically take sexual or gender-based allegations seriously and expect students to respect the rules, especially students planning to work in a healthy environment where they could be working with vulnerable individuals of all genders and sexual orientations.
Columbia Southern University, for example, has a Title IX Policy Statement within its student handbook. All students, including health administration students, must abide by this notice and the school's Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy which covers gender-based harassment in more detail.
If you're a health administration student at a school with Title IX obligations, you could face formal disciplinary proceedings if another individual makes a complaint against you. The processes for dealing with Title IX accusations are, unsurprisingly, rigorous, and the possible consequences of a finding against you include:
- Counseling referral
- Loss of privileges
- Written reprimand
A Title IX finding against you could seriously jeopardize your prospects of completing your degree or finding future employment, which is why it's imperative you retain legal advice immediately if you're facing accusations.
Non-Title IX Misconduct
Title IX does not directly address all forms of sexual misconduct. As a result, some schools go beyond the Title IX definition and specifically prohibit a wider range of unwanted conduct, including sexual innuendos, intimidation, and aiding or facilitating sexual misconduct.
Schools often have their own rules for dealing with non-Title IX misconduct violations in their school handbooks. However, again, accused students can expect to face a wide range of sanctions, including verbal or written warnings, suspension of privileges, and expulsion if the school finds in the accuser's favor.
Challenging a Sexual Misconduct Charge
You deserve the chance to defend yourself against any sexual misconduct accusation. As an experienced student defense attorney, Joseph Lento can help you achieve the fairest possible outcome.
- Given that many schools have separate (and complex) policies for dealing with Title IX and non-Title IX allegations, he will ensure the correct procedures are followed and that you understand exactly what's happening at each stage.
- While the standard of proof for criminal charges is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the bar is set much lower for complaints made within the school system. Joseph Lento will advocate on your behalf and robustly defend you against any unfounded, weak, or exaggerated accusations.
- If the accuser does file criminal charges, then the Lento Law Firm will stand by your side throughout the process.
Consequences of Disciplinary Action
When you start a health administration degree, you're there to see it through. You intend to graduate and start a promising career. Unfortunately, any disciplinary action taken against a health administration student, however minor, can have professional and personal consequences.
- If the school finds you committed an act of misconduct, even if it's a minor violation, you could lose access to certain opportunities such as scholarships, internships, and school awards.
- Faculty members may be less willing to write you letters of recommendation for employment or admission purposes, depending on the allegations.
- In the most serious cases, you may face suspension or expulsion from the program.
Disciplinary findings can stay with you for many years and leave a mark on your academic record, which is why you need effective legal guidance at the earliest possible stage.
There are more than just the academic and professional consequences to consider when a student faces misconduct allegations. We must also think about the mental, emotional, and financial impact the process could have on them.
- Health administration students may feel stigmatized or unfairly judged by those around them. This may deter them from wanting to continue with the program or leave them feeling alienated from their peers.
- Students forced to leave their degrees still have student loans and other fees to pay, so they could face financial difficulties.
- The worry and anxiety associated with disciplinary proceedings could result in short or long-term mental health issues such as depression.
Given how much is at stake and how severely misconduct allegations can impact your future, you deserve support from an experienced attorney.
Hire a School Defense Attorney
If you're dealing with academic or behavioral misconduct allegations, then the Lento Law Firm wants to help. As a student defense attorney, Joseph Lento understands how to navigate school disciplinary proceedings. He can serve as your advisor at any school hearing and answer any questions you might have about the process, and he will ensure you have every possible chance to defend your case.
You've invested a significant amount of time and money into your chosen degree – don't try to face disciplinary action alone. Give yourself the best shot at the fairest outcome by retaining the services of Joseph Lento. To discover how he might help you move forward with your education, tell him about your case through our contact form or call him at 888.535.3686.