Getting into dental school is an incredibly difficult feat. You not only have to graduate from college, but you also must graduate with a high GPA. Additionally, there are only so many seats in dental school, making acceptance even harder. The Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine (CDMI) in Downers Grove, Illinois, is no exception, and its students are held to extremely high standards. CDMI is committed to educating dentists who will provide patient-centered, complete oral care to their patients while having an ethical practice, upholding scientific research, and continuously making evidence-based decisions.
Code of Conduct
All CDMI students are expected to abide by a particular code of conduct, which includes academic and professional responsibilities. These responsibilities include:
- Achieving a high level of academic, professional, and social demeanor
- To meet the requirements of the dental school program
- To show the highest level of ethical and professional behavior and help others achieve the same
- Do not behave in a way that infringes on the rights and freedoms of others
- To work on improving public relations with the public on behalf of the dental school
Academic Misconduct at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine
Every school in the country has a clause for academic misconduct in their code of conduct handbook, and this definition changes from school to school. At CDMI, academic misconduct is defined as the following:
- Cheating: using texts, notes, or other aids while taking an exam; copying someone else's work; or using a copy of the exam before it is given out
- Computer misuse: using a computer resource illegally or disruptively, including to send class or exam materials by email, texting, or by any other electronic transmission
- Fabrication: intentionally falsifying or creating information on any exam, paper, or other academic assignment
- Helping others perform academic dishonesty
- Forging or altering University documents or identification
- Knowingly providing the University with false information
- Intentionally disrupting or obstructing the education of others or the administrative operation of the University
- Plagiarism: using someone else's work on a paper, exam, or other academic assignment as if it were your own
- Unauthorized collaboration: working with another student on an exam or lab without permission from the instructor
If a student is caught violating these rules, they will be subject to disciplinary sanctions at CDMI.
Remediation at CDMI
As stated above, CDMI expects its students to uphold both their professional and academic responsibilities to CDMI's high standards. But all students learn differently, and sometimes a dental student at CDMI may learn more in the classes than they do in their clinical rotations, and vice versa. CDMI understands this and offers students the opportunity to retake failed exams, repeat clinical rotations, and potentially redo assignments.
Generally, students who are offered remediation are unable to progress in the program unless they successfully fulfill the prior modules. In addition, students may be offered several attempts to remediate. If a student is continuously unsuccessful, the university may decide that a dismissal hearing is more appropriate.
Dismissal Proceedings at CDMI
Dismissal proceedings are commonplace in graduate programs, but the procedural information is not known as well. Generally, a member of the faculty will notify the administration that they are recommending a particular student for dismissal. At CDMI, students can be dismissed for several reasons, including academic misconduct, failing to remediate a course, exam, or clinical rotation, sexual misconduct, or disciplinary issues. The student is then notified of the request and preliminarily interviewed by the university.
If the university believes that the student should be placed in front of a dismissal hearing panel, they will convene one, offering both the administration and the student the ability to state their case. During the dismissal hearing, you are allowed to present evidence and witnesses to testify on your behalf.
After both sides have had an opportunity to present their evidence, the dismissal committee will convene separately to determine whether or not the student should be dismissed. If they decide that dismissal is inappropriate, they might initiate certain punishments instead. These punishments may include anything from academic probation to suspension or expulsion.
Appeals and Readmission
Almost every school has an appeals process for after a disciplinary or dismissal hearing. Typically, the university sends the student their decision from the hearing and stipulates how many days the student has to appeal. They will also describe what grounds the student can appeal on and what to include in the appeal.
The appeal will then be reviewed by an alternative administrative body, and a new decision will be made. The original decision will either be overturned, affirmed, or modified in some way.
Alternatively, CDMI allows dismissed students to apply for readmission if they were dismissed for poor academic performance. Students must complete a new application and proceed through the regular application process. Usually, you must have addressed the deficiencies and be able to demonstrate that you meet all the academic requirements of the dental program.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Being punished by your dental school can be incredibly disparaging. You've worked so hard to get where you are, and suddenly that hard work is being threatened. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have spent years helping students avoid unnecessary consequences from early dismissal and other punishments by their universities. If you are suspended or expelled, it is especially important to reach out to our offices. Suspensions and expulsions are noted in your transcripts and will be visible for all future schools and some jobs to see. You will have to explain to them why you were suspended or expelled and hope that they understand.
Unfortunately, some students fail to prepare for these hearings and, in doing so, hurt their chances of being absolved of the issue. Do not make the same mistake. Disciplinary and dismissal hearings are fraught with nuances that only an attorney can understand. Call our offices today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation or visit us online.