Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine, Glendale, Arizona

When you get into dental school, you imagine the future like a linear line. You'll ace your classes, excel on your exams, and make a lucrative career in whatever town you choose. You never expect to be facing a disciplinary or dismissal hearing committee part of the way through your time on campus. At Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine (CDMA) in Glendale, Arizona, they are dedicated to graduating dentists who will help their communities with patient-centered, complete oral care, while upholding evidence-based science. As such, students are held to very high standards, both professionally and academically. If a student fails to meet these standards, they run the risk of being dismissed or sanctioned in some other way.

If you or someone you love is dealing with a similar issue while attending dental school, call our offices today. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help.

Code of Conduct

There is a particular code of conduct that all CDMA students are expected to abide by, which includes academic and professional responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Reaching a high level of academic, professional, and social deportment
  • Meeting the dental program's requirements
  • Showing the utmost level of ethical and professional behavior
  • Helping others achieve a high level of ethical and professional conduct
  • Not behaving in a way that breaches the rights and freedoms of others, whether they are students, faculty, staff, or outside of the institution altogether

Academic Misconduct at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine – Glendale, Arizona

Across the country, schools develop student handbooks or codes of conduct that they expect their students to follow. Each year, this handbook may evolve, and while every school is different, nearly all have a specific clause for academic misconduct. At CDMI, academic misconduct is defined as the following:

  • Cheating: using a copy of an exam before it has been given out, using aids, like notes or texts, while taking an exam; or copying someone else's work
  • Computer misuse: using a computer resource illegitimately or obtrusively, including to send class or exam materials by electronic transmission, like email or text message
  • Fabrication: purposely fabricating or making up information on any exam, paper, or other academic assignment
  • Helping others commit some form of academic dishonesty
  • Rewriting or altering University documents or identification
  • Intentionally providing the University with false information
  • Intentionally upsetting or obstructing the education of others or the ability of the university to function
  • Plagiarism: using someone else's work as if it were your own on a paper, exam, or other academic assignment
  • Unauthorized collaboration: working with another student on an exam or lab without consent from the teacher

If a student is caught violating these rules, they will be subject to disciplinary sanctions at CDMI.

Remediation at CDMA

Most graduate programs expect their students to uphold certain professional and academic responsibilities. The main intention of universities is to uphold their own reputation and will do anything to ensure they are seen in a positive light. CDMA is no different. This Arizona dental program expects its student to meet high standards, and when they don't, they may be dismissed from the program. The problem is not all students learn the same. Some students do better with in-person instruction, like in their clinical rotations, while others do better in lecture halls or teaching themselves. To ensure that all students have a fighting chance at progressing through the program, CDMA allows their students to remediate courses, exams, or clinical rotations that they perform poorly in or on.

Typically, if a student is offered remediation, they are unable to progress to the next part of the program until that course, exam, or clinical rotation is completed. And there are usually a set number of times a student can fail remediation before being placed before the dismissal committee. An attorney-advisor will be able to help you understand what your options are, whether you are seeking the ability to remediate or looking for a way to understand the dismissal proceedings you've been notified of.

Dismissal Proceedings at CDMA

All graduate programs have a specific dismissal proceeding they follow when a student commits academic misconduct, fails to remediate properly, or performs some other violation of their code of conduct. At CDMA, students can be dismissed for several reasons, including academic misconduct, sexual misconduct, failing to remediate a course, exam, or clinical rotation, or other disciplinary issues.

Generally, the university will notify the student of the dismissal proceeding and give them time to come up with a defense. CDMA allows students to solicit help from attorney-advisors who can help gather evidence and present witnesses to the dismissal committee on why the student should be allowed to stay.

After the student and the university have both had a chance to present their evidence, the dismissal committee will convene separately to determine whether the student should be dismissed. If the committee determines that dismissal is inappropriate, they might initiate sanctions instead. These punishments may include anything from a warning letter, academic probation, and loss of privileges to suspension or expulsion.

Appeals and Readmission

After the dismissal committee makes their decision, they will send you a notice of your punishment. In this notice, the university will explain how an appeal can be brought. Usually, these instructions include how many days you have to make an appeal, how it should be delivered, and what specific grounds the decision can be appealed on.

After the university receives the appeal, it will be examined by an alternative decision maker who will decide if the original decision will either be overturned, affirmed, or modified in some way.

Additionally, CDMA has created a process to allow students who were dismissed for poor academic performance to apply for readmission. Students must complete a new application and go through the regular application process. The hope is that before you reapply, you will have addressed the issues that had you dismissed in the first place and meet all the academic requirements of the dental program so that remediation or future dismissal is unnecessary.

How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help

Dental school is a lengthy and arduous endeavor. You must be strong-willed and resilient to persevere. But some students may still have a hard time, no matter how much grit they have. If you or someone you love has been accused