Student Defense: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso-Hunt School of Dentistry

The Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine was formerly the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso-Hunt School of Dentistry. It is part of Texas Tech University's mission to improve patient oral health statewide with a focus on the population's needs. The school of dentistry emphasizes a humanistic campus culture and takes pride in diversity, innovation, and education. Upon graduation, students have multiple opportunities to succeed professionally due to the school's excellent programs.

To stay enrolled at the Woody L. Hunt of Dental Medicine, students must demonstrate high ethical, behavioral, and academic standards. To maintain its reputation, the school expects all students and faculty members to remain vigilant and report all violations that go against the school's standards. Although, as a student, making mistakes is expected, some are more severe than others. They may lead to sanctions that include academic probation, suspension, and expulsion. While the latter is only for the most severe offenses, it's best not to approach the issue alone. With the help of an attorney-advisor, you are less likely to face such debilitating penalties that adversely affect your future.

Academic Integrity

As a future dentist, you must have a high degree of integrity that transcends your personality and includes your conduct. According to the student handbook that applies to all students enrolled at Texas Tech, all students must follow the Code of Professional and Academic Conduct. The manual also contains the processes for student complaints and grievance policy procedures. These apply to the following complaints:

  • General and academic misconduct by a student
  • Discrimination
  • Student records
  • Employment at the university
  • Grades and grading procedures
  • Miscellaneous forms of mistreatment

In terms of academic misconduct, multiple actions fall under this category. The most frequent include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, misleading information, and assisting others without permission. Depending on the case and the number of times a student commits these actions, sanctions range from a verbal admonition to permanent dismissal.

Grade Issues and Remediation

As a dentistry student, high academic performance is necessary for your progress. Although it's easier to get by in some programs, that is not the case when you work with people's oral and physical health. Dentistry students must maintain an acceptable GPA to remain enrolled at Texas Tech. The student handbook advises that the university reserves the right to dismiss students if they experience the following academic issues:

  • Not making adequate academic progress
  • Partaking in academic research misconduct
  • Engaging in fraudulent behavior related to academics

Students who struggle to keep up academically must do all they can to ensure they don't receive a dismissal for performance issues. Those who do not progress well are under academic probation and must follow a remediation plan. Although this may seem like a hassle, remediation is often the only way to stay enrolled at the university.

Consequences of Dismissal

When you enroll in dentistry school, you probably do not think about whether you'll experience a dismissal from your program. However, you may falter because of your stress and the program's highly-competitive nature. Your supervisors expect you to make mistakes, and they are there to guide you when things go amiss. However, some errors are more egregious than others. The sanctions for these mistakes are equally severe and include temporary or permanent dismissal penalties.

A suspension is not as grievous as an expulsion. The former involves removal from the university for a set time. The latter means that you can no longer re-enroll. You may assume it is easy to pick up where you left off, but that is not the case. You'll experience many obstacles if you choose to pursue a career in dentistry, including:

  • Reputational Harm: Following a permanent discharge, your reputation is at risk. Your coworkers and superiors may misunderstand what happened, which could impact you years later.
  • Psychological Distress: Receiving an expulsion impacts your morale. Unfortunately, mistakes can ruin your mental health and leave you disliking the field. You'll feel demoralized, and you might decide to give up this path completely.
  • Low Chance of Reenrollment: You could erroneously believe you can begin again at another dental school. The reality is much more nuanced. Finding a new school is not impossible, but admissions personnel may not be as interested in your application if you have an expulsion on your record.
  • Financial Repercussions: Dental school is expensive, and paying for unforeseen expenses adds to the financial strain. Your debt increases when you don't continue dental school, and you will lose access to financial aid and scholarships.

Due to the significant damage that an expulsion charge has in the long and short-term, every move you make after receiving an allegation makes a difference. The best way to protect yourself and decrease the likelihood of a debilitating sanction like permanent dismissal is by speaking to an attorney-advisor.

Contacting an Attorney-Advisor

Dental school is tough, and you'll face many challenges as your program progresses. One mistake many students make is assuming they can handle a panel or board alone. However, this is not always the case and may cause more problems for the student. For the best results, you need the help of an attorney-advisor with years of experience working on similar issues.

Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student defense. With a wealth of experience handling complex cases countrywide, Advisor Lento knows what is at stake. Using his deep and extensive knowledge of panel processes, advisor Lento works hard to negotiate for a fair and favorable case outcome.

You worked hard and spent countless hours studying to become a dentist. Don't let a mistake or lapse in judgment end your dream of becoming a professional and graduate.

If you or someone you love faces accusations of misconduct or academic issues at Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine, don't delay. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your options thoroughly and discreetly.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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