The Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine

The Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine (Case SODM) is considered one of the top dental schools in the country. It has a reputation for excellence, and it's celebrated for its first-class pre-doctoral and postdoctoral dental programs. It's very involved in its local Cleveland community, and it gets its students involved in seeing patients from their very first year. Students attending the school participate in an extremely rigorous and comprehensive program that includes top-notch clinical experiences and a well-rounded curriculum.

In return, the dental school expects its students to follow an extremely high code of ethics. The field of dentistry involves gaining the public's trust, and in order for Case Western students to do so, they must be above reproach. Academic dishonesty and academic misconduct are met with swift disciplinary action that could upend a student's entire life. Following the rules of the University and taking advantage of all of the opportunities that the school has to offer, students will go far. If you're a dental student dealing with academic dishonesty or any other type of issues that threaten your future, you need legal help on your side that can help you make decisions that allow you to move forward with your life.

Code Of Conduct And Student Honor Code

Students at Case SODM must sign a Student Academic Integrity Certification. Overall, the statement says that performance on exams must reflect the student's ability. It outlines all of the behavior that would be considered academic dishonesty. Students must sign this statement and date it.

All dental students need to abide by the principles and codes of the American Dental Association. Dental students are also responsible for following the University Standards of Conduct. Misconduct that could result in disciplinary action by the University includes behavior like failure to comply with the directions of University officials acting in the performance of their duty, threatening people with bodily harm, theft or vandalism, or other similar types of actions.

All forms of academic dishonesty are also considered grounds for disciplinary action, including actions like sharing the contents of an exam with someone who hasn't taken it yet, submitting lab projects for evaluations that you didn't produce yourself, taking credit for clinical treatments that you did not engage in or perform, plagiarism, cheating forgery, the altering of documents, and other similar types of behavior.

How The Dental School Deals With Misconduct

Once an allegation of misconduct has been made against a student, the Dental School will begin immediate action to see how it should respond. The incident should be reported to the course instructor, the Director of Student Services, or any other responsible faculty member. Failure to report an incident is also considered an act of academic misconduct.

Initially, the school will try to resolve the issue with an informal process. If that process is not successful, a formal process is usually initiated. The Faculty Student Relations Committee (Committee) may put together a hearing on the issue.

Before the hearing, the student will get written notification of the specific issues that will be addressed by the Committee. The student will then have up to five business days to respond.

In many circumstances, the student will be allowed to appear at the hearing, but in certain circumstances, the Committee may decide to have the hearing without the student present at all. If a student is allowed to be at the hearing, they'll be allowed to have an advocate there on their behalf. The advocate needs to be a member of the staff, faculty, or administration of the University. They can advise the student during the hearing, but they won't be permitted to directly address the Committee. If the student does appear at the hearing, they'll be given an opportunity to speak and answer any questions. The Committee will also be able to hear from any other witnesses connected to the issue.

At the end of the hearing, when the Committee has made a decision, it'll send that decision in writing to the Dean within a reasonable period of time. The student will also be provided a copy of this decision. It will list out what, if any, sanctions will be imposed. The student has ten days within receipt of the decision to appeal. The Committee's decision will be final.

Penalties and Sanctions

Penalties and sanctions that could be received as a result of the guilty decision range from mild to severe. “Mild” sanctions would include an informal private reprimand by the course director or by the Dean.

A more severe sanction would be disciplinary probation for up to a year with the understanding that they could be suspended or dismissed if they engage in more misconduct. Suspension includes missing all exams, dental school activities, classes, labs, etc. If they want to be readmitted to the school, that will have to be considered by the Student Faculty Relations Committee. Even if the student is successfully readmitted to the school, the suspension will be on their permanent record. If they go through dismissal, that means the student is fully expelled. If that happens, it will go on their permanent record, and the recommendation will be made that they never be readmitted.


In some cases, students at the dental school may go through something called remediation. Remediation is a process that happens when a student is not performing to academic standards.

The Committee on Student Standing and Promotion reviews every student's progress at the end of each semester. Faculty members may submit remediation plans for students that have a grade of “F,” “NP” for no pass, or “I” for incomplete. The committee will then determine if remediation is even an option for any student that has received a failing grade.

The committee will take a look at the student's overall performance during the semester as well as looking at it from the context of the full academic year. The committee will then determine if remediation is a possibility or if another action is more appropriate. Other actions that could be considered include repeating the term, repeating the entire academic year, or requiring the student to withdraw or leave the school. They may be able to avoid withdrawal if there are extenuating circumstances that warrant special consideration. Each of those cases will be handled on an individual basis.


At Case Western Dental School, there's a good possibility that one of the sanctions considered against a student would be dismissal. If a student is dismissed from the program, the student would be expelled from the program with a note marked in their permanent record that they not be considered for re-admission.

If you're dismissed from the program, it could get even worse for you beyond a permanent ban and mark in your permanent record.

  • It will be extremely difficult if not impossible for you to get accepted into another dental school with a dismissal on your records. Your character and/or intellectual abilities will be called into question depending on exactly what you were dismissed for.
  • On the off chance that you do get accepted into another dental program one day, you'll need to start all the way from the beginning. All of the hard work that you've done up to this point will be erased.
  • You will also have to start paying back your school loans you've received once you're dismissed from the school. School loans are due when you leave school, not when you graduate. Since you were most likely depending on your dental medicine degree to be able to start paying back your loans, this can put you into severe financial distress.

Hire An Attorney-Advisor

Dental schools go out of their way to protect students. They're also extremely protective of their reputations. There are times that they may make decisions that could irreparably harm a future dentist's prospects. If you're facing allegations of misconduct, disciplinary proceedings, or any other type of issue that could put your entire dental career at risk, you need to have an attorney-advisor by your side who can help you navigate your way through the process. You need to work with an attorney who understands the nuances of school disciplinary proceedings so that you have the best chance of saving your education, your career, and your future.

Joseph D. Lento has years of experience in the students' right realm, and he has helped many students facing disciplinary action or other types of actions related to their schools achieve positive outcomes. Don't risk your entire future by going through the process alone. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 so that we can help.