University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry (UTHealth) has been committed to improving human health for over a hundred years. Their goal is to graduate students who have excelled in their high-quality educational program so that they can provide their Texas communities with exceptional patient care. With such extraordinary expectations for their students, it is no wonder that dental school has become a highly competitive atmosphere. And while some students shine in such a space, many students end up stressed out, burned out, and behaving in ways they normally would not. In situations like this, even the most ethical student might turn to unethical actions to keep their place in the program.

If you have been accused of disciplinary action, need help requesting a remediation plan, or have been notified of a dismissal hearing, an attorney-advisor can help you navigate these proceedings. Call Lento Law Firm today.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry Code of Conduct

At UTHealth School of Dentistry, students are given a handbook at the beginning of each new academic year. This handbook includes a code of conduct that dental students are expected to maintain in order to stay in good standing with the program. Some of the conduct regulations include:

  • Demonstrating professional behavior
  • Maintaining a high ethical standard
  • Prioritizing compassionate and ethical patient care
  • Maintaining patient confidentiality
  • Attending classes on time and staying through the lesson
  • Not using electronic devices or eating during class unless allowed by the instructor

Additionally, dental students are also expected to uphold high standards of academic integrity. They must refrain from committing acts of academic misconduct, including:

  • Copying another student's test paper or lab project
  • Using materials on an exam, paper, or other assignment without permission from the instructor
  • Knowingly buying, using, or stealing an unreleased exam
  • Performing another student's preclinical projects
  • Failing to give proper credit for the ideas or works of others on an exam, paper, or other assignment
  • Submitting a paper obtained from the internet
  • Collaborating with another person to prepare for an assignment without permission to do so

Any student that is accused of violating the code of conduct will be reported to a Disciplinary Officer. The Disciplinary Officer will determine the next steps and whether punishment is necessary. Attorney Lento can help you prepare for your meeting with the Disciplinary Officer, ensuring you understand what is at stake and how to navigate the hearing successfully.

Remediation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry

Like most dental schools, UTHealth at Houston School of Dentistry expects students to obtain a passing grade in every course. If they fail a course during a semester or are unable to maintain passing status, their case will be referred to the Evaluation and Promotion Committee (E&P). The E&P Committee will review the student's academic record and determine if they should be allowed to remediate the course, repeat the academic year, or if they should be dismissed from the program.

If the student is offered a remediation plan, it will consist of retaking the exam after the student has an opportunity to study. Students who unsuccessfully remediate will be referred for dismissal.

Dismissal Proceedings at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry

Oftentimes, dental students are referred for dismissal because of an inability to maintain satisfactory grades and failing to remediate. Other times, it is for disciplinary issues, like sexual misconduct, Title IX violations, or destruction of university property.

At UTHealth School of Dentistry, when a student is referred to the E&P Committee for dismissal, they will be offered the chance to defend themselves. To do so, students are expected to present evidence and witnesses that prove why they should be given another chance to participate in the program. At the end of this presentation, the E&P Committee will determine whether the student should be dismissed.

Generally, this decision will be mailed to the student, along with directions for how to appeal the E&P Committee's determination. The instructions will describe exactly how to submit your appeal, but usually, you will have a short period of time (under ten days), and it must be made on specific grounds. These grounds tend to be:

  • New evidence is available now that was not available before
  • A procedural error in the original hearing affected its outcome
  • The E&P Committee was biased against the student

After submitting the appeal, a new committee will be appointed to decide if the original decision should be upheld, struck down, or amended in some way. Typically, once this committee's decision is made, it cannot be appealed further, which is why it is so important to make sure your appeal follows the exact instructions listed. If the idea of appealing your dismissal feels overwhelming, an attorney-advisor can help shoulder that burden.

How a Qualified Attorney-Advisor Can Help

Pursuing a career in the dental profession is something you should be exceptionally proud of. There are so many people who do not have access to proper oral healthcare, and students at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry are given the opportunity to provide such care to their communities. But like most graduate programs, such experiences come with a competitive and overwhelming atmosphere. If you are accused of violating the code of conduct, find yourself unable to complete your remediation plan, or have a scheduled meeting with the dismissal committee for some other reason, a strong defense is the best way to guarantee a positive outcome for your case.

Unfortunately, some students decide to improvise their defense at these proceedings and find themselves facing harsh sanctions, like suspension or dismissal. Suspensions and dismissal are quite troubling punishments to receive because they are noted on your final transcript. So, if you try to apply to another program or for a fellowship after graduation, you will have to explain to the admissions committees the circumstances surrounding the punishments, which can make gaining admission difficult.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have spent years helping dental students navigate such proceedings. They know how hard you have worked to get into the program and how important it is to preserve your place in it. As such, they will work diligently with you to construct a defense that is sure to prevent any unnecessary punishments you might have received otherwise. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation or visit us online.

Contact Us Today!

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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