close button

For medical school admissions

Visit the Office of Admission for info on application process, financial aid, and student life.

For graduate school admissions

Visit the Office of Graduate Education for info on our many doctoral programs and the graduate education application process at the School of Medicine.

close button

Give online

Use our secure online giving form to make your gift to Case Western Reserve University now.

Make a difference

Find out how you can Take Three Steps to make a difference at Case Western Reserve University.

close button

Welcome to campus

Visit Case Western Reserve University's uniquely urban campus, located in the heart of Cleveland's cultural hub, University Circle. Plan your trip:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Committee on Students

CHARGE:

The Committee on Students (COS) is a standing committee of the Faculty of Medicine charged with the responsibility of reviewing the total performance of all students in the School of Medicine. By approval of this charge, the Faculty of Medicine delegates to the COS the authority for decisions on student standing and student promotions. The COS will recommend to the Faculty of Medicine candidates for the award of the degree of doctor of medicine. A summary of the actions of the COS will be reported to the faculty annually.

Because of significant differences in the curriculum and assessment of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM), the Committee on Students delegates to its subcommittee, the Medical Student Performance Review Committee (MSPRC), the review of Case Western Reserve University students enrolled in the CCLCM. Each year, the MSPRC will provide the COS with a report of its recommendations for promotion and remediation. In the case of recommendations for dismissal or repetition of a year, the Chair of the MSPRC will present that case and recommendation to the COS at the next scheduled COS meeting, rather than waiting for the annual report. The COS will be responsible for either approving or not approving the recommendations of the MSPRC. If the COS does not approve a decision of the MSPRC, the COS will direct the MSPRC to take an alternative action.

Mandate:

The COS will review, as indicated, a given student’s total performance. This will include not only the usual indices, such as formal grades and evaluations, but also the professional attitudes and behavior manifested by the student. Medical school education entails the mastery of didactic, theoretical, and technical matters as well as the demonstration of appropriate professional and interpersonal behavior, sensitivity, sense of responsibility, and ethics and the ability to comport oneself suitably with patients, colleagues, and coworkers. The COS acts on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine in disciplinary matters involving medical students and upholds the Standards of Conduct and Judicial Procedures as described in the Case Western Reserve University Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Meetings and Attendance:

The COS will meet at regular intervals according to a schedule set by the chair at the beginning of each school year. Special meetings may be called by the chair. The presence of a simple majority of voting members will be considered a quorum and official decisions of the COS will require either the affirmative or negative vote of a simple majority of the total voting membership. Appointment of a member may be terminated by the chair if the member misses more than two of the scheduled meetings during an academic year.

The chair will be responsible for composing an agenda and arranging for its delivery to all members prior to the meetings. The chair will preside and the secretary will be responsible for recording the minutes. Minutes of the immediately prior meeting will be distributed at each meeting and approval and/or revision will be the first order of business. Presentation of specific information concerning the performance of a student will be the responsibility of the deans of student affairs.

Reasonable efforts will be made to contact students whose individual performance is to be reviewed so that the individual may have the opportunity to present pertinent information. All members, voting and non-voting, may participate in discussions. All proceedings of the COS are strictly confidential and should not be discussed by members with non-members. All communications concerning actions of the COS will come through the dean of student affairs or the dean’s designate. Members are expected to consider carefully whether or not their personal relationship with a student might impair their objectivity such that they should absent themselves from any discussion or vote. Actions of the COS will be transmitted to the student by letter from a dean of student affairs within three business days of the decision.

Hearings:

Students have the right to request reconsideration of decisions made by the COS, including those recommended by the MSPRC.

Notice to request a hearing must be presented in writing to the Senior or Associate Dean of Students (University Program) or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs (College Program) within ten days of the student’s receipt of the initial decision. The formal written request should be supplemented by a statement of the student’s reason(s) for requesting an appeal and faculty who can provide pertinent information in support of the reconsideration. If approved, the appeal will be scheduled for the next regular meeting of the COS. The student is expected to be available to address the COS and respond to questions at the reconsideration hearing. The student has the right to have a faculty advocate appear with them before the COS. No other advisor or advocate, other than the CWRU faculty member designated by the student, is permitted to accompany the student to the hearing. The advocate may not be a family member. The student and advocate are not present during the discussions and vote to either sustain or alter the original decision. The Chair, the student’s Society Dean, the Senior Associate Dean or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs will communicate the COS’s decision to the student in writing within 3 business days after the hearing.

Appeals:

Appeals may be made concerning the decision following the hearing process to the dean of the School of Medicine on the basis of the use of inappropriate procedures. The dean may then request that the committee reconsider the case and relate the reasons for the request. The committee will then reconsider the case and either sustain or alter the original action.

MEMBERSHIP:

The COS is a standing committee of at least nine voting members, including a chairperson who is appointed in accordance with the bylaws of the Faculty of Medicine. Nine members will be elected by the Faculty of Medicine from among its membership; the dean of the School of Medicine will have the prerogative of appointing up to four additional voting members if deemed advisable. At least four members will be from the preclinical departments and at least five from the clinical departments. In addition, a dean's designate will serve ex officio with vote. The following will serve as ex officio members without vote: the deans of student affairs; the chair of the Committee on Medical Education, the vice dean for medical education; the associate dean of curriculum, the assistant dean for basic science, the assistant dean for clinical education, and the chair of the MSPRC or his/her designee; and the registrar of the School of Medicine who will serve as secretary. The COS may invite others to its meetings.

The term of office of the elected members is five years. Elections will be staggered so that at least one member will be replaced or re-elected each year. An elected member resigning during a term of office shall be replaced by appointment made by the chair of the Faculty Council; an appointed member resigning during a term of office shall be replaced by appointment made by the dean or the dean's designee.

Function

The Committee on Students conducts detailed reviews of the total performance of any student referred to it.  Review of student performance within the curriculum is not limited to the scores from examinations or performance in the clinical clerkships.  Review by the Committee on Students includes professional attitudes and behavior as well as compliance with the university's Standards of Conduct. Medical school education entails the mastery of didactic, theoretical, and technical material, as well as the demonstration of appropriate professional and interpersonal behavior, sensitivity, sense of responsibility, and ethics, and the ability to conduct oneself suitably with patients, colleagues, co-workers and others. Unprofessional activities may also be subject to a formal university disciplinary action. The University Disciplinary Process is described in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Members of the Medical School community should bring evidence of violations of the Standards of Conduct to the Society Deans. The Society Deans, Deans of Student Affairs, and/or their designees have the right to investigate any issue(s) of Standards of Conduct violations, academic performance, and/or professional behavior or attitudes. The Society Deans may then determine if any issue should be brought to the attention of the Committee. If a Society Dean believes that there is sufficient basis to bring any issue(s) to the Committee, then before the Committee meeting, the Society Dean shall inform the student in writing of the issue(s) to be addressed by the Committee and the possible range of sanctions. The student shall be advised in writing that any information he/she wants to submit in response, including documents and witness statements, should be submitted in writing to the Committee before its meeting.

The Committee shall then review the written document prepared by the Society Dean and/or his or her designee that was provided to the student and any written response thereto. The Committee shall also have the discretion to hear from the Society Deans themselves. The Committee shall have the discretion to hear from the student at any point in the review process, and to question the student on any matter relevant to the student's academic performance, Standards of Conduct violations, professional behavior or attitudes. The Committee also has the discretion to consider and review any other evidence, including any documents or testimony from witnesses. Formal rules of evidence are inapplicable to the Committee's meetings. The Committee has the discretion to determine whether the student may be present and/or participate in the meeting, but the student does not have such a right.

The review process is done in order to determine the best course of action for each individual student.  This Committee is responsible for all determinations of promotion and graduation, repetition of a portion of the curriculum, and any sanctions including dismissal from the School.  The Committee's decision on a student need not be unanimous, but is by majority vote. Actions from the Committee on Students are noted in the student’s permanent record and in some cases appear on the official transcript of the School.   The Society Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Committee’s decision and actions taken.

Appeals Process

Any student has the right to request an appeal hearing for reconsideration of a decision made by the Committee on Students concerning herself/himself. Notice to request a hearing must be presented in writing to the Society Dean within ten days of the Committee’s initial decision for transmittal to the Committee on Students.  The formal written request should be supplemented by a statement of the student’s reason(s) for requesting an appeal and provide the names of faculty who can provide pertinent information in support of the reconsideration.  At the reconsideration hearing, the student is expected to address the Committee and respond to questions.   The student has the right to have a faculty advocate appear before the Committee.  The faculty advocate must not be a Society Dean. No other advisor or advocate, other than the CWRU faculty member designated by the student, is permitted to accompany the student to the Committee hearing.  The student and advocate are not present during Committee discussion and vote, either sustaining or altering the original Committee decision.

The Society Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Committee's decision on appeal. A student may make a further appeal following the hearing process to the Dean of the School of Medicine on the basis of the use of inappropriate procedures.  Any appeal to the Dean must be made in writing, including the basis for the appeal, and submitted to the Office of the Dean no later than ten working days from the Committee on Students' decision. If not received by the Dean's Office within that time, the right to an appeal is forfeited. If the Dean finds the student’s appeal to have merit, the Dean may then request that the Committee reconsider the case and relate the reasons for the request.  The Committee will then reconsider the case and either sustain or alter the original action.

The Society Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Committee's decision in any matter where the Dean has asked for reconsideration. The Dean may, but is not required to, personally meet with the student. The Dean has the discretion to review the record before the Comittee and, where the Dean deems it appropriate, consider any other evidence relevant to the student.

Students are entitled to review their files; under FERPA students "have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading" or a violation of their right of privacy. The student may schedule a meeting with his or her Society Dean to request that the record be amended. If the student's request is denied, the student may appeal the decision to the Senior Associate Dean for Students or the Vice Dean for Medical Education for a hearing. The Senior Associate Dean will conduct a hearing and will make a final decision concerning whether the record should be amended. If the decision is made to not amend the records, the student has the right to place in the student's record a written statement contesting information and/or giving reason for disagreement with the decision to not amend the record.

The Committee on Students acts on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine in non-academic disciplinary matters involving medical students. The Committee on Students will uphold the Standards of Conduct and Judicial Procedures as described in the Case Western Reserve University Undergraduate Student Handbook.

Interim Separation prior to the meeting with the Committee on Students (COS)

The medical school, through the Office of the Vice Dean for Medical Education and the Office of Student Affairs, reserves the right to suspend any student whose behavior indicates that his or her continued presence on campus or at academic/clinical sites constitutes a danger or disruptive force to the normal functions of the institution, the sites, to property, to others, or to the student him/herself. The process for this separation involves the following steps:

  1. To the extent reasonably appropriate, the student will be notified in writing of the interim suspension and the reasons for the action.
  2. To the extent reasonably appropriate, the student will be provided with a preliminary meeting with the Vice Dean for Medical Education, the Senior Associate Dean for Students, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Chair of the COS (either in person or via teleconference).
  3. The student may be required to have a psychological evaluation, the results of which may be used in the hearing.
  4. The formal meeting with the COS will follow the procedure outlined under the normal disciplinary process.

 

Approved by vote of the Faculty Council November 16, 2015

Published and maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Academic Societies
Revised 3/17/16