Clear Academic Standing for graduate students is defined by Dominican University policy and by Liberal Studies Program policy as the condition of maintaining a minimum overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in graduate programs. Since credential courses are graded using a “Pass” or “Fail” metric and for Liberal Studies undergraduates a letter grade of B or better, all credential candidates must earn a minimum grade of B or “Pass” for each course in the program. A grade of “Pass” will constitute at least a grade equivalent of “B” for all graduate courses. The first time that a candidate fails a course, the Program Coordinator is notified and the candidate may be placed on Academic Probation. If, at the end of the semester on Academic Probation, all courses are not passed, the candidate is dismissed. In rare cases, at the discretion of the Program Coordinator, a graduate candidate may continue for an additional semester on Academic Probation if he/she has improved his/her pass rate during the probationary semester.
In addition to requiring that all teacher candidates adhere to all University policies set forth in the Student Handbook, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Dominican University School of Education hold high standards for those wishing to earn a teaching credential. Standards specific to professional conduct appear in Program Standard 10 and in the California Teacher Performance Expectation 13: Professional Growth, as follows:
Program Standard 10: “Each candidate demonstrates knowledge of ethical standards, professional practices, and laws and regulations related to the provision of services to individuals with disabilities and their families. Each candidate applies the highest standards to his or her professional conduct.”
Teacher Performance Expectation 13: Professional Growth states, “Candidates for the Teaching Credential evaluate their own teaching practices and subject matter knowledge in light of information about state-adopted academic content standards for students and student learning. They improve their teaching practices by soliciting feedback and engaging in cycles of planning, teaching, reflecting, discerning problems, and applying new strategies. Candidates use reflection and feedback to formulate and prioritize goals for increasing subject matter knowledge and teaching effectiveness.” This statement is also included as a Student Learning Outcome in the Teacher Candidate Handbook.
Further, the Professional Conduct and Obligations section in the Teacher Candidate Handbook includes among other criteria:
These standards and expectations are applied in credential classes, field experiences, and teaching assignments. These standards must be met, or progress made toward fulfilling these standards made, in order for a candidate to continue in the credential program. Candidates’ progress toward meeting standards related to professional conduct is determined by faculty based on their professional judgment.
If faculty members have concerns about a candidate’s professional conduct and determine that remediation is appropriate, they will tell the candidate about specific areas of concern, offer suggestions about how to meet his/her performance expectations, and set specific goals and a timeline in which the candidate can demonstrate improved performance. This written statement is known as an “INDIVIDUAL PLAN AND AGREEMENT”
If a candidate’s performance does not meet expectations at the end of the given timeline, he/she will be dismissed from the program. The dismissal notice will be delivered to the candidate either by email notification or by letter. Candidates in danger of not meeting these expectations may be given the opportunity to formally withdraw from the University by completing the appropriate Withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office in lieu of dismissal.
Under certain circumstances, a program coordinator may determine that a candidate’s professional conduct is of such a serious nature that the intervention action plan is not an appropriate solution. In these rare cases, a candidate will be dismissed forthwith.
If a candidate is dismissed from the program and wishes to appeal this decision, he/she is required to adhere to the following appeals process: