Graduate Policies and Procedures

Grades of C+ and Dismissal

  • Any student that earns two grades of C+ or lower will be dismissed from the graduate program.
  • If a student earns a C+ or lower in a class then a Student Remediation Committee will convene to determine the remediation for the student. (See Remediation section for details and processes.)
  • Any student that earns one grade of C+ or lower in a graduate class must retake the class or take an independent study to demonstrate competencies associated ASHA standards or knowledge and skills. Retaking a course will not result in the replacement of the C+ or lower grade. If a C+ or lower is earned in this subsequent class, the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

Competency and Remediation

In graduate courses each student will be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate required knowledge and/or skill. These knowledge and skills will be assessed as delineated in course syllabi. The American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) has specified that in order to be eligible for a clinical fellowship, the student must achieve a level of 80% or better on each knowledge and skills standard. Regardless of the course grade, if the student does not achieve required competencies, he/she will be provided with one additional opportunity to demonstrate this knowledge and/or skill. If the student does not pass the competency a second time, further course of action will be determined by the department, and may result in program dismissal. If a student fails to attain competency, the Certification For Clinical Practice Verification by Program Director Form required for ASHA certification will not be signed regardless of an acceptable course/clinic grade.

Regardless of final grades, students must achieve a level of 80% or better to be considered competent on each ASHA knowledge and skills standard. If competency is not achieved, an individualized formal remediation plan will be implemented (see formal remediation procedures in this handbook for details). If a student fails to demonstrate competency following a remediation then a student is placed in formal academic or clinical probation. If a student is placed in academic and/or clinical probation over two times then the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

  • If remediation requires a student to repeat a course or a section of a course, then the student will complete an independent study of the course for the specified credits the semester that the course is repeated. The repetition of the course will not result in a change of grade from the original course.
  • If a student fails to successfully remediate, the student will be placed on departmental probation. A student remediation committee assigned to the student will then determine the actions and timeline required for the student to end probation. Students can be on departmental probation for a maximum of one semester. If a student fails to complete the required probationary steps within the assigned timeline then he/she may be dismissed from the graduate program.

Praxis Exam

All SLP and Audiology graduate students must take the ASHA national exam by ETS called the Praxis Audiology exam which is part of the Praxis II series and report their scores to the School in order to graduate from the School of Speech, Language, Hearing & Occipational Sciences. Students are required to take the national exam by the end of the final semester of the graduate program. Students are encouraged to take the test by March 15 of their final semester for scores to be received and recorded in time for graduation.

Graduate Program Completion

A graduate student will officially graduate at the end of the semester in which all academic coursework, Praxis exam, and all clinical coursework is complete. If a student does not successfully complete all requirements by the end of the last semester listed on the student’s program of study, the student will continue as a graduate student, until all graduation requirements have been met. The "degree conferred" semester will be the semester that the student actually completed all degree requirements and final grades were posted. Students will not receive a letter confirming program requirement completion before the degree is awarded.

Plans of Study and Leave of Absence

The School of Speech, Language, Hearing & Occipational Sciences expects graduate students to maintain and register according to their plan of study established at the beginning of their graduate studies. A graduate student who experiences unexpected health problems or other compelling personal circumstances which affect the ability to successfully maintain full-time status may request a leave of absence by petitioning the Chair. The Chair will work with the student to determine the length of the leave of absence which is typically assigned a semester at a time and is no longer than one year.

The student:

  • may only petition for one leave of absence during their graduate program
  • is responsible for any missed courses and/or clinical practicum which may extend the graduate program and result in a change of plan of study
  • may not petition for a leave of absences as a means of avoiding low grades in academic courses or clinical practicum
  • is expected to resume the program at the end of the approved leave of absence. If the student is unable to return, it may be recommended that the student be removed from the program. Should the student wish to reapply to the graduate program, he/she may do so on a competitive basis according to the School’s regular graduate admission deadlines and procedures.

Conflict of Interest

As a school, we recognize the University of Montana’s conflict of interest policy that is associated with best practices when engaging with community organizations for student clinical settings. The Speech Language Hearing Sciences School is aligned with University and American Speech Language Hearing Association best practices noting that when there is a family relationship between a student and an individual in a supervisory or leadership role within a student-placement institution, the department must find an alternative placement where no conflicts of interest are present.

CSD Graduate Student Handbooks