Grade Policy for Courses, Clerkships, and Electives in the Clinical Years

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IUSM-PO-EDU-CUR-0016

Full Policy Contents

Scope
Policy Statement
Reason for Policy
Procedures
Definitions
Sanctions

ADDITIONAL DETAILS
Additional Contacts
Forms
Related Information
History

Effective: 01/08/2014
Last Updated: 01/30/2017

Responsible University Office:
Office of Academic Records and Promotion

Responsible University Administrator
Responsible University Administrator: Assistant dean for academic records and promotions

Policy Contact:
dreeser@iu.edu

RESPONSIBLE Assistant dean for academic records and promotions
ACCOUNTABLE Senior associate dean for medical student education
SUPPORT Curriculum Council Steering Committee
CONSULT Phase 2 and 3 assistant deans
INFORM Students; course/clerkship/elective directors; competency directors; course/clerkship/elective instructors

LCME Standards

9.5 Narrative Assessment
9.8 Fair and Timely Summative Assessment


Scope

Students enrolled in years 3 and 4 of the legacy curriculum or phases 2 or 3 of the new curriculum at Indiana University School of Medicine and faculty, residents, and other personnel working with these students in the School of Medicine.


Policy Statement

At the conclusion of each course/clerkship/elective, all students in years 3 and 4 of the legacy curriculum or phases 2 and 3 of the new curriculum will receive a grade in accordance with the honors-high pass-pass-fail tiered grade scale. In addition to the course/clerkship/elective grade, all students will receive narrative feedback at the midpoint and conclusion of each course/clerkship/elective.


Reason for Policy

To define the grading system used by IUSM to evaluate students in legacy years 3 and 4 and phases 2 and 3 of the competency-based curriculum and to ensure consistency and fairness of grades.


Approval

Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 1/12/2017.


Procedures

This policy applies to all courses, clerkships and electives in years 3 and 4 of the legacy curriculum and in phases 2 and 3 of the new curriculum.

Grade and evaluation reports are made available to each student after the completion of each clinical course/clerkship/elective. The duration between the end of course/clerkship and availability of the course grade should not exceed 30 days (see Timeliness of Grades policy).

A faculty member/attending physician who is a relative of, in a relationship with or has had a prior relationship with a student that could be perceived as a conflict of interest may not evaluate that student.

If a student receives a failing grade in a course/clerkship/elective or demonstrates deficiency in at least one competency, the Student Promotions Committee will recommend an action to address the concern (see the Student Promotions Committee policy).

Final grades are reported to the Registrar’s Office, where these become a part of the student’s permanent academic record. The assistant dean for academic records and promotions reports grades to the Student Promotions Committee. At the end of each academic year, a summary of grades awarded that year will be reviewed by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee.

Course and Clerkship Grades

All courses/clerkships/electives covered under this policy will use the Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail, Incomplete, and Withdrawal grade options.

All third- and fourth-year electives and subinternship clerkships use the Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail, Incomplete, and Withdrawal grade options but are exempt from the grade distribution guidelines (below).

Distribution of grades over the course of an academic year in required clerkships will be as follows:

  • Honors: Assigned to the highest-achieving 10 percent to 20 percent of students in the class.
  • High Pass: Assigned to 30 percent to 50 percent of students in the class; assigned to the highest-scoring students who were not assigned a grade of honors.
  • Pass: Assigned to 40 percent to 60 percent of students in the class; assigned to students who earned a passing grade but were not assigned a grade of honors or high pass.
  • Fail: Assigned to 0 to 5 percent of students in the class; assigned to all students who did not earn a passing grade (see criteria for failure below).

A failing grade is assigned to a student who meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Has failed to demonstrate competence in the requirements of the course or clerkship (e.g., write-ups, patient encounters, clinical skills, etc.).
  • Has received a failing cumulative course score or has failed to complete all required assignments (e.g., essays, papers, history and physicals, etc.) by the end of the course, clerkship or elective.
  • Has failed to remediate a competency in which he/she received an Isolated Deficiency (see below).
  • Have received isolated deficiencies in two or more competencies.

Isolated Deficiencies

An Isolated Deficiency will be assigned to a student who receives an overall passing grade but fails to pass one of the competencies taught and assessed in the course/clerkship/ elective.

The Isolated Deficiency must be remediated for the student to pass the course/clerkship/ elective.

Two or more Isolated Deficiencies results in course/clerkship/elective failure.

Failure of Patient Care, the main competency taught and assessed in clinical courses/clerkships/electives, results in failure; thus, no isolated deficiency may be assigned for Patient Care in clinical courses/clerkships/electives.

Area of Concern Notifications

An Area of Concern identifies at-risk students with “low-level” problems that may escalate if not addressed early in a course, clerkship or elective.

The AOC designation is not a final grade and will not appear on transcripts; rather, AOC marks an opportunity for intervention/improvement by a student when low-level concerns are raised in any competency that, if not addressed, could escalate to the student receiving an Isolated Deficiency or a “Fail” grade (see AOC policy for details).


Definitions

The Indiana University School of Medicine evaluation system is built on competency-based learning as defined by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee. The IUSM uses the following letter grade markers for the official transcript:

  • Honors (H): Signifies exceptional and superior performance.
  • High Pass (HP): Signifies above average performance.
  • Pass (P): Signifies satisfactory performance.
  • Incomplete (I): Signifies that extenuating circumstances have prevented the student from completing the course requirements. The Incomplete must be removed before the student may proceed into the next year of study.
  • Withdrawal (W): Signifies that the student withdrew before completing course objectives
  • Fail (F): Signifies that the student has not performed satisfactorily.
  • Isolated Deficiency (ID): Signifies that a student has performed adequately, except for a particular area of weakness in one of the six competencies. The student must complete remedial work in the designated competency to pass the educational experience.

The grade of Isolated Deficiency will be assigned to students who have an isolated deficit in a competency. The six IUSM competencies are:

  • Patient Care (PC).
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills (ICS).
  • Medical Knowledge (MK).
  • Professionalism (P).
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI).
  • Systems-Based Practice (SBP).

Sanctions

If a student fails to pass a course/clerkship or demonstrates deficiency in a competency domain, the Student Promotions Committee will recommend an action to address the problem.


Additional Contacts

Subject Contact Phone Email
Medical Student Education Kim Sandrick 317-274-1970 ksandric@iu.edu

Forms

Grade Appeal Policy


Related Information

  • Curriculum Council Steering Committee charter.
  • Competencies.
  • Area of Concern Policy.
  • Mid-Rotation Feedback Policy.
  • Timeliness of Grades Policy.
  • Academic Requirements Policy.
  • Guidelines for Promotion, Suspension, Dismissal, and Withdrawal.
  • Non-Involvement of Health Care Providers Policy.
  • Grade Policy for Phase 1 Courses.

History

Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 4/8/2014.
Exemption from grade distribution for electives and subinternships approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee 11/15/2016.

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