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Clinical Competency:. Academic and Technical Standards Of A Program. Academic and Technical Standards. A program can set academic and technical standards for its students. Example: Academic Standard. Earn at least 84 semester hours of credit while Maintaining a cumulative average of C or 70.

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Clinical Competency:

Academic and Technical Standards Of A Program

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Academic and Technical Standards

  • A program can set academic and technical standards for its students

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Example: Academic Standard

  • Earn at least 84 semester hours of credit while

  • Maintaining a cumulative average of C or 70

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Example: Technical Standard

  • Independently, observe the patient/client accurately

  • Integrate all information received by whatever senses employed

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What Is A Technical Standard?

  • All nonacademic* admissions criteria

  • Must be met by student

  • To enable student to participate in and successfully complete the chosen program

  • Including behavioral, professional and intellectual standards

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Purpose Of Technical Standards

  • Assist the professional school in selecting retaining and graduating those applicants and students best qualified to complete the required training

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Authorization For Technical Standards

  • Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

    • Must be reasonable

    • Based on legitimate educational goals of the program

    • Must be clearly identified in the student handbook, field manuals, institutional catalogs, and/or program brochures

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  • Student must have reasonable notice

  • Standards must be in writing

    • Brochures

    • Admissions application

    • Affidavit

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Continual Monitoring

  • Performance must be continually monitored from entrance to graduation

  • Progress reports, written evaluations

  • Prevents unqualified students from making it to graduation and then being told at the last minute they may not graduate

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Criteria for Decisions

  • Subjective grading should be a rational exercise of discretion

  • Students must have access and be made aware of the criteria for making such decisions

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Following the Standards

  • Include the consequences for inadequate performance and removal procedures

  • Immediate notification by University of deficiencies in performance and possibility of failure or expulsion

  • Give opportunity to remedy deficient areas

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Follow the Procedures

  • Decisions made in good faith, not arbitrarily or capriciously

  • The University must follow its procedures once a decision for unsatisfactory performance has been made

  • Students should be entitled to a hearing prior to dismissal

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Example of Procedure

  • Purpose and scope of rules

  • Responsibilities and rights

  • Composition of the council

  • Violations of the rules

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Example of Procedure - Cont’d

  • Procedures

  • Sanctions

  • Appeals

  • Honor/professional ethics education

  • Amendments

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  • Continuing student in a clinical program

  • Monitor progress reports and written evaluations

  • If at any time the student’s conduct or behavior is deemed to endanger the health and safety of that individual or others, notify the student immediately

  • Follow procedures for reevaluation or removal if necessary

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  • University should make every reasonable effort to allow otherwise qualified persons with disabilities to engage in their programs

  • Including making reasonable accommodations in response to a request by an individual with a disability

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Otherwise Qualified

  • Otherwise qualified

    • Can the disabled person satisfy the program’s requirements despite the disability

    • One who is able to meet all of a program’s requirements in spite of the disability

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What Is A Disability

  • The mental or physical condition must substantially limit a major life activity,

  • The person has a record of such an impairment, or

  • The person is regarded as having such an impairment

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What Is A Major Life Activity

  • Caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working

  • Important life activities are restricted as to the conditions, manner, or duration under which they can be performed in comparison to most people

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Types Of Claims

  • ADA and Section 504

  • Contract claims

  • Negligence

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University of Missouri v. Horowitz

  • Medical student was evaluated according to procedure during final year

  • Failed evaluation due to poor performance on a rotation

  • Council voted to dismiss the student

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  • A subjective, expert evaluation is required to determine whether an individual’s performance satisfies a predetermined set of standards

  • That standard is set by a similar academic judgment

  • This type of judgment is no less academic even though it measures actual conditions of practice rather than a grade for written answers

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Southeastern Community College v. Davis

  • Davis applied to the College’s nursing program

  • Serious hearing disability

  • Refused to admit because the College determined that her hearing disability would interfere with her safely caring for patients

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  • Section 504 does not limit an educational institution’s requirement that a prospective student must meet reasonable physical qualifications for admissions into a clinical training program

  • Not required to lower or substantially alter its standards in order to accommodate a disabled person

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Anderson v. University of Wisconsin, et al

  • Law student dismissed due to poor academic performance caused by alcoholism

  • Student did not maintain sufficient average as required by the law school

  • Threatened fellow student while drunk

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  • Can consider academic performance and sobriety when deciding whether an applicant is entitled to an education

  • Student with below the required average is not qualified to stay UNLESS he can show that the source of the academic problem has been abated

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Professor Liability

  • Generally, as long as the professor was acting within the scope of their authority, there should not be individual liability

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Developing The Standards

  • Should be defined as the essential functions that the student must demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a program

  • They are pre-requisites for entrance, continuation, promotion, retention, and graduation from the University

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  • Connect technical standards with the licensing requirements necessary for a profession

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General Categories

  • Observation

  • Communication

  • Sensory and motor function

  • Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities, and

  • Behavioral and social

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  • Explain why the requirement is necessary

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  • Each student must successfully fulfill the prerequisites for admissions, continuation and graduation from the program

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  • Include a statement concerning the ADA

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Procedure For Notification and Review

  • The materials distributed to prospective students should include academic and technical standards for notification purposes

  • Clearly define suspension and dismissal procedures

  • Clearly define appeal procedure

  • Strictly follow

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Criminal Background

  • Courts generally hold that a University may deny or revoke admissions because of a prospective student’s past criminal record

    • Crime may not be compatible with University’s goals or values, or

    • Prospective student failed to disclose – accurately or completely – information on the application

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Off-Site Clinics and Internships

  • Student’s skills and abilities

  • Specific needs in the clinical setting

  • Goals and purposes of the program

  • Potential impact of the requested accommodation on the program AND on the quality of education the student would receive

  • Availability of alternatives

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Monitor the Site

  • Imperative for the University to be familiar with the site and monitor the off-site program

  • Ensures the student is receiving a meaningful opportunity to participate in the program

  • Safety of site itself

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  • Notification and awareness

  • Clarity of standard

  • Monitor consistently

  • Strict application of any procedure in place

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  • Anderson v. University of Wisconsin, et al., 841 F.2d 737 (1988).

  • Board of Curators of The University of Missouri et al. v. Horowitz, 435 U.S. 78 (1978).

  • Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979).

  • St. Thomas University, 23 NDLR (LRP) 160 (2001).

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Sources – Cont’d

  • Derek Langhauser, Use of Criminal Convictions in College Admissions, 154 WELR 733 (2001).

  • ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual at

  • SYNFAX WEEKLY REPORT, Week of April 20, Insuring Clinical Competency (1998).

  • Patty Gibbs, Gatekeeping in Social Work Education, BPD GATEKEEPING WORKSHOP, (October, 1998).

  • University of Massachusetts Medical School Technical Standardsat

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