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Venita J. Sposetti, DMD Associate Dean for Education. Orientation 2014. Student Performance Evaluation Committee (SPEC). Orientation 2014. Student Performance Evaluation Committee.

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Venita j sposetti dmd associate dean for education
Venita J. Sposetti, DMDAssociate Dean for Education

Orientation 2014

Student performance evaluation committee
Student Performance Evaluation Committee

  • The Student Performance Evaluation Committee (SPEC) acts on recommendations from units of the college relative to:

  • Outstanding student academic achievement

  • Student Counseling,

  • Probation and

  • Dismissal.

Venita j sposetti dmd associate dean for education

  • Voting members six faculty members elected by the Faculty Assembly

  • three predoctoral students elected by their respective class members

  • the Basic Science Coordinator.

  • Nonvoting members include:

  • The Assistant Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs

  • the Associate Dean for Education

Dean s list
Dean’s List

  • Each semester the SPEC committee recognizes the top ranked 10% of each class by naming them to the College of Dentistry Dean’s list.

  • In the event of a tie for the 10th position, all students tied for the 10th position will be included.

Graduation with honors
Graduation with Honors

  • The top 10 percent of the original entering class, ranked at the end of Fall semester 10, is eligible to graduate with honors.

What students worry about
What students worry about…

  • New students worry that they will be asked to leave dental school if they fail a test.

  • RELAX. We don’t dismiss students who fail a test.

  • (PS – a lot of people fail their first test in dental school)

  • (PPS – just don’t fail all of them )

We want you to be successful
We want you to be successful!

  • You were admitted to this program because we think that you have the ability to be a successful dentist.

  • We want everyone to be successful in school and graduate 4 years from now.

  • That is our GOAL.

We want you to be successful1
We want you to be successful!

  • BUT, only you can do the work that is necessary to become a dentist.

  • The faculty can not do that for you.

  • WE will help you, but you are in charge of your learning.

What successful students do
What successful students Do

  • Openness to learning

  • Recognize that they are learning difficult new skills

    • That means that they are beginners, not experts,

    • That it takes time and repetition to improve

    • That spending time listening to feedback and working will lead to improvement

  • Do not expect to be perfect, especially when they are just beginning

What successful students do1
What successful students Do

  • Ask for help when they are struggling

    • Course director

    • Big sibling

    • Attend practice sessions and get feedback

    • Change their approach to learning the material

  • Know that they are responsible for learning

What successful students do2
What Successful students do

  • Change your approach to studying

    • Form a study group,

    • attend lectures,

    • study with a partner,

    • get a planner and schedule your time so you study AND you play.

What does not work
What does not work….

  • Denial – it can’t be me

  • I have never failed anything

  • I don’t need a tutor, I just need to work harder, study longer, stay up later…

What does not work1
What does not work….

  • Dental school IS different from undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • You probably will have to change your study strategies.

What does not help
What does not help….

  • Pretend you did fine, tell everyone you are doing fine (when you really failed)

  • Do nothing and hope things will magically improve

  • Refuse tutoring help when it is offered

  • And so what can happen is that the student can get trapped in a pattern of failure….student then fails the next exam(s)

  • And even the next ones…

  • And then fails the entire course.

What if you fail an entire course
What if you fail an entire course?

  • We hope you would have asked for help a LONG time before this happens.

  • Likely, you will have already been contacted and offered help in finding ways to improve.

  • If you do fail a course, you will have a hearing before the SPEC committee.

  • Some course directors offer students the chance to remediate their course before earning a final failing grade. They are NOT required to do this.

Spec hearing
SPEC Hearing

  • A hearing before SPEC is just that, a hearing.

  • The purpose is to hear what the student has to say about their situation,

  • how they got into the situation and

  • the steps they think they need to take to get out of the situation.

And it s confidential
And, it’s confidential

  • Your academic records are private. They are protected under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

  • We are very careful not to share your personal academic information with others.

  • This means we also don’t share others academic information with you. 

And it s confidential1
And, it’s confidential

  • Because we protect your privacy, other students will not know about academic problems, unless the student shares that information.

And it s confidential2
And, it’s confidential

  • Please know that a long time before we get to the point of a student repeating an entire course or year, lots of effort has gone on behind the scenes in identifying and helping with tutoring, counseling, and other interventions to help the person.

  • But only the people involved will know.

Academic probation
Academic Probation

  • A student failing a course, is invited by SPEC for a hearing and automatically placed on probation.

  • Probation means that you have been identified as having significant academic difficulty.

Academic probation1
Academic Probation

  • Students remain on probation for an indefinite period of time until the SPEC determines the student is no longer in academic jeopardy based on sustained academic progress.

  • Students on probation can not represent the university in any outside event – humanitarian trips, officer in clubs.

Retracking or dismissal
Retracking or Dismissal

  • Students on academic probation who fail additional courses or whose overall GPA falls below 2.5 at the end of the first academic year, can be considered for retracking and/or dismissal from school.

Retracking or dismissal1
Retracking or Dismissal

  • Retracking: A student may be required to repeat a year when the student's academic accomplishments are substandard.

  • The purpose of retracking is to recognize that the student may have the potential to make satisfactory progress if the student's knowledge and skills are improved by repetition. The net effect of retracking will be to extend graduation date.


  • As a last resort, A student may be dismissed from the College of Dentistry if the student fails to maintain normal academic progress.

  • Such dismissal does not prohibit the student from enrolling in other programs or colleges, if he or she meets the requirements for those programs.

Appeal process
Appeal Process

  • After the SPEC decision, there is an Appeal Process.

  • First, to the Dean of the College of Dentistry.

  • And if the student disagrees with the Dean’s decision on the appeal

  • The student can appeal to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

  • A Student has the right to remain enrolled until all appeals have been completed.

Now you know
Now you know

  • So we don’t dismiss students just for doing poorly on a single test.

  • IF you are having academic problems, ask for help.

  • Remember, that we will keep your academic issues private and that means that you will not know about other people’s academic issues.