Joan Toglia, OTR, PhD, FAOTA, Dean
Kathleen Golisz, OTD, OTR, FAOTA, Associate Dean
Miriam Ford, PhD, FNP-BC, Associate Dean, Nursing
Deborah Hunt, PhD, RN, Associate Dean, Nursing
Health Sciences/Health Professions - Alpha Eta
Nursing - Sigma Theta Tau
The School of Health and Natural Sciences is dedicated to providing premier health and natural science undergraduate and graduate educational programs to equip students with the intellectual, technical and professional competencies they need to excel and advance as science specialists, health care providers, health promotion experts and science/health educators. More than just focusing on personal careers, our goal is to prepare students to use their knowledge and abilities in the health and natural sciences to be compassionate and caring health care providers.
Mission Statement of the School of Health and Natural Sciences
The School of Health and Natural Sciences is committed to providing motivated students the opportunity to transform their lives by preparing them to achieve or enhance a rewarding career in the health and science professions. The School is dedicated to providing a high quality learning environment that fosters a spirit of scientific inquiry, life-long learning, and ethical behavior for all students.
Goals of the School of Health and Natural Sciences
The School goals establish the shared vision, mission, philosophy and guiding principles agreed to by members of the faculty and other stakeholders in the learning community. The School goals are as follows:
Students are expected to achieve entry-level proficiency and standards of excellence for their field, including:
- Adequate knowledge of content
- Essential competencies
- Sound math skills & quantitative reasoning
- Professional written & verbal communication skills
- Integration of theory with practice
- Application of innovate/cutting edge technology to practice
Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior, by their ability to:
- Ethically reason clinical or scientific issues
- Communicate & interact with others using professional language and demeanor
- Engage in self-assessment and reflection for personal and professional growth
- Engage in culturally sensitive exchanges with clients and/or colleagues
Students are expected to demonstrate competency in applying methods of scientific inquiry and/or evidence-based learning to guide clinical/professional/scientific decision making.
Students are expected to demonstrate a commitment to engage in inter-professional and/or community service, including regional and/or global service, using knowledge and skills gained during their academic studies to foster diversity, interdisciplinary initiatives, and/or eliminate health disparities.
Program Dismissal Review Policy
This Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences Program Dismissal Review Policy applies to the following programs: Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Communication Disorders, Exercise Science, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Veterinary Technology. The purpose of the SHNS Dismissal Review Policy is to provide a process for the equitable resolution of formal complaints made by a student over academic dismissal at the Program level. Separate appeals policies exist for violations of academic integrity and academic grade appeals. Each of these individual programs have a student manual/handbook made available to its students that includes, at a minimum, the program’s (1) academic requirements; (2) professionalism and/or ethical requirements and standards; (3) a description of the program’s process for dismissing a student or otherwise sanctioning a student for failing to meet program requirements; and (4) a copy of this Dismissal Review Policy.
Academic Dismissal from a SHNS Program
An academic dismissal from a program may occur if a student does not meet the criteria outlined by the specific program to remain in good standing. (Refer to Program Requirements for guidance on each program’s criteria). If a student fails to meet these criteria, the program’s Academic Unit Head or Program Director may dismiss the student after a faculty review. The student may appeal the program dismissal through the following steps. Before proceeding to a higher-level step, all lower-level steps must first be completed and documented in writing. To the extent that an Academic Unit Head/Program Director or Associate Dean is unavailable, a designee may be appointed for purposes of resolving such issues in a timely manner.
Step One: Academic Unit Head / Program Director – Within two weeks after the end of the semester, term, or trimester (the “academic period”) in which the dismissal occurred, the Academic Unit Head or Program Director will notify the student in writing of the program dismissal. The student may appeal the program dismissal by submitting a request in writing to meet with the Academic Unit Head or Program Director within two weeks. This meeting must take place by phone or in person within two weeks of receipt of the student’s written request. Each party may bring relevant information and supporting documentation to the meeting to discuss.
The written appeal submitted by the student to the Program Director must include the following information:
1. The name, telephone number, address and e-mail address of the student appealing the decision of dismissal; and
2. The stated reason(s) the student was dismissed from the SHNS program; and
3. Identification of the (a) extraordinary and non-recurring circumstances that caused the student’s unsatisfactory academic performance and subsequent dismissal from a SHNS program; and (b) evidence that the unsatisfactory academic performance is not representative of the student’s academic ability; and
4. An explanation of why the information provided in Paragraph 3 above should result in the reversal of the decision to dismiss the student from the SHNS program.
After the meeting, the Academic Unit Head or Program Director will make a decision on the student’s appeal within one week and communicate it in writing to the student. A copy of this decision will be sent to the SHNS School Associate Dean along with supporting documentation. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of this decision, a formal written appeal may be submitted by the student to the SHNS Associate Dean within one week after receipt of the Academic Unit Head or Program Director’s decision.
Step Two: SHNS Dismissal Review Committee – In the event that the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved in Step One, the SHNS Associate Dean will refer the appeal to the SHNS Dismissal Review Committee for review and recommendations. All parties to the appeal will be permitted to submit any documentation they believe is necessary, including written statements and documentary evidence in the meeting with the SHNS Dismissal Review Committee. The SHNS Dismissal Review Committee will hold a meeting within two weeks after receipt of the appeal documentation. All parties to the appeal will be permitted to participate in the Dismissal Review Committee meeting. The student may be accompanied by one person who is not professional legal counsel who may observe but not actively participate in the Committee meeting. The Committee will hear from both parties and may call on any witnesses to the matter and review any supplementary documentation. The Committee may ask questions throughout the meeting and may, if necessary, adjourn the meeting to obtain additional information. After all the interviews have been completed, and documents reviewed, the Dismissal Review Committee will deliberate in closed session. The Committee will make their recommendations to the SHNS Associate Dean which may include upholding or overturning the program dismissal.
In arriving at its recommendation, the SHNS Dismissal Review Committee shall not overrule the academic judgment of a faculty member in the program on the assignment of grades to the student. The SHNS Dismissal Review Committee will consider: (1) whether the program followed its own policies governing student performance, advancement and program completion; (2) whether the evidence supports the program’s decision; and (3) whether the student has new significant information that bears on the program’s decision that was not available to the student when that decision was made. If the SHNS Dismissal Review Committee finds that the student has significant new information, the appeal shall be referred to the student’s program for reconsideration of the dismissal in light of that information.
Step Three: SHNS Associate Dean – Within two weeks after receipt of the recommendations from the Dismissal Review Committee, the SHNS Associate Dean will review all the relevant documentation. A written decision shall be sent to both the student and Academic Unit Head or Program Director. The decision rendered by the SHNS Associate Dean is final; no additional appeals will be permitted.
Any student reinstated in a SHNS Program following an initial dismissal will be subject to immediate academic dismissal effective upon the occurrence of any additional probationary event. The student’s past academic history will be considered when determining if a probationary event is warranted. Students dismissed for a second time will not be allowed to appeal to the program director or Associate Dean for reinstatement, nor are they permitted to reapply to the program. Failure to comply with any part of this process on the part of the student will result in forfeiture of all rights of appeal as outlined.
Mercy College School of Health and Natural Sciences reserves the right to make changes to this Dismissal Review Policy as it deems necessary, with the changes applicable to all students then in attendance in an accredited health professions program.