Student Recovery Program
The Student Recovery Program is provided to inform students of the College of Pharmacy’s desire to promote responsible use of alcohol by students. This policy will be discussed in detail during the first professional year. The UH College of Pharmacy recognizes the need to establish procedures to encourage students who may experience impairments that are due to inappropriate chemical use, and/or physical, and mental issues. The College encourages students to seek and obtain the needed treatment in order to complete their professional education and become productive members of society. Alcoholism and drug dependency affect society in general and is especially prevalent in the health care professions. The College recognizes that drug dependency and alcoholism have the potential to affect society and require treatment. The College desires to assist impaired students and their immediate families, as well as students adversely affected by other chemically dependent individuals. The College advocates the referral of impaired students to the Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs for initial assessment and to the Professional Recovery Network of the Texas Pharmacy Association for initial evaluation and possible treatment. With this in mind, the UH College of Pharmacy establishes a Student Pharmacist Recovery Network in association with the Texas Pharmacy Association Professional Recovery Program (TPA-PRN).
Students graduating with the Doctor of Pharmacy degree are eligible to sit for the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) and North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) examination.
Texas State Board of Pharmacy Registration Internship Requirement
Under the Texas State Board of Pharmacy Rules and Regulations a student is required to enroll as an intern trainee upon entry into the professional pharmacy degree program and then as a student - pharmacy intern prior to performing student internship duties and only after successfully completing the first year and 30 credit hours of work towards a professional degree in pharmacy. The agreement for registration requires a student to reveal personal history (i.e. conviction of a felony or any misdemeanor other than a minor traffic violation and finger printing). A Social Security number is mandatory and required to be issued an intern card. For more information, contact:
Texas State Board of Pharmacy
William P. Hobby Building, Tower 3, Suite 600
333 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701-3942
Requirements for PharmD Progression
The grade point average in professional pharmacy courses is used as a basis for determining progression, probation, and suspension in the college (see #1 below on requirements for progression guidelines and the probation and suspension guidelines).
For any professional courses repeated at the university, both grades will be used in the computation of the grade point average. Grades earned on courses transferred from another college or university will not be used in the computation of the grade point average. Only course credit will be accepted in transfer from another college or university.
ACADEMIC STANDING REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRESSION
- Students must satisfactorily complete all required courses during the first three professional years with a 2.00 minimum grade point average to progress to the final professional year. At the end of each semester, the Admissions and Progression Committee will review the academic records of all students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.00, or with one or more grades below a C, or with one or more grades of U (unsatisfactory) in required courses.
- Professional coursework attempted during summer sessions I, II, III and/or IV counts as a semester.
- A grade of C or better must be earned in all pharmacy courses and pharmacy practice experiences to apply toward progression or graduation.
- For P1 and P2’s the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment (PCOA) examination is formative and meant to prepare them for the summative PCOA in their P3 year. Students who do not meet the minimum competency of the PCOA in years 1 and 2 will be required to work with the Director of Assessment to develop an individualized remediation plan in identified areas of weakness that will be signed by the student and put in the student’s file.
- Students in their 3rd year of the curriculum will be required to meet the minimum competency of the PCOA in the spring of their P3 year in order to progress to their advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). Students not meeting the minimum competency on the PCOA will have to retake the PCOA until successful. In addition, they will meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to set up a remediation plan. Retaking the PCOA may result in a delay in graduation.
- Students must have prior permission to register for less than a full load as published in the university catalog. In addition, a student wishing to drop a course or courses during the semester may do so in accordance with college policy. Students will also need permission from the Assistant Dean for Student & Professional Affairs and approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- The college will not grant credit for any course taken without the proper prerequisites.
- Students will not be permitted to register for any course in the professional program more than two times. The student who fails a course twice or whose grade fails to meet minimum grade requirements, as described in rule 1 of this section or as specified by the Admissions and Progression Committee, is ineligible to continue in the professional program.
- Students must satisfactorily complete all required second-year courses with a grade of S or C or better, excluding electives, to be eligible for Introductory Community Pharmacy, PHAR 5493.
- Criminal Background Checks and Drug Screenings: All students admitted into the University of Houston College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program are required to participate in pharmacy practice experiences for graduation. Many hospitals and other health care organizations operating under the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations are requiring criminal background checks and/or drug screenings for all individuals who have direct contact with patients, including pharmacy students placed in early/introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) and/or advanced clinical pharmacy practice experience (APPE) assignments at these sites. As a result of these requirements, a student with disqualifying criminal conviction(s) and/or drug screening results may be prevented from undertaking clinical APPEs that are required to complete the pharmacy program at the University of Houston. Students who cannot pass the background check and/or drug screening tests will not be admitted and/or unable to complete the required curriculum (pharmacy practice experiences) for graduation, and will therefore be withdrawn from the Doctor of Pharmacy program by the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.
- All students must complete the professional coursework for the Doctor of Pharmacy program within a period of six years from the time of admission, including remediation, withdrawals, and progression problems. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will withdraw the student from the professional program when appropriate. Exceptions to this policy will be considered by the Dean of the college on a case-by-case basis.
- The University of Houston College of Pharmacy (UHCOP) requires all pharmacy students admitted to the Doctor of Pharmacy Program to carry out and maintain health insurance coverage while enrolled in the program. The UHCOP does not endorse any specific carrier and students can either purchase health insurance through the University of Houston or provide proof of a comparable insurance through an outside provider. Students must maintain health insurance coverage by a policy that meets or exceeds the coverage provided by the student health insurance endorsed by the University of Houston. The university health insurance program offers students coverage through specific providers. For more information on the schedule of benefits associated with the policy, visit www.uh.edu/healthcenter/insurance/#domestic-students
Students must submit a copy of the front and back of their insurance card to the E*Value prior to the first day of each semester. Students who do not submit proof of health insurance coverage by the deadline will not be allowed to register and/or attend classes and ultimately may be prevented from undertaking early/introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) and/or advanced clinical pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) that are required for completion of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Criminal Background Check Policy
All students admitted into the University of Houston College of Pharmacy Doctor of Pharmacy program are required to participate in pharmacy practice experiences for graduation. Many hospitals and other health care organizations operating under the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations are requiring criminal background checks and/or drug screenings for all individuals who have direct contact with patients, including pharmacy students placed in early/introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) and/or advanced clinical pharmacy practice experience (APPE) assignments at these sites. As a result of these requirements, a student with disqualifying criminal conviction(s) and/or drug screening results may be prevented from undertaking clinical rotations that are required to complete the pharmacy program at the University of Houston.
Criminal Background Check Policy
All applicants accepted to the College of Pharmacy (hereinafter referred to as “College of Pharmacy” or “College”) must satisfactorily complete (submit to and pay for) a criminal background check from a vendor approved by the College of Pharmacy. Adverse information that is found in a criminal history background check may result in the withdrawal of the applicant’s offer of admission or dismissal from the program.
Generally, applicants will receive notice of this policy at the time of acceptance into the professional program. An accepted applicant is responsible for contacting the approved vendor and complying with the vendor’s and/or hospital/health care facility’s instructions concerning completing a criminal background check within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the notice of this policy. Failure to request a criminal background check in a timely manner and by the timeline specified in this policy is grounds for withdrawal of the offer of admission.
After acceptance the applicant shall provide written self-disclosure to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of any new criminal history record information no later than five (5) business days following the charge of any crime. Failure to disclose information that is subsequently found on a background check may result in withdrawal of the offer of admission from the College or dismissal from the program.
Criminal Background Check
The criminal background check will include a review of the student’s or accepted applicant’s criminal history for at least the seven (7) years prior to the date the student applies for admission into the program. The following criteria for suitability will be considered:
- Social Security Number validation, Criminal history search, including Misdemeanors or felony convictions, or deferred adjudications
- Pending criminal charges/convictions, National Sexual Offender Registry, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) List of Excluded Individuals/Entities, General Services Administration (GSA) List of Parties Excluded from Federal Programs, Employee Misconduct Registry, U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC), and List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) search, Nationwide Healthcare Fraud and Abuse scan, Applicable State Exclusion list, Nationwide Record Indicator and Nationwide Federal Search
Currently Enrolled Students
Currently enrolled students in the College of Pharmacy professional program must annually (and at other times as requested in writing by a hospital or health care organization) satisfactorily complete (submit to and pay for) a criminal background check from an approved vendor prior to participating in IPPE and/or APPE assignments at these sites. Students must contact the designated vendor and comply with its instructions in authorizing and obtaining a background check within the prescribed timeframe. Students successfully completing the first year and progressing to the second year and students successfully completing the second year and progressing to the third year must request and satisfactorily complete an additional criminal background check review no earlier than July 1st, and no later than August 1st, prior to beginning the Fall semester of the second and third year. Students successfully completing the third year and progressing to the fourth year must request another criminal background check review no earlier than April 1st, and no later than May 1st during the Spring semester of their third year. An additional background check may be required if there is a break in enrollment in the professional program. A break in enrollment is defined as non-attendance of one long-term semester (Fall or Spring) or more and will be verified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Some criminal offenses preclude students from participating in on-site professional experiences. In addition, some professional licensure boards include specific offenses that constitute those crimes for which licensure is prohibited. Thus students in these situations are subject to the statutory or regulatory requirements independently imposed by law, or as required by affiliating entities.
If an affiliated practice facility requires detailed criminal background check information regarding an individual student assigned to an IPPE or APPE at the facility as a condition for placement, the College will notify the student of such a requirement when notified by the facility. Results of the background check(s) may be submitted directly to the hospital/heath care facility or to the College by the vendor. Upon receipt of criminal history information by the College, the College will pass on the results to the requesting hospitals or health care organizations. The hospital or health care organization will be responsible for determining whether an enrolled student is eligible to participate in the clinical practice experience assignment at the site, and will notify the student and the College of its decision. Students whose criminal background is determined as unacceptable by a hospital/health care organization may be unable to complete the curriculum (pharmacy practice experiences) required for graduation by the College of Pharmacy.
Failure to request a criminal background check in a timely manner may delay the student’s matriculation into the second, third, and/or fourth year and delay the start of his/her IPPEs and/or APPEs. A student may not be allowed to start a specific IPPE/APPE late due to a delay in criminal background check information being received by the site.
Students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy shall self-disclose to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs any new criminal history record information as outlined in the criminal background check criteria no later than five (5) business days following the charge of any crime. Failure to disclose information that is subsequently found on a background check may result in dismissal from the College. Criminal activity that occurs while a student is in attendance at the College may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, and will be addressed according to the College of Pharmacy Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct.
Accepted applicants and currently enrolled students have the right to review the results of the criminal background check performed by the designated vendor and to request that the designated vendor verify that the background information provided is correct. Prior to making a final determination that may adversely affect the applicant or student, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will notify the student or applicant, in writing, of his/her right to review and correct inaccurate information in the report, the process for contacting the designated vendor to challenge the accuracy of the report and the affect an adverse criminal history report may have on his/her continued enrollment in the pharmacy program.
If an adverse criminal history is returned on an applicant or student, the Admissions and Progression Committee will review the report and may request that the applicant or student submit additional information related to the finding (such as court documents and police records), at the applicant’s expense. The applicant or student shall be given a reasonable time, generally not less than five (5) business days, to provide documentation establishing that the report is inaccurate, that a reported felony conviction is a lesser violation under the laws of the charging jurisdiction, that a disposition was the subject of a subsequent expungement or sealing order by a competent court, or that the report is otherwise unreliable. The Committee will review all information available to it to determine whether the offer of admission should be withdrawn from the accepted applicant or if dismissal from the program is warranted.
Applicants who are denied enrollment or students who are dismissed from the program may appeal the decision of the Admissions and Progression Committee to the Dean of College of Pharmacy within 15 business days of the date the student received notice of his/her dismissal from the program. The decision of the Dean of the College of Pharmacy will be final and may not be appealed.
If the background check uncovers a question which can be cleared by the applicant or student, matriculation can be deferred up to one year while the matter is being resolved. However, a student may be granted permission to re-enroll in (IPPE/APPE) after the background check has been cleared if space is available and any applicable tuition and fees are paid.
Drug Screening Policy
The University of Houston College of Pharmacy will not require students to participate in a drug screen. However, the College will inform students that they may be asked by the facility to submit and comply with a drug screen before participating in clinical experiences at certain facilities. If an affiliated practice facility requires drug screening of an individual student assigned to rotate there as a condition for placement in that facility, the College will notify the student of such a requirement in advance. The student will be responsible for contacting an approved vendor, paying for expenses for the drug screen, and insuring that the results of the drug screen are forwarded directly to the facility.
Any students with questions concerning impairment issues while in the professional program should review The University of Houston College of Pharmacy’s Student Pharmacist Recovery Program (UHSPRN) in the College of Pharmacy Student Handbook.
Confidentiality of Records
Background check reports and all records pertaining to the results of these processes are considered confidential with restricted access. The results and collateral information are considered educational records and are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Access to records and reports outside of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and any employee designated as backup must be approved by the Dean of the College of Pharmacy or his designee, prior to granting access. Requests for criminal history and drug screening information must be made in writing on a form approved by the Office of General Counsel. Information contained in the reports/records will not be shared with facilities participating in the clinical IPPEs & APPEs unless a legitimate need is demonstrated and approved by the Dean or his designee.
Any background check reports that are retained by the College of Pharmacy shall be placed in a secure location determined by the Associate Dean for Academic and Students Affairs. These records shall be maintained for the duration of the student’s enrollment or until the applicant is removed from the accepted student list or as provided by the UH records retention policy, whichever is the greater length of time. The reports and records shall be physically destroyed thereafter.
Falsification of Information
Falsification of information will result in immediate removal of an applicant from the accepted applicant pool or an enrolled student from the degree program.
Students must present proof of adequate immunization against bacterial meningitis, rubeola (common measles), rubella (German measles), mumps, chicken pox (varicella) and tetanus. The Hepatitis B immunization series must be initiated prior to the Fall semester and completed by January. The influenza vaccine must be kept current annually. A negative TB skin test or chest clearance must be documented no sooner than three months prior to beginning the Fall semester and during the Spring semester of the first, second and third years of pharmacy school. Texas State law mandates that all newly admitted and readmitted students under the age of 22 and all returning students under the age of 22 who have been out for one Fall or Spring semester must provide a certificate signed by a health care provider or an official immunization record verifying that they have been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis or have received a booster during the five years prior to registration. Students who are required to comply with this new law will not be eligible to register for the Fall classes until the necessary proof of immunization or an approved exemption form has been received. Students who need the vaccination must receive it at least 10 days prior to the first class day to be eligible to enroll for the semester. See: http://www.uh.edu/academics/courses-enrollment/policies/immunization/.
Probation and Suspension
The following guidelines apply to students in the professional program.
Doctor of Pharmacy students are placed on academic probation at the close of the semester if they earn any of the following:
- Less than 2.00 semester grade point average;
- A grade of D or F or U in any professional courses;
- Less than 2.00 cumulative grade point average
These students may be required to repeat a course or courses specified by the Admissions and Progression Committee prior to progression into the next professional semester, or the student may be suspended at that time (according to the suspension rules). Students who are placed on probation must submit to the Admissions and Progression Committee a written plan detailing what steps they plan to take to improve their academic situation before they will be permitted to continue in the program. If the student earns a grade of D or F or U after repeating the designated course or courses, the student may be suspended from the pharmacy program. If after repeating the designated courses the student’s cumulative grade point average in required courses is below 2.00, the student may be suspended from the pharmacy program. A student normally will not be allowed to repeat courses in which they have made a grade of C or better. A student on probation is not permitted to hold office in a college organization, serve on a college committee, or receive funds for college-supported travel.
Doctor of Pharmacy students are considered ineligible to progress in the professional program and placed on academic suspension under any of the following conditions:
- Receipt of a grade of D or F or U in any course in a semester while on academic probation;
- Receipt of less than 2.00 semester grade point average while on academic probation;
- Receipt of less than 2.00 semester grade point average for more than one semester whether consecutive or non-consecutive semester;
- Placement on academic probation more than once;
- Receipt of a grade of D or F or U after repeating a course; or
- Receipt of 1.00 semester grade point average (all digits significant) or less.
All such cases of academic probation and academic suspension will be reviewed carefully by the College’s Admissions and Progression Committee. Students may petition the Admissions and Progression Committee in writing if they do not agree with committee decision. The Committee will then review the facts again and issue a second decision. Then and only then can a student appeal to the dean of the college.
The college dean may place on probation, or suspend any deficient student. Similarly, the college dean may remove from academic probation or suspension any student whose academic progress warrants such action. Any student placed on suspension must apply to the Admissions and Progression Committee for re-admission to the college. Suspension lasts for a period of at least one long semester (i.e., Fall or Spring). A student may be denied re-admission to the college but may petition another college or department for re-admission to the University.
Should a student decide to leave the program for personal or medical reasons, an appointment should be made with the College’s Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs to address options and review College and University policies and requirements.
UHCOP WITHDRAWAL POLICY
Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence are not allowed by the College of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy will accept requests for medical and administrative withdrawals.
Should a student wish to drop a course or courses, an appointment should be made with the College’s Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to address options and review the College’s and the University of Houston’s policy and requirements.
The College does not adhere to the University’s drop policy. The professional student cannot drop courses during the semester as advised in the University drop policy. The professional student is expected to be in full time status as published in the College’s student handbook. A student on reduced load for the semester must have prior permission to register for less than a full load as published in the College’s student handbook.
The College does not adhere to drop dates as noted in the University calendar. The professional student course schedule is such that the time of request and reason for withdrawal will be reviewed by the Admissions and Progression Committee and addressed on an individual basis.
In addition to following the procedure for withdrawals, students must return all library books and laboratory equipment and other college property to have their University of Houston record clear in every respect.
Students who make payment on their account with checks which are returned to the University for insufficient funds or who fail to pay by designated deadlines may be withdrawn from the University without refund. Students who are financially withdrawn after the last day to drop or withdraw without a grade will receive, “W” or “F” grades only for the semester.
Non-payment of fees may result in courses being dropped. The student will not be allowed to attend classes and this will result in delay in graduation. Students with two or more returned checks must make payment on their account by cash, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card. No checks - personal or otherwise - will be accepted.
In addition to suspension for academic or disciplinary causes, students may be withdrawn by the University for medical or financial reasons.
MEDICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL POLICY FOR THE PROFESSIONAL STUDENT
A student may request withdrawals from all courses in which the student is enrolled in cases where the student experiences a medical situation that impedes academic progress.
A student may request withdrawals from all courses in which the student is enrolled in cases when the student experiences an extenuating personal or family situation, beyond the control of the student, which impedes academic progress.
- The student will meet with the Assistant Dean for Student and Professional Affairs and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- The student (or their appointed representatives if they are unable to act for themselves) who seeks to withdraw for medical or administrative reasons from all courses for which they are registered shall request such withdrawals in written form to the Admissions and Progression Committee. The student shall submit all appropriate documentation including a statement from a licensed physician or licensed psychologist, and other appropriate individuals with their written requests.
- The Committee shall
- review each request and its accompanying documentation,
- decide whether to make inquiries and seek recommendations from appropriate sources of information,
- decide whether to approve or deny the request,
- inform both the student and the instructors of record of the decision in writing.
- Students who are approved to receive medical or administrative withdrawals shall receive an ‘I’ or a ‘W’, in each course for which they were registered.
- The student who receives a medical or administrative withdrawal understands there is no guarantee of readmission into the program and must submit a written request for readmission to the Admissions and Progression Committee. The student shall submit a written request, including a statement from their licensed physician or licensed psychologist, or other appropriate individuals to the Admissions and Progression Committee justifying their readiness to resume studies.
- The Admissions and Progression committee shall
- review each request to resume study in the College,
- decide whether to make inquiries and seek recommendations as appropriate,
- decide whether to approve or deny the request,
- inform both the student and others, as appropriate, of the decision in writing.
- Under extenuating circumstances, this policy may be applied retroactively. The deadline for submitting medical or administrative requests will be 90 days after the last day of the requested semester.