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STUDENT STORIES

Academic Failure 

Physician assistant program student quickly dismissed, but quickly overturned 

The university dismissed our client from the physician assistant studies program with little notice to our client. Our client felt the effects of COVID-19 when she began her program with online classes, isolation, and financial hardships. Her first year in the program was full of difficulties which affected her academic success. After returning to in-person learning, her grades and finances both improved. Despite having previously been told she would only be on academic probation, our client was informed that instead she would be dismissed from the program. We pushed the school to find an alternative consequence for her academic failure, such as tuition reimbursement or immediate readmission to the program. Our responsive team worked quickly to ensure that our client would not suffer loss of finances, time, or education due to an overwhelming situation. In the end, our client was readmitted to her physician assistant studies program and received tuition reimbursement payment via credit for the following academic year. 

Small Private Medical School, Northeastern US 

Student dismissed then faces conflict of interest in appeal but receives a second chance 

The assistant dean of the audiology doctoral program incorrectly and inappropriately gave our client a failing grade in a clinical class, despite positive recommendations from the instructors who worked most closely with the students. Our client received no warning about his academic status, especially when this failing grade put his position in the program in jeopardy. The committee reviewing his appeal included the husband of the assistant dean, whose decision was on appeal. Our client received a new hearing based on the clear conflict of interest. We also advised our client to receive a new diagnosis for his learning disability, which had not been previously reported to the school. With his diagnosis for an ADA-based disability, we were able to form a stronger case for our client to demonstrate his new approach to learning, legitimizing his readmission and his desire to succeed if readmitted. Our work with the client allowed him the opportunity for a second chance. 

Small Private University, Northeastern US

 

Medical school student in need of support, proves his potential 

After a pattern of academic probation and successful remediation, our client continued to struggle in his academics. The medical school dismissed our client after a year and a half for failure to make academic progress. The school’s greatest concern was that our client was not prepared to receive his medical board certification. Prior to medical school, our client had never failed a class. But when he no longer had access to the necessary medications to treat his ADA-based disability, his academic performance in medical school suffered. We guided our client through the appeal process and read through the student handbook where we found that he could meet with the president of the school in a one-on-one interview. We prepared our client for the interview so he could demonstrate his clear ability to be successful as a medical professional with the right support. With a successful appeal, our client returned to school and continued on the track to passing his medical board certification. 

Small Private Medical School, Southeastern US 

Life-long dream of dentistry dismissed, but restored in less than one month 

Our client grew up in a family of dentists and had developed a long-time dream of becoming a dentist as well. Before dental school, he spent time working in his extended family’s dentist office where his desire to pursue dentistry deepened. He chose to attend the alma mater of several members of his family. But by the end of his second year, our client had received three failing grades which led to his dismissal from dentistry school. We encouraged our client to consult with a doctor for a possible diagnosis for an ADA-based disability. After our client received a proper diagnosis and a prescription for the necessary medication, we worked with him to appeal his dismissal. Within less than a month, our client met with the dean of the school and demonstrated his potential to succeed with the right support. 

Dental School at Small Public University, Southwestern US 

A master’s degree and her health both at risk, but both out of the student’s control

Our client endured a flood of health complications over a period of six months. She had to manage her declining health while recovering from surgery and completing her coursework for her master’s degree program. Many members of the faculty were understanding and did their best to accommodate her circumstances. But she faced resistance from a few professors, resulting in unwarranted failing grades rather than the appropriate “Incomplete” grade. We communicated with the school about her struggle to juggle her health, her grades, and job-searching. We explained to the school our client’s difficulties as well as her diligent efforts to submit assignments on time or as soon as possible given her circumstances. After several communications between the school and our client, with our team on her side, our client received her “Incompletes.” Our client successfully completed the necessary coursework to finish her degree and begin her new job. 

Large Public University, Southeastern US