Masters in TCM
The academic policies of Five Branches University are detailed in the student handbook which is given to students during registration. To assist new students, the handbook describes student services, administrative policies, and guidelines such as grading, attendance, examinations, and leave of absence. The student handbook is edited regularly to reflect updated policies.
Part Time Studies-Six Year Limit
The Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM) program is a full-time program requiring a considerable commitment of time and energy. We recommend that students regard their studies at Five Branches as their primary objective throughout their matriculation at the University. Students who need to enroll in the program part-time have up to six years to complete the Master’s degree program. Students who need to extend their studies beyond this six-year limit must submit a formal request to the registrar for review by the Student Progress Review Committee.
Academic and Clinic Class Size
To optimize learning, academic classes average 24 students. Classes that have insufficient enrollment (less than 10 students) may be postponed to the following semester. Clinical Theater classes range from 10 to 18 students, and Clinical Rounds, Clinical Internship Rounds, Clinical Paired Internship, and Clinical Internship classes are limited to four to eight students per section.
If circumstances occur that cause absences of up to 18% for academic courses, or up to 12% for clinic courses, the student is responsible to meet with the instructor to assess their academic standing in the course. Frequent tardiness and/or continued absences that interfere with a student’s academic progress will be brought to the attention of the Student Progress Review Committee. Please note that instructors may have their own attendance policies that are stricter than the University policy.
Five Branches University uses a letter grading system (A, B, C, F) for all academic courses and grades of credit/no credit (CR/NC) for all clinic courses. Each course syllabus describes the course’s grading procedure. To remain in good academic standing, students are required to take the MTCM program in sequential order and maintain a minimum term and cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher.
Cumulative Review & Competency Exams
The program offers a series of review classes to prepare students for the annual cumulative exams which are required for all students to continue their studies in good standing. Besides measuring progress, these examinations are designed to prepare students for the California state licensing and national certification exams. Students entering clinical internships are required to pass clinic competency exams.
Review of a student’s academic progress is performed each term, including the review of all final course and clinic grades, evaluations by the faculty, and attendance rosters. Any student who does not meet the established criteria for normal academic progress and professionalism will be referred to the Student Progress Review Committee.
Student Progress Review Committee
The Student Progress Review Committee (SPRC) reviews academic progress of students to ensure their success in the program. Students who need assistance to maintain good academic standing are required to meet with the SPRC to devise a plan to improve their academic performance. Students may ask the SPRC for help in finding tutors and/or other resources to assist with successful completion of the program.
The SPRC is responsible for ensuring a fair and impartial disciplinary process for students who breach standards of professionalism. Most cases are resolved in ways that serve to foster the ethical development and personal integrity of students, and to provide a safe and comfortable campus environment.
Standards of Professionalism
The Standards of Professionalism policies are intended to protect the rights of all students, faculty, staff and patients at Five Branches University while on campus and at all sponsored events. Five Branches University may impose discipline for violation of these standards of professionalism including, but not limited to dishonesty, disrespect, disrupting a professional atmosphere, substance abuse, and sexual harassment. For detailed information about the Standards of Professionalism policies refer to the Student Handbook.
Academic Warning and Probation
Students unable to maintain good academic or professional standing are placed on academic warning or probation. Students will be notified by letter of the reasons that led to this action and an explanation of the corresponding satisfactory academic progress requirements for the ensuing term. Student enrollment is subject to review until the student returns to good academic or professional standing. For detailed information regarding the Academic Warning and Probation policy refer to the Student Handbook.
Academic dismissal is termination of enrollment at the University for the inability to meet academic or professional standards. Failure to comply with the requirements set forth by the Student Progress Review Committee for remediation of a probationary status will result in academic dismissal. Students may appeal this action through the Academic Appeal process outlined in detail in the Student Handbook.
The Student Progress Review Committee (SPRC) is responsible for reviewing and approving appeals. Appeals must be submitted to the SPRC in writing, describing any extenuating or mitigating circumstances that prevented compliance with Five Branches University policies. An appeal must explain what has changed in the student’s situation, and the precise steps the student will take or is taking to regain good academic standing. For detailed information regarding the Academic Appeal process refer to the Student Handbook.
Students who have complaints concerning administrative or academic policy may submit the grievance in writing to the Student Progress Review Committee (SPRC). The SPRC will review the complaint and gather all relevant information prior to making a decision. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision of the SPRC, she/he may submit a written appeal with all relevant documentation to the academic dean and the president. Following this, the matter may be given to the board of directors for final review.
If the complainant has made full recourse of the University’s grievance procedure, and believes the University did not address their complaint, the student may contact the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at 14502 Greenview Drive, Suite 300B, Laurel, MD 20708, (301) 313-0855, www.acaom.org. For detailed information regarding the Grievance Procedure refer to the Student Handbook.
Five Branches University is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, in the administration of admission, educational policies or employment. The University abides by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against any “qualified individual with a disability.”