Policies Regarding Faculty/Staff Recommendations and References
For all requested recommendations and references, regardless of written or verbal form, students must complete and sign the appropriate College/School/Department release from before any such recommendations or reference can be completed. A separate form must be completed for each written and/or verbal reference.
References for Fellowships and Residencies
The MPAS Program recognizes some students will want to advance their training by completing a post-graduate fellowship/residency. Most of these require a letter of reference be completed well prior to a student’s MPAS Program graduation date. In such cases, principal and full-time program faculty are happy to complete such references that, due to their uniqueness, differ from the policy regarding letters of recommendation/references for employment and credentialing.
References for Post-Graduate Employment and Credentialing
Employers and credentialing agencies have been requiring more and more specific and comprehensive information detailed on program and faculty references. In response to this, the E&H MPAS Program has a specific and comprehensive reference form used for students graduating or who have graduated from the program: The Program Director’s Letter of Reference Form. A copy of Letter of Reference form can be found in the MPAS Student Handbook. By policy, this is the only form that will be used for employment and/or credentialing references.
The Program Director’s Letter of Reference Form includes specifics regarding matriculation and graduation dates and degree awarded, academic and clinical coursework and clinical procedures training, sections for noting preceptor comments and faculty advisor and program director recommendation statements, and listing of Program Mission, Goals and Learning Outcomes. Additionally, the form includes four Specific Questions that are now commonly requested by employers and credentialing services:
- Did the student have extensions, leaves of absence, or breaks in the educational program?
- Was this student required to repeat any coursework?
- Was this student placed on behavioral probation due to significant issues related to student conduct/professionalism?
- Was the student ever denied clinical placement or clinical privileges (on the basis of weakness in clinical skills or professionalism) on a Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (i.e., clinical rotation)?
Appeals Policy and Process for the Program Director’s Letter of Reference Question Answers
All students can request to receive a copy of their final letter of reference before it is sent out to any outside individual/entity. Students have the final say in whether the program submits the letter of reference, which cannot be sent out unless students complete and submit the release from, but a different letter of reference form - other than as noted below - will not be completed for post-graduation employment/credentialing references.
If a student takes issue with an answer to any of the Specific Questions noted on the form, or explanations for ‘yes’ answers on the form, the student may request reconsideration for the answer to that specific question/explanation by submitting an appeal to the Program Director. Appeals must be submitted for the first Letter of Reference Form completed by the MPAS Program. Appeals will not be accepted for any subsequently completed forms. Appeals will not be accepted after the students submits the release form for the first Program Director’s Letter of Reference. The Program Director will then submit the appeal request to the Student Progression Committee (SPC) chairperson who will call for an SPC meeting to discuss the appeal. The SPC decision, reached by consensus among SPC committee members, is final and not open to any further appeals from the student.