Master of Public Health Graduate Program Student Handbook

4. Policies & Procedures

4.1 MPH Communication


Official Program Correspondence

University provided email addresses will be the only officially recognized email address for all currently enrolled students per UNF’s Graduate Catalog.  ALL OFFICIAL MPH PROGRAM COMMUNICATION will be through UNF email addresses.

Computer & Internet Access 

All students will be required to have access to a personal computer with internet service. They must also be able to access “Blackboard or other programs as indicated. Additionally, important information and announcements will be made only through the MPH “Blackboard” site. UNF offers courses on how to use this program.  Please check the MPH Bb website frequently.



4.2 Changes to the MPH Curriculum


All changes to the curriculum will be approved by the majority of the MPH Program Faculty, Departmental Chairperson, the Deans of the College and Graduate School, Academic Programs Committee and the Faculty Association according to the policies of UNF.

 



4.3 Class Attendance & Participation


The University of North Florida authorizes its colleges, departments, and faculty to establish the attendance and participation policies they deem appropriate. In this regard the Graduate Faculty recognizes that the student’s responsibility is not solely for mastering a particular body of knowledge but for doing so in relation to the multiple social contexts, which graduate classes represent in miniature, that make graduate studies at UNF possible.

 

 

The MPH faculty believes that MPH Program students need to make their academic careers a priority during their enrollment in the program. Due to the amount and complexity of the material, students should ensure ability to attend the entire class period and to be on time by having adequate arrangements for childcare, work and transportation. Personal vacation time should be planned for periods when classes are not in session. Thus, we have developed the following attendance policy which may be used at the discretion of the course instructor:

 

  •  Students are allowed one unexcused absence per course which is equivalent to 1 week or 2.75 hours of class time, after which a percent of the total grade may be deducted per absence. Several incidents of arriving after the instructor has initiated class or leaving early may equal one absence.  
  • Students must submit excuses for full or partial absences to the faculty member in writing prior to anticipated absences and within a reasonable time after unanticipated absences. In order for an absence to be excused, it must be due to an excuse recognized by the university (e.g., illness documented by a doctor, death in the family, university sanctioned event).  Do not ask if you need to submit documentation; in order to be excused, the absence should be documented in writing. Other non-recognized reasons for absence, such as work, family or transportation issues may be used for the one allowed unexcused absence.  
  • Students who miss more than 25% of scheduled class meetings (e.g., 4 weeks out of a 16 week semester) may be dropped or asked to withdraw from the class.
  • Students are responsible for any material covered during the time missed. Students should attempt to obtain missed information/materials on their own first. It is not the instructor’s responsibility to teach the material more than once.  
  • Not participating in class (e.g., not having read the assigned chapter, not completing homework assignments, not participating in in-class assignments or discussions, etc.) may also result in points deducted from the total grade.

Please know that while the MPH faculty understands that students may have a professional job, family and/or other commitments outside of school, the Program expectation is that students put their academic careers as priority during their enrollment in the program. Therefore, it is not fair to allow some students to not fully participate in classes while other students are making tremendous sacrifices to successfully complete the Program.



4.4 Satisfactory Academic Progress


MPH Program Academic Standards

Students may earn up to two (2) Cs as graduate students provided that the term and cumulative graduate GPAs are 3.0 or higher. Graduate students who earn a third (3rd) grade of C or lower in the Program will be eligible for suspension (dismissal from the Program).  Students must earn a grade of C or higher on all Program courses for credit towards the degree. 


Graduate students who do not have a 3.0 or higher final graduate GPA upon completion of all Program requirements will not graduate. If a grade below C is earned for any required course in the MPH Program of study, that same course must be repeated at UNF; a comparable course from another university cannot be substituted, except by permission of the MPH Program Director.

Good Academic Standing

Graduate students who have earned no more than 2 (two) Cs and possess a term and cumulative UNF GPA of 3.0 or higher are considered to be in “good academic standing.” Graduate students who fail to maintain a 3.0 (B) average in any given academic term will be placed on academic probation. Probation shall be noted on the academic transcript for the terms in which the graduate GPA is below 3.0. If while on probation the GPA does not reach 3.0 (B) in the following term, or if a student receives a third grade of C or lower, the student will be eligible for dismissal from the Program. The Program’s policy is that when a student becomes eligible for dismissal, the student is permanently dismissed from the program.



4.5 Adding and Dropping Courses during Drop/Add


Students may add and drop courses from the first day of registration through the final day of the drop/add period, usually the first week of classes.  Students may add and drop courses in person at One Stop Student Services or via my Wings. Courses officially dropped during the drop/add period will not be entered on a student’s permanent (transcript) record and will be completely refunded. Normally, students may not drop courses and receive a full refund, or add courses after the drop/add period. Students who encounter exceptional circumstances clearly beyond their control must complete a “Petition to Waive University Policy” form available from One Stop Student Services to permit them to drop or add courses after the drop/add deadline. One Stop Student Services will automatically drop a student from all classes if this person does not pay or arrange for the deferral of tuition and fees by the posted deadline.



4.6 Withdrawing from Courses after Drop/Add


A student may withdraw from a course or the University from the end of the drop/add period through the “Last day to withdraw” (see the University Calendar online). The student may withdraw online, submit an official withdrawal request at One Stop Student Services, or submit a letter postmarked no later than the deadline.  One Stop Student Services will assign a grade of “W,” which will appear on the student’s transcript. Students who stop attending a course without officially withdrawing will receive a final grade of “F”.  Non-attendance does not guarantee a student will be dropped from class. Students are fee liable for all courses they register for unless dropped. Students must drop themselves from all courses they do not want to take.

 



4.7 Late Withdrawals


Students who encounter exceptional circumstances clearly beyond their control may petition for late withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline. A student may petition for withdrawal from a course up until the end of the term, prior to the posting of grades. Students must petition the dean of their college and receive this person’s approval. The petition is available at One Stop Student Services. The course instructor then assigns a grade of “WP” (withdraw passing) or “WF” (withdraw failing), which will appear on the student’s transcript. Students do not have the right to withdraw from courses after the official withdrawal deadline simply because they have passing grades at the time.

4.8 Repeating Courses


A student may receive credit for a course only once. However the GPA will reflect all repeated courses.

 



4.9 Incomplete Grades


A student who has completed a substantial portion but not all of the required course work for a course with sufficiently high grades may at the instructor’s discretion be assigned a grade of incomplete in the event of extenuating circumstances that keep the student from completing the course.  An Incomplete is not appropriate in instances where the student is failing the course, or has not completed the majority of course requirements with passing grades. Incompletes are not computed in the grade point average. The instructor will specify the date—not to exceed one calendar year or graduation, whichever comes first—and whether or not the student is in residence, by which the student must complete all course work to resolve the Incomplete. The instructor may also specify the grade to which the Incomplete will be automatically changed if the student does not complete the required work (unresolved incompletes usually revert to a grade of “F”). At the end of the time limit, the instructor will change the Incomplete to a letter grade based on the quality of whatever work the student has submitted. One Stop Student Services will then calculate that grade in the student’s GPA. To extend an Incomplete beyond one year, the student must submit to One Stop Student Services a petition for a waiver of University policy. Students may not register for courses in which incomplete grades have been received. Students with an incomplete grade for any required MPH Program courses will not be allowed to proceed with the Public Health Internship until the incomplete grade is satisfactorily resolved.



4.10 Inactive Students


Students who have completed graduate course work at UNF but who do not enroll in at least one course for three consecutive semesters (including summer terms) are placed in an inactive status on the Registrar’s computer databases and need to contact the Graduate School.  At that time, the student may have to reapply for admission into the Program. Reinstatement without having to reapply for admission is based upon approval by the Program Director. 



4.11 Violations of Academic Integrity


The UNF Graduate Student Handbook identifies several types of violations of academic integrity. These include but are not limited to: cheating; fabricating and falsifying information or citations; submitting the same work for credit in more than one course; plagiarizing; providing another student with access to one’s own work to submit under this person’s name or signature; destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material; and helping or attempting to help another person commit an act of academic dishonesty.  UNF authorizes any instructor who finds evidence of cheating, plagiarism, or other wrongful behavior that violates the UNF Academic Integrity Code to take appropriate action. Possible action includes, but is not limited to, failing the student on the work in question, failing the student for the course, notifying the appropriate academic dean or Vice President for Student Affairs, and requesting additional action be taken.  The consequences of a breach of academic integrity may result in an F, which is unforgivable, regardless of withdrawal status.



4.12 Second Master's Degree


Students who have earned a Master’s degree or higher graduate degree and wish to obtain an MPH will be required to complete all the requirements of the MPH Program. For a second master’s degree, at least 24 hours of UNF graduate coursework in residency is required. Coursework counted in the fulfillment of any other UNF degree requirements cannot be counted toward this second master’s residency requirement.



4.13 MPH Course or Program Concerns


Student concerns or questions regarding courses should first be discussed with the instructor. If differences are unable to be resolved, then appeals may be made to the Program Director. Other concerns about the MPH Program should be directed first to the MPH Program Director, then to the Chair of the Department of Public Health, and finally to the Dean of the Brooks College of Health.  The Department Chair and the Dean of the Brooks College of Health subsequently review all complaints and concerns in a timely manner. Students retain the right to file a grievance with the University in the event the issue is not satisfactorily addressed at the Program/Department/College level.



4.14 Student Appeals


Right of Appeal (Policy, Course/Grade, & Civil Rights)

All members of the University community are entitled to fair and equitable procedures.

 

Appeals concerning UNF policies:  Any member who believes that actions of other members are not equitable has the right of appeal.  A student who believes that a University policy imposes an undue hardship may petition One Stop Student Services to waive that policy. One Stop Student Services will inform the student in writing of the results of the appeal.

 

Appeals concerning courses (grade appeal):  Students who wish to appeal a course grade (except for the grade of “Incomplete”) must do so within one year of completing the course in question. Students can pick up the guidelines for grade appeals at One Stop Student Services.  

 

Appeals concerning civil rights:  Members of the community who believe they have not been accorded rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 should contact the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs, Building 1 (J. J. Daniel Hall), Room 2100 (620-2507).

 



4.15 Grade or Term Forgiveness


Per UNF regulations, graduate students are not eligible for grade or term forgiveness.

 



4.16 Program Site Dress Code


Students should dress appropriately when representing the MPH Program at designated sites or activities.  When at practice experience sites, students must comply with dress requirements for that site. Appropriate dress normally does not include shorts, jeans, midriff showing shirts, strapless shirts, or shirts without collars.  Students should keep jewelry and other accessories to a minimum.

4.17 Electronic Communication Devices


Due to the disruption to students and faculty, the auditory signal on electronic communications devices should be turned off during all classes. Electronic communication devices include cellular phones, beepers, and pagers.  Faculty members may take appropriate actions in the event of such disruption, including asking the student to leave class. Any request for exemption from this policy must be submitted in writing to the Program Director for approval.

4.18 Policies & Procedures Amendments


Review of Policies and Procedures

The Program Director and other Program faculty and Departmental Chairperson annually review specific policies and procedures governing the MPH Program for consistency with general UNF policies and procedures. Any discrepancies will be discussed and acted on as necessary.

Amendment of Policies and Procedures

Specific policies and procedures governing the MPH Program may be amended by a majority vote of the MPH Program faculty and are subject to agreement by the Program Director, Department Chair, Dean of the Brooks College of Health and Dean of the Graduate School. New policies and amendments may be initiated by any of the entities listed above or by an individual member of the MPH Program faculty or MPH Advisory Committee.

Exceptions to MPH Specific Policies and Procedures

Exceptions to MPH Program policies and procedures must be approved by the Program faculty, Program Director and Departmental Chairperson, and are subject to agreement by Dean of the College and Dean of Graduate School.