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Unsatisfactory Progress Reports

 An unsatisfactory progress report for a graduate student is a very serious outcome.  It means that the student’s graduate program completion is in jeopardy.  This report can be the first step towards either voluntary or involuntary withdrawal from the program.  It can also be an opportunity to provide an incentive and a road map for getting the student back on track.  Because unsatisfactory progress leads to loss of scholarships and may lead to disciplinary outcomes, it is important to carefully document the process.  Successful remediation, often the most desirable outcome, also benefits from careful documentation. 

 All students are required to have their progress reviewed annually in June by the program and the College of Graduate Studies.   When an unsatisfactory progress report is filed, steps must be taken to ensure due process and encourage remediation of the situation. Copies of all correspondence and meetings summaries with respect to unsatisfactory progress reports are sent to the College of Graduate Studies for the students file. 

Procedural steps taken when a student receives unsatisfactory progress report

  • Initial steps should be that:
    • the student has received a hard copy of the report including details about why the progress report was unsatisfactory and,
    • the student has has the opportunity to respond in writing to the program coordinator.

  • The program coordinator, and in thesis programs the supervisor and supervisory committee, should decide what steps would be required for the student to remedy the unsatisfactory status.
  • Within five business days of filing the unsatisfactory progress report with the College, the program coordinator should provide the student with an outline, in writing (including a hard copy), stating the clear expectations of activities and milestones required of the student to achieve satisfactory progress.  A timeline for these steps must be indicated.  Responsibilities of the supervisor, supervisory committee members or program coordinator, where appropriate, should also be clearly specified.  This outline may be presented as a Letter of Understanding or as a Progress Contract.  A copy of this written set of requirements should be provided to the College.
  • No more than six (6) months after filing an unsatisfactory report, the program coordinator should file an interim progress report indicating progress achieved toward remediation and any outstanding expectations.  Copies of this report should be provided to the student and to the College.
  • If after six months the student has not followed the outline of expectations, the matter should be referred to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who will review the file and impose or make recommendations to the appropriate authorities for further action including, but not limited to:
    • a new outline of expectations and timeline,
    • voluntary leave of absence,
    • voluntary withdrawal,
    • temporary suspension from the program, and
    • involuntary withdrawal from the program.


Last reviewed shim3/24/2015 3:22:15 PM