Student Handbook - 2022-2023 Edition




The Forensic Science Student Handbook has been created as a reference for students enrolled in the Utah Valley University Forensic Science Investigation or Laboratory Program (“FSI Program”, “FSL Program”', or “FS Program”) and others seeking information about the program. These policies and procedures apply to all Forensic Science students. This handbook also serves to demonstrate Utah Valley University’s (UVU) compliance with the accreditation standards established by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

This handbook provides an overview of all aspects of the program.  It contains policies and procedures for academic and professional standards, and progress throughout the program.  It also contains university wide policies and information about resources available through UVU.  This handbook was designed to supplement existing university policies and procedures that relate to the program.  All students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with this handbook, other program policies, and applicable university policies.

It is the responsibility of the student to be cognizant and abide by the rules, regulations, and policies described in this handbook. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the program director.  When the handbook does not cover a specific circumstance or the interpretation is not clear, the program director will make necessary decisions or interpretations.

Students are expected to remain current on all policies and procedures of the university and those specific to the program throughout their enrollment in the program.  This handbook will be reviewed during orientation.  At orientation, the student will sign an acknowledgement form which states that the student agrees to follow program and university policies and procedures throughout their enrollment. Students will be given ample time to review this handbook prior to signing the acknowledgement form (see Appendix…)





FEPAC Standard 3.2

Utah Valley University is an integrated university and community college that educates every student for success in work and life through excellence in engaged teaching, services, and scholarship.

UVU's culture supports our mission of student success. Student success encompasses both terminal degrees and the holistic education of students, and we believe that we can fulfill this mission best in an environment that allows all individuals to thrive personally and professionally. To this end, UVU operates in accordance with three core values: exceptional care, exceptional accountability, and exceptional results.

  1. Include
    1. Objective 1: UVU integrates educational opportunities appropriate to both community colleges and universities.
    2. Objective 2: UVU provides accessible, equitable, and culturally diverse learning experiences and resources for students of all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in higher education.
    3. Objective 3: UVU fosters an inviting, safe, and supportive environment in which students, faculty, and staff can succeed.
  2. Engage
    1. Objective 1: UVU faculty, staff, and students practice excellent, engaged teaching and learning activities as a community of scholars, creators, and practitioners.
    2. Objective 2: UVU develops relationships and outreach opportunities with students, alumni, and community stakeholders.
    3. Objective 3: UVU employees demonstrate a commitment to student success, professionalism, ethics, and accountability.
  3. Achieve
    1. Objective 1: UVU supports students in completing their educational goals
    2. Objective 2: UVU students master the learning outcomes of the university and their programs.
    3. Objective 3: UVU prepares students for success in their subsequent learning, professional, and civic pursuits.



The Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) are a comprehensive set of learning goals that are fostered and developed across a student's entire educational experience. They reflect the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to meet the challenges of an ever-changing and complex world. The ELOs prepare students for future employment, life, and citizenship. With the achievement of these outcomes, UVU graduates will possess breadth and depth of knowledge, highly developed intellectual and practical skills, commitment to personal and social responsibility, awareness of the interdependence of communities, and the ability to synthesize and apply their learning to solve complex real-world problems.

  1. Integrative and Applied Learning: A student will engage in discipline-appropriate experiences with the academic and broader community through integrated and applied learning
  2. Intellectual and Practical Skills Foundation: A student will acquire a foundation of intellectual and practical skills including communication, quantitative reasoning, qualitative reasoning (critical, analytical, and creative thinking), and technical and information literacies.
  3. People of Integrity: A student will become personally and socially responsible by acquiring, developing and demonstrating skills in ethical reasoning and understandings.
  4. Professional Competency: A student will demonstrate professional competence by meeting the established standards of the discipline, working as a valued member of a team, effectively formulating and solving problems, and actively seeking and honing lifelong learning skills.
  5. Stewards of Place: A student will demonstrate stewardship of local, national, and global communities by cultivating awareness of: interdependence among those communities; issues within those communities; and organizations and skills that address such issues.
  6. Knowledge Foundation: A student will demonstrate knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world in the following areas of essential study: arts, history, humanities, languages, science and mathematics, social sciences. Knowledge Foundation refers to GE Distribution courses and other courses and experiences within the major.




The mission of Utah Valley University Forensic Science academic program is to provide an engaged, multidisciplinary, exceptional forensic science education, which includes scientific research, ethical practices, and real-world experiences, upholding truth and justice within the criminal justice system.

Program Goals (3.2)







The Forensic Laboratory emphasis provides students with a comprehensive science- based undergraduate education, which enables students to enter into a forensic science career. Students learn the necessary technical and theoretical knowledge, skills, and abilities of modern forensic techniques. By employing the theoretical and practical principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics, students will perform forensic science work commonly conducted within a crime laboratory. Science-based study and application of these principles expose students to a stimulating academic environment conducive to scholarly inquiry. Students gain the knowledge and ability for research-based projects and for potential improvement of the forensic community. Throughout this program, students develop and employ effective written and oral communication skills required of forensic experts, as well as demonstrate work ethic, professional demeanor, reliability, and proper interpersonal skills.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge, skills and abilities of modern forensic techniques.
  • Identify evidence commonly found at crime scenes.
  • Scientifically analyze evidence used in criminal investigations.
  • Analyze principles of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics as they pertain to the performance of forensic science work commonly conducted within a crime laboratory.
  • Evaluate scientific results of the analysis of physical evidence and correlate their importance to criminal investigations.
  • Describe legal aspects as it pertains to forensic science.
  • Describe qualifications, requirements, professional practices and ethical skills needed of the forensic expert




Example Tile Heading

The Forensic Investigation emphasis provides an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for public, state, and federal careers with needed forensic investigation subject matter expertise and analytical skills. Students are exposed to the wide variety of critically important forensic investigation techniques, which are currently practiced by various forensic service providers and law enforcement agencies today. Students learn techniques such as the identification and proper collection of evidence found at crime scenes, accurate crime scene documentation skills, forensic photography, death investigations, fingerprint processing/examinations, impression evidence/examination, bloodstain pattern analysis, crime scene reconstruction, firearms and tool mark evidence/examination. Students acquire skills such as critical thinking, writing, expert testimony, and analysis techniques specifically tailored for forensic investigation fieldwork. This emphasis provides students with the overall professional skills, work ethic, and demeanor required of forensic investigators.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Conduct proper crime scene documentation procedures, which include note taking, sketching, photography, crime scene reporting.
  • Identify physical evidence commonly encountered at crime scenes using various techniques from visual identification, alternate light source, and chemical enhancements.
  • Properly document, collect, and package physical evidence.
  • Analyze legal aspects as they pertain to forensic investigative work.
  • Evaluate basic to complex crime scenes critically.
  • Employ any reconstruction techniques such as bloodstain pattern analysis or shooting incident scene analysis.
  • Evaluate proper approaches/techniques for death investigations.
  • Analyze and correlate trauma to investigative planning and coordination between other agencies and the medical examiner systems.
  • Describe qualifications, requirements, professional practices and ethical skills needed of the forensic expert.







Amie Houghton

Angela Peterson

Travis Ashdown

Derek Mears

Bonnie Wilder-Estes

Bryan Holden

Danny Maynard

Carl Hollan

Robyn Ostby 













The program’s principal faculty and staff are committed to providing support and assistance to every student. The following UVU FS Program policies have been formulated to ensure the continuance of this commitment.

Each student is assigned a faculty advisor for the duration of his/her tenure in the program. Students will meet with their advisor at least once a semester for academic and professional advisement. This ensures that all students have continuity and equal access to an advisor. Faculty advisors serve as valuable resources for answering professional questions and providing counseling and advisement.

The role of the faculty advisor is to:

  • Assist the student in achieving academic and professional objectives;
  • Facilitate communication between the student and faculty;
  • Review the mid-semester formative evaluations;
  • Advise students in areas of academic or professional deficiencies;
  • Reinforce prescribed remediation plans.

Faculty advisors are also able to provide students with appropriate referrals and resources within the wider UVU community (e.g., psychological counseling and financial aid). Should students need a referral to counseling or services for personal needs on or off campus, these referrals can be made by the faculty advisor, Student Progress Committee (SPC) or by the student as a self-referral.  

Should students feel they need advisement on a referral for personal needs, faculty advisors are available during weekly scheduled office hours, by appointment, or upon request. It is imperative that students keep their advisor apprised of any situation that may jeopardize their successful academic or professional progression in the program, so the faculty advisor can help render assistance as soon as possible. The faculty advisors are committed to your success in the program and will help you find the resources you need to be successful. 

Wendy Farnsworth 





UVU’s Forensic Science program provides students with valuable internship opportunities with local, state and federal agencies within the state of Utah. Our students have interned with Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory, Salt Lake Police Department, Utah Office of the Medical Examiner among many others.

Internships provide an avenue for students to gain knowledge, skills and experience in a real-world environment and from within their field of study. Students form invaluable relationships within the field and gain access to career resources for furthering their employment in forensics.

Students must coordinate with the internship office to receive credit

Forensic Capstone (3.3.2.a, 4.1c)

Student Services (3.4, 3.7) – library, computer center, etc.)

See the UVU Catalog Student Services webpage




UVU Fulton Library

The UVU Fulton Library provides all PA students with initial “one-stop-shopping” for articles/books/videos relating to FS research, and provides access to online journals, textbooks, and medical search engines. UVU Fulton Library offers access to a vast collection of academic textbook titles, eBook titles appropriate for FS students, streamed medical education videos, periodical databases, peer-reviewed journal titles, full text for many of the CINAHL journals, PubMed, Science Direct Journals, Cochrane Library collection, Web of Science, PsycInfo, PsycARTICLES, JSTOR, Oxford Reference Online, Alt-Health Watch, and many more resources that come highly recommended for PA students and faculty. (NEED TO CHANGE?)

Collections housed in R areas of the Library of Congress classification system include PA subject areas such as general medicine, public aspects of medicine, pathology, epidemiology, pediatrics, gynecology, diseases, pharmacology and so forth. The library specialist assigned to health sciences will work with the PA department to augment the current collection as needed.

All library users have direct access to the ILLiad interlibrary loan system. Most items are delivered electronically, via email. If there is demand for returnable ILL items (i.e., books) at the remote site, UVU will investigate establishing an ILL courier service to serve the site.

The library’s home page serves as the gateway to information resources and services. Internet access provides students and faculty at off-campus and remote sites immediate, transparent access to all the library’s electronic materials. See the Fulton Library home page here.

Campus librarians are available to support students and faculty by both face-to-face and virtual consultations. The library reference desk can be accessed, through popular instant-messaging programs, text messages by phone or through the campus communications G-mail based platforms, via e-mail, or in person. Students and staff may also make individual face-to-face or telephone appointments with subject specialists for more in-depth assistance with their research.

A specific subject-area specialist will be assigned to the FSprogram. This librarian will serve as the primary library contact for PA students and faculty members, and will support culminating experience projects, capstones and other in-depth research projects.

For current information about library hours, including reference service hours, please see library services here. Students will have electronic access to all digital library information resources.


The Official Store Of Utah Valley University is located on the UVU main campus in SC 102. Book store hours: M-TH 7:30 am - 6 pm, F 7:30 - 5 pm, SAT 9 am - 1 pm, and is CLOSED DURING ALL CAMPUS HOLIDAYS. For information, students can access the Official Store of Utah Valley University here.

Students can purchase textbooks via UVU Online Bookstore and have the option to ship their textbooks to either their home or to a designated on-campus location. Textbooks are not available at the UVU bookstore.


All vehicles parked on campus require a parking permit

see UVU Parking Services webpage

We anticipate significant parking and traffic congestion at the beginning of each semester.  Here are some suggestions that may help to lessen the impact of parking issues: 

  1. Allow extra time to arrive on campus and find a parking spot.  It is much easier to beat the traffic and find a parking space if you arrive early. 
  2. Take the bus or ride your bike.  Students and employees are encouraged to find alternative transportation to campus.  Check the UTA website at to find a bus route that will get you to campus with less traffic/parking hassle. 
  3. The parking garage is always a cost-effective alternative.

Contact the Parking Office at 801-863-8188, if you have any questions.


Students are responsible for obtaining their own financial aid. The program is not involved in the process of granting financial aid except to respond to requests from lending institutions for specific documentation such as student enrollment, academic schedule, and expected date of graduation.

The Financial Aid Office is located on the UVU main campus. The Financial Aid Office is responsible for assessing student eligibility for financial aid. The staff is also available to counsel students on the most appropriate and available resources to meet individual needs. The Financial Aid Office manages and distributes a limited number of scholarships for eligible students. Financial aid is granted based on both federal and university guidelines.

Students requiring financial assistance are encouraged to seek loan counseling and assistance in debt management before making any financial decisions. Since the application process is lengthy and often complex, it is suggested that students apply early for FAFSA and financial aid each year. Students can find additional information about financial aid on the UVU Financial Aid website.




All FS students are eligible to receive basic health services through UVU’s Student Health Services which offers traditional medical services, mental health services, learning disability assessment, psychiatric services, and suicide awareness and prevention. Students have access to Student Health Services on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 8am - 7pm and Tuesday, Friday from 8am - 5pm. Please see the Student Health Services website here.

As a division of the student health center, the crisis center offers services to help students deal with urgent mental health issues and other issues surrounding mental health. If a student is in crisis, that student can call for an appointment at UVU Student Health Services (801-863-8876, M-F 8am-5pm), and notify the person answering the phone that this is an emergency for priority scheduling.

Other resources available for any student in crisis mode:








Call one of the following:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (24-hour service)
  • Wasatch Mental Health 801-373-7393 (24-hour service)
  • Dial 9-1-1 and ask the police for assistance
  • Take yourself to your local hospital emergency room
  • Text "START" to 741741 to connect with a counselor at Crisis Text Line
  • The SafeUT app is available to download for free at either the Apple App Store or Google Play

The Student Life and Wellness Center works to support students by offering a variety of life and health enhancing services that increase safety, productivity, and life experience of the individual and the campus. More information is available about these programs and activities on the StudentLife and Wellness Center website here.


Example Tile Title


Facebook @UVU Forensic Science

Instagram @uvuforensicscience




The Delta Delta Epsilon, Alpha Mu Chapter allows Forensic Science students at Utah Valley University a chance to become part of a national honor society. The Alpha Mu chapter promotes the recognition and encouragement of excellence in scholarship in the Forensic Sciences. As part of the national honor society, you will promote and encourage intellectual development, push for high achievement, promote leadership, create student and faculty dialogue, enrich your educational environment and promote attitudes of professional responsibility for the public good. Being a member of a national honor society will fuel students to continue to better the Forensic Science Fields and those who seek employment in those fields.


  • Enrolled in UVU’s Forensic Science Degree Program
  • Completed at least 47 required credit hours for the Forensic Science Bachelor’s Degree
  • Have a minimum GPA average of 3.3
  • Membership dues $50.00

For application to DDE – please complete the membership form and email it to




















Registration for classes is completed online through the student’s myUVU page. Registration notifications are sent electronically to student’s UVU email account. Registration instructions are available online at

All tuition and fees are payable to the university’s cashier's/bursar's office at the time of registration. Payment instructions are available online at

Checks for more than the total tuition and fees due will not be accepted. Payment should be submitted by the specified per session due dates. Late fees may be applied to late registration and/or late payments. If payment is not received by the due date, students are automatically removed from course rosters. Outstanding balances with UVU may result in collection actions and will result in a hold on the student’s account preventing future registration and ordering UVU official transcripts. Students with outstanding payments may be barred from class, examinations, or clinical assignments and/or suspended from all program activities until payments are made.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the program if he/she has difficulty maintaining registration. Students dismissed from the university for failure to maintain registration may not be allowed to return to the program at a later time.


Tuition and student fees are established by the Utah State Board of Regents. Tuition, fees, and additional expenses as they appear in the catalog are subject to change and are based on the current school year rates. Any changes to these expenses will be determined after the annual program review process is concluded. Handbook/website revisions will coincide with the opening of CASPA. Candidates will have the opportunity to review the most up to date version. However, revisions may be made on emergency basis with extenuating circumstances (e.g. change in state law or university policy).

The table below details anticipated tuition, fees, program required expenses, as well as other costs associated with the program for the entering Spring 2022 cohort. Additional fees may be associated with financial aid. All costs are estimated.


Utah Resident Program Tuition


Non-Utah Resident Program Tuition


*Non-Utah Resident students pay Utah Resident tuition during Summer Semesters

Student receives residency after 1 year


University Fees ($360 per semester)


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Utah Residents


Total Estimated Tuition & Fees Non-Utah Residents


*If student receives Utah residency after 1 year



Additional Program Estimated Costs and Fees/Student Responsibilities

Professional Liability Coverage (University will provide)



Estimated Living and Transportation Expenses Per Semester

Housing and Food


Miscellaneous Living Expenses


Student Conference Fees


Free UTA pass available


Tuition Refunds

Refunds are not automatic. The tuition refund policy is established by the Utah State Board of Regents and amended by each college or university to fit their programs. The Utah Valley University (UVU) refund policy can be found on the UVU Tuition Policies & Procedures webpage.

UVU refunds to students who withdraw from school or drop classes are as follows:


  • Through the 100% refund date published on the Student Timetable.... 100%
  • After the 100% refund date published on the student Timetable... 0%
  • Thereafter, the refund periods for instructional cycles other than the semester are extrapolated from the above schedule

Exact dates for semester, block, and weekend classes can be found on the UVU Schedule webpage under Student Timetables.

Students must drop classes or completely withdraw by the published 100% Refund Deadline in order to have the charges removed from their account. Students who withdraw after that date will not receive a refund. If a student has not paid his or her charges for the semester, he or she will continue to owe the university for these charges and will be subject to collections procedures if left unpaid.

Changes in enrollment may affect Financial Aid eligibility and amounts received. Financial Aid awards may be pulled back when dropping courses, thus increasing the amount owed.

A Petition to the Refund Policy Form can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar or visit the UVU Registration webpage.




The UVU PA Program is a rigorous, full-time academic program. It is strongly recommended that students not accept or continue outside employment while enrolled in the program.

Students are not permitted to work for the program or perform any clerical or administrative duties for the program. Students are not permitted to substitute or function as instructional faculty.

Students with prior knowledge or skills may assist other students but may not replace the primary instructor for any component of the curriculum.

Students will not be required to perform any clerical or administrative work or teaching on behalf of the FS program during any clinical rotation. Students may not substitute for paid clinical staff while on rotation at any clinical site. The clinical director will continually monitor sites for adherence to this policy and notify the program director of any deviations to this policy. (DOES THIS NEED TO BE INCLUDED/CHANGED?)




The structure of clinical education mandates an increased frequency of communication with students. The primary form of communication is via phone, Microsoft Teams, and the university email system. Communication will also occur via Canvas or other learning systems.

Official correspondence related to the program or the university to students is considered received by the student if sent to any one of the following:

  • Student’s current home address of record
  • myUVU email account
  • Canvas posting
  • Program web calendar




Email is the primary and official means of communication from UVU to students. Once a student receives a myUVU student email account, official communication from the university is directed to that account.

Official communication contains information in order to conduct business with Utah Valley University and for which every student is held accountable. Students are expected to read communications in a timely fashion because communications often are time sensitive. Examples of official communication can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Registration alerts
  • Career development events
  • Student records (including Admissions/Financial Aid/Advising/Registrar)
  • Academic program/completion of degree sought
  • Dean and faculty communication to students
  • Financial information (including balance due, payment deadline reminders) 

All use of email must be consistent with local, state, and federal law, as well as other university policies and guidelines, including UVU Policy 443 Ethics in Computer Usage and UVU Policy 441 Appropriate Use of Computing Facilities

Student email accounts will remain active as long as the student is enrolled at UVU or is on an approved leave of absence.




In order to recognize and keep clear the roles of others in the academic and administrators by their appropriate title (Dean, Dr, Mr., Ms., Professor, etc.)




Students, program staff, faculty, and other program personnel are expected to check messages daily, and return messages in a timely manner, generally within two (2) business days.

Faculty are available to meet with students by appointment during office hours or other non-class hours during the regular school week. Appointments should be arranged directly with the faculty member via phone or email.




  • Students are expected to check their myUVU student email account at least once every day
  • Students are expected to respond to program emails within two (2) business daysusing their myUVU student email
  • Email responses and forwarded emails should include the original message when appropriate
  • It is helpful to use a signature line in your emails, including your full name and class, as well as a phone number. The following signature format is considered appropriate etiquette for signing professional email correspondence. 

Student Name, UVID

UVU FS Program Class of 2024





  • Students are expected to ensure that their phone voicemail system is active and able to receive messages
  • Students are expected to provide a phone number in all messages they leave
  • Students are expected to identify themselves in any text message they send
  • Students are expected to review their voicemails and/or texts at least once every day

Students are expected to respond to program voicemails and/or texts within two (2) business daysusing their myUVU student email




Students are required to provide the program with permanent contact information. Students are expected to notify the program immediately, as well as the Office of the Registrar, upon any change of contact data. Name changes should be submitted to the registrar with the  Change of Personal Information Form found on the UVU Registration webpage. It is not the responsibility of the program to confirm the accuracy of this information or report it to the registrar.




Students have access to the online Student Center located at is the university portal and provides single sign-on access to important systems. Many student services and tools are found on including class schedule, BookMatch, student deadlines, course catalog, and tuition, fees, & financial aid. UVU announcements and campus events can be found on the home page of




A UVU ID is a unique eight-digit number. Your UVU ID number is your username to login to UVU Login Services.

To find your UVU ID visit the UVU Campus Connection webpage.




Students use Canvas to access course syllabi, learn about and submit course assignments, access course materials, communicate with faculty, and review course grades. Canvas is available through

For more information visit the UVU Office of Teaching and Learning webpage.




Banner is the enterprise data system for the university. Students may access student services, financial aid, and personal information. Banner is accessed through the Student tab in

For instructions visit the UVU IT Services Banner webpage.




Expectations of professionalism discussed in this handbook are assessed throughout student enrollment in the program.  Students who fail to meet these expectations will be referred to the SPC. Certain lapses of professionalism and any disciplinary action may be revealed by the program when students apply for graduation. Any student whose actions directly or indirectly jeopardize the health and safety of faculty, site staff, or fellow students will face disciplinary action including removal from the site and/or program. 

As a part of maintaining satisfactory academic progress in the program, students must demonstrate professional behaviors.  Standards of professional behavior are informed by the following: 

American Academy of Physician Assistants Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession, and Program Statement of Values (see AAPA pdf) (see Appendix E).




The following describes program expectations for professional behavior of PA students. For a PA student, professionalism is the skill, good judgment, and respectful and ethical behavior that is expected from a physician assistant who is trained to provide exceptional care. It is important that students conduct themselves in a highly professional manner consistent with patient-care responsibilities and interprofessional teamwork during their training in the program. Therefore, throughout all facets of their education and the program, PA students are required to develop and demonstrate the following: 

  • Strive for continual learning
  • Conduct all duties with a “Team Player” mentality
  • Show empathy and compassion for others
  • Go the “extra mile” for the patient and profession
  • Stay within the limits of their skills and ask for help when appropriate
  • Participate in active listening
  • Keep appropriate provider/patient boundaries
  • Treat equally all persons who seek their care
  • Keep proprietary information confidential
  • Manage time appropriately
  • Treat others with respect
  • Take initiative to be actively engaged during the day
  • Maintain professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers
  • Show accountability to patients, society, and the profession
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles
  • Adapt communication style and messages to the context of the interaction
  • Demonstrate emotional resilience
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Demonstrate emotional stability and self-control
  • Demonstrate adaptability and flexibility
  • Demonstrate beneficence – the foundational moral imperative of doing right
  • Recognize and promote the value of diversity
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide exceptional care
  • Demonstrate awareness of how an organization runs
  • Demonstrate leadership in healthcare teams when appropriate




How a student dresses expresses their respect for self and others, sensitivity to others, and commitment to health and safety. A student’s dress is a demonstration of their professionalism and an indication of the forensic scientist they aspire to become. 


Professional learners are entrusted with the responsibility for presenting themselves in a way that demonstrates incorporation of professionalism goals. These include awareness of legal or regulatory limits on dress, demonstration of respect and compassion for others, and consideration of sensitivity to age/culture/gender and ability of peers.


  • As with a practicing forensic scientist, good personal hygiene is to be maintained at all times:
    • Hair should be neat and appropriately groomed
    • Nails should be clean and and trimmed
    • Avoid or minimize use of fragrances 
    • Closed-toed shoes required for the Lab
  • Unacceptable attire includes:
    • Unkempt, soiled, and/or torn clothing/shoes
    • Clothing with offensive logos, wording, or images
    • Clothing that is distracting because it is excessively revealing
    • Any jewelry that hinders laboratory learning activities


The following guidelines are attire that must be worn while in the lab while working with chemical samples or specimens:

  • Gloves must be worn at all times when handling all specimens in the anatomy lab. The gloves used on specimens and /or chemicals.
  • No open-toed shoes or high heels (any footwear with more than a half inch heel) are allowed in the laboratory at any time.  No sandals, flip-flops, five-finger toed shoes, etc.





All FS students must abide by the UVU Social Media/Technology Guidelines.

Many individuals participate in social media for a variety of reasons: to connect with professional networks, to find out what’s happening at other places, to enhance productivity and teambuilding, and to put together ad-hoc groups. Exchanging and sharing information can improve our personal and professional lives. However, social networking exposes one to an unsolicited audience and set of experiences. Continual attention is required to successfully manage personal and professional lives online. 

The following are general policies regarding social networking as an FS student. 

  1. Think before you post. There is no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up your posts years later. Do not post something today that may haunt you later.
  2. Maintain confidentiality. Do not post or discuss sensitive, confidential, proprietary, or protected health information about students, employees, patients, or other members of the UVU community.
  3. Use good ethical judgment. Follow federal guidelines and university policies.
  4. Be professional. As a general rule, be respectful and don’t post anything you would be uncomfortable saying in a public setting—or in front of your colleagues, fellow learners, supervisor, etc.  All the Professional Conduct standards described above apply to your communications on social media and other channels.
  5. Be transparent about your role at UVU. If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, clearly state your role and goals. Strive for accuracy and correcting errors quickly and visibly. If you have questions about whether it is appropriate to write about certain material, ask your supervisor, advisor, or program director first.
  6. Protect your identity. Do not provide personal information about yourself or others that scam artists and identity thieves might steal. This includes telephone numbers, mailing addresses, and e-mail addresses.
  7. Respect university time and property. Any violation of HIPAA or other university policies may result in appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, dismissal from the program and criminal and/or civil charges and fines.


Subject to UVU policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, photos, audio, and video recordings of students may be taken for posting on the program web site or for publication to promote the activities of the program. In order to facilitate this process, students are encouraged to consent to being photographed, filmed or recorded by filling out the Creative Works License and Model Release Form (see Appendix F). Students have the right to decline participation in the recording methods that may be viewed publicly and should speak directly with the program director as early as possible to accommodate this choice.


The program will use tools for student assessment and feedback in the form of digital audio-video recording, photography of lectures and student activities to enhance the learning experience and promote the program.  However, recordings collected by the program of standardized patient encounters may be held for private viewing only. Students must never share or display, in whole or in part, recordings of standardized patient encounters.  (DOES THIS NEED CHANGED?)

Students must ask for permission before using cameras or electronic devices for recording program curricular activities. Portable electronic devices risk the transfer of these recordings to a non-secure, web-based media and may violate individual privacy and institutional intellectual property copyrights.  Recorded material must not be posted on the Internet without appropriate authorization (see Social Media Guidelines above). These curricular activities include, but are not limited to: cadavers, simulation in Clinical Decision Making, Clinical Skills labs, Maliheh Free Clinic and other activities as designated by the program. (NEED CHANGED?)

Current university policy is that all lectures will be recorded automatically and made available to be accessed by students. Students will not be allowed to record lectures on personal devices. Use of  lectures recorded by the program are limited to personal or course study and may not be made public or shared. Video and photography are only permitted with permission of the person being recorded has signed the Consent and Media Release Form. 

Compliance with these policies are part of professionalism expectations that are assessed throughout the entirety of the program and are not limited to classroom activity. Failure to comply will be referred to SPC for evaluation and potential sanctions.

This policy does not affect non-curricular activities (breaks, independent study sessions off campus, etc.), however, even in these settings, students are expected to ask permission from individuals before photographing or recording. 




Utah Valley University is a drug-free campus. Utah Valley University has developed an alcohol & tobacco and other drug policy not only in response to the federal drug-free legislation, but also to encourage and sustain an academic environment that promotes the health, safety, and welfare of all members of its community.

In keeping with these objectives, alcoholic beverages, unlawful drugs, and other illegal substances shall not be consumed, used, carried, sold, or unlawfully manufactured on any property or in any building owned, leased, or rented by UVU, or at any activity sponsored by the program (UVU Policies 157, 324, and 541)

Any faculty, staff member, or student who violates this prohibition, or who does not cooperate with the program in its attempts to maintain a drug-free environment, will face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or dismissal from UVU and the UVU FS Program.

Individuals violating any town ordinances, state criminal laws, or federal laws relating to alcohol or drug use (including tobacco use) also are subject to substantial legal sanctions including fines and imprisonment.

If you are under the influence on UVU property, you will be subject to consequences through the UVU Student Rights & Accountability webpage.

More information regarding the UVU’s alcohol, drug, and tobacco policies can be found at the UVU Wellness webpage.




Utah Valley University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 and over), disability, veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, citizenship, genetic information, or other basis protected by applicable law, including Title IX and 34 C.F.R. Part 106, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Inquiries about nondiscrimination at UVU may be directed to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights or UVU’s Title IX Coordinator / Director of Equal Opportunity at 801-863-7999 – – 800 W University Pkwy, Orem, 84058, Suite BA 203.

Students shall deliver supervised healthcare services to patients without regard to their race, religion, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, disease status, or political beliefs.




At the beginning of each semester, the student will have the opportunity to promptly review each course syllabus and class schedule and notify faculty to request an accommodation for sincerely held religious beliefs and practices using the Religious Accommodation Request Form.





UVU is committed to preparing all students and employees for success in an increasingly complex, diverse, and globalized society. We promote civility and respect for the dignity and potential of each individual. We seek to advance the understanding of diverse perspectives. We value and promote collegial relationships and mutual respect among students, faculty, and staff. We acknowledge and seek to address the needs of populations who are underrepresented and students with varying levels of academic preparation, even as we strive to provide access and support for all students and employees in ways that are culturally relevant and responsible. UVU Inclusion and Diversity student resources.


At UVU, include is an action commitment that is a crucial part of our identity. Our dedicated staff, faulty, and students were involved for more than 18 months in constructing Inclusion Plan 2020-2024.


Inclusion makes students more successful. Over the last several years, UVU has shown itself as a state and national leader in inclusion and diversity efforts, receiving national awards from the White House, Diversity MBA Magazine, and Minority Access Incorporated. As an institution, UVU has chosen to be proactive and far reaching, raising and allocating almost $3.1 million for its inclusion efforts. UVU has 20+ centers, initiatives, and other resources to ensure that students feel safe and championed while attending UVU.




The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) provides support services for students with disabilities so that they can be successful at UVU. A student who is new to UVU and/or accommodative services can find an outline of the steps to take to determine the accommodations for which they are eligible. The first step is to make an appointment to meet with a counselor in the Office of Accessibility Services. Detailed information can be found at UVU Accessibility Services webpage.

To schedule an appointment to meet with one of the Accessibility Services counselors, call (801) 863-8747 or visit the Office of Accessibility Services located in Losee Center 3rd floor (room LC-312) Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Appointments can be scheduled online. 

Current UVU students who have not been assessed for learning disabilities are encouraged to meet by appointment with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to discuss off-campus options for assessment. Submitting documentation well before the beginning of the first semester is strongly recommended. 

As trainees in a clinical curriculum with direct patient contact, students must meet the technical standards of the program (see Technical Standards section in this student handbook).  All students are entitled to reasonable accommodations for disabilities that are documented, and which do not disqualify the student from meeting competencies described in the technical standards.

Prior accommodations from other institutions are not automatically recognized by the FS program or UVU. All students who seek accommodations must engage with the Office of Accessibility Services to determine if the provision of individual accommodations is possible within the requirements of the FS program.  In order to ensure that students have accommodations in place at the start of each semester, requests for accommodations should be submitted no later than two (2) weeks before the beginning of each semester or as directed by the Office of Accessibility Services.





Effective, caring, and compassionate healthcare depends critically on the professional and collegial attributes acquired by FS students during their education. In this regard, the teacher-student relationship is one of the most important, since the teacher is responsible for both imparting information and guiding the personal development of the student. The teacher also serves as a potential role model for students and it is therefore important that the teacher’s behavior towards the students is equitable and professional.

Everyone must tolerate the fact that people have different points of view and have the right to speak about those different views.  The First Amendment protects most forms of student speech.

At the core of an effective learning environment lies mutual respect between the teacher (including faculty, staff, and preceptors) and the student, and between each student and their student colleagues.  To this end, UVU will not tolerate the harassment or abuse of, discrimination against, or favoritism towards a student by a teacher or a student colleague. Students can report student mistreatment and grievances here.




UVU Website:


Laura Carlson, Title IX Coordinator



(801) 863-7999


The university is committed to maintaining an inclusive community that values diversity and fosters tolerance and mutual respect. FS students should become familiar with the protections provided by the university with regard to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity / Title IX for any of the following:

  • Have encountered sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault;
  • Wish to understand your options if you think you may have encountered (either yourself or witnessed) sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence or assault;
  • Learn of a situation that you believe may warrant investigation;
  • Seek guidance on possible informal remedies or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation;
  • Need help on how to handle a situation by which you are indirectly affected;
  • Have questions about Utah Valley University’s policies and procedures.



A1.02j, A3.15f, A3.15g

UVU’s sexual harassment policy (UVU Policy #162) applies to students, staff, faculty, and other academic personnel. UVU’s sexual harassment policies help to facilitate an educational environment that is free of sexual violence and harassment while complying with the provisions outlined in the Federal Title IX Act of the 1972 Education Amendments. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.


  • Hostile environment—any unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that a reasonable person would determine to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a UVU education program or activity; unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny equal access is separately prohibited under UVU Policy #165;
  • Sexual assault—any sexual act directed against another person without the consent of the victim, including instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent;
  • Dating violence—violence committed by a person (1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (2) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (a) the length of the relationship; (b) the type of relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Domestic violence—crimes of violence committed by (1) a current or former spouse, or intimate partner of the victim; (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (3) a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (4) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies; or (5) any other person against an adult or youth (ages 11–24) victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
  • Quid pro quo—any instance in which an employee of the University conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of UVU on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  • Power relationships—any sexual relationship or the sharing of any sexually explicit or lewd communication, image, or photograph (non-academic) from a university employee with the authority to impact a student’s access to UVU programs or activities.
  • Stalking—a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for their safety or the safety of others, or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual assault is not an expression of love, passion, or sexual desire. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, class, age, size, appearance, or sexual orientation. Nationwide, alcohol is reported as the most common predatory (date rape) drug, in approximately 90% of cases either the victim or the perpetrator was intoxicated.  In most cases, the perpetrator is acquainted with the victim.

Students can find a step by step procedure for sexual misconduct here.  This includes what to do if a student has been sexually assaulted.

Being assaulted can create a host of practical and emotional consequences. While you may want to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, there are also confidential campus resources available, including counseling at UVU Student Health Services. UVU’s Student Health Services provides free and highly confidential counseling to students, which can be an extremely important part of the healing process. The Title IX Coordinator can connect you with additional supportive measures and options without any obligation to file a formal complaint or request an investigation. Be advised: university employees other than the counseling staff have an obligation to report instances of prohibited sexual conduct to the Title IX Coordinator. When you seek help from professionals, first ask what level of confidentiality they can provide and to whom they are required to report if you were to disclose information regarding an incident. That way, you can make an informed decision.




Within the UVU community, misunderstandings and disagreements needing resolution may occur. Find the office of the Ombuds, here. The UVU Ombuds is one who is familiar with campus policies, students' rights and responsibilities, and can help find useful options within these guidelines. In order to serve as a mediator, as opposed to an advocate, the Ombuds neutrally and objectively listens to all problems. The Ombuds may also help with student grievances. Issues that the Office of the Ombuds can help with are: 

  • Maintaining your rights on campus
  • Mediation of interpersonal conflicts
  • Academic complaints and conflicts
  • Grading procedure disputes
  • School policy and procedures
  • Housing/Landlord disagreements
  • Grade disputes
  • Student/faculty disagreements
  • Policy issues and rights violations
  • Roommate/landlord conflicts
  • Other personal concerns or disputes








Since UVU is an academic environment, its fundamental purpose is the sharing and pursuit of knowledge. Imperative to this educational purpose is a commitment to academic integrity. Every member of the UVU community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of academic integrity at all times. Students are considered integral members of the community and are also expected to adhere to the principles of academic integrity.

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. Examples of such activities include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material or study aids in examinations or other academic work or preventing or attempting to prevent, another from using authorized assistance, material, or study aids 
  • Plagiarism: using ideas, data or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment
  • Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise 
  • Multiple submission: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement
  • Misrepresentation of academic record: misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student's transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to UVU
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any principle of academic integrity
  • Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise

Any violation of the above, whether willful or not, will result in referral to SPC and may result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the program.




Didactic Year

It is expected that students are committed to being full-time participants in the program. During the program, it is important for students to be available every day for course activities. While most lectures and workshops are scheduled during the weekday (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.), students may be required to participate in some weekend, evening, and extended-time curriculum activities. The program will make sincere attempts to give prior notification of changes in schedule. Class schedules cannot be altered to accommodate students who use public transportation or for personal activities/schedules.

  1. Attendance is expected. Students are expected to arrive on time, attend and participate in all program educational activities, including lectures, workshops, case reviews, clinical skills activities, clinical rotations, community assignments, return visits (RVs), examinations (written and practical), (HOW TO CHANGE) and recommended tutorial/remediation activities. Students’ participation in all curriculum activities is expected as part of the academic and professional competencies required for satisfactory progress and professional graduate training.

    Students who fail to fully attend and participate in any required activity may not receive full credit for the activity and may be required to complete additional assignments or other activities as assigned by the course director. Students who demonstrate continual, habitual, or excessive absences or late arrivals will be referred to SPC for failure to demonstrate professional behavior. Students who do not correct this behavior will be dismissed from the program.

    Students who are unable to attend any scheduled activity must notify the course director in advance detailing any activities or class sessions for which they will not be present. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange the means to get notes or other teaching materials distributed during their absence. Absences that occur during testing events may result in delay in completing requirements and progressing. Students who are ill and miss class or their clinical assignment for two or more consecutive days may be required to submit appropriate medical documentation to the program releasing the student to participate fully in all program activities.

  2. Absenteeism: Adherence to scheduled clinical rotation hours and attendance at all scheduled RVs at the conclusion of rotations are mandatory. (CHANGE) Failure to fulfill these requirements is strongly considered in the evaluation of the student’s academic performance and professional attitude and may result in a failing grade for the course.

    Clinical assignments may require students to drive to sites within a 100-mile radius from the UVU campus. Clinical assignments may require a student to work evenings and extended hours, take call schedules, and participate in on-site activities (e.g. presentations, literature review, written exams, etc.) as assigned by some clinical sites. Students are required to meet these expectations. (CHANGE OR DELETE?)

    If a student must be absent from ONE scheduled clinical rotation shift (this can include any type of shifts), both the preceptor and the Clinical Education Team must be notified as soon as possible. If the appropriate party cannot be reached, then students must leave a phone or electronic message regarding the absence and a phone number where they can be immediately reached.  (CHANGE OR DELETE?)

    Students who fail to fully attend and participate in required activity may not receive full credit for the activity and may be required to complete additional assignments or other activities as assigned by the course director. Students who demonstrate continual, habitual, or excessive absences or late arrivals will be referred to SPC for failure to demonstrate professional behavior. Students who do not correct this behavior will be dismissed from the program.

    Be advised that the program may make random calls and visits to rotation sites to verify student attendance and performance.

  3. Excused Absences: Incapacitating illness, injury requiring bed rest, and unexpected family emergencies are considered valid reasons for absenteeism; however, the procedures for absenteeism as outlined above must be followed. Excused absences greater than TWO (2) scheduled clinical rotation shifts per rotation(CHANGE) due to bona fide, documented, medical or personal emergencies may result in a grade of "I" (incomplete) for the rotation. Rotations in which students receive an "I" due to excessive excused absences may be completed later, depending on the availability of the rotation and at the discretion of the Clinical Education Team. For any absence less than the minimum time missed will be made up on an hour for hour basis. Students may request time off, given the policy above, using the Clinical Year Student Time Off Request Form (CHANGE) (see Appendix G). Submission of the form does not constitute approval. The form must be submitted 30 days prior to the anticipated absence.

  4. Unexcused Absences and Tardiness: Business appointments, routine dental and doctor appointments, weddings, graduations, family reunions, and other social events are not valid reasons for excused absenteeism. Absenteeism not reported as per policy outlined above will be considered unexcused, regardless of cause or when the program is notified of the event.

    Students are expected to always act in a professional manner. Reporting to scheduled clinical work shifts on-time is one of the most important demonstrations of professionalism. Tardiness to rotations and RVs is not acceptable.

  5. Other Situations for Absences: Job interviews are not considered valid reasons for unexcused absences. All attempts must be made to schedule an interview, so it does not interfere with the program. If this cannot be accomplished, students must first obtain permission from the professor to attempt to arrange time off for the interview. Subsequently, the preceptor must grant permission for the absence, and students must make up the missed clinical time within the confines of that rotation. The PA program must be notified as outlined above. A maximum total of TWO (2) days per calendar year will be allowed for interviews. (CHANGE)

    A “Leave of Absence” may be granted by the program director for extended illness or absence from a rotation. The program director will (on an individual basis) consider emergencies, special requests, and special issues arising that cause students to request a leave of absence, if done prior to failure of the rotation. All student requests are considered private and confidential and are treated as such by the faculty. Absences for scholarly and professional activities will be considered by the clinical education team on a case-by-case basis and must be addressed at least one month prior to the scheduled event.

Inclement Weather: During a weather emergency, student safety is the highest concern. In the event of inclement weather, the program follows the Utah Valley University Inclement Weather decisions with the following modifications: When the university is closed, didactic classes are canceled. Faculty will notify students of any new arrangements for required activities or exams. 




Students are encouraged to complete evaluations on a range of program activities at different points during the program. Evaluations, whether recorded on paper or electronically submitted, are

  • an important source of feedback for program faculty;
  • used in the assessment of all components of the program; and
  • required for continued accreditation.

Evaluations with comments are confidential and are processed anonymously in order to maintain confidentiality. We value student feedback as an essential part of making our program better.

Feedback is most effective when it is constructive and aimed at helping aspects of teaching and curriculum improve.


Requests for data collection come from a range of sources, including the ARC-PA accreditation agency, national and regional PA professional organizations, and governmental agencies that provide student educational grants. The Exxat tracking system is incorporated into the PA program to facilitate data collection. Timely tracking of patient encounters and procedures is a mandatory requirement for successfully completing a rotation. Documentation, including logging patient encounters into Exxat, is part of the student’s rotation grade. Students who do not complete their logging will not get credit for documentation.

The program is required to assure complete data collection and is accountable for reporting demographic information on each class of students (not as individual data but as grouped, anonymous information). Please note: no personal information is provided by the program to any organizations outside of the university without the individual’s written consent.








The FS program utilizes various evaluation methods to assess a student’s progress. Methods of evaluation can be defined as formative or summative

Formative evaluations are given throughout a course to give regular feedback on the student’s progress toward achieving course objectives. The method and frequency of evaluations are described in course syllabi. Course directors, faculty advisors, preceptors, and site visitors work together to provide each student with regular feedback on his/her progress and include remedial recommendations or requirements for strengthening academic and professional competencies.

Summative evaluations are conducted in most courses in order to assess cumulative learning and contribute to the determination of a course grade. Methods of evaluation and requirements to pass are described in the syllabus for each course. These are structured and weighted to indicate that a student has retained and mastered concepts throughout the course.

Formative and summative methods may include but are not limited to:

  1. Multiple choice examinations
  2. Short essays
  3. Fill in the blank
  4. T/F
  5. Oral presentations and journal clubs
  6. Service-learning projects and community projects
  7. Homework assignments
  8. Reflective writings, online forums/chats
  9. Case-based learning, critical-thinking and problem solving
  10. Team-based learning
  11. Interprofessional/collaborative education
  12. Simulations

Examinations are the sole property of the UVU FS Program. Students should see their specific course syllabi for assessment and grading methods. In line with university policies, students may not be evaluated by a family member or by someone with whom they have or have had a close personal or intimate relationship. Copies, results, or summaries of evaluations may be maintained in the student’s academic file.













Intervention: The act of intervening. In education, this would generally involve a faculty-directed activity to help a student achieve a successful outcome.

Retesting: an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency or meet a benchmark without formal remediation.

Formal Remediation: A formal action taken to correct professionalism or academic deficiencies that would otherwise prevent a student’s progression in the program. Requires documentation via a learning contract. 

Test Remediation: Review of material for an individual examination in either the didactic or clinical year that is then re-examined.

Probation: a status or time period when a student is undergoing remediation to correct professionalism and/or academic performance and during which consequences of failing to meet expectations are agreed upon.

Deceleration: a decision made by the Student Progress Committee to delay a student’s progress. During the didactic year, this will result in the student taking a leave of absence and rejoining the next cohort at the beginning of the corresponding semester which the student initiated the leave of absence (if initiated in the spring semester, will rejoin the following spring semester).

Dismissal: removal of a student from the program for professionalism or academic deficiencies.

Leave of Absence: a temporary cessation of study for medical reasons or other emergencies up to one year. Requires submission of appropriate form to the program director.

Withdrawal: ceasing study within the physician assistant program by the student’s request and complying with withdrawal policies as spelled out in UVU student rights. Requires a petition to withdraw per UVU Student’s Rights and Responsibilities. Withdrawal from an individual course may not allow a student to progress in the program as per the requirements for progression and therefore may constitute withdrawal from the program.

Academic Deficiency: failure to meet an academic benchmark in one or more courses/summative assessments or professional misconduct.

Student Learning Contract (see Appendix K): an agreement between a student and an assigned faculty member or the Student Progress Committee that explains requirements to correct academic or professionalism deficiencies and consequences of not completing remediation.

Professional Misconduct: failure to behave in a professional and respectful manner as defined by the program.

Informal Incident Report: A written warning to the student about professional misconduct that was reported to the Student Progress Committee by faculty, staff, preceptors, or students.

Formal Incident Report (see Appendix L):A written notification from the Student Progress Committee to the student indicating professional misconduct that warrants probation and outlines a formal remediation plan or SPC decision on student status.


Due to the sequential nature of the curriculum, students must successfully complete all courses for a given semester to be eligible to enroll in courses in the subsequent semester. Students must successfully complete all courses in the didactic phase before they may progress into the  program. The maximum amount of time allowed to complete all program requirements is 39 months. In order to participate in graduation, students must be scheduled to complete coursework within 12 weeks of graduation date.

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences offered during the clinical phase of the program do not follow the semester calendar. Due to timing, as well as complexity of evaluative measures incorporated, student performance is assessed at the completion of each Supervised Clinical Practice Experience to determine progression to the next rotation. (CHANGE OR DELETE)


Students on clinical rotations will build on the didactic training and foundations to take detailed histories, perform physical examinations, give oral presentations of patient findings to the preceptor, and develop differential diagnoses. As the year continues, the student should be able to more effectively come up with an assessment and plan, though this will involve discussion with the preceptor. If the preceptor deems it necessary, students initially may observe patient encounters. However, by the end of the first week, students should actively participate in evaluating patients. As the student hones their skills and abilities and discusses this with the preceptor, there should be enough student progress for the preceptor to feel comfortable in allowing progressively increasing supervised autonomy. (CHANGE OR DELETE)

At the conclusion of each semester, the Student Progress Committee (SPC) reviews each student’s academic and professional performance. Students must be recommended for progression by the SPC to be eligible to take courses in the subsequent semester and continue their progression through the program. At any time a student is identified as at risk for academic deficiency, the SPC may convene to determine an appropriate action.

Students remediating a course or course component may progress to the subsequent semester at the discretion of the SPC.

If a student fails to meet the guidelines of satisfactory progress in a course, the following may occur depending on when the deficiency is identified:

When academic deficiency is identified:

  1. The Course Director communicates the areas of deficiency to the student’s advisor and to the student
  2. Advisor meets with student to elicit his/her understanding of the cause(s) and communicates findings with SPC
  3. The SPC works with the student 's advisor to develop a plan to address the academic deficiency. Plans may include the following:
    1. Test Remediation: test remediation happens after a summative assessment when the score is >75%
    2. Intervention: an activity designed to help students learn specific content
    3. Formal Remediation: activities outlined in a learning contract
  4. Formal Remediation must be formulated in a written student learning contract, individualized and targeted to correct the deficiency. Strategies may include but are not limited to:
    1. Assigning an additional mentor
    2. Tutorial activities with topic-appropriate assignments
    3. Oral presentation(s) to the faculty
    4. Submission of a written paper (topic area to be assigned)
    5. Submission of a literature review with analysis
    6. Written examination (topical or comprehensive)
    7. Objective structured clinical examination
    8. Other remedial activities as deemed appropriate by the SPC
  5. Advisor communicates status of the plan to SPC and course director. Plans to address academic deficiency should be completed in a timely fashion to allow for evaluation and approval for progression.
  6. Incidents of professional misconduct can be reported by anyone to the student advisor, the program director or principal faculty. The student advisor, the program director, or principal faculty will report the professional misconduct to the SPC. The SPC will then determine if the professional misconduct reported warrants action. This action would take the form of an informal or formal incident report. Please see the details under academic standards below.

ACADEMIC STANDARDS (Course Failure, GPA <3.0 and Professional Misconduct)

Despite efforts to remediate deficits, a student may earn a course grade less than a C.

  1. Students must pass each course with a course grade of C or better. Any course grade with a C- or lower is subject to dismissal and is referred to the SPC for evaluation.
  2. Students must maintain an overall GPA of >3.0. Students with an average course grade(s) of B minus (B-), or a GPA <3.0 is referred to SPC for evaluation and will be put on probation and subsequent dismissal. UVU Graduate Student Policies & Expectations can be found here.


  1. Students are expected to pass summative assessments with a score at or above 75%. Summative assessments with a score of < 75% will be evaluated by the course director for test remediation.
  2. Students must successfully remediate any assesment at 80%.
  3. Once an assessment or test has been successfully remediated, the student may progress in the course while retaining the original assessment score.
  4. Students with greater than 2 test remediations per semester or 4 total for the period of didactic training will be referred to the SPC for evaluation with possibility of probation.


Expectations for professional conduct of UVU FS students can be found in the ‘Professional Conduct’ section (section 19) of the student handbook.

  1. Any faculty, staff, or student who has knowledge of a student problem with professional misconduct will report it to the program director.
  2. The program director will refer the incident to the SPC. The SPC will investigate and determine next steps, which may include an informal incident report to the student or a formal incident report with probation.
  3. Recommendations should be shared with directors of courses that may be impacted.
  4. If behavior is egregious, action may include dismissal as recommended by the SPC.

Informal incident reports are not filed in the student’s permanent file unless the issue escalates; they then may become formal incident reports that are placed in the student’s permanent file. Formal incident reports result in academic probation or dismissal.




The process of probation is as follows:

    1. Students who are not making academic and/or professional behavior progress in any component of the program curriculum may be placed on probation. Students placed on probation will receive both verbal and written notification of their status including any requisite conditions of that probation. The criteria used to assess satisfactory progress are:
      1. Students must pass each course with a course grade of C or better. Any course grade with a C- or lower is subject to dismissal and is referred to the SPC for evaluation.
      2. Students must maintain an overall GPA of >3.0. Students with an average course grade(s) of B minus (B-), or a GPA <3.0 is referred to SPC for evaluation and may be put on probation and subsequent dismissal. The UVU Graduate School Policy and Student handbook can be found here.
      3. Students are expected to pass summative assessments with a score of >75%. Summative assessments with a score of < 75% will be evaluated by the course director and the SPC.
      4. No evidence of professional misconduct.
    2. A written letter outlining the terms of probation will be sent to a student for his/her signature indicating:
      1. receipt of a written description of the probation,
      2. an understanding of the terms of probation, and
      3. agreement to the terms of probation.

If a student refuses to sign the letter with the terms of probation, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the program director within ten (10) business days from the date that the probation letter was received. If not submitted within this time period, the student will be held accountable for all of the terms as outlined. During this appeal process, the student may be prevented from participating in program activities.

  1. In the event that the student fails to both sign the letter of probation and submit the letter of appeal within the prescribed time period, the student will be subject to dismissal
  2. Students who have been placed on probation must demonstrate satisfactory progress and comply with any other probationary terms outlined by the SPC and/or program director. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of probation may lead to dismissal.
  3. The length of probation will generally be limited to one semester at a time to allow the student the ability to demonstrate that they have corrected any deficiencies or behavioral misconduct issues. Probationary status will be reviewed by the SPC at the end of each semester. Early review may be considered by student request or at the discretion of the SPC. A student who has met all of the terms of probation for that period of time will be returned to the status of “student in good standing.” Serious issues (e.g., a legal conviction) may incur a longer period of probation, possibly for the duration of the program.
  4. A student who is deemed to present a potential danger to him/herself or others will be immediately suspended and barred from campus and all program activities until appropriate evaluations have been completed and the program receives clearance from the student’s health care provider. In addition, the program reserves the right to seek a second opinion from a neutral party prior to reinstatement.

NOTE: Students on probation may not serve on extracurricular committees, be assigned to clinical rotations outside of a 60-mile radius of the program, and may not serve as a student officer on student committees, organizations, or societies. These students may not participate in the applicant interview process and may not represent the program at profession-related events (e.g., AAPA, CAPA, PAEA, and health fairs).




Students may be dismissed from the program without first having been placed on probation for either academic or professional misconduct issues. Professional misconduct may constitute the sole reason for dismissal from the program.

Dismissal from the FS program is the result of failure to achieve academic grades and/or demonstrate competencies required of all students. Dismissal could occur after unsuccessful efforts at remediating or appealing course grades as described above or for professional issues. Violations of FS and university codes of conduct, technical standards, or community laws may also result in dismissal. The process is described as follows:

  1. SPC reviews student academic and professional progress on every student each semester. This review may include meeting with students to gather more information or give the student opportunity to provide input in person.
  2. SPC makes a recommendation to the program director regarding advancement, remediation, dismissal, or other appropriate action for each student.
  3. Students being considered for dismissal will be given written notification by the chair of SPC of this pending decision.
  4. Students may inspect all written material upon which the proposed dismissal is based.
  5. Students are required to appear before the SPC when a recommendation for dismissal is being considered, however, students may waive their right to such an appearance in writing. Students must notify the SPC chair at least two (2) days prior to the scheduled meeting of their intent to appear.
  6. Students (at their request) will be presented with applicable academic reports and evaluations used by the SPC in making a decision.
  7. Students will have the opportunity to present any relevant information/evidence to the SPC regarding their performance.
  8. A decision for dismissal must be based upon evidence presented at the SPC meeting





Students have the right to appeal decisions made by the SPC and program director but must do so in the prescribed stepwise administrative process described below. A department advisor/ombudsperson will assist the student in understanding the steps of the appeal process.

The reason for appeal should fall into one of three categories:

  1. new information that was not available at the time of the SPC meeting
  2. grade calculation error
  3. bias

Students should be aware that efforts to bypass appropriate administrative procedures will delay or disqualify the student's appeal.

  1. Step one: Students must submit a written appeal to the CHPS Associate Dean who will review all relevant materials and issue a written letter of decision to the student and all relevant faculty ten (10) business days after receipt of the appeal.
  2. Step two: Students who wish to appeal the CHPS Associate Dean's decision may offer a written Letter of Appeal to the CHPS Dean at Utah Valley University within ten (10) business days of receiving the decision from the CHPS Associate Dean. Please note that the ruling of the Dean in the appeal of the Associate Dean’s decision is final and binding.

During the appeals process the student may be prevented from participating in program activities, particularly those appealing a dismissal.


Once a course grade is determined by the course director or faculty of record, students can appeal the grade only through the process outlined below. If a resolution cannot be reached, the student may then advance the appeal to the university level.

The following steps are meant to provide guidance to students endeavoring to resolve grade disputes at the department level.

  1. The student will make an appointment with the faculty of record for the explicit purpose of appealing the grade. At that time, the student should be prepared to submit evidence in support of his/her claim. The meeting will include a second FS faculty member.
  2. If the student is unable to resolve the grade dispute with the faculty of record, the student will make an appointment with the program director to discuss the disputed grade. The program director will assist the student in his/her efforts to resolve the grade dispute.
  3. If the instructor(s) is no longer on campus, the student shall attempt to resolve the grade dispute with the program director. In this instance, the program director shall have the authority to approve a change of grade.
  4. In cases where the faculty of record is also the program director, or in cases where the program director is unsuccessful in assisting the student to reach a resolution, the student will make an appointment with the college dean, who will assist the student in his/her efforts to resolve the grade dispute.

This FS department-level appeal process must be completed before the beginning of the next semester. An unsuccessful appeal at the department level will result in the student being prohibited from progressing to the next semester. The student will be referred to SPC for further action. A student may wish to initiate a university review as soon as the departmental resolution to the dispute has failed. The process for university review is described in the UVU Academic Policies and Standards webpage.

All relevant documents and communication. will be retained by the chair of SPC.




Interruptions of enrollment can cause problems in the continuity of coursework within a professional graduate program and therefore, leaves of absence are generally discouraged and may impact the student’s ability to progress within the standard program timeline. Interruption of studies may only be done for compelling reasons (e.g., maternity/paternity leave, sustained ill health, and extraordinary personal issues). Students requesting a leave of absence must submit a Graduate Student Leave of Absence Request form and meet with the program director.

All graduate students must complete the Graduate Student Leave of Absence form and have it approved by the program director and the UVU Director of Graduate Studies if seeking to take a leave of absence from their studies. Contact the Graduate Studies Office at 801-863-7348 with any questions.

The procedure for requesting a leave of absence is different depending on the reason for the leave:

  1. Medical Leave, if not a medical emergency, must be authorized by the program director. Students returning from a leave of absence must provide a medical clearance stating that they are released to return to full-time student status without restrictions. 
  2. Administrative Leave may be taken when a student is temporarily unable to participate in classes or clinical activities for reasons such as incomplete registration or lack of health clearance. These leaves are generally initiated at the recommendation of the course director and must be authorized by the program director. Students are responsible to inform the program director once they are ready to continue in order to receive approval to resume their course of studies from the program director.
  3. Personal Leave (Voluntary Leave) must be authorized by the program director. It is possible that unexpected circumstances in a student’s life may require the student to take time off from the program. In order to provide the student with the privacy required for some of these issues, reasons for this leave of absence may be discussed solely with the program director. Personal leave is generally discouraged since it may impact the student’s ability to graduate with his or her class and may affect the student’s loan eligibility.
  4. Mandatory Leave may be imposed on the student by the SPC when deemed necessary. Under extraordinary circumstances, the program may mandate that a student suspend all student activities for a specified period of time. Circumstances under which such leave of absence may be initiated include: probability of an infectious disease which would compromise the health of those in contact with the student (e.g., varicella, epidemic conjunctivitis); other illnesses that clearly compromise the student, patients, or others; an allegation of academic or professional misconduct, or circumstances which warrant such action to be taken.

A student must be in “good standing” and making satisfactory progress in order to request a leave of absence. Interruption of studies may only be requested for a compelling reason. The student must petition a leave of absence for a stated period. Students who find it necessary to be excused from registration must request a leave of absence by the last day of registration to drop or add courses. The request should include a timeline for the student’s return.

A student who does not return to enrolled status at the end of an approved period of a leave of absence is no longer considered to be pursuing an advanced degree. Students who fail to apply for a leave of absence or for whom a leave of absence has been denied (or has expired) are subject to policies governing continuous enrollment and readmission.

For additional information and possible outcomes, please refer to the following information on the UVU Graduate Studies website





A student who leaves the university without obtaining a formal leave of absence from graduate studies is not automatically readmitted. A student wishing to apply for readmission to the forensic science program must reapply in the next admissions cycle.

Leave of Absence

When a student on an official leave of absence is ready to return to the program, the student must give the program director advanced notice in writing to initiate the re-entry process. Students must submit a letter of intent to return to the program director at least ten (10) business days prior to their expected return or as outlined in the original approval letter. Failure to follow this process may result in the student’s delay in expected progression through the program.

Administrative or Personal Leave: When a student on administrative or personal leave is ready to return to the program, he/she must contact the program director for authorization and to discuss terms of re-entry.

Medical Leave: Medical leave of absences are under the purview of the program director and handled on an individual basis. Notification that a student is able to return from leave should be done as soon as the student is released by their provider to return to full-time student status.

Mandatory Leave: Students on mandatory leave will be required to meet with the SPC prior to re-entry into the program. Depending on the phase of the program and the length of time away, it may not be possible to continue coursework in that same semester. This may impact the student’s ability to progress within the standard program timeline.

All students returning from a leave of absence will be required to meet with either the program director or the SPC to ensure that they are capable of meeting the technical standards of the program, and to determine if they are eligible for continuation of their training.

Students who have taken a leave of significant length may be required to repeat some parts of the program or the entire program, as well as any remediation activities determined by the SPC before resuming their original position within the program. Students returning from a leave during their clinical phase of training may be required to repeat some or all of their course activities. Whether a student has a clinical assignment immediately available to them when they are ready to return to active student status depends on the availability of clinical training sites.

Students should be aware that successfully completed courses may not be repeated for credit. Any coursework or clinical instruction deemed appropriate by the SPC for the student to retake in order to return the student to an appropriate level of progression, may require the student to audit courses without credit. Since university registration is required for this process, the student must be willing to bear both the time and financial consequences.

A student who is granted leave of absence is expected to complete all missed coursework and/or courses. If the leave of absence will disrupt the completion of didactic courses in which the student is enrolled, the student may be required to decelerate. The requirements to return after a leave of absence must be concluded within a twelve (12) months period of time. A leave of absence is permitted only ONCE during the didactic year. The longest a student may take to complete the program is a 39- month time period. Any leave of absence, deceleration or remediation must be completed within a (12) months period of time.




Deceleration is any disruption in the student's progress due to academic deficiency that will extend the date of graduation beyond that of his/her cohort. The length of deceleration will be determined by the SPC if it is part of a remediation plan or studentlearning contract. Upon deceleration, the student will be required to demonstrate competency upon return to the program. This could be in the form of a written comprehensive examination, practical examination, retaking previously passed courses and/or participating in a student learning contract while on leave.  The type of assessment will be determined on a case by case basis.  Because courses in the physician assistant program are offered only once per academic year and serve as prerequisites for subsequent courses, deceleration typically lasts for one year during the didactic curriculum.  The requirements to prove competency after deceleration must be concluded within a twelve (12) months period.  A leave of absence or deceleration is permitted only ONCE during the didactic year. The longest a student may take to complete the program is a 39-month time period. Any leave of absencedeceleration or remediation must be completed within a (12) months period of time.


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Students are permitted to withdraw from the program at their discretion following the university defined procedure (see UVU Policy #503) and complete appropriate forms.

Withdrawal from an individual course will not allow a student to progress in the program as per the requirements for progression and may therefore constitute a withdrawal from the program.

To officially withdraw from the university, a student must report to the UVU Registrar’s Office. Students wishing to withdraw should also consult with the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if stipulations associated with the financial aid package will lead to changes in the financial statement.

You can officially withdraw from a course by dropping it through the online registration system by the listed date.  If you officially withdraw from a course by the "Last Day to Drop and Not Show on Transcript," the course will not appear on your academic transcripts.  If you officially withdraw from a course by the "Last Day to Withdraw," a "W" will appear on your transcripts.  Although your GPA will not be affected — a "W" will indicate that you chose to withdraw.  If you fail to complete the course and do not drop it before the "Last Day to Withdraw," a "UW" or "E" (a failing grade) will appear on your transcripts.

Withdrawing from a course may impact your financial aid status. For more information, see: UVU Financial Aid.


This provides an opportunity for students to petition the registrar and department chairs for a withdrawal, based on extenuating circumstances, occurring after the established withdrawal deadlines. These are considered exceptions to the withdrawal policy.


Students who find themselves in extenuating circumstances beyond their own control that prohibit attendance or participation in currently-registered classes may petition through the UVU Registrar's Office for withdrawal.

See the UVU Petitions website

See All-inclusive Withdrawal Exception form

See Graduate Student Withdrawal from Graduate Program form






UVU Department URL Phone
Police 801-863-5555
Emergency Management 801-863-7977
Emergency Information 801-863-INFO (4636)
Student Health Services 801-863-8876
Facilities & Planning 801-863-8130
Office of Risk management 801-863-5823
Environmental Health & Safety 801-863-8560










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