College of Optometry (CO) 2023–2024 114 Clinic Courses Students must pass all prerequisite didactic courses before participating in related clinics. Failure of a prerequisite didactic course will limit the options for externship sites and may delay graduation. All didactic courses in the first year and the fall term of the second-year program curriculum are considered prerequisite courses for entrance into the clinical education program. All didactic and clinical courses in the first, second, and third years of the program curriculum are considered prerequisite courses for the clinical externship program. It is imperative that students demonstrate proficiency in various optometric procedures prior to admission into the clinical education program. In the interest of patient safety and quality eye care, students must pass the clinical skills proficiency examinations prior to beginning clinic courses in which patient care is delivered. Failure to pass the clinical skills proficiency examinations after three attempts will result in a mandated dismissal. Students who have been out of clinic for an entire semester or more as a consequence of a leave of absence, an administrative break in enrollment, an academic or disciplinary suspension, or readmission after dismissal or voluntary departure from the program must take and pass the proficiency examination again as a condition to reentry to clinic. If it is determined that a student’s performance is unacceptable and/or may be detrimental to the health and welfare of the patients, any instructor in the clinical program may recommend the removal of a student from direct patient care to the chair of the Department of Clinical Education. In the event the recommendation is upheld, the student will receive a failure for the course and will be placed on academic probation and may be subject to dismissal. The Student Performance Advisory Committee (SPAC) The Student Performance Advisory Committee (SPAC) shall advise the dean on matters concerning student failures, dismissal, promotion, administrative breaks in enrollment, and other academic issues. This committee may consist of the associate dean for Academic Affairs acting as the chair; the department chairs for clinics and clinical science; and a panel of additional faculty members who will be appointed by the dean biannually. The assistant dean for Student Affairs and Admissions shall be an ex officio member. A quorum shall consist of five voting members. All members, except the ex officio member and the chair of the SPAC, are voting members. Any faculty member issuing a failing grade to a student resulting in the student’s appearance before the committee may be present to discuss the student’s performance and answer questions, but will recuse from voting or participating in deliberations on that student. Any faculty member with a reasonably perceived conflict of interest will also recuse from the meeting. The committee shall generate its rules of procedure and transmit them to the dean. The dean will notify the committee of the dean’s decisions concerning cases heard by the committee, including the disposition of appeals. The SPAC hearing will proceed under the direction of the chair, and summary notes of the meeting must be taken. The student will be notified of the date, place, and time of the hearing via the student’s NSU email account. Any student who fails to appear at the designated place, date, and time will automatically waive the right to appeal. The student will be present only during the student’s testimony. At this time, the student will have the opportunity to present the student’s position and provide statements and evidence in support of the problem(s) leading to the academic issue and/or decision.