Policy on monitoring of student progress and termination of advising relationship

Each student will be evaluated by the entire Program faculty during a faculty meeting at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, and the results of this evaluation will be provided to each student in the form of a letter from the Directors on behalf of the entire faculty.

Each advisor must provide the Advising Committee with a written evaluation of student progress, listing any significant accomplishments and/or deficits, in advance of the evaluation meeting.  They should recommend that the student be considered to have made either Satisfactory Progress or Unsatisfactory Progress.  This evaluation is independent of whether a student is on Academic Probation.
Prior to the meeting, the Advising Committee should evaluate student academic progress and determine whether the student should be placed on academic probation (see Policies on Satisfactory Academic Performance and Probation).

Faculty may not terminate their advising relationship, nor communicate their desire to terminate their advising relationship, until the procedures described below have been followed.
Students who are found by the faculty to have made Unsatisfactory Progress shall receive written notice of this finding, including a list of measures that need to be taken in the next semester to be considered to have made Satisfactory Progress upon the next evaluation.  Upon recommendation of the advisor, a student found to have made Unsatisfactory Progress for two or more consecutive semesters will be terminated from the program.

Thus the earliest time that a faculty advising relationship may be terminated (other than by withdrawal of the student from the program or change of advisor), is at the end of the second consecutive semester in which the student has made Unsatisfactory Progress.

While complying with the above procedures, advisors are free and encouraged to communicate their personal evaluations of progress, suggestions for future directions, and measures to be taken to remedy any deficits as frequently as they desire.  At the discretion of the advisor, copies of such communications may be provided to the Program Directors for placement in the student file.

After successful completion of the thesis proposal defense, the primary responsibility for monitoring of student progress falls upon the thesis committee.  The committee shall meet with the student at least once per year, and more often if desired or needed.  Prior to the meeting, the student shall prepare a written report briefly outlining the goals of the project, summarizing cumulative progress to date, and detailing progress since the last committee meeting.  The committee shall prepare a written report evaluating progress, a copy of which shall be sent to the student, the thesis advisor(s), and the Directors.  The report shall clearly indicate whether progress is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, and if Unsatisfactory, shall describe those measures that need to be taken in the next semester to be considered to have made Satisfactory Progress upon the next evaluation.  While a student is considered to be making Unsatisfactory Progress, committee meetings must take place at least once per semester.

For students who have successfully completed their thesis proposal defense, the most recent thesis committee meeting report may be substituted for the written evaluation by the advisor.  The progress of these students will be briefly discussed by the faculty and they will receive also receive an evaluation letter from the whole faculty.