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Identification and support process for foundational courses that are underperforming or not meeting expectations

It is important to note that identification of a course as underperforming is considered a continuous quality improvement (CQI) opportunity.

Identification: An “underperforming” Course or Block is identified on IREA-generated cross-course evaluations after 75% of student response has been gathered. The cross-course report will be reviewed by the respective curriculum subcommittee annually in September. A course or block with any metric that is < 75% good+excellent or strongly agree+agree is considered to be “underperforming.” Metrics for courses include: Overall course rating, Objectives clearly defined, Formative assessments reinforced learning, Summative assessments reflected course objectives, I was treated with respect. Metrics for blocks include the overall assessment only. These metrics are triggers for further analysis of the course’s performance. A course or block will be considered underperforming until the annual review demonstrates improvement to above the 75%. If a course continues to be below the 75% after two course cycles it will be considered non-compliant.  The Education Policy Committee (EPC) Chair & Co-Chair will review the determination of underperforming courses at the October Rules Committee Meeting with Subcommittee leadership and the Senior Associate Dean of Educational Affairs (SADEA). Other data sources that may lead to identifying a course as underperforming include high faculty turnover, areas of deficiency identified during the annual review by the Senior Associate Dean to the EPC, or recurrent lower than average but above threshold metrics on the cross course reports or per the SADEA or EPC discretion.

Support and Action Plan for Underperforming Courses

For courses or blocks deemed to be not meeting expectations for the first time: Course/Block leaders should review Course and Clerkship Leader Guide . A student focus group should occur during this first cycle of intervention. The course leader is encouraged to meet with the assistant dean for undergraduate medical education and the assistant dean for foundational curriculum. Other optional supports include the subcommittee chair, EPC officers, academic technology and the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA.) A plan will be designed by the course leader and block leader (if applicable) in consultation with the course leadership team and presented to the subcommittee chair or to the subcommittee in the annual course report, dependent upon timing of that course report in the academic calendar.  This plan should be beyond the scope of a typical course review.

If the course continues to not meet expectations in the following (2nd consecutive) academic cycle: A working group will be led by the course leader or designee, and may include representatives from Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, CAA, (Office of Student Affairs, if a learning environment issue is involved) , a student curriculum representative, a faculty at-large representative, an EPC officer, a course administrator from a different course, and the subcommittee chair.  The working group final composition will be at the discretion of the subcommittee chair in consultation with the SADEA and the EPC leadership. This working group will review course data in comparison to other courses, the course report as well as other appropriate data and meet with the course leadership team who will respond to working group questions, and may also choose to conduct a student focus group. They will create an action and monitoring plan for the coming academic cycle.  The action plan may include a faculty coach, if indicated.

If a course is still not meeting expectations after 2 cycles, the course will be considered non-compliant: The EPC will recommend to Office of Educational Affairs (OEA) that independent, outside consultation be sought for additional strategy.


The course or block leader should: lead this working group review process as requested, include identification of their course as underperforming during their course report to their respective subcommittee, carry out the plan approved by the subcommittee chair in the first academic cycle, carry out the plan approved by the working group in the second academic cycle (if applicable). The improvement plans should be discussed as part of the CQI portion of their course report.

The Subcommittee Chair should: identify underperforming courses in their annual report to the EPC, participate in the October EPC Rules meeting where underperforming courses are identified, facilitate the population of the working group in the second phase, participate on the working group, be available to the course leader for issues carrying out the improvement plan at both levels. The timeline for interventions and countermeasures will be set after discussion with the EPC leadership and will be based on course calendaring.

The EPC Chair should: ensure that underperforming courses are identified annually, conduct the October Rules meeting to identify underperforming courses and review cross course reports,  set time expectations for the working group to deliver their recommendations and report underperforming courses to the SADEA. The timeline for interventions/countermeasures will be set after discussion with the EPC leadership and will be based on course calendaring.

As we transition to CR22 foundational courses will be absorbed into blocks and clinical courses reconfigured.  The strategies that are part of the outlined improvement plans (at any phase) for a LInC course should be continued in the new curriculum and reported on during the first annual block & rotation reports in the new curriculum to the respective subcommittees.. The blocks/rotations, themselves, will not be considered underperforming based on LInC status.

EPC | AY2020-2021