Academic Grading, Promotion, and Graduation Policies
VCOM students are evaluated for promotion and graduation based on core competencies consistent with
osteopathic core competencies required at the medical student level. The competencies include communication
skills, problem solving skills, clinical skills in patient care, osteopathic philosophy and manipulation, medical
knowledge, and professionalism and ethics. In the first two years of the medical curriculum examinations are used
to test student’s medical knowledge and standardized patient exams are used to test communication, clinical
reasoning, differential diagnosis skills, and physical diagnosis skills. Knowledge of osteopathic philosophy and
manipulation is tested through written examinations and OMM practical exams. Knowledge regarding
professionalism and ethics is tested by examinations.
In the clinical years these same competencies are measured in the application to patient care. Through observation,
clinical faculty complete the Clinical Rotation Evaluation Form. The student is evaluated on knowledge, clinical
decision making and problem solving skills, communication skills, professionalism and ethics, physical diagnosis and
problem solving skills, and osteopathic philosophy and manipulative medicine skills. Additional VCOM values of
altruism, skill and empathy in caring for those from underserved populations are also evaluated. Medical knowledge
is also assessed through post-rotation exams. Students have end of year testing following the OMS 2 and OMS 3
years to assess comprehensive medical knowledge and clinical performance. Grades are issued and become a part of
the permanent record.
In all four years students are assessed as to whether or not they are making academic progress on the basis of their
performance of assignments, written and practical examinations, their evaluations in the clinical setting, their
performance on COMSAE, and performance on national osteopathic board examinations.
Students who are not performing well are initially referred to The VCOM Center for Institutional, Faculty, and
Student Success. The Center meets with each student to develop an individualized academic plan and can arrange
services such as tutoring. These students should also arrange a meeting with the Course Director. Those students
who continue to be unable to make satisfactory progress in passing all courses and requirements are evaluated by the
Promotion Board. The Promotion Board, in the process of determining eligibility for promotion or graduation,
may consider the results of the student assessments, attendance, conduct and potential professional attributes in
making final determinations.
Students are evaluated for promotion at the end of each block and the end of each academic year based on meeting
all requirements of the academic year. Students may be given a conditional pass for In Progress (IP) grades, but
require a passing grade for full promotion.
COMLEX exams are required for graduation; therefore, a student must pass COMLEX exams in the expected time
frames to make academic progress. Please refer to the COMLEX section of the Catalog for further detail.
Grades are recorded on the transcript at the end of each block and the end of each year. Enrolled students in good
standing may download their own unofficial transcript at any time, free of charge, through the Student Information
System (SIS). The student academic progress records, transcripts, MSPE, and diploma copy are maintained as a part
of the permanent record for lifetime.