Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes and clinic shifts, and special seminars as required. Students are responsible for all assignments and for the content of all classes. Anticipated absences from class need prior approval. Students should arrange for classmates to take notes in the event of excusable absence, such as serious illness or injury, childbirth, and death in the immediate family. A student who has more than three absences from a class, or has missed more than 20% of the class content may not receive credit for that class. Tardiness may be counted as absence at an instructor’s discretion. Students are responsible for arranging to make up any missed work with the instructor, and must make up all assignments and/or exams in order to receive course credit.
Leave of Absence
A student may request a Leave of Absence (LOA), which allows him/her to interrupt study while maintaining current registration. The request for a LOA must be made in writing and is reviewed by the President or Academic Dean. Permission is usually granted for any of the following reasons:
- Medical problems and maternity leave.
- Financial difficulties.
- Personal situations that warrant the student to temporarily suspend attendance, such as compulsory military service.
- Emergency in the student’s immediate family.
The expected date of return must be specified, and an LOA is normally limited to no more than sixty days. After sixty days, students on LOA are dismissed and must re-enroll in order to return to AAAOM. While a student is on LOA he/she is responsible for tuition payments which must be paid in their entirety before the student resumes attendance.
Students whose LOA extends beyond 60 days who wish to re-enter the program will need to re-apply under the admission policies then in effect and, if applicable, take all tests in courses which they have not fully completed. All missing work must be made up. Students on LOA must contact the Academic Dean in writing at least one week prior to the expiration of the LOA in order to arrange resumption of classes.
Student academic records are maintained in permanent files in the Administration Office. A student record contains all documents relating to a student’s activities at AAAOM including but not limited to: admissions, quarterly registration, tuition payments, correspondence, comprehensive exam scores, tuition agreement form, and health documents. Students must keep the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine informed of their current addresses and phone numbers.
Student interns and observers must document all clinical treatments and observations, to be signed by supervising faculty. These records must be handed in at the end of each quarter for administrative record-keeping. Students in clinic are required to follow federal regulations in regard to protected healthcare information.
All students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress throughout the program to remain enrolled. Each trimester a minimum of fifteen credit units must be accomplished for full-time students. A minimum C average must be maintained for all courses taken in an academic year. “Satisfactory” must be achieved for all clinic work. A passing grade must be achieved for any comprehensive, demonstrative or oral examination. A student who does not maintain this minimum average will not be able to enroll for the subsequent academic year. Students who receive a failing grade in any course will be required to repeat that course, or complete appropriate remedial work with a passing grade, prior to continuation in advanced course work. Tuition for repeated courses will be assessed at current tuition rates.
In order to ensure that students have regular review by both faculty and administration, three points have been identified for evaluation:
- At completion of one year of enrollment, all student records are evaluated for strengths and weaknesses and if remedial work is required, competence in the specific area must be demonstrated by the next evaluation.
- Upon completion of the sixth trimester, students, if needed, will be advised of their strong and weak areas.
- Both the preclinical examination and comprehensive examination provide evaluation of program learning outcomes which are used as checkpoints for a student’s ability for continuing within the program.
AAAOM uses two comprehensive examinations to determine the readiness of students to advance to the next phase of the program.
Preclinical Examination: This examination is given at the end of the sixth trimester. It is designed to test students on their comprehension, retention and ability to apply all material covered during the first two years, including Chinese medicine theory, Chinese medicine pathology and diagnostics, meridians and point location, acupuncture techniques and treatment principles, clean needle techniques, Chinese herbology and Western biomedicine. Students must pass the written and practical components with a minimum average of 70% to advance to the next stage of study and practice, in which they will begin Group and Independent clinical practice.
Comprehensive Examination: This examination is given at the end of the eleventh trimester to test students on their comprehension, retention and ability to apply all material covered from the first through eleventh trimesters of the program. Chinese medicine theory, Chinese medicine pathology and diagnostics, meridians and point location, acupuncture techniques and treatment principles, clean needle techniques, Chinese herbal materia medica and formulas, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine clinical applications and Western biomedicine covered during this period are included. Students must pass the written and practical components with a minimum average of 70% to graduate from AAAOM.
Students who do not make satisfactory academic progress are placed on academic probation, with one trimester to make up the deficiency through an approved study plan. The student is notified of probation status and this is recorded in the student’s file. The student must then submit a study plan to the Academic Dean for approval and is required to complete the approved study plan concurrent with his or her regular course load. Once each section of the study plan is completed, faculty responsible for the curriculum in the student’s areas of difficulty certify the student to be eligible for re-examination. When all deficiencies have been removed by passing these examinations, the student is readmitted in good standing to the program. Failure to complete all study plan requirements within one trimester will lead to reevaluation and possible dismissal from the program. A student on academic dismissal may apply to the Academic Dean for reinstatement and must provide evidence that shows an improved likelihood and capacity for academic success.
Student Professional Conduct
AAAOM students must conduct themselves in a professional, respectful and ethical manner in their relationships with their fellow students, instructors, staff members and patients. Unprofessional conduct on school premises or in class includes, but is not limited to: reading newspapers and unrelated books in class; talking during lecture or while someone else has the floor; shouting at others; demonstrating lack of respect for others with differing opinions; consistently arriving late for class; causing distractions to others; unreasonable demands to the instructor or administration; behavior which constitutes sexual harassment.
Students who display unprofessional conduct during class will be asked to leave the class. Behavior which occurs in school and which is disruptive to the educational process or the rights or safety of any individual must be reported to the Academic Dean. Depending on whether it is a disciplinary, academic or interpersonal issue, the Dean will either handle the matter directly or refer it to the appropriate resource. Initial and subsequent incidents of unprofessional behavior will be handled in the sequence of verbal warning, written warning, academic probation and dismissal from the program.
AAAOM has adopted the following drug and alcohol abuse policy to protect the health and well-being of the school, its students and employees: The possession, use or sale of alcohol and/or unauthorized or illegal drugs, or the misuse of any legal drugs on school premises, is prohibited and will constitute grounds for dismissal from the program. Any student under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on school premises will be subject to discipline, including dismissal from the program. Students should advise the Academic Dean of any use of prescribed drugs which may affect the student’s judgment, performance or behavior.
AAAOM encourages truthful and frank dialogue among students, between students and faculty, and between students and the administration. In order to facilitate communication and satisfactory resolution of grievances, the following process should be followed:
- The individual with the grievance should first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the individual or parties concerned.
- If this dialogue fails to resolve a grievance, the individual (whether a student, or member of the faculty or administration) may arrange a meeting with the Academic Dean for appropriate consideration and resolution of the problem.
- If, after step 2, the individual still believes the grievance has not been dealt with satisfactorily, he/she may make a written request to the Academic Dean for a hearing with an AAAOM Grievance Committee. A Grievance Committee, appropriate to the issue, will be formed of three members, including faculty, student and/or administrative personnel (who are not involved in the grievance). This Committee will be chosen by the President, unless the President is involved in the grievance, and then the choice will fall to a member of the Board of Directors who is not involved in the grievance. The hearing for the grievance will be held within 30 days from the date the written request is received by the Academic Dean or the President, and will be resolved before this committee.
- After the decision of the Grievance Committee, if the individual believes the ruling is unfair, he/she may choose to contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education at 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, telephone number: 651-642-0567; or the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347; email: email@example.com; Telephone (952) 212- 2434; Fax (952) 657-7068. Web site: www.ACAOM.org for further assistance.
Student Rights and Privileges
All members of the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, including faculty members, administrative staff, Board Directors, and Advisory Board members have a primary mission of assisting the student’s academic progress, as effectively as possible, towards the completion of graduation requirements. At AAAOM, students have the right and privilege to receive an appropriate educational program; to be informed about all school policies which pertain to students; to attend the college in an academic and social climate free from fear and violence; to be free from harassment, threats, or intimidation which create a hostile or offensive learning atmosphere; to utilize the learning resources pertaining to students; and to receive fair and reasonable treatment from those who enforce AAAOM policies. Students have the right to bring their concerns about academic or administrative rulings or procedures to the relevant department. It is the student’s responsibility to be informed of their rights and responsibilities.
The AAAOM Student Handbook is the student’s guide to the official policies and procedures of AAAOM. The Handbook is distributed to all entering students and is also available upon request. Students are expected to be familiar with all of the policies and procedures contained in the Handbook.
The AAAOM Clinic Handbook is the student’s guide to the official policies of the AAAOM Student Clinic. The Handbook is distributed to all students entering clinic observation and is also available upon request. Students are expected to be familiar with all of the policies and procedures contained in the Handbook.
Grades are determined by taking the average of all exam scores, with instructors reserving the right to adjust the final grade based on other academic factors, such as class participation, attendance, overall comprehension, effort and trimester improvement. Letter grades are assigned for all didactic and non-clinical training courses. Clinic training courses are assigned a “Satisfactory” or “Non-Satisfactory” grade. See the following tables.
|Numerical Grade||Letter Grade|
Completing the program of acupuncture and Oriental medicine at the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine requires four years of academic credit. In order to complete the program and receive the Master of Science Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, students must meet the following requirements:
- Complete all required course work with at least a cumulative “C” average and all clinical work with an “S” grade.
- Achieve at least a 70% passing grade on AAAOM’s Comprehensive Examination.
- Complete at least 360 treatments and 72 different cases utilizing TCM treatment modalities in clinic practice.
- Satisfy all financial obligations to AAAOM.
In order to complete the program and receive the Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree, students must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of all required course (both didactic and clinical) work. A minimum of 62 credits and 1,260 clock hours must be completed with a cumulative 2.5 grade point average or “S” grade.
- Satisfactory completion of the capstone research project.
- Satisfy all financial obligations to AAAOM.