Dec 10, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog/Handbook 
    
2019-2020 Catalog/Handbook

Admissions, Records and Registration


     

Admissions

Admissions Office

The Admissions Office helps students move from applicant status to acceptance into the University. The office ensures that applicants meet the required guidelines for admissions and helps the Admissions Committee in selecting the most qualified students.

Student Acquisition Teams

The Student Acquisition Team consists of Enrollment, Admissions, and Student Services. This team is responsible for providing preadmission, admission, and registration services to prospective students, current students, and alumni. These offices oversee, coordinate, and administer multifaceted activities and student-centered services that include recruitment programs, preadmission advisement, admissions, registrar functions, and alumni services. The staff value excellent customer service, timely and accurate communication, professionalism, and teamwork.

Admission to the University Degree Programs

University students are admitted on the basis of their academic abilities and professionalism. The Student Acquisition Team coordinates the admissions for all degree-seeking students on all campuses in conjunction with the appropriate Program Director and the First Professional Admissions Committee or Post-Professional Admissions Committee. Students who wish to enroll in only the noncredit Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Seminars register through CPE Registrations.

Admission to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ programs is competitive. The USAHS admissions process is holistic and may include a review of academic credentials, resume or vitae, personal statement, recommendations, GRE and TOEFL reviews, observation or practicum hours and for some programs the process culminates in an admissions interview.

Admission to USAHS is indicated by a formal digital admissions letter sent to the candidate from the Office of Admission offering a seat into the class and program for the approaching term.  Accompanying each admission’s offer is an enrollment agreement.  This agreement is signed by the student and a USAHS representative and specifies the conditions under which USAHS will provide instruction to the student. Additionally, information on costs for the specific program are included. A completed copy of the enrollment agreement is provided to the student and saved in USAHS’ permanent files.

Application for Admission

To be considered for admission, all candidates must submit the following:

  1. An online application
  2. Official transcripts from each college or university previously attended An official transcript is one that is sent directly to the Admissions Office by the Registrar of the issuing institution or one forwarded in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution.
  • A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university for MOT, OTD, and DPT.
  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree for the PPOTD and the tDPT programs.
  • A master’s degree for the EdD program. 
  • A bachelor’s degree for the MHS and MHA programs.
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the MSN and BSN-DNP programs. Applicants must submit transcripts showing degree conferral of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If select courses (usually science courses—see below) were taken at institutions other than the degree conferring institution, USAHS may request those transcripts be submitted as well.
  • A Master of Science in Nursing for the MSN-DNP program. Applicants must submit transcripts showing degree conferral of a Master of Science in Nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) or Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) or equivalent for MS-SLP, including prerequisite coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.0, that includes a minimum of three credits completed in the following basic sciences, no more than 5 years old (recommended) and completed with the grade of C or better (required):
    • Biology
    • Chemistry or Physics
    • Statistics
    • Behavioral or Social Science
  1. GRE scores sent directly to the University by Educational Testing Service. For those who have earned a master’s degree previously, this requirement is waived. MHA, MHS, MSN, tDPT, PPOTD, and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates applicants are also exempt from this requirement.
  • For MS-SLP applicants, GRE must not be older than 5 years. Recommended combined minimum GRE score of 294 for verbal and quantitative sections. Analytical writing score is also evaluated. Applicants must apply through CSDCAS; USAHS’ Institution Code is 2300. 
  1. A comprehensive background check requiring fingerprints and drug screen will be administered during the admissions process (first professional OT, PT, MS-SLP, MSN, DNP, and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate candidates only). The background checks are completed at the applicant’s expense.
  2. Current resume or curriculum vitae
  3. Observation hours as follows:
  • MS-SLP applicants: A minimum of 25 observation hours in a speech therapy setting with an ASHA-certified SLP is required. Volunteer opportunities and work experiences do not meet the requirement.
  • Entry-level DPT applicants: A minimum of 80 volunteer or observation experience hours (volunteer hours, work hours, observation hours, etc.) in a physical therapy setting is required.
  • Entry-level MOT and OTD applicants: A minimum of 40 volunteer or observation experience hours (volunteer hours, work hours, observation hours, etc.) in 2 different occupational therapy settings (20 in one setting and 20 in another) is required.
  1. References as follows:
  • Nursing programs: Professional references submitted electronically.
One from a nurse educator (clinical or academic) familiar with the applicant’s ability to do academic work and
one from an immediate supervisor (e.g., nurse manager), preceptor, or mentor familiar with the applicant’s clinical skills.
  • MS-SLP: Two letters of professional recommendation (e.g. professor, supervisor, or employer) on professional letterhead (recommended).
  • MOT and entry-level OTD: References from either two licensed occupational therapists (preferred) or from one occupational therapist and one faculty member or academic advisor.
  • DPT: References from either two licensed physical therapists (preferred) or one physical therapist and one faculty member or academic advisor.
  • MHS: One recommendation from a professional colleague.
  • MHA: Two letters of reference.
  • PPOTD: Two recommendations from professional colleagues.
  • EdD: Two recommendations from professional colleagues.
  1. Professional license as follows:
  • MHS: For those interested in the Athletic Training Specialization, residents of the United States, Canada, and Ireland will need to provide evidence that the applicant is a Licensed Athletic Trainer (LAT), and/or a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), a Canadian Athletic Therapist (CAT) or an Athletic Rehabilitation Therapist Ireland (ARTI).
  • NURSING: Evidence of an unrestricted/unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. This licensure status must be maintained throughout the entire program.
  • PPOTD: Applicants should be a licensed occupational therapist or be eligible for licensing and should be employed as an occupational therapist or have a minimum of one year’s experience as an occupational therapist. USAHS MOT graduates may enter the program without a license but must be licensed and employed as an occupational therapist by the second term of the PPOTD.
  • tDPT: It is expected that all applicants are licensed or eligible for licensure in the United States; however, those international students who are not planning to pursue licensure in the United States are exempt from this requirement. If the student plans to complete a clinical residency, he or she must be a licensed physical therapist in the state where the residency is located.
  • EdD: Copy of professional license, if applicable
  1. Writing samples, essays, statements of purpose as follow:
  • NURSING: Essay demonstrating scholarly writing of approximately 500 words describing the applicant’s short- and long-term career goals and how he or she plans to achieve those goals.
  • MS-SLP: A writing sample is required and must be of two, double-spaced pages in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. The writing sample must answer the following question: Why do you think you can make a difference in Speech-Language Pathology?
  • MOT, Entry-level OTD, DPT: Statement of purpose: a short statement of why you wish to pursue physical therapy or occupational therapy as a career and why you chose USAHS for that pursuit.
  • MHA: Statement of purpose.
  • EdD: Writing assessment.

Nursing Additional Requirements

  • Applicants are not required to submit transcripts for nondegree related coursework certificates. Only transcripts that match the student’s academic history as noted on the application will be required; however, the following science courses may trigger a request for a transcript if not on the transcript of the degree conferred for all MSN and BSN-DNP applicants:
    • Anatomy and physiology
    • Pathophysiology
    • Microbiology
    • Physical assessment
    • Pharmacology
    • Professional resume or curriculum vitae-showing an equivalent of 1 full-time year (2000 hours) of experience as a registered nurse by the beginning of the first practica course - updated 10/07/2019
    • Essay of approximately 500 words demonstrating scholarly writing and describing short- and long-term career goals and the plan to achieve these goals.
    • A comprehensive background check requiring fingerprints and drug screen will be administered during the admissions process.
    • An interview may be requested.
    • If the applicant completed his or her education in a foreign country, the applicant must submit an original copy of a degree credentialing evaluation from an agency recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). The evaluation must indicate previous education at the minimum level of a baccalaureate degree earned at an accredited college or university in the United States for BSN-entry DNP program and a minimum level of a master’s degree earned at an accredited college or university in the United States for MSN-entry DNP program.

 

USAHS MSN-DNP

In order to streamline the admission of USAHS MSN graduates into the DNP program, an abbreviated application process has been developed. This abbreviated process will be applicable only if the USAHS MSN graduate applies for admission to the USAHS DNP program within one year from their MSN graduation date. Exceptions to this time limit will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Director of the School of Nursing.     

USAHS MSN graduates applying to the DNP program will be required to submit the following:

  • An online application.
  • An email endorsement from the student’s USAHS faculty advisor.
  • An email from the Registrar stating that the student is in good standing and expected to graduate on a specific date.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Evidence of an unrestricted/unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license; nurses working in a federal facility, such as a Veterans Administration Medical Center, and completing their practica in that facility need to hold an RN license deemed appropriate by that facility.
  • An official request to the USAHS Registrar to have the official transcripts from the USAHS MSN program added to the admissions application for the DNP program.

Note: If the applicant fails to graduate from the MSN program, admission to the DNP program will be rescinded.

 

MS-SLP Additional Requirements

  • Students may apply for the MS-SLP program while enrolled in an undergraduate program or while completing prerequisite coursework. Students must submit a plan of study with the application indicating all remaining courses that will be completed prior to program enrollment. Leveling courses for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in an area other than Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) or Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) include the following courses:
    • Speech Anatomy and Physiology
    • Audiology and Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits) or Audiology (3 credits) and Aural Rehabilitation (3 credits) or Fundamentals of Hearing (3 credits)
    • Normal Speech & Language Development
    • Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorder (if degree held is other than CSD or SLP)
    • Phonetics
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 calculated on program prerequisites may be required; however, the grade trend of the applicant will be considered.
  • An on-site or virtual (e.g., via Skype or Face Time) interview may be required.

 

Additional requirements for Domestic, International, and/or Foreign-Educated Students

International applicants from a country where English is not the primary language, who did not complete their undergraduate degree in English, or if deemed necessary by the Director of Admissions must provide an official TOEFL score report. The minimum Internet-based TOEFL score requirement is 89 (including sectional minimums of 26 in speaking, 24 in writing, 21 in reading, and 18 in listening). The date of the reported test must fall within 2 years of the application deadline.

If the applicant completed his or her education in a foreign country, the applicant must submit an original copy of a degree credentialing evaluation from an agency recognized by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). If the NACES-approved evaluation service includes a copy of the evaluated official transcripts with the evaluation, USAHS will consider these transcripts as official. The evaluation must indicate previous education at the minimum level of a baccalaureate degree (or master’s degree, if required for the program) earned at an accredited college or university in the United States. The following are among agencies approved for this purpose; additional evaluators can be found on www.naces.org.

World Education Services, Inc.
Bowling Green Station
PO Box 5087
64 Beaver Street, #146
New York, NY 10274-5087
www.wes.org
International Education Research
Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
www.ierf.org
   
AACRAO International Education Services
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 520
Washington, DC 20036-1135
[email protected]
Joseph Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
www.jsilny.com

Note: The University follows a policy of not disclosing reasons for nonacceptance of a candidate.

Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation includes presenting information known as false and with the intent of obtaining employment or admission to an educational program at USAHS. Statements made and documents supplied by USAHS applicants and students must be complete and accurate. The University will not tolerate any misrepresentation by a student or applicant of past or current academic programs, degrees, or professional accomplishments. If unexplained discrepancies appear between statements or documents provided to USAHS and information obtained otherwise, except in the case of misspellings and other such inadvertent errors, applicants may be rejected for admission and enrolled students may be dismissed.  

Notice to Veterans Affairs or other Government Employees

USAHS may, at times, offer discounted tuition, scholarships, or other benefits to eligible students or prospective students enrolling in USAHS.  Pursuant to the standards of the Executive Branch, it is the student’s responsibility to consult his or her employer prior to receiving such a discount, scholarship, or other benefit to confirm with the student’s employer to ensure he or she is in compliance with any policies or procedures required by an employee in that position.  Further, Veterans Affairs (VA) employees are prohibited from being involved in any recommendations, decisions, approvals, or disapprovals that could affect USAHS. 

VA employees who administer VBA educational benefits are required to obtain a waiver from their employer in order to take classes from a For-Profit Educational Institution (FPEI), such as USAHS.  For all other VA employees, a waiver is required if they own an interest in, receive a salary or wage from, or receive gifts from an FPEI.  As such, students are advised to consult with their employer to obtain any required approvals prior to enrolling in the University or accepting any discounts, scholarships, or other benefits.  Failure to receive the required governmental approvals prior to acceptance could result in corrective action by the student’s employer and/or other penalties, and it could impact the student’s ability to remain enrolled in the University. USAHS makes no representation or guarantees that a student’s or prospective student’s enrollment or acceptance of a discount, scholarship, or other benefit offered by the University is in compliance with standards of the Executive Branch.

International Students Applying for Admission

The full-time First Professional Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs in San Marcos, California; Austin, Texas; St. Augustine, Florida; and Miami, Florida, are approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to admit international students who require an F-1 student visa. The Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States” addresses standards for immigrant, nonimmigrant, and refugee entry into the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea and Venezuela (certain government officials). The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed this version of the Executive Order to go into effect immediately, which could impact a student traveling from these countries to the United States. With the exception of nationals of North Korea and Syria, students entering the United States on F Visas may be exempt from the ban. As the requirements of the Executive Order are subject to change, there is no guarantee that students from any of the banned countries will be able to enter the United States. Affected students are advised to contact immigration resources in their area for specific information on how the Executive Order may apply to their individual situation. If a student visa is not required for attendance, non-U.S. citizens may participate in all other degree programs. In addition to the items listed above, the following must be submitted prior to issuance of the I-20:

  • Financial statement/letter indicating commitment (from parents, government, etc.) to financially support tuition and living expenses for the duration of the degree program.

Records and Documents Submitted for Admission Processing

All documents submitted to the University in support of an Application for Admission become the permanent possessions of the University and cannot be returned to the applicant under any circumstances. Students are, therefore, urged to make copies of important documentation and maintain their own files.

Orientation

All new First Professional students are required to attend an in-person orientation as well as complete an online orientation. Orientation activities include payment of tuition, submission of the vehicle registration information required for parking decals, introduction to University departments, and a review of the Catalog/Handbook.

Prior to beginning online courses, all new Post-Professional students will receive a username, password, and directions for logging into the course platform. Students should sign into the MyUSA portal Post-Professional tab and view a short tutorial on navigating the Blackboard learning portal. This will provide the student with general information about online learning and assist in navigating the platform software used to complete online courses. Information about the Student Readiness Orientation and preparatory materials will be sent to the student by the Academic Program Advisor.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

USAHS offers a range of courses for individuals who wish to apply as a non-degree seeking (NDS) student. 

Admissions

Students in NDS status must have a bachelor’s degree and where indicated they may need to be a properly credentialed professional and meet the appropriate pre-requisite requirements. When credentialing/licensure is required, it will be noted as a pre-requisite requirement in the Catalog/Handbook.  

Students in NDS status are required to submit an application to take courses at USAHS.  The NDS application can be found on our website. International students in NDS status are subject to the same TOEFL requirements as degree-seeking students. 

The ability to take courses as a student in NDS status does not indicate acceptance into the University. Furthermore, the successful completion of one or more courses does not indicate acceptance into the University or guarantee a more favorable review of an applicant seeking acceptance into a degree program.  Students in NDS status who want to undertake a degree program are required to apply and be admitted to a specific degree program.   

Registration

Students in NDS status cannot register for more than 15 credits per term.*  Students in NDS status will register for classes on a space-available basis and regular degree-seeking students will receive registration priority.  Students in NDS status are not permitted to enroll in courses that involve clinical or internship experiences.   

Students in NDS status are given grades and may request academic records. Students in NDS status will be prohibited from enrolling in additional courses if they receive 2 unsuccessful grades.  An unsuccessful grade is a D+, D, F, or W. Students are also subject to all policies governing student conduct as found in the Catalog/Handbook.       

Credits earned by students in NDS status at USAHS may be transferred to a degree program at USAHS and are subject to the rules outlined by the University credit transfer requirements.  Please note that no more than 25% of an academic degree may be transferred from courses completed as a student in NDS status.

* Exception: Students taking SLP leveling courses or foreign-trained PT’s seeking licensure may take up to 21 credits per term

Financial Aid/Bursar

Students in NDS status are not eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid and tuition must be paid prior to the course beginning.  Students in NDS status may be eligible for private loans.

Licensure

The successful completion of courses taken by foreign and domestic trained therapists does not guarantee licensure in the United States.  Individuals must meet the entry-level requirements of the respective state to be licensed in that state.

University Student Services

Access to the following student services are included as part of the per-credit tuition rate for students in NDS status.

  • Academic Advising
  • Writing Center
  • Registrar
  • Counseling
  • Library
  • New Student Orientation portal and materials
  • Technology services and support

 

Students in NDS status are also eligible to secure access to on-campus Wellness Centers by paying the term-based fee.

Records, Registration, and Degree Requirements

Records

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for maintaining the official academic records for all students who enroll in academic degree programs. Student records and transcripts are maintained electronically and are kept indefinitely. Holds may be placed on students’ records, transcripts, grades, or registration because of financial or other obligations to the University. The satisfaction of the hold is required before a release can be given.

Address Changes

A student’s legal home or permanent address (mailing address) is taken from the Application for Admission and subsequently, the returned completed Enrollment Agreement. It is the student’s responsibility to update their address. Current students should submit address changes through the MyUSA portal My Info tab. Alumni should email address updates to [email protected].

Name Changes

Requests for a change in the name as it appears on the respective student’s academic record must be made in writing and accompanied by a copy of one of the following: social security card, drivers’ license, passport, military ID, divorce decree, or professional license bearing the student’s new name. The name change form may be found on the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, under Forms.

Status Change—Withdrawal or Leave of Absence

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the program or take a leave of absence must complete the required documentation and send it to the Faculty Advisor for signature and forwarding to [email protected]. Program Withdrawal and Leave of Absence forms may be found on the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, under Forms.

Registration

All MOT, OTD, DPT, and MS-SLP students will be “block” registered by the Registrar’s Office prior to each term for the regularly scheduled courses. Any student not following the planned curriculum should work with his or her advisor and submit an advisor-approved schedule to the Registrar’s Office as early as possible for next term registration. Delay in the submission of the alternate schedule may delay Financial Aid packaging.

MHA, MHS, MSN, DNP, EdD, tDPT, PPOTD, and PG Nursing Certificate students register for coursework online. Log into the MyUSA portal, select the Student Services tab, then select the Registrar tab, and choose Post-Professional Registration. From there, students will be able to register for coursework and step-by-step instructions are provided. If assistance is required regarding registration, consult the Program Coordinator.

To register for Continuing Education seminars, please go to the Continuing Education link on the University’s website at www.usa.edu. If assistance is needed please call 1-800-241-1027 x1400.

Course Withdrawal

DPT, MOT, OTD, MSSLP

Students wishing to withdraw from a course should submit the Course Withdrawal Form available in the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, under Forms. The withdrawal period is 1 week after classes begin until 3 weeks before the last day of class (not to include finals). A student may not have more than one W in any course. After two program Ws, the student will be notified by the Registrar. A third program W must be approved by the instructor and the Faculty Advisor. A student requesting a fourth W will only be approved under extenuating circumstances by the Academic Progression and Retention Committee (APRC) and the Program Director. Students need to be in contact with the Financial Aid Office when withdrawing from a course. All appeals throughout the course withdrawal process will be heard by the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC).

MHA, MHS, EdD, MSN, DNP, tDPT, PP OTD, Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates

Students wishing to withdraw from a course should submit the Course Withdrawal Form available in the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, Forms link. A student may drop a course up until the first complete week. The withdrawal date is 1 week after the course has started. A student cannot have more than one W in any course. After three program W’s a student will be referred to the Academic Progression and Retention Committee (APRC).

Enrollment Certifications

National Student Clearinghouse is the University’s authorized agent for providing enrollment verifications through its Student Self-Service program. Students can print enrollment verification certificates free of charge through the MyUSA portal, My Info tab (there is a link to Clearinghouse Self-Service).

Transcripts

To ensure the confidentiality of student records, the University issues official transcripts of academic information only by written or electronic signature from the student or graduate using Transcripts Plus. Students will pay a $3.00 convenience fee for each request submitted and an additional $2.25 fee for each paper transcript requested. For electronic transcript delivery only the $3.00 convenience fee is charged. Transcripts, as well as grade reports, will not be issued for any student with an outstanding obligation to the University. For more information on ordering transcripts please visit the MyUSA portal, My Info tab, My Transcripts link. Alumni may order transcripts by going to the Alumni link on www.usa.edu, About tab and following the link on the Alumni page.

Grade Reports

Grades and unofficial transcripts can be obtained online through the MyUSA portal, My Info tab.

Course Availability (for Distance Learning and Electives)

It is the student’s responsibility to work with an Academic Advisor to verify the availability of a course and to make scheduling adjustments if he or she must take the course during a particular trimester to continue on a path to completion. 

Course Schedules

It is the student’s responsibility to check the syllabus for due dates of assignments or dates of examinations. If an online course is self-paced (accelerated), a student may complete assignments as he or she is ready. However, the student will be provided with a time frame or due date for completion of the course. It is the student’s responsibility to check the syllabus and confer with faculty for complete information on schedules, assignments, and due dates.

Transferability of Course Credit

NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION: The transferability of credits students earn at USAHS is at the complete discretion of an institution to which a student may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree earned at USAHS is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which the student may seek to transfer. If the degree earned at this institution is not accepted at the institution to which the student seeks to transfer, the student may be required to repeat some or all of his or her coursework at that institution. For this reason, students should make certain that their attendance at this institution will meet their educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which a student may seek to transfer after attending USAHS to determine if the degree will transfer. The University actively pursues a policy of requesting other graduate programs to accept our credits for transfer. However, the University has not entered into an articulation or transfer agreement with any other college or university.

Washington State residents

The transferability of credits earned at University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is at the discretion of the receiving college, university, or other educational institution.  Students considering transferring to any institution should not assume that credits earned in any program of study at USAHS will be accepted by the receiving institution.  Similarly, the ability of a degree, certificate, diploma, or other academic credential earned at USAHS to satisfy an admission requirement of another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution.  Accreditation does not guarantee credentials or credits earned at USAHS will be accepted by or transferred to another institution.  To minimize the risk of having to repeat coursework, students should contact the receiving institution in advance for evaluation and determination of transferability of credits and/or acceptability of degrees, diplomas, or certificates earned.

Program and/or Location and Post-Professional Specialty Change

All program change requests will be considered on an individual basis and are contingent on space availability.

Incoming Students - Program Change

Incoming (new) students who want to request a change of their admission to another degree program must make a request in writing (email is acceptable) to the Director of Admissions at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the trimester. To be considered, the student must have successfully completed all the required prerequisites for the program to which he or she is requesting to change. The Director of Admissions will notify the student via email of the outcome of the request. Note: The start and completion dates may be extended for students who change degree programs.

First Term and Beyond Students - Program Change

Program Change Request Forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s office ([email protected]) by midterm of the trimester. Program change requests not received by the midterm deadline will be considered during the subsequent trimester. To be considered, the student must have successfully completed all the required prerequisites for the program to which he or she is requesting to change.

In order to be considered for a program change, a student must be in good academic standing at the time of the request; program change requests will not be considered from students who are currently remediating or retaking coursework, who are under review for appeal or professional misconduct, or who are on academic probation. Program change requests from students who are on an approved leave of absence will be considered. Note: Program completion dates may be extended for students who change programs. Students will be required to sign and return a new Enrollment Agreement prior to beginning the new program.

Location Change

Students who wish to change to another campus location to complete their program must submit a Campus Location Change Request Form, available on the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, Forms link, to the Registrar’s Office ([email protected]) by midterm of the trimester prior to the requested change. Such requests will be considered on an individual basis and are contingent on space availability and the student must be in good academic standing. Campus location changes will not be considered from students who are currently remediating or retaking coursework, who are under review for an appeal or professional misconduct, or who are on academic probation. The student will be notified of the outcome of the location change request via email from the Registrar’s Office. Note: Program completion dates may be extended for students who change campus locations. Students will be required to sign and return a new Enrollment Agreement prior to beginning at the new location.

Post-Professional Specialty Track Change

Post-Professional Specialty Track Change Forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s office ([email protected]) by midterm of the trimester. Specialty change requests not received by the midterm deadline will be considered during the subsequent trimester. To be considered, the student must have successfully completed all of the required prerequisites for the specialty to which he or she is requesting to change.

To be considered for a specialty change, a student must be in good academic standing at the time of the request. Specialty change requests will not be considered from students who are currently remediating or retaking coursework, who are under review for appeal or professional misconduct, or who are on academic probation. Specialty change requests from students who are on an approved leave of absence will be considered. Note: Program completion dates may be extended for students who change specialties. Students will be required to sign and return a new Enrollment Agreement prior to beginning the new specialty.

Campus Exchange Program (MOT, DPT)

Students who wish to study at a USAHS campus other than their home campus for one trimester may apply to do so, provided their program is available at another campus and they meet qualifications described below.

At this time OTD students are not able to participate.

A student who wishes to exchange must meet the following criteria:

  • A student must be in good academic standing.
  • A student must not have any misconduct issues in his or her record.
  • A student must receive his or her Program Director’s approval.
  • A DPT student must be willing to exchange in Term 3, 4, or 6 (due to internships, scheduling, graduation, and other factors). Flex DPT students should consult with the Program Manager to discuss options.
  • An MOT student must be willing to exchange in Term 3, 4, or 5 (due to fieldwork experiences, scheduling, graduation, and other factors). Flex MOT students do not currently have this opportunity unless they are requesting a transfer to a campus-based program.
  • A student must be willing to guarantee his or her own travel and lodging arrangements (students may want to consider contacting the other campus’ student association leaders to see which students at the other campus may have room occupancies available due to internships or other factors).

A student who believes he or she meets the criteria must complete the following process in order to become an exchange student:

  1. Fill out the Campus Exchange Application found on the MyUSA portal, Student Services tab, Forms link.
  2. Submit the completed application (and application fee) to the student’s home campus Program Director no later than the end of the fourth week of the trimester preceding the trimester the student wishes to exchange.
  3. Await Program Director’s approval (students should note that although they meet the criteria, they may not be approved due to classroom seat availability or other factors).

For students who participate in an exchange, the following apply:

  • If a student receives a grade while on the exchange that requires repeating a course, the student will be expected to repeat the course at his or her home campus in the following trimester.
  • A temporary advisor on the host campus will be assigned to the exchanging student during the trimester in which the student is exchanging.
  • Academic progression for the student will occur on the host campus on which the student exchanges for the trimester the student is on that campus.
  • Professional misconduct issues will be handled on the campus at which the incident took place.
  • The appeal process will be handled through the student’s home campus appeals committee.
  • Tuition remains at the home campus rate.

Reenrollment Timelines

A USAHS MOT, OTD, DPT or MS-SLP program graduate who decides to seek admission to another USAHS First Professional degree program must enroll within 3 years of his or her graduation date or he or she may be required to retake foundational (HSC) coursework and complete additional internship/fieldwork experiences. To be considered for admission to another First Professional degree program, a USAHS graduate must submit a completed Application for Admission to the Admissions Office; however, transcripts and GRE score reports do not need to be resubmitted with the new application.

Dual-degree students who delay beginning the DPT portion of the program after receiving the MOT degree must re-enroll in the DPT program within 3 calendar years or they may be required to complete additional foundational coursework and/or internships in order to complete the second degree. To re-enroll, a returning dual-degree student must notify the University Registrar in writing (email is acceptable) at least 6 weeks before the start of the trimester of his or her intent to resume classes.

Liability Release and Claim Waiver

Students are asked to sign a general Liability Waiver Form on behalf of the University prior to their participation in any athletic or extracurricular event while in residence. A copy of this form is located on the MyUSA portal, Students tab, Forms link. These forms are maintained in the University’s files for record-keeping purposes.

Student Information and Records Notification of Rights Under FERPA

Student educational records at USAHS are governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include the following:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day USAHS receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar, Dean, head of the academic department, or another appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
     
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

    A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants to be changed, and specify why it should be changed.

    If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
     
  3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the USAHS in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person serving on the board of directors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of USAHS who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for USAHS.
     
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by USAHS to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is as follows:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Release of Student Information

USAHS complies with the provisions of Public Law 93-380, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, in reference to student records.

Students must consent to the release of any student information other than directory information to any person or agency. This consent must be in writing, signed, and dated. The consent must specify the information to be released, the reason for the release, and the names of the individual or agency to whom the information is to be released. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for fulfilling requests for student information.

Student Identity Verification

The student identity verification process occurs on multiple levels. First Professional students, who are required to wear University-issued student identification badges, are on campus either during the week or on weekends so their identity is verified in this manner. All students are provided with a secure account for the MyUSA portal to access the e-learning platform. They must utilize a user name and password to log in and complete their work. The proctoring requirements ensure that for courses without physical presence the student will be seen, identified, and verified. Lastly, all programs have a built-in physical presence that allows for verification of personal identity and student work. This is done through residencies, seminars, comprehensive examinations, capstone and dissertation presentations, and internship/fieldwork experiences. Many online courses have also added a video component to a required assignment.

Degree Completion/Graduation

The following requirements must be met for a student to be eligible for graduation:

  • Each student must satisfactorily complete all courses and be in academic good standing.
  • All financial obligations to the University or its subsidiaries must be paid in full.
  • The student must submit an application for graduation by the deadline for the term in which he or she wishes to graduate.
  • The student must attend at least one approved professional conference (OT, PT, SLP).

Should a student be unable to successfully complete one of the final courses but has successfully met all other degree requirements, the student may be allowed to walk at commencement with the respective cohort class. The candidate will sign an acknowledgment regarding participation in the ceremony. The candidate will be “hooded” during the ceremony but will not receive a diploma. If the coursework is completed within the first 7 days of the subsequent term, the diploma and transcript notation will reflect the cohort’s conferral date. Should the coursework be completed after the first 7 days of the subsequent term, the diplomas will be issued and the transcript notation will be dated to reflect the subsequent conferral date upon degree completion.

All degree requirements must be completed before approval to graduate is given by the respective Program Director. Formal commencement ceremonies take place three times per year at the conclusion of each trimester on each campus.

Confirmation of a degree is posted to the official academic record on the last day of the term. Degrees will not be conferred until all academic and financial obligations have been successfully met. The graduation fee is paid at the time the student submits the Application to Graduate Form.

Honors designation is given to students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.50–3.64. High Honors designation is given to students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.65–4.0. The cumulative GPA is calculated through the final trimester of coursework and is not rounded.

Note: Acceptance in the University and payment of tuition (on a trimester-by-trimester or course-by-course basis) is not a contract assuring that the student will graduate with a degree.

Awards

Outstanding OT, PT, MS-SLP and Flex Student Awards

The MOT, OTD, DPT and MS-SLP programs recognize an outstanding student of the respective graduating class. This award is based on the criteria listed below and is given to the graduating student whose characteristics most support the OT, PT, or MS-SLP program mission statement. The outstanding OT or MS-SLP student award is chosen by a combined vote of his or her fellow classmates and program faculty. The PT student award is chosen by a vote of the program faculty.

Outstanding Student Awards Criteria

  Professionalism Demonstrates the ability to act as a member of the health care team and to be involved in the advancement of occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology.
     
  Clinical Reasoning Applies logic and critical thinking skills for the improvement of a patient’s welfare as well as to enhance the recipient’s own career.
     
  Ethical Standards Demonstrates appropriate principles and values.
     
  Commitment to Continued Professional Growth Possesses a continuing desire to acquire knowledge and advance the occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology.
     
  Responsibility Is dependable and assumes responsibility for one’s own actions.
     
  Leadership Is willing to be involved in student and/or professional activities.
     
  Initiative Is resourceful and self-directed.
     
  Constructive Skills Maintains a positive attitude and demonstrates creative qualities.

Stanley V. Paris and Catherine E. Patla Award

The Paris and Patla Award is presented to a DPT graduate in recognition of excellence in spinal and extremity manual therapy in professional physical therapy education.

Scholastic Achievement Award

The Scholastic Achievement Award—named for the founding Program Director on each campus—is presented to the PT, OT, and MS-SLP graduate who has achieved the highest cumulative GPA. Grades from both foundational science courses and professional courses are included in the cumulative grade point computation.

Other Awards

Patricia King Alumni Award for Professional Excellence

The Patricia King Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus of the University’s Post-Professional programs in recognition of commitment to professional development and achievement in the advancement of clinical practice.

Recognition for the Fellowship in Manual Physical Therapy

The University’s Fellowship in Manual Physical Therapy is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association and recognized by the American Academy of Manual Physical Therapists. This postgraduate program includes a minimum of 1 year of clinical mentoring as well as didactic learning.

Replacement Diploma

Replacement diplomas may be obtained by contacting the Registrar’s Office at 800-241-1027 ext. 1600 or [email protected]. The fee is $25.00 plus $5.00 for shipping.

Licensure Forms

All forms required for state licensure for new graduates and alumni will be completed by the Registrar’s Office at no cost. Form requests may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to USAHS Registrar 1 University Blvd. St. Augustine, FL 32086 or 700 Windy Point Dr., San Marcos, CA  92069

Health Records (OT, PT, MS-SLP, and Nursing)

The University sets guidelines and monitors student medical data at matriculation and during the student’s enrollment. Each student is required to provide a completed Student Medical Record Form to be kept on file by the Clinical Education Office by the date provided each term.  Detailed instructions regarding required medical records are sent to new students prior to registration. Failure to submit the Student Medical Record Form will prevent the student’s participation in practicum, internship, and fieldwork clinical experiences. Completion of these documents is required and is the responsibility of the student. The student is responsible for all associated costs.