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John D. Bower School of Population Health 2023 – 2024 Student Handbook

SOPH Student Handbook 2023-2024 Cover

CONTENTS

Select a topic below to jump to a section.

INTRODUCTION
ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

INFORMATION POLICIES

FINANCIAL SUPPORT
STUDENT RESOURCES

STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Last revised February 2024.

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INTRODUCTION

Purpose of Student Handbook

The John D. Bower School of Population Health (SOPH) Student Handbook, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) Bulletin, and PolicyTech are the primary sources of policies and procedures for SOPH students. Individual departments and academic programs in the SOPH may also have additional student policies, procedures, and guidelines, and they may be obtained from the Program Director of each program. The Student Handbook presents information, which at the time of publication, accurately describes student-related policies. The Student Handbook is neither a contract nor an offer to contract. The SOPH may revise the Student Handbook, policies, and procedures at any time without prior notice. Additional SOPH student-related policies and procedures may be found in Workday.

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History

The John D. Bower School of Population Health at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson was established in 2016 by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

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Mission

The mission of the John D. Bower School of Population Health is to provide world-class graduate training to prepare the next generation of scientists and health care professionals to improve the health of individuals, populations, and communities through enhancing health care systems and health policies.

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Vision

The John D. Bower School of Population Health is protecting populations by addressing the multiple determinants of health.

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Administration and Departmental Leadership

Administration

Dean: Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Affairs: Kedra M. Wallace, Ph.D., MS

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs: Victoria M. Gholar, DNP, RN, PMH-BC

Assistant Dean of Scholarly Innovation: Jennifer C. Reneker, PT, MSPT, Ph.D.

Departmental Leadership

Department of Data Science

Chair and Program Director: TBD

Department of Population Health Science

Interim Chair and Program Director (MS and Ph.D. Programs): Jennifer C. Reneker, PT, MSPT, Ph.D.

Certificate and Executive MS Program Director: Victoria Gholar, DNP, RN, PHM-BC

Department of Preventive Medicine

Chair: Joshua Mann, MD, MPH

Residency Director: Brian Williams, MD, MPH

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Certificate Programs

The John D. Bower School of Population Health offers programs leading to Certificates.

Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Analytics

Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Population Health Science

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Degree Programs

The John D. Bower School of Population Health offers programs leading to Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.

Master of Science Degree Programs

Executive Master of Science in Population Health Management

Master of Science in Biostatistics and Data Science

Master of Science in Population Health Science

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics and Data Science

Doctor of Philosophy in Population Health Science    

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Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Master of Science (MS) Degree SLOs

A student who completes a master's degree should:

  • demonstrate mastery of a body of knowledge in the discipline; the level of the material and/or the extent of mastery must be above that for the baccalaureate degree,

  • use and/or understand the basic methodologies of the discipline

  • retrieve, evaluate, and utilize information relevant to the discipline

  • communicate, both orally and in writing, in a manner and level of proficiency that is standard for the discipline

  • conduct research or produce creative work (for thesis MS)

  • function as a professional in the discipline (for non-thesis MS) 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree SLOs

A student who completes a doctoral degree should:

  • demonstrate broad and advanced knowledge within the discipline

  • successfully use a range of methodologies of the discipline

  • independently perform original research

  • communicate effectively

  • function as a professional in the discipline 

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ACADEMIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

All policies and procedures referenced below may be found in PolicyTech.

Admissions and Degree Requirements

Requirements for admission into the SOPH and successful completion of degrees may be found in the SOPH Admission Requirements policy.

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Transfer of Graduate Credit

With the approval of the program director and the Dean of the SOPH, a limited amount of graduate credit earned at another recognized institution may be accepted toward degree requirements at UMMC per the SOPH Transfer of Credit policy.

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Required Technology and Software

Every student is required to have a laptop computer that meets the minimum requirements for both PC and Mac computers. Students should purchase a laptop meeting or exceeding these requirements from regular retail channels. Students are personally responsible for the maintenance/repair of their laptops. All students are required to maintain up-to-date virus and spyware detection software on their laptops. Students should acquire their laptops before orientation. Specific departments or academic degree programs may have additional requirements for computers and/or software.

At a minimum, a student's computer configuration should include:

  • Speakers and a microphone/headphones with a built-in microphone

  • Webcam

  • Wi-Fi and/or Ethernet connection (Broadband connection to the internet and related equipment)

  • Windows 10 operating system

  • Microsoft Office Suite installed

  • Antivirus and spyware software

  • Updated Adobe Flash Player and Oracle Java

  • Firefox, Google Chrome, and/or Internet Explorer browser

A student may also need access to:

  • USB ports

  • Printer 

Visit the UMMC Software Portal (The Hub) to see a complete list of available software. Students have the option to download the Microsoft Office suite for free while enrolled. Visit https://portal.office.com/account for more information.

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Onboarding and Orientation

SOPH students must complete all onboarding requirements in Workday, UMMC General Orientation in Canvas, and SOPH Student Orientation in Canvas before their first semester course registration. SOPH students are required to continuously maintain all components of the SOPH Student Orientation course in Canvas.

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Enrollment

Once students are accepted into a program, they must be continuously enrolled in classes until the degree is completed or they have been granted a leave of absence (LOA) as outlined in the SOPH Enrollment policy.

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Registration

Registration for classes is not permitted unless an applicant has received official notification of acceptance into a specific SOPH academic program or enrolled as a non-degree seeking student (NDSS). No credit is given for any course for which a student is not officially registered.

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Course Load and Fees

Current tuition and fees can be found on the UMMC Estimated Cost of Attendance and Tuition webpage. Tuition is subject to change pending information from the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). A full-time course load in the SOPH is outlined in the SOPH Course Load policy.

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Compliance Training

All students must complete compliance training per the SOPH Student Compliance Training policy.

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Responsible Conduct in Research

All students are required to complete training in responsible conduct in research and research ethics. 

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Mandatory Immunizations

All students are required to comply with the UMMC Healthcare Professional Student Immunization Requirements policy

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Dress Code

All students are expected to dress appropriately and professionally per the SOPH Student Dress Code policy

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Distance

Students in distance education programs will have access to student learning resources and student support services needed for degree completion per the SOPH Distance Education policy. Policies that apply to traditional (i.e., face-to-face) courses also apply to distance education courses. 

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International Travel for Non-Citizen Alien Students on Stipend

Non-citizen alien students receiving a stipend will be allowed a maximum of three (3) weeks of leave time for international travel per the SOPH International Travel for Non-Citizen Alien Students on Stipend policy. The International Student Travel and Leave Request Form must be submitted.

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Grading

Grades for academic credit are awarded per the SOPH Grading policy.

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Grade Forgiveness

Grade forgiveness for academic credit is based on the SOPH Grade Forgiveness policy.

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Student Progression

Students' academic progress must be evaluated at least semi-annually by program directors, once at the end of the fall semester and again at the end of the spring semester, as outlined in the SOPH Student Progression Semi-Annual Review policy.

A student enrolled in the Bower School of Population Health must remain continuously enrolled and make adequate progress toward their degree program. An MS degree must be completed six (6) years from the date of first registration in the degree program. A Ph.D. degree must take no more than five (5) years following admission to candidacy.

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Good Academic Standing

The SOPH Good Academic Standing policy defines a student in good academic standing as one who is making acceptable progress toward a graduate degree and who is eligible to register for and pursue academic coursework at UMMC for the current semester. Students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their studies. 

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Adding or Dropping a Course

Classes may be added or dropped per the SOPH Add/Drop Course policy.

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Academic Probation

The SOPH monitors student progression, and if at any time during an academic year a student is not in good academic standing, the student will be placed on academic probation per the SOPH Academic Probation policy

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Withdrawal

Registration in an academic program makes the student responsible for completing the course of study unless the student withdraws from the curriculum per the SOPH Withdrawal policy. The Withdrawal Request Form must be submitted. Any student who fails to remain continuously enrolled in their program and does not request an official leave of absence by the last day to register for the semester will be administratively withdrawn from the SOPH per the Withdrawal from Courses and/or Withdrawal from Programs policies. 

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Leave of Absence

Leave of absence (LOA) from school may be granted by the Dean or designee per the SOPH Leave of Absence policy

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Dismissal

Students may be dismissed from the SOPH for cause per the SOPH Student Dismissal policy.

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Appeal of Dismissal

Students have the right to appeal a dismissal from the SOPH per the SOPH Appeal of Dismissal policy.

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Academic Integrity and Student Behavior

Students are expected to conduct themselves ethically and professionally and with the utmost integrity according to the SOPH Academic Integrity and Student Behavior policy.

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SOPH Student Survey

Students are encouraged to complete the SOPH Student Survey, an anonymous online survey, at the end of each academic year. The results are used to assess and improve the academic environment.

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Student Publication Requirement

Students enrolled in a SOPH Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program must have their research accepted for publication before awarding the degree per the SOPH Student Publication Requirement policy.

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SOPH Capstone, Thesis, and Dissertation

SOPH Master of Science programs may require a thesis. SOPH Doctor of Philosophy programs require a dissertation as a requirement for graduation and degree per the SOPH Capstone, Thesis, and Dissertation policy.

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Graduation and Commencement

Degrees are awarded at the end of each semester. Formal commencement ceremonies are held once each year at the end of the academic year (May). All graduates are encouraged to participate in commencement exercises. To be eligible for graduation and commencement, a student must complete all degree requirements and apply for program completion and graduation.

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Latin Honors

Latin Honors are awarded to master's degree recipients who have completed at least thirty (30) hours of credit in resident at UMMC and have achieved a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.70 or higher during the duration of their degree program. Latin Honors awarded include Cum Laude (3.70 – 3.79 GPA), Magna Cum Laude (3.80 – 3.89 GPA), or Summa Cum Laude (3.90 or higher GPA).

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Non-Degree Seeking Students (NDSS)

Individuals who wish to take SOPH courses but are not students in a UMMC academic degree program may apply as NDSSs per the SOPH Non-Degree Seeking Student policy. The Non-Degree Seeking Enrollment Request Form must be submitted.

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INFORMATION POLICIES

Information Policy

Students must comply with the UMMC Information Asset Management Policy (search for on PolicyTech) to reduce risk by protecting and supporting confidentiality, availability, and integrity of information assets.

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Social Media

All students must comply with the UMMC Policy and Guidelines for Personal Use of Social Media.

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Email

As users of the UMMC email system, students are expected to comply with the UMMC Information Security Management Program Policy in PolicyTech. The email system may not be used for illegal or unlawful activities. Email users are expected to use the services professionally and respectfully. Email is the official mode of communication, and students are expected to check their UMMC email accounts regularly.

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FINANCIAL SUPPORT

SOPH Graduate Student Stipends

PhD students may receive SOPH Graduate Student Stipends per the SOPH Student Stipends policy.

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SOPH Dean's Scholarship

The SOPH Dean's Scholarship is a full-tuition recruitment scholarship that may be awarded to PhD students for outstanding academic achievement.

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Loans

Students may apply for funding through various loan mechanisms. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine their eligibility.

More information regarding SOPH stipends, scholarships, and tuition, may be found on the SOPH Stipends, Scholarships and Tuition webpage.

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STUDENT RESOURCES

Associated Student Body (ASB)

The ASB of UMMC serves as the governing body of all students. The SOPH is represented in the ASB by the SOPH Student Body leadership.

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SOPH Student Body

The SOPH Student Body serves as the planning organization for all SOPH students. The SOPH Student Body leadership positions are elected by current SOPH students each academic year. 

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Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers a comprehensive program of student support services through the Office of Academic Affairs, which includes but is not limited to Student Services, Student Success, Student Financial Aid, Student Accounting, Enrollment Management, Student Health, and Police and Security. 

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Office of Student Success

The Office for Student Success provides the following University of Mississippi Medical Center services.

Student Success Series (S3) Promoting academic achievement, career development, and professionalism through educational seminars and small group events. To access detailed information about Student Success Series, access the webpage. 

Academic Success Kiosk The Academic Success Kiosk (ASK) is an online, self-paced resource available to students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. ASK addresses time management, study skills, and professionalism. To register, complete the Register for ASK online form.

University Tutoring Services University Tutoring Services is a peer tutoring program available to students experiencing academic difficulty who are currently enrolled in the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Supportive instruction is provided by peers with similar educational backgrounds. To request tutoring, complete the Request Tutoring online form.

Academic Tools and Resources The Office for Student Success provides links to multiple external resources for additional information regarding study strategies and academic effectiveness.

Academic Accommodations The Office for Student Success manages academic accommodations at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. UMMC policy provides for reasonable academic accommodations to be made for students with verified disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis as specified under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). For more information, individuals should review the Office for Student Success webpage or contact the office directly. To request academic accommodations, complete the Request for Academic Accommodations form available on the webpage.

Writing Collaborative Providing a supportive, non-evaluative environment intended to help students improve their confidence and competence in writing.  To request services from the Writing Collaborative, complete the form found on the website.

Excellent Teacher Promoting effective teaching and encouraging professional development in residents, fellows, and faculty in online, self-paced courses.

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UMMC Student Complaints

Students have the right to complain without fear of retribution or retaliation from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) or its employees. For more information, see the UMMC Student Complaint Policy.

Students are encouraged to directly contact the specific school or individual office on campus to address their concerns or complaints. Students may also submit formal written complaints to the Office of Student Affairs using the UMMC Student Complaint Form.

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Student and Employee Health

The Student Employee Health Department manages and documents adherence to health requirements, provides occupational preventive health services such as immunizations and tuberculosis screening, provides an initial assessment of occupational injuries, manages post-exposure assessment and prophylaxis for students experiencing blood/body fluid exposures, and cooperates with Infection Prevention in identifying, tracking, and quarantining/isolating students with documented exposure to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pertussis, and COVID-19. 

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Student Assistance Program

TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks) is a student and Employee Assistance Program (EAP). TELUS Health is a confidential EAP and an exciting and innovative well-being solution available to all UMMC employees, their family members, and UMMC students.

TELUS Health can help you feel supported 24/7, 365 days a year, with a confidential EAP that can support you anytime, anywhere with work, health, and life. TELUS Health offers help with personal and work-related issues.

TELUS Health can help you manage your reactions with well-being articles, podcasts, digital programs, tools, and resources when the world around you gets stressful. Whether you have questions about handling stress at work and home, parenting and child care, managing money, or health issues, you can turn to TELUS Health for a confidential service that you can trust!

Access TELUS Health

Beginning October 1, 2022, users may follow the below instructions to access TELUS Health:

  1. Go to https://login.lifeworks.com/.
  2. Log in with the username and password.
    1. Username: ummc / Password: ummceap

OR

  1. Download the LifeWorks mobile app from the AppStore or Google Play on your mobile device.
  2. Log in with the username and password.
    1. Username: ummc / Password: ummceap

OR

  1. For EAP or live support 24/7, call: 1-844-664-0379

For technical support, visit https://help.lifeworks.com/hc/en-us, and submit a request.

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Student Counseling and Wellness Center

The Student Counseling and Wellness Center is available to UMMC students and offers assistance with managing the stresses and difficulties of daily life inside and outside the classroom.

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International Services

International Services provides professional support and advising services to international faculty, staff, students, and scholars and serves as a resource to all departments on immigration regulations and requirements.

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Police and Public Safety

The UMMC Police and Public Safety Department provides both emergent and non-emergent services. In case of emergency, when dialing from a campus phone, dial 911; when dialing from a personal phone/device, dial 601-815-7777.

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Division of Information Systems (DIS)

The DIS - Help Desk provides support to UMMC students and employees with on-campus computer issues, password resets, Canvas and UMMC Webmail support, and more. Phone: 1 (877) 347-5041 (toll-free); Email: servicedesk@umc.edu

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SOPH Student Orientation (Canvas course)

Students will remain enrolled in the SOPH Student Orientation Canvas course throughout their tenure as SOPH students. The Canvas course serves as a repository for student-related information and resources.

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STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

UMMC Student Complaints

Students have the right to complain without fear of retribution or retaliation from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) or its employees. For more information, see the UMMC Student Complaint Policy.

Students are encouraged to directly contact the specific school or individual office on campus to address their concerns or complaints. Students may also submit formal written complaints to the Office of Student Affairs using the UMMC Student Complaint Form.

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Mistreatment / Title IX Reporting and Policies

All mistreatment is of serious concern to this institution and is strictly prohibited. For more information, visit the Mistreatment and Title IX Policies website. Title IX Coordinator: (601) 815-7978

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Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. More information is available in the UMMC Notification of Rights under FERPA Policy and Notification of Directory Information under FERPA.

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