Policy Portal

Administrative Policy: Academic

Course Director Qualifications and Responsibilities

Policy Number: 3349-AC-425
Effective Date: 01/01/2019
Updated:
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: Office of the Dean, College of Medicine
Approval Authority: Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: Office of the Dean, College of Medicine

A. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to specify the minimum qualifications for and the responsibilities of all Course Directors within the College of Medicine in accordance with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

B. Scope

This Policy is applicable to Course Directors for all credit-bearing courses, curricular pathways and curricular tracks that are contained in the College of Medicine Curriculum. All such individuals will be referred to within this policy as “Course Directors.” This Policy also applies, as indicated, to Clinical Site Director, Clinical Experiential Directors and Clerkship Site Directors.

The LCME requires adherence to the following standards.

  1. “ . . . The faculty leadership responsible for each required course and clerkship link the learning objectives of that course or clerkship to the medical education program objectives.”  (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.2)
  2. “The faculty of a medical school are responsible for the detailed development, design, and implementation of all components of the medical education program, including the medical education program objectives, the learning objectives for each required curricular segment, instructional and assessment methods appropriate for the achievement of those objectives, content and content sequencing, ongoing review and updating of content, and evaluation of course, clerkship, and teacher quality. These medical education program objectives, learning objectives, content, and instructional and assessment methods are subject to ongoing monitoring, review, and revision by the faculty to ensure that the curriculum functions effectively as a whole to achieve medical education program objectives.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.3)
  3. “In evaluating medical education program quality, a medical school has formal processes in place to collect and consider medical student evaluations of their courses, clerkships, and teachers, and other relevant information.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.5)
  4. “A medical school has in place a system with central oversight that monitors and ensures completion by all medical students of required clinical experiences in the medical education program and remedies any identified gaps.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.6)
  5. “A medical school ensures that the medical curriculum includes comparable educational experiences and equivalent methods of assessment across all locations within a given course and clerkship to ensure that all medical students achieve the same medical education program objectives. (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.7)
  6. “The medical school faculty committee responsible for the medical curriculum and the program’s administration and leadership ensure the development and implementation of effective polices and procedures regarding the amount of time medical students spend in required activities, including the total number of hours medical students are required to spend in clinical and educational activities during clerkships.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 8.8)
  7. “In a medical school, residents, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other non-faculty instructors in the medical education program who supervise or teach medical students are familiar with the learning objects of the course or clerkship and are prepared for their roles in teaching and assessment. . .” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 9.1)
  8. “A medical school ensures that supervision of medical student learning experiences is provided throughout required clerkships by members of the school’s faculty.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 9.2)
  9. “A medical school ensures that, throughout its medical education program, there is a centralized system in place that employs a variety of measures (including direct observation) for the assessment of student achievement, including students’ acquisition of the knowledge, core clinical skills (e.g., medical history-taking, physical examinations), behaviors, and attitudes specified in medical education program objectives, and that ensures that all medical students achieve the same medical education program objectives.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 9.4)
  10. “A medical school ensures that faculty members with appropriate knowledge and expertise set standards of achievement in each required learning experience in the medical education program.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, element 9.6)

C. Definitions

  1. Course Director: The appointed faculty member who is responsible for the overall design, conduct, student assessment within and evaluation of a credit-bearing course.
  2. Credit-bearing Course: A course offered by the College of Medicine in which a student is enrolled, the course appears on the student’s transcript with either contact hours or credit-bearing acknowledgement, and a grade is assigned.
  3. Pathway: A curricular Pathway is a set of existing curricular experiences that are delivered in a specific context. The Pathway may contain extracurricular components that are not a required part of the accredited curricular experience; these extracurricular components may not add additional student expectations and/or requirements to the existing credit-bearing courses. All Pathway experiences are linked to the NEOMED program and course objectives.
  4. Track: A Track is also known as a “parallel curriculum,” or parallel program of study for a subset of the medical student body that requires participating students to complete specific programmatic learning objectives (e.g., in research, primary care, leadership) in addition to the medical educational program objectives required of all medical students. A curricular Track is a distinct educational program component for a subset of medical students that: 1) is designed to meet specific educational goals and objectives in addition to the objectives for the standard curriculum, 2) includes additional content and/or methods of assessment from the standard curriculum, and 3) is offered to some medical students during one or more years of the curriculum. A parallel curriculum may be located at the main campus of the medical school or at a geographically separate/distributed campus. (Liaison Committee on Medical Education, June 2017)

D. Policy Statement

  1. Appointment of Course Directors
    1. Jointly recommended by the Department Chair and the Associate Dean of Medical Education
    2. Approved by the Curriculum Management and Assessment Committee (CMAC) after initial endorsement by the M1/M2 Curriculum
    3. Subcommittee and/or the M3/M4 Curriculum Subcommittee
    4. Appointed by the Office of the Dean, College of Medicine
    5. Continuation is addressed in section (D)(5), Term of service and removal of Course Directors
  2. Minimum qualification of Course Directors
    1. Appropriate knowledge and expertise commensurate with the course including course content, instructional delivery methods and student assessment methods.
    2. NEOMED faculty appointment in the related discipline at a minimum of Clinical Assistant Professor or Assistant Professor
  3. Responsibilities of Course Directors
    1. General responsibilities of Course Directors are specified in Appendix A.
    2. Remain in position throughout the entire span of the course for the academic year.
      1. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the Course Director may not change in the middle of the year/course for the academic year.
  4. Feedback to and assessment of Course Director performance
    1. Feedback about the course is provided regularly via the course evaluation protocol administered by the Office of Academic Services.
      1. Feedback is provided to the corresponding Department Chair for consideration as part of the standard faculty performance review in the administrative category.
    2. Course Director performance is reviewed by CMAC as part of its regular course review process.
  5. Term of service and removal of Course Directors
    1. Course Directors serve on an annual basis.
      1. At the end of each academic year, Course Director appointment to the position is renewed though joint agreement among the Course Director, the Associate Dean of Medical Education and the corresponding department chair, with consultation by the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
    2. Course Directors may be removed for just cause by their Department Chair and the Associate Dean of Medical Education with consultation by the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
      1. Just cause can include, but is not limited to, failure to fulfill responsibilities outlined in Appendix A; failure to meet course performance improvement goals established as part of the regular course review process and created collaboratively by the Course Director, the Associate Dean of Medical Education and CMAC or its relevant subcommittees; misconduct; and/or loss or faculty appointment.
  6. Compensation of Course Directors
    1. Course directors will have protected time based on full-time equivalence (FTE) to be determined according to the academic structure and needs of the course. Course Director compensation will be allocated to the corresponding department as part of the annual education funds distributed to departments by the Dean, College of Medicine. Department Chairs will apply these funds accordingly to Course Directors’ responsibilities and compensation in a manner that sufficiently supports the effort needed to fulfill Course Director job responsibilities.
    2. In the instance of Course Co-directors, Department Chairs will choose how to allocate the specified FTE Course Director funds in a way that supports the efforts of the Course Co-director arrangement.
  7. Clinical Experiential Directors and Clinical Site Directors
    1. Qualifications and position responsibilities of M1 and M2 Clinical Site Directors for the Foundations of Clinical Medicine and the Principles of Clinical Medicine courses are provided in Appendix B.
    2. Qualifications and position responsibilities of M3/M4 Clinical Experiential Directors are provided in Appendix C.
    3. Qualifications and position responsibilities of M3 Clerkship Clinical Site Directors are provided in Appendix D.

CONTACT

Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University