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  Mar 03, 2024
 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
    
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2022-2023 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences


Department of Applied Psychophysiology

Department of Integrative and Functional Nutrition

Department of Integrative Social Work

Department of Mind-Body Medicine

Influenced by humanistic principles and values, the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences (CIMHS) empowers faculty and students to apply their knowledge and skills to facilitate mind, body, and spirit wellness in personal and professional life.  Recognizing the importance of collaborative, person-centered care strategies, CIMHS embraces an educational model that endorses a range of health-related disciplines, scholarship, evidence-based practices and skill development. CIMHS is dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary modalities and scholarship that enhance optimal health and well-being for individuals and communities.

CIMHS offers MS and PhD graduate degrees and certificate programs in Mind-Body Medicine (MBM), Integrative and Functional Nutrition (IFN), Integrative Social Work (ISW), and Applied Psychophysiology (APH). These academic programs combine cutting-edge curricula with a university-wide emphasis on student-centered learning and faculty engagement. Faculty members, including world-renowned scholar-practitioners, offer mentorship, edit industry publications, lead professional associations, direct community health centers, conduct research, and develop protocols for treatments that support and complement those used in conventional, Western medicine.

The master’s degrees and doctoral specializations are designed for professionals from diverse career fields who wish to expand their expertise in health, wellness, and resilience.  The degrees prepare students for clinical practice, organizational leadership, academic teaching, program and policy reform, and research in health and wellness. In addition, CIMHS students may add a minor or specialization to their general degree requirements if they are interested in extending their knowledge or skill set in a specific discipline. The MS and PhD degrees, including the optional minors and specializations, include:

MS Integrative and Functional Nutrition

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Mind-Body Medicine

MS Mind-Body Medicine

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

MS Psychophysiology

PhD in Applied Psychophysiology

  • Specialization in Clinical Psychophysiology
  • Specialization in Optimal Functioning

PhD in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

  • Minor in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Minor in Mind-Body Medicine

PhD in Integrative Social Work

  • Specialization in Integrative Gerontology Studies
  • Specialization in Integrative Community Studies
  • Specialization in Legal Studies

PhD in Mind-Body Medicine

  • Specialization in Applied Psychophysiology
  • Specialization in Contemplative End-of-Life-Care
  • Specialization in Integrative and Functional Nutrition
  • Specialization in Integrative Mental Health
  • Specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching
  • Specialization in Mindful Leadership in Healthcare

CIMHS Policies on Academic Performance, Professional Behavior, and Remediation

I. Competency Expectations

Students are accountable for adequately managing any personal issues that impact on their academic performance, ethical conduct, and professionalism. The CIMHS Department Chair and members of the program’s academic review team may be called upon to assess problems related to competence and suitability for program progression at any point in the program. In addition, students are expected to adhere to all university-wide policies (e.g., Student Code of Conduct; Student Academic Progress; Professional Comportment). Please note that this policy is independent from other university-wide policies. Refer to the catalog for a full review of Saybrook University policies.

Academic Performance

A student may exhibit problems of competence within the domain of academic performance if one or more of the following have occurred. This list is not exhaustive and the review committee for each CIMHS department retains the right to determine if there are significant concerns regarding academic performance.

  • Failed course(s)
  • Failed coursework across multiple courses or within a single course
  • Failed milestone(s) (e.g., provisional acceptance, mid-program evaluation, and dissertation orals and/or final defense)
  • Low student engagement (e.g., not participating regularly in discussion boards)
  • Timeliness concerns regarding submitted coursework and/or violations of the department’s late policy (if applicable)
  • Incomplete attendance at a Residential Conference (e.g., arriving late and/or departing early from conference without permission; arriving late and/or departing early from lectures during the conference)
  • Plagiarism and/or significant difficulties with authentic writing as outlined in Saybrook University’s Policy on Academic Honesty (Plagiarism) and Authorship (e.g., copying someone’s work; sabotaging someone’s work; not paraphrasing sufficiently in one’s own words; taking credit for others’ ideas; copying and pasting from other sources; improper or lack of use of APA in-text citations and references; etc.)
  • Self-plagiarism (e.g., submitting coursework from a previous course without instructor pre-approval)
  • Enrollment in the dissertation proposal for more than two years without making progress will result in a formal review
  • Failure to meet academic standards/expectations as outlined in a remediation plan
Ethical Conduct

A student may exhibit problems of competence within the domain of ethical conduct if one or more of the following have occurred. This list is not exhaustive and the review committee for each CIMHS department retains the right to determine if there are significant concerns regarding:

  • Violation of any of the enforceable standards outlined in the APA and other relevant professional ethics codes during performance of academic, research, clinical (IMH and IFN students), and/or professional tasks
  • Inappropriate ethical decision-making methods or outcomes (e.g., not seeking consultation for an ethical dilemma; not recognizing an ethical dilemma when it occurs)
  • Behavior that is in violation of applicable state or federal law(s)
Professionalism

In addition to adherence to Saybrook University policies and procedures, CIMHS students are expected to integrate/adopt proper professional standards or best practices into their personal and professional development. They are also expected to abide by any laws and regulations pertaining to their scope of practice.

A student may exhibit problems of competence within the domain of professionalism if one or more of the following have occurred. This list is not exhaustive and the review committee for each CIMHS department retains the right to determine if there are significant concerns regarding professionalism.

  • Inability or unwillingness to incorporate feedback
  • Difficulties regarding interpersonal communication, such as:
    • Use of insults
    • Repeated conflict with peers, faculty, staff and/or leadership administration
    • Poor or hostile communication
    • Difficulties working as part of a team
    • Threats of retaliation
    • Threats of violence
    • Demonstrations of hate speech, prejudice, and/or bigotry
    • Disrespectful written correspondence and/or video/phone etiquette
    • Demonstration of harmful personal biases
    • Inability or unwillingness to engage in self-reflection
    • Inappropriate professional dress or attire
  • Inappropriate and/or unprofessional behavior at a Residential Conference. This may include, but is not limited to the following:
    • Hostile communication
    • Bizarre, threatening, or disturbing behavior
    • Attending lectures under the influence of substances and/or in a compromised state (e.g., alcohol, illicit drugs, prescribed drugs, etc.)
    • Disrespect toward hotel staff, catering staff, and/or Saybrook University community members (e.g., students, faculty, employees, administration, University guests, invited speakers, significant others also in attendance, etc.)
    • Violations of Saybrook University’s Student Code of Conduct and/or Title IX guidelines on discriminatory and harassing behavior
  • Failure to meet professionalism standards/expectations as outlined in a remediation plan
II. Identification of Students with Problems of Competence

It is important to identify students with potential problems of competence as early as possible to protect the public and facilitate student success. The CIMHS Department Chair should be first notified of potential problems of competence, and the respective department chair may then request an informal or formal review. The identification can happen via multiple channels and at any time:

  • The department’s academic review committee may identify potential problems of competence during the programmatic evaluation process (e.g., the MBM Progressions Policy)
  • A student may self-disclose or self-identify potential problems of competence
  • A student may observe potential problems of competence in a peer
  • A faculty member may observe and report potential problems of competence in a student
  • A staff person may observe and report potential problems of competence in a student
  • Failed coursework, failed milestones, and/or unsatisfactory progression may trigger a formal review
Informal Resolutions

Minor issues regarding problems of competence will be resolved informally. This may involve feedback from a peer advisor, teaching assistant, faculty member, department chair, etc. When initial concerns arise, CIMHS faculty members will provide initial feedback and mentorship. If an individual does not feel comfortable seeking informal resolution and/or it would be inappropriate to do so, they should consult with their department chair for guidance.

Formal Review Procedures

CIMHS department’s academic review committee will review Level 1-3 cases and determine the next steps involving communication and remediation.

Level 1: Minor Issues Involving Lack of Progression and/or Lack of Competency

  • This level includes less serious issues that can potentially be resolved during one semester.
  • Examples may include, but are not limited to: A one-time offense regarding authentic writing; misrepresenting credentials; clinical evaluation with only one or two areas evaluated as below “clearly adequate”; a single instance of interpersonal conflict that reflects poor communication skills; consultation with faculty

Level 2: Moderate Issues Involving Lack of Progression and/or Lack of Competency

  • This level includes more serious issues that require careful planning and collaboration on the part of the faculty and student to address the problem.
  • Examples may include but are not limited to: Repeated instances of difficulties with authentic writing; repeated hostile communication and/or interpersonal conflict with a single individual

Level 3: Serious Problems of Lack of Progress or Lack of Competency

  • This level includes much more serious issues that are threats to program completion and/or the profession. Level III concerns may result in dismissal from the CIMHS degree program.
  • Examples may include but are not limited to: Severe academic dishonesty; serious ethical violations; harm to clients; multiple failed courses; unresponsiveness to a previously constructed remediation plan; repeated hostile communication and/or interpersonal conflict with multiple Saybrook University community members.
III. Remediation Plans and Dismissal
Remediation Plans

If the CIMHS Department Chair determines a remediation plan is necessary, a meeting will be scheduled with the student. A remediation plan may include but is not limited to the following: additional coursework, adjustment of academic workload, enrollment in a writing course, written apologies, self-structured behavior change, and new learning experiences.

The department’s academic review committee will determine if a remediation plan has been successfully completed based on the unique timeframe included in the plan and required tasks for each student. If the remediation plan requirements are met, the student will remain in good standing. If a remediation plan has not been successfully completed, the committee will work with the student to identify obstacles. If there is forward progression and high student engagement, the committee may recommend further remediation (e.g., additional timeframe; additional requirements). If there is not forward progression, the committee may recommend dismissal from the program.

Potential Dismissal

The dismissal of a student is a serious matter and, in general, denotes unresolved issues related to inadequate academic progression and/or problems of competence. The reasons listed below are examples of what may reflect grounds for dismissal from the program:

Receipt of three grades of “No Credit” or letter grades of “C” or below in a single semester or same course or cumulatively
Inability to successfully pass a core program requirement after two attempts
Failure to meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 3.0 for three consecutive semesters
Pattern of repeated unethical or unprofessional behavior (see Saybrook Student Code of Conduct, CIMHS policies, and relevant state and federal guidelines)
Unsatisfactory progress in the dissertation phase (two or more years in the dissertation proposal)
Grounds for immediate dismissal may include, but are not limited to: Inappropriate, discriminatory, and/or prejudiced speech; violence or threats of violence; egregious violations of the APA ethics code; violations of federal and/or state laws; repeated difficulties with plagiarism and/or authentic writing; discriminatory or offensive language or behavior; misrepresentation of academic or professional credential(s) before, during, or after the program application process. Repeated offenses at Level II or III could result in immediate dismissal.

When evaluating the decision to dismiss a student from the program, the faculty may seek professional consultation both within the university and in some instances outside the university to determine the most appropriate course(s) of action (in accordance with FERPA and other relevant laws). The College Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs may also be notified of the decision.

If immediate dismissal is indicated, the CIMHS Dean and Department Chair will notify the student in writing that they have been dismissed from the program, effective immediately. The student may appeal an immediate dismissal decision, as outlined in Section V.

If a student is dismissed from the program or voluntarily chooses to withdraw from the program, any relevant report specific to problems of competence and/or behavior will be considered if the student decides to reapply. Readmittance to the program is not guaranteed.

IV. Appeals Procedure

Students who disagree with a remediation plan and/or dismissal decision may submit a formal written appeal. Reasons for appeal are limited to include: a procedural violation of policy; new evidence.

There are three levels of appeal:

Level 1 (Department Chair): A student should submit their formal written appeal to the Department Chair within 10 business days of their disposition notification. In the written appeal, the student should clearly provide a rationale for their reason to appeal. The Department Chair has 10 business days to consider the appeal and provide a formal response to the student.

Level 2 (College Dean): If the student would like to appeal the determination made by the Department Chair, they may file an appeal with the College Dean for secondary review within 10 business days of receiving the Department Chair’s decision. The College Dean has 10 business days to consider the appeal and provide a formal response to the student.

Level 3 (Vice President for Academic Affairs): If the student would like to appeal the determination made by the College Dean, they may file an appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs for review within 10 business days of receiving the College Dean’s decision. The Vice President for Academic Affairs has 10 business days to consider the appeal and provide a formal response to the student. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is final.

Distance Learning Model

The majority of the coursework is conducted online and at a distance, so students can live and work anywhere in the world as they engage with CIMHS faculty and peers. Classes incorporate a variety of instructional and assessment methods including asynchronous discussion forums, live video conferences, interactive web-based activities, and written assignments. In addition, the MBM, ISW, and APH departments utilize residential conferences for face-to-face training, to support online classes. These residential conferences are usually held in January (the start of spring semester) and September (the start of fall semester).

Courses for graduate degrees in the CIMHS are offered during three semesters each year: fall, spring, and summer. Fall and spring semesters each have two 7-week terms (A and B) and one semester long term of 15-weeks. The summer semester has one term of 8 weeks or 12 weeks.

Virtual Student Orientation and Residential Conference

In the fall, spring, and summer semesters, all new students in the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences participate in a virtual orientation (VO). During the VO, these students are introduced to Saybrook University’s administrative staff, faculty, current students and University-wide policies. There are also workshops to review technology, student services, library databases, and more.

New students enrolled in the MBM and ISW degree program are required to participate in the MBM 0505 Mind-Body-Spirit Integration (MBSI) Seminar. The MBSI consists of two full days of experiential learning, followed by four 4-hour virtual sessions on consecutive Saturdays.  See the course descriptions for requirements.  The MBSI is offered in a face-to-face format during the semesters when the Department of MBM conducts a face-to-face residential conference.  In other semesters, the MBSI will be offered virtually. Students may opt to delay the MBSI in order to attend a face-to-face or virtual version.

New students in the Applied Psychophysiology degree programs are required to attend a five-day RC.  The Department will schedule these five-day conferences either virtually or face-to-face.

The number of required RCs for continuing CIMHS students varies by degree program and selected coursework. Review the degree program requirements for more information about the RCs.

Virtual Community in Nutrition

Students in the Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and the PhD in Integrative and Functional Nutrition participate in a semester-long Virtual Community in Nutrition that helps orient them to Saybrook University and the Integrative and Functional Nutrition program. While participating in this distance-taught course, students will interact with faculty and classmates to establish a sense of community and develop best practices for academic success while learning about topics in Integrative and Functional Nutrition.  Students in the IFN degree programs may opt to participate in residential conference(s), in addition to this course, if they choose.

Virtual Community in Applied Psychophysiology

All students in the MS in Psychophysiology and the PhD in Applied Psychophysiology participate in a virtual community that begins with the required first semester Graduate Colloquium course and continues throughout the degree program.  The virtual community includes invited lectures, research and administrative seminars, a Facebook page, and other elements intended to assist students in orienting to the program. The virtual community builds connections among students and faculty.

Department of Applied Psychophysiology

Specialization in Applied Psychophysiology

Students earning doctorates in Clinical Psychology, Psychology, and Mind-Body Medicine can use elective credits to learn the basics of applied psychophysiology. Depending on their degree program, students will be able to take sufficient coursework to provide them with a solid understanding of psychophysiological assessment and intervention.

Department of Mind-Body Medicine

Department of Mind-Body Medicine Academic Progression Policy
Assessing Basic Academic Writing Skills

As a fundamental program learning outcome, MS and PhD MBM students are expected to compose original, grammatically correct, coherent, concise, and well-articulated written work in APA style. Throughout the program, students have many opportunities to develop and refine their critical thinking and writing skills as summarized in Stages 1-4:

Stage 1: Writers at this stage are:

  • Developing grammatical and syntactical skill
  • Familiarizing themselves with the concept of scholarly voice
  • Distinguishing among different audiences and tailoring their writing accordingly

Stage 2: Writers at this stage are:

  • Communicating ideas consistently and logically within paragraphs
  • Articulating rhetorical arguments and supporting them with evidence within paragraphs
  • Developing skill in paraphrasing and citing

Stage 3: Writers at this stage are:

  • Sequencing and transitioning logically and smoothly in lengthier narratives
  • Analyzing external sources critically and accurately
  • Synthesizing themes and trends across sources
  • Conversant in scholarly terminology and concepts
  • Able to explain what theories and models do and do not do

Stage 4: Writers at this stage are:

  • Recognizing and accounting for different theoretical and conceptual perspectives
Creating knowledge

As a general expectation, during the students’ first years of their program, prior to the mid-program review, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency with Stage 1 and 2 level writing skills. The following points define required steps of remediation.

  1. Applicants who are judged on admission to exhibit deficient academic writing skills will be admitted with the condition that they will complete MBM 5507 Graduate Academic Writing within the first semester. If students do not pass MBM 5507, they will have only one opportunity to retake it the following semester. If students receive less than 80% on the final paper, but passed all other assignments, they will pass MBM 5507 and be enrolled in MBM 5507c Graduate Level Academic Writing Continuation in the subsequent semester.
  2. Students will be assessed on their writing skills at the end of their first academic term and/or semester. If two of their faculty members identify deficiencies, the student will be required to take MBM 5507 Graduate Academic Writing in the next semester.
  3. Faculty members may recommend the MBM 5507 Graduate Level Academic Writing class or refer students to Saybrook’s Center for Writing and Academic Success at any time. However, if two faculty members concur that the student’s writing skills are below expectations, MBM 5507 will be mandatory.
  4. Faculty members may refer students to Saybrook’s Center for Writing and Academic Success for tutoring at any point during their program.
PhD Degree Mid-Program Review

As part of the PhD MBM programmatic review and progressions audit, all doctoral students with or without specializations will participate in a mid-program review of their academic performance and scholarly writing skills. The following courses are prerequisites to the mid-program review:

Minimum of two practice courses

By year three, students will be enrolled in a zero credit, semester long Mid-Program Review course before they proceed to the advanced research sequence. If a student has not completed these courses by their third year, the Mid-Program Review will be delayed.

Two MBM faculty members will be assigned to review each student’s submitted work. Students must provide evidence, validated by the assigned faculty members that they satisfactorily meet the following program learning outcomes (PLO):

PLO 1: Explain the influence of biopsychosocial factors on general health and wellbeing and the implications for individuals, organizations, and/or communities. 

PLO 2: Describe and apply the foundational values, ethical principles, and best practices of the field to oneself and others. 

PLO 4: Articulate the application of self-reflection and self-care skills.

PLO 5: Assess and synthesize evidence, theories, and established practices in integrative healthcare. 

PLO 7: Compose original, grammatically correct, coherent, concise, and well-articulated written work in APA style.  

Key Assignment 1: Scholar-Practitioner Statement (3-4 pages, APA 7th)

Describe how you position yourself as a scholar-practitioner. Among other things, address:

  • How has scholarship informed your studies in the MBM program?
  • How are you applying (or plan to apply) the MBM knowledge in your professional work?
  • Describe and apply the foundational values, ethical principles, and best practices of the field to oneself and others.

A PLO rubric will be used to assess student performance. Faculty will provide feedback to help guide their forward progress in the program.

Key Assignment 2: Scholarship: Academic Research Paper (8-12 pages)

Choose an academic research paper from a previous course that best represents your critical thinking skills and scholarly writing. The paper must include all feedback and recommended edits from the faculty member who taught the course. Submit the original paper which contains the faculty feedback, and a second version of the paper after incorporating the feedback. Ensure you have carefully proofread the second version, and turned off all track changes.

The minimum grade to move forward in the doctoral program must be a minimum of 82% (B) and proficient ratings on the grading and PLO rubrics for the academic paper. Students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency with Stages 1 through 4 writing skills:

Stage 1: Writers at this stage are:

  • Developing grammatical and syntactical skill
  • Familiarizing themselves with the concept of scholarly voice
  • Distinguishing among different audiences and tailoring their writing accordingly

Stage 2: Writers at this stage are:

  • Communicating ideas consistently and logically within paragraphs
  • Articulating rhetorical arguments and supporting them with evidence within paragraphs
  • Developing skill in paraphrasing and citing

Stage 3: Writers at this stage are:

  • Sequencing and transitioning logically and smoothly in lengthier narratives
  • Analyzing external sources critically and accurately
  • Synthesizing themes and trends across sources
  • Conversant in scholarly terminology and concepts
  • Able to explain what theories and models do and do not do

Stage 4: Writers at this stage are:

  • Recognizing and accounting for different theoretical and conceptual perspectives
Creating knowledge

By the second to third year in the program, the faculty members understand students are still learning the critical thinking and writing skills necessary to produce independent research; however, an essential component in the process is to implement faculty feedback. This review process is designed to evaluate the students’ ability to reflect on the feedback, incorporate the learning, and improve the quality of their written assignments.

Students who earn scores between 70% to 81% will have only one opportunity to retake the course and implement the faculty members’ feedback. Students will not re-enroll in the mid-year assessment if they receive a score less than 70% on the academic paper. If students do not receive an 82% or higher by the end of the second attempt of this evaluation process, students will have the option of transferring to the master’s degree program and completing a capstone seminar in Mind-Body Medicine or withdrawing from the doctoral program.

Assessing Dissertation Proposal Readiness

Students must pass RES 3500 Research Design and Scholarly Writing and RES3xxx Advanced Research Method before progressing to RES 7000 Dissertation Proposal. Students must pass these research courses within two attempts. If students do not meet the standard expectations of the key assignments, they may be required to repeat one or both courses and/or enroll in RES 6900 Dissertation Preparation (3 credits).