2006 MSKCC School of Radiation Therapy Student Handbook Excerpts

Mission Statement and Goals

The mission of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Radiation Therapy Program is to prepare professional radiation therapists who demonstrate the highest quality of technical expertise; provide competent, compassionate clinical care in serving their patients; and collaborate effectively with their colleagues.


Fulfillment of the program’s mission is assessed by the extent to which the program accomplishes the following goals:

  1. Produce graduates with the knowledge and practical skills needed to provide accurate treatment planning and delivery.
  2. Provide the opportunity for the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  3. Produce graduates who are effective communicators, both in writing and orally.
  4. Produce graduates who complete the program and gain employment to meet the needs of the healthcare community.

B. Time Off

1. Each student is allowed 25 absences per year. These 25 days can be used as follows:

a. Personal days
b.Sick days
c. Vacation days
d. Registry Review Seminar in Hartford, CT.

2. A planned absence is to be taken when no classes or exams are scheduled, subject to the approval of the Program Director and limited to one per month during the Fall and Spring Semester. Vacation/personal day requests are to be submitted to the Program Director, at least a week in advance when requesting 2 or more consecutive vacation/personal days (during Summer Semester).

3. Sick days may be used for unplanned illness or scheduled surgery or medical procedures. Prolonged illness (three or more days in duration) will require a medical clearance note from your doctor before schooling may be resumed. The Program Director may require a doctor’s note for an illness of any length if a pattern of abuse has been established. Abuse of sick time is grounds for probation, suspension, and/or dismissal from the program.

4. More than 3 unplanned absences in 1 semester are considered excessive and will be considered grounds for clinical probation as well as possible dismissal from the program.

D. Lateness/Early Dismissal

1. Any request for early dismissal or late arrival (due to illness, emergency) must be approved by the Program Director (or Clinical Supervisor, in the absence of the Program Director).

2. Any student who reports late to the clinical area or to class without having notified the clinical instructor or Program Director may be sent home at the discretion of the Program Director and will be docked the time from their allotted absences.

Abuse of late time (per semester) is addressed as follows:

  • 2 lateness will result in a verbal warning.
  • 1 additional lateness will result in a written warning.
  • 1 additional lateness will result in clinical probation.
  • 1 additional lateness during the probationary period will result in suspension.
  • Any further lateness may result in dismissal from the program.

B. Academic Standing

A student failing any didactic course, even after having taken the make-up exams, will be dismissed from the program.


A. Initial Six-Month Probation

Each entering student will be on probation for a period of six months, which commences on the first day of the first semester of the first year. At the end of this probationary period, each student’s clinical and academic performance will be evaluated. If performance is not at the level required by the School, the student will be dismissed from the program at this time. At any time during the probationary period, the student may meet with the Clinical Instructor or Program Director to help solve any current or anticipated problems. If a student is dismissed at the end of the initial six-month probationary period, a written report of this decision will become part of the student’s permanent record.

B. Academic Probation

1. This can occur anytime during the training program if grades in any course fall below the required level. The student will be notified in writing as to the length and terms of this probationary period. The student must improve his/her academic level during this period. The written notification of this probation will be co-signed by the student, with a copy place on student’s file.

C. Clinical Probation

Causes leading to clinical probation are the following:

  1. Lack of professional ethics and conduct.

  2. Lack of cooperation.

  3. Inability to accept his/her role as a student.

  4. Inappropriate behavior towards patients or staff.

  5. Refusal to comply with professional appearance codes.

  6. Creating disruptions in the clinical area.

  7. Excessive absence.

  8. Excessive lateness.

  9. Failing clinical grade (see Clinical Handbook).

The student will be given written notification of probation outlining the cause and the duration of the probation. This notification will be co-signed by the student and the Program Director and will be placed on file.

D. Dismissal

If, after any probationary period, the student’s performance has not reached an acceptable level, the student will be dismissed from the training program.

A student is subject to dismissal for any of the following reasons:

  1. Insubordination.

  2. Unprofessional or unethical behavior.

  3. Failure to maintain academic or clinical standards.

  4. Any behavior that would put a student’s right to licensure, and/or certification in question.

  5. Failure to pass initial 6-month probationary period.

  6. Failure to improve performance following academic or clinical probation.

Students who believe they have been dismissed without legitimate cause have the right to petition the Advisory Committee for a hearing.