Curricular Affairs

Tucson Educational Policy Committee


The purview of the Tucson Educational Policy Committee (TEPC) will work with the Dean, Deputy Dean and COM Administration to provide governance and oversight of the undergraduate medical curriculum, to advance educational goals, and to make sure the College meets its accreditation standards.  The committee will develop policies for student performance and advancement, and criteria to receive an M.D. degree. 


  • Voting Members
  • There are 12 faculty elected from the COM and serve for 3 years with one renewable term. 
  • There are 4 medical students, elected by their class, for four year terms, and one substitute student per class.

Supporting Members

  • Curricular Affairs
  • Other COM Staff as needed


  • Chairperson elected by members; serves one year term. Devotes 3-4 hours/month to pre-meetings designed to set and approve the meeting agenda, chairing the meetings, and answering emails in between meetings. Spends 1 hour/month participating in the Education Leadership Meeting.
  • Vice-Chair elected by members; serves one year, then becomes Chairperson 


TEPC is responsible for developing and seeing to the delivery the following:

Goals and Objectives for the Educational Programs

Educational objectives that define the educational program leading to the M.D. degree will be produced and published by the TEPC and approved by the General Faculty. These are the objectives to which student learning will be assessed, and against which evaluations of effectiveness and outcomes will be measured. To that end, the Committee will:

  • Ensure the design and delivery of the educational program is in compliance of all affecting accreditation standards;
  • Ensure the educational objectives are matched to assessable competencies expected of physicians by the profession at large and by the public;
  • Ensure the educational program in place enables students to meet the educational objectives.

It is the responsibility of the Committee to ensure the educational program reflects the most contemporary knowledge and practices surrounding medical education. To that end the Committee will institute structures and procedures that:

  • Establish a regular system for review of the educational program and its objectives that include mechanisms for major renewal of its design and processes as needed;
  • Establish routine opportunities and procedures that promote exploration and innovation in the design and delivery of instructional components;
  • Establish, with the College Administration, a college wide system of incentives and/or tangible rewards for faculty and other educators to demonstrate excellence in instructional innovation.

It is the responsibility of the Committee to ensure student performance is assessed accurately, fairly and appropriately. To that end the Committee will institute policies and procedures to:

  • Establish policies on grading, examination retakes, student progression, and remediation of course failures;
  • Establish policies on the format and frequency of examinations;
  • Require that, in addition to item authors, all examination items will be reviewed and evaluated by other content experts and experts in student assessment;
  • Require that performance assessment plans include all competencies, including practicum type examinations involving patient care skills (e.g., Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCEs));
  • Establish policies on narrative and formative feedback to students on their performance.

Standards and Requirements of the Educational Program

The TEPC makes program wide standards. To that end it is within the purview of the Committee to determine and make recommendations to the general faculty:

  • University and accreditation compliant, credit hour graduation requirements;
  • Advancement and graduation requirements of noncredit bearing content based upon the stated educational objectives (e.g., OSCE, USMLE requirements).

Management and Evaluation of the Educational Program

The TEPC is responsible for the efficient and effective delivery of the educational program. To meet this responsibility it is within the purview of the Committee to:

  • Establish subcommittees, the primary responsibilities of which are oversight of the design, management and evaluation of instructional components (e.g., curriculum management committees);
  • Establish programwide standards for the design and delivery of curricular components (e.g., equivalency issues among sites; common formats of evaluations);
  • Approve proposals, and provide opportunities for contribution by the general faculty toward the addition, deletion or major change to curricular blocks and courses, including those that are campus specific;
  • Approve the overall design of the curriculum, including the published time allotted to curricular components and their order of placement in the academic calendar; establish systems of oversight to assure the day to day delivery of the educational program is constructive, efficient and congruent with its objectives (e.g., panel of measurements; Team Learning (TL) scores; failure rates);
  • Approve proposals that change the structure or content of the curriculum beyond that established by the Committee (e.g., proposals for grants that enhance particular aspects of the curriculum).

The TEPC is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of quality for the educational program. To meet this responsibility it is within the purview of the Committee to:

  • Establish subcommittees and their functions, the primary responsibilities of which are to design and administer evaluation efforts that accurately report on the quality of the educational program (e.g., Evaluations Subcommittee);
  • Approve the representation, membership and leadership requirements of its standing and ad hoc subcommittees;
  • Collaborate with the Associate Dean of Curricular Affairs and other consultants to identify faculty for key curricular leadership positions (e.g., Block, Thread, Clerkship, Society, Elective, and Discipline Directors);
  • Establish systems for reporting contemporary data to the Committee regarding the ongoing quality of educational program and the degree to which its objectives are supported (e.g., annual reports, review reports);
  • Require and approve standards for instruction including, but not limited to, weekly hour limits for instructional methods (e.g., lectures, team learning, Case-Based Instruction (CBI), instructional experiences (e.g., labs, clinical rotations; patient encounters), and pedagogical congruency of methods with respect to student preparedness; 
  • Review and grant prior approval for all credit bearing courses and experiences offered at all sites;
  • Review and grant prior approval for all noncredit bearing courses and experiences that may impact instructional time, or time required of students for independent study (e.g., enrichment electives, CUP, scheduled review sessions);
  • Assess proposed noncurricular projects that may encroach upon students’ learning time (e.g., cooperative surveys, interviews external to the educational program).

Instruction and Learning

The TEPC is responsible for ensuring that the educational program provides an enriched environment in which students learn. To meet this responsibility it is within the purview of the Committee to:

  • Ensure that the designs of curricular components, including performance assessment, take into consideration student readiness, maturation and sophistication, relative to their locations in the educational program;
  • Ensure effective means are employed by which faculty in key educational leadership positions understand and apply student development theory (related to the progression of student maturation and sophistication) across the curriculum;
  • Ensure effective means are employed by which facilitators and those who supervise or teach medical students understand the learning objectives and instructional methods for the experiences in which they are involved;
  • Establish with the College Administration ongoing programs for comprehensive faculty development, including the areas of instructional design, learning assessment, interactive lecture skills, learning facilitation and mentorship;
  • Establish and enforce performance standards regarding educational practices required of faculty for participation in the educational program (e.g., timely preparation of course materials, adherence to instructional templates and methods of instruction);
  • Encourage and support student participation in opportunities for scholarly research, service learning and other activities benefiting their development as medical practitioners (e.g., research, enrichment electives, seminars, personal interests).

The TEPC is responsible for ensuring that the educational program provides students with reasonable institutional support toward meeting graduation requirements. To meet this responsibility it is within the purview of the Committee to:

  • Establish policies and procedures that attend to issues arising out of the circumstances of individual students (e.g., exceptions to policy, exemptions from required experiences);
  • Endorse or approve in agreement with the Student Progress Committee, standards by which administrative processes are applied fairly and uniformly to all students (e.g., petitions, appeals).