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Technical Standards

Technical Standards (Section IV)

Applicants must possess certain skills in order to master the educational content of the Genetic Counseling Training Program at an acceptable level of performance within the time frames provided in the curriculum, and to demonstrate the professional competence required for entry into the field.  These skills are needed to help patients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease and include: interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence; provision of education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research; and psychosocial counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the genetic risk or condition.

The director of the Genetic Counseling Training Program welcomes questions or inquiries from individuals with disabilities regarding the standards and their application to each individual's unique situation. In each case, a determination can be made as to whether the individual is qualified for admission to the program and if reasonable accommodations can be made. While the Genetic Counseling Training Program is prohibited by federal law from making inquiries about specific disabilities prior to admission, applicants who are selected for admission must be prepared to meet the performance standards in order to complete the program.

Skills fundamental to the Genetic Counseling Profession and the Program Curriculum include:

  • The ability to research and apply scientific knowledge toward patient care;
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal;
  • Clinical reasoning, problem solving and decision-making given verbal, visual, and written information;
  • Interpersonal skills including listening, empathizing and emotional validation;
  • Time management to coordinate course requirements and clinical responsibilities

The above skills are required for meeting the technical standards of the program and in order to successfully develop the core competencies fundamental to genetic counseling practice (ACGC Practice-Based Competencies).

Program Continuation:

Students are expected to:

  • Actively participate in all phases of the training program within the required time frame including course work, clinical rotations, focus internship, and supplemental activities
  • Successfully complete all required coursework and clinical rotations with a grade of B or better
  • Demonstrate self-initiative, motivation, reliability, and responsibility in all aspects of program training
  • Interact respectfully and appropriately with peers, faculty, staff, patients, families and other healthcare professionals and community members encountered in the course of training
  • Act at all times in accordance with the Academic Health Professions Honor Code and with the ethical standards of the Genetic Counseling profession (NSGC Code of Ethics)

Student progress and compliance with the above standards will be evaluated each semester to determine eligibility for continuation.