Academic Standing will be assigned at the end of each term of a student’s enrollment. There are three Academic Standing classifications at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC): Academic Good Standing, Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal. Academic Standing is determined by the College of Nursing. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is determined by The Office of Financial Aid at UTHSC. While very similar in their review of a student’s academic progression, Academic Standing determines a student’s academic eligibility for continued enrollment. Satisfactory Academic Progress determines a student’s eligibility for Federal and State financial aid. In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid, a student must meet SAP requirements, regardless of their Academic Standing.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students must achieve satisfactory academic progress in order to receive federal financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid’s satisfactory academic progress standards mirror the academic progress policies of each individual college. A student who is found to not be making academic progress by their college is not eligible for federal financial aid. This rule may also apply to state, institutional, and private funds. For more information refer to CenterScope, Satisfactory Academic Progress: (http://catalog.uthsc.edu/index.php?catoid=20).
The following guidelines pertain to full time as well as part time students. Promotion is the process by which a student progresses through an academic program and graduates. The progress of all students is reviewed twice per year (end of fall term and end of spring term); however student progress may be reviewed more frequently if needed. Promotion and graduation require positive action by the Dean based upon recommendations of the Progression Committee. The Progression Committee can act any time a student is deemed to be making inadequate progress toward degree objectives and/or is demonstrating unacceptable performance in the key areas of personal and professional behavior. Committee recommendations regarding a particular student are based upon input by each faculty member or course director who has teaching responsibility for that student during a given instructional period.
- Student Academic Performance
- (1) For the BSN program: Students must attain a grade point average of 2.0 in a given term to progress to the subsequent term or to graduate. Any student who earns a grade of “WF” (withdraw failing), “D” (indicates marginal progress), “F” (failing), or “I” (incomplete) is reviewed by the appropriate committee.
(2) For the DNP program: Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to progress to the subsequent term or to graduate. Students are expected to complete all courses with a grade of “B” or higher. Any student who earns a grade of “WF,” “C”, “D,” “F,” or “I” is reviewed by the appropriate committee. Students earning two “WF” grades or a grade of “D” or “F” are dismissed from the program. Grades in courses earned at another university will not be computed in the cumulative GPA.
(3) For the certificate programs: Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to progress to the subsequent term or to complete the program. Students are expected to complete all courses with a grade of “B” or higher. Any student who earns a grade of “WF,” “C,” “D,” “F,” or “I” is reviewed by the appropriate committee. Students earning two “WF” grades or a grade of “D” or “F” are dismissed from the program. Grades in courses earned at another university will not be computed in the cumulative GPA.
(4) For all programs: The grade point average is calculated based on required courses completed at the UTHSC. Grades earned in courses that are repeated are included in the calculation of the student’s UTHSC gpa. Grades that are transferred into the program are not included in the UTHSC grade point average.
- A student must demonstrate satisfactory behavior in personal and professional areas deemed by faculty as being necessary for academic success and competency in clinical practice. Such areas may include ability to establish rapport with clients, ability to work effectively with members of the healthcare team, dependability, judgment, integrity, initiative, and interest.
- Students must complete required clinical hour and meet clinical outcomes for courses to progress in the program. If a student changes their state of residency, the College of Nursing may not be able to arrange appropriate clinical experiences. Delay of progression may result and could necessitate studentstake a leave of absence or withdrawal from the program if clinical experiences cannot be arranged.
- Students must meet the College and program technical and performance standards to continue in the various curricula and graduate. Copies of these standards are provided to students by their respective programs and are included in this bulletin.
- Registered nurses must maintain an unencumbered Tennessee RN license or have unencumbered authority to practice as an RN via the multi-state privilege for the duration of the program.
- Individuals who are admitted into either a certificate program or the DNP program based on licensure as an advanced practice nurse must maintain this license during the program.
- Recommended actions-The Progression Committee may recommend any of the following actions to the Dean:
- Promotion: Promotion of the student to the subsequent term or to graduation.
- Academic Probation
- BSN students - Academic probation may result from a student’s earning a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 during the term, from earning a grade of “WF” or “D” in any course, or from failure to meet stated objectives associated with professional behavior or technical and performance standards. Students who exhibit one or more of these criteria will be reviewed by the Progression Committee. Committee recommendations must include delineation of specific conditions that must be met for removal of the student from academic probation, and the time by which such conditions must be met.
- DNP students - Academic probation may result from a student earning a cumulative grade point average that falls below 3.0, a grade of “WF,” “C,” or by failing to meet expected levels of clinical competencies or professional behaviors. Students who meet one or more of these criteria will be reviewed by the Progression Committee.
- Certificate program students - Academic probation may result from a student earning a cumulative grade point average that falls below 3.0, a grade of “WF,” “C,” or by failing to meet expected levels of clinical competencies or professional behaviors. Students who meet one or more of these criteria will be reviewed by the Progression Committee.
- Dismissal: Dismissal may result from any of the following:
- BSN students - A student earning a grade of “F” in any course; earning a grade of “D” in two or more courses; earning three “WFs” or a combination of two “WFs” and a “D.”
- DNP students and certificate program students- A student earning a grade of “D” or “F” in any course; or two “WFs” during the course of their studies in the DNP program or certificate program.
- A student failing to meet the minimum grade point average requirement as stipulated by the specific degree program;
- A student failing to meet the requirements of a course(s) as stipulated in the course syllabus;
- A student demonstrating serious deficiencies in personal or professional behavior;
- A student failing to meet technical and performance standards;
- A student exhibiting unethical or illegal conduct. All students are expected to adhere to the principles of the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses with Interpretative Statements and to the Honor Code for the campus of UTHSC.
- A student failing to meet stipulated conditions for removal of academic probation within the designated time period.
- Repeating Curriculum: Recommendations that a student repeat all or part of the curriculum may be made if either of the following conditions are present:
- Nonacademic circumstances: the presence of specific nonacademic circumstance(s) judged by the committee as having an adverse effect on the student’s academic performance and there is committee judgment that resolution of the identified circumstance will subsequently result in satisfactory performance by the student;
- Academic performance or leave of absence resulting in a delay in progression: Students may be required to repeat or audit courses previously taken when in the committee’s judgment the time between course completion and re-entry into program could jeopardize student progression or success on licensing or certification exams.
- Grades for Repeated Courses: When a course is repeated, the grades for both the original and the repeated courses are included in the grade point average.
- Time to completion: A maximum amount of time is set in which all degree requirements must be completed as follows:
- For the BSN program: All degree requirements must be completed within 4 years of matriculating into the program.
- For the DNP program: All degree requirements must be completed within 8 years of matriculating into the program.
- For all programs: Any waiver requests to these requirements must be approved by the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs.
Notification of Student Dismissal
Any student who is does not meet progression criteria is notified of academic probation or pending dismissal by email from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. A student placed on academic probation is given a written statement of conditions that must be met for removal of academic probation, and the time period allowed.
A student who has received notification of pending dismissal has the right to appeal the dismissal. A request to appeal dismissal must be submitted in writing by official university email to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and received within two (2) business days of receipt of notification of the intended action of dismissal. The student must provide a written summary and copies of source documents relevant to the appeal to the Director of Student Affairs 48 hours prior to the Progression Committee meeting. The student may include written documentation from another individual (excluding legal counsel) who can directly contribute information regarding the dismissal. Appeal meetings dates are designated on the Academic Calendar and are included in the notification to the student of the failure to progress. This date is non-negotiable.
A student appealing dismissal from the program has the option of attending the Progression meeting for the purposes of expounding upon the information provided in the submitted written documents and to answer questions from the Progression Committee members. The student may request that individuals (excluding legal counsel) who have provided written documentation in support of their appeal attend the hearing. This written request must be made 48 hours prior to the Progression Committee Meeting to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will determine whether the person(s) are approved to attend the Progression Committee meeting within 24 hours of the request. The student will have 15-20 minutes to present to the Progression Committee. After hearing all persons who appear on behalf of the student or in support of the action taken regarding intended dismissal, the committee sends a recommendation to uphold or over turn (with remediation) the dismissal along with supporting documentation to the Dean within 24 hours. The Progression Committee does not make recommendations specific to remediation, as that is the prevue of the Program. The Dean will take the recommendation of the Progression Committee into consideration, review the student’s file, and make the College of Nursing’s final determination. The decision of the dean is final in such cases; however, in the case where a student is dismissed, the student has the right to appeal to the Chancellor for readmission to the program if the student believes there were inherent flaws or biases in the process leading up to dismissal. During the appeal process, a student may continue to participate in classroom activities but will be suspended from clinical activities.
Appeal of Grades
Students may appeal their final course grade if they believe that the grade was assigned inappropriately and not in accordance with the grading policy provided in the course syllabus. The appeal is made in writing, within 5 days of the final grade being posted, and directed to the course director and then to the Program Chair. If resolution of the issue is not made at the program level, then the appeal is made in writing to the Progression Committee (through the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs). The Progression Committee will review the written documents and make a recommendation to the Dean within 5 days of the grade appeal.
Student Status During Academic Appeals
A dismissed student may seek permission from the Dean of the College of Nursing or designee to attend classes while the progress/promotion process or appeal process within his/her the college is still pending. Students who are granted permission to attend classes from the Dean of the College of Nursing or designee during the appeal process will incur tuition and fee obligations regardless of the outcome of the appeal. If the student’s academic appeal is denied or academic dismissal is the final outcome, the Dean of the College of Nursing or designee will provide written notice to the student that he/she is academically dismissed and withdrawn from the institution and is no longer permitted to attend classes, even during subsequent appeals. The Dean of the College of Nursing or designee will notify the Registrar, who will process the academic action and withdraw the student. In such instances, the effective date of the student’s withdrawal for reporting purposes is the last date of attendance.
Readmission Following Dismissal or Unapproved Program Withdrawal
Students who withdraw from the program without permission to return or who are dismissed from the College for non-academic reasons may request readmission. Requests for readmission must be in writing and should be addressed to the Dean of the College of Nursing. Request for re-admission is acted upon by the Dean in consultation with appropriate administrators and faculty committees. If readmission is granted, the placement in the program and remaining requirements will be specified by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Program Director.
Students who are dismissed from the program for academic reasons are generally not considered competitive. Students who chose to reapply to the program following an academic dismissal should provide documentation of extenuating circumstances that contributed to the inability to progress in the program, resolution of the extenuating circumstances, and their plan to be successful academically if readmitted to the program.
To be recommended for a degree in any of the programs offered by the College of Nursing, a candidate must comply with the following conditions:
- The candidate must complete all required courses of the prescribed curriculum with a minimum grade point average stipulated by the specific degree program (BSN Program, grade point average of 2.0 or above; DNP Program, grade point average of 3.0 or above; certificate programs, grade point average of 3.0 or above) and in the case of clinical education or practice demonstrate a level of proficiency that is satisfactory to departmental faculty.
- The candidate must demonstrate professionalism expected of a student in the particular discipline that is acceptable to faculty and consistent with professional standards.
- The candidate must discharge all financial obligations to the University and affiliated organizations.
- The candidate must meet the technical and performance standards for the college and respective program.
Attendance at Graduation
Attendance at graduation is mandatory for students completing their degrees. Those students unable to attend graduation must file a written request with their respective dean to receive a degree in absentia. Permission for receiving a degree in absentia must be granted by the Dean.
Graduating with Honors Designation
Honors graduates of the undergraduate entry-level programs in the College are so designated in recognition of academic distinction achieved in their respective professional curricula. Honors designations receive special mention in the graduation program and on diplomas, and are based on the following cumulative grade point averages for the BSN program:
- 3.50 - 3.69 Graduation With Honors
- 3.70 - 3.84 Graduation With High Honors
- 3.85 - 4.00 Graduation With Highest Honors
No honors designations are awarded to graduates of the DNP program.
General Education Competencies
General education courses are completed prior to admission to the UTHSC. Students enrolling in the BSN program who have previously completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field must also complete prerequisite courses in statistics (3 credits), human anatomy and physiology (8 credits), microbiology (4 credits), and American History (6 credits if not taken in high school). Individuals who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree at the time of application to the BSN program must have completed 60 credits of non-nursing college courses. These include general education courses in math (statistics; 3 credits), science (Human Anatomy and Physiology and Microbiology; 12 credits), English (6 credits), behavioral/social sciences (6 or more credits), humanities/fine arts (6 or more credits), and American History (6 credits if not taken in high school). All students enrolled in the BSN program must demonstrate general education competencies.
General education competencies for all UTHSC baccalaureate degrees are:
- Communication - Students must be able to communicate effectively in a style appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.
- Mathematics - Students must be able to apply basic mathematical tools in the solution of real- world problems.
- Sciences - Students must be able to apply principles of the natural, behavioral and social sciences in the solution of problems encountered.
- Critical Thinking - Students must be able to demonstrate their ability to solve problems, construct and present cogent arguments in support of one’s views, and understand and evaluate arguments presented by others.
- Information Literacy - Students must be able to seek, access, critically evaluate and appropriately apply information.
- Technology - Students must be able to use technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information in a professional manner.
Student achievement of these competencies is assessed through the Test of Essential Academic Skills™ (TEAS 5.0) and course assignments. The TEAS assesses reading, mathematics, science, English, and language usage. Communication competencies are assessed through written papers, professional communication with patients and families in clinical settings, and oral presentations. Mathematics competencies are assessed through the TEAS, successful completion of the medication safety and dosage calculation tests and course, dosage calculations for medication administration on unit exams and in the clinical settings. Science competencies are evaluated based on tests in courses and clinical application of scientific principles. Information literacy is assessed through completion of health literacy modules in the Informatics for Healthcare course, and use of electronic databases, journals and websites. Technology competency is assessed through the use electronic media through the library’s electronic books, journals and databases, completion of online practice test questions, electronic medical record charting, and use of handheld devices for point of care delivery.