Student Academic Policies
Undergraduate Student Policies
Academic Alert Course Referral
The University of Missouri - St. Louis utilizes an electronic Academic Alert system that allows faculty to refer students to academic supports early in the term. When a faculty member recognizes early signs of course failure, he/she can initiate an Academic Alert. Referrals steer students to campus resources and academic supports designed to help them successfully complete the course. An Academic Alert referral is not noted on campus transcripts; it is a mechanism to support learning and provide students with direct access to campus resources.
- Every undergraduate nursing course will provide a syllabus that details the specific evaluation criteria and methods. Students in the College of Nursing are expected to meet those criteria to successfully achieve the objectives of the course.
- To be successful, students must achieve a theory grade of C (76%) or better on exams/tests as well as maintain satisfactory progress in the clinical/laboratory in order to successfully pass the course.
- An Academic Alert referral will be completed by the course faculty on any student who is near or below the criteria of a theory grade of 76%, is not meeting performance standards for the course, or is not satisfactorily meeting the clinical requirements of a course. An Academic Alert referral is designed to make students who are having academic difficulty aware of the variety of resources available within the College of Nursing and across the campus.
- An electronic copy of the Academic Alert referral completed by the faculty will be forwarded to the student, the Center for Student Success, and the College of Nursing Retention Coordinator. The student is expected to meet with the faculty member completing the Academic Alert form and the Retention Coordinator for further assistance. In addition, the Director of the BSN program and Academic Advisors will have access to the system and be able to view Academic Alert referrals.
Many schools of nursing administer one or more standardized examinations to students enrolled in their basic nursing program(s). The faculty of the College of Nursing has implemented a standardized examination plan to test all students enrolled in the pre-licensure track of the BSN Program. This examination plan seeks to achieve the following goals:
- Assess student progress in achieving a professional nursing knowledge base as measured against a national pool of other baccalaureate-nursing students;
- Identify those students with a deficient nursing knowledge base and assist them to develop strategies to improve this knowledge base;
- To identify those students whose nursing knowledge base precludes their continuation in the College's baccalaureate program;
- To strengthen students' performance on the national nurse licensure examination (NCLEX-RN). Updated Standardized Testing Policy - Fall, 2009
Nursing Content Examinations
Students enrolled in clinical nursing courses will take standardized content area examinations for designated courses. The Director of the BSN Program and the Standardized Testing Coordinator, in consultation with faculty teaching in the BSN Program, will determine those courses and standardized tests to be administered. The content areas to be tested will include, but may not be limited to:
- Fundamentals of Nursing
- Adult Health Nursing
- Mental Health Nursing
- Nursing of Women and Childbearing Families
- Nursing of Children
- Community Health Nursing
- Management and Leadership in Nursing
For nursing courses associated with a standardized testing exam, no student will be given a course grade until the stipulated examination for the nursing content area has been completed. Course faculty will electronically verify completion of the exam prior to submitting the final grade.
While standardized content examinations are not a component of any particular course, faculty have the option of including the standardized content examination in the calculation of the course grade for the content area tested. If the examination is not included as a component of the course grade, students are still required to complete the standardized testing examinations as a component of the BSN program. Proficiency standards for each content examination are an expected outcome regardless of whether the exam is used as the course final. Course grades are not equivalent to proficiency standards.
Each content area examination is designed to measure the student's knowledge of a specialized area of professional nursing practice. The examination measures each student's knowledge of a content area and compares the student's performance with a national pool of nursing students also completing the examination.
- Standardized content examinations are administered in the Online Testing Center. During the semester in which each exam is to be completed, the Standardized Testing Coordinator will communicate to students and the course faculty the dates the examination may be taken. Students are responsible for scheduling a test time in the Online Testing Center to complete the exam. Courses utilizing the corresponding ATI Content exam as the course final are the exception to this process. Students are to complete the ATI exam as instructed by course faculty.
- When students enrolled in the course have completed the designated examination(s), they will receive the result report electronically. The class composite results will be assimilated electronically and reviewed by the BSN Program Director and the Standardized Testing Coordinator. Individual and normative scores will be shared with course faculty of record.
Importance of Testing Outcomes for Student
- Proficiency levels have been established by the faculty for each of the content areas tested. Proficiency reflects a student's "fairly certain" predicted probability of passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
- Any student who does not achieve proficiency on any standardized content area examination will be required to complete a remediation process for that content area as assigned by the Standardized Testing Coordinator.
- For each ATI content exam below proficiency, the student is to complete the assigned standardized remediation process. Details of the remediation process will be communicated to students via the campus email system.
- Deadlines for the completion of the remediation process will be approximately two weeks prior to the subsequent semester's registration date.
- Any student who does not complete the assigned remediation process by the established deadlines will not be allowed to register for the upcoming semester. Course registration will be held until all components of the remediation process have been completed.
- Students who remain out of compliance with the remediation policy and process at the beginning of the following semester will not be allowed to enroll.
- For students who are graduating and remain out of compliance with the remediation policy and process, release of student's transcript to the State Board of Nursing will not occur until all phases of the remediation process are completed.
Comprehensive Nursing Content Examinations
Students enrolled in NS 4310: Senior Synthesis will be required to take standardized computer-based exit examinations as stipulated by the Director of the BSN Program and the Standardized Testing Coordinator in consultation with faculty teaching in the BSN program. The first comprehensive examination will be completed within the first four weeks of the semester and the second comprehensive examination will be completed in the final two weeks of the semester.
This test assesses the student’s comprehensive nursing knowledge of selected nursing practice areas (e.g., adult, children’s, women’s, and mental health). Detailed score reports are provided for individual as well as group performance.
Importance of Testing Outcomes for Student
The first comprehensive exam is designed to assess the student's level of NCLEX-RN preparedness at the beginning of the final semester. If the student receives a score that predicts marginal performance or less as the likelihood of success on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination, the student will be required to engage in a learning contract aimed at addressing areas of individual deficiencies. The learning contract must be completed according to the contract timeframe set in coordination with the Standardized Testing Coordinator.
- Proficiency standards for the predicted probability of passing NCLEX-RN are set according to the following guidelines for the first attempt at the ATI Comprehensive Predictor exam :
- 91% or above - no remediation
- 85-90% - create and review Focused Review of exam, complete each of the ATI NurseLogic modules with a minimum of 2 total contact hours, complete ATI "RN Comprehensive Online Practice: Rationales 2010A" with a score of at least 90%, complete NCLEX Final Exam (150 ques) in ATI Learning System module with score of 90% or better; Standardized Testing Coordinator will track progress via the ATI website to ensure you satisfy the program remediation requirements - you do not need to print and turn in your score sheets
- 75-84% - remediation as above and meeting with faculty to create Learning Contract for review; one follow-up meeting to ensure completed
- 74% and below - remediation as above and meeting with faculty to create Learning Contract for review; bi-weekly meetings to track progress on Learning Contract
- Authorization for the student to take the NCLEX-RN will not be provided until the student has completed the learning contract with the Standardized Testing Coordinator and the BSN Program Director has been notified.
- The second comprehensive exam is designed to assess the student's level of NCLEX-RN preparedness at the completion of the final semester.
- Proficiency standards for the predicted probability of passing NCLEX-RN are set according to the following guidelines for the second attempt at the ATI Comprehensive Predictor exam :
- 95% or above - no remediation
- 90 - 94% - NCLEX review course of his/her choosing
- 89% or below - In-class NCLEX review course focusing on nursing content and meeting with faculty to create Learning Contract for review
- Students who are remediating the second attempt at the ATI Comprehensive Predictor exam are strongly encouraged but not required to schedule a meeting with the standardized testing coordinator to establish a post-graduation Learning Contract that further prepares the student for the NCLEX-RN
- Release of student's transcript to the State Board of Nursing will not occur until all phases of the remediation process are completed.
- The test is administered in the Online Testing Center. The Standardized Testing Coordinator will communicate to students and the course faculty the dates the examinations may be taken. Students are responsible for scheduling a test time in the Online Testing Center to complete the exams.
- When students enrolled in the course have completed the designated examinations, they will receive the result report electronically. The class composite results will be assimilated electronically and reviewed by the BSN Program Director and the Standardized Testing Coordinator. Individual and normative scores will be shared with course faculty of record.
Student Counseling Form
- The Student Counseling Form is a warning notice that is issued to alert the student of a situation that may lead to course failure and/or program dismissal.
- The Student Counseling Form provides a written description of the situation as it relates to course objectives or program policies.
- The Student Counseling Form will identify remedies to resolve the problem.
- A date for re-evaluation of the student behavior/situation will be provided.
- The faculty, Student Services, the Program Director, and the Retention Coordinator will maintain copies of the Student Counseling Form.
Probation - Undergraduate
Students will be placed on probation if their cumulative grade point average falls below 2.5.
The Office of Student Services will notify students:
- When placed on probation
- When removed from probation.
While on probation students will NOT be allowed to enroll in clinical courses, however, students may continue in non-clinical nursing courses. Students are allowed to continue on probation for two (2) semesters excluding summer.
Probation - Graduate
Graduate students will be placed on probation if the transcript GPA based on a minimum of 3 courses (9 hours) falls below 3.0, or if the College of Nursing regards progress as unsatisfactory. The student will be placed on probation for one semester; during which time progress will be formally reviewed by the appropriate departmental committee. After one semester the student will be removed from probation, continued on probation, or dismissed. A student may not continue on probation for more than one calendar year without permission of the Dean of the Graduate School. Probation letters will be sent out by the College, with copies sent to the Graduate School.
Dismissal - Undergraduate
Dismissal from the College of Nursing at UM-St. Louis occurs for the following:
- Failure to complete a probationary period satisfactorily.
- Irresponsible, unsafe or unprofessional behavior as determined by the College or University. (See Program Requirements and University Student Conduct Code)
- Failure of any three general education courses which serve as prerequisites to nursing courses; General education courses, which are required for University graduation but are not prerequisites to nursing courses may be satisfactorily completed with a grade of D. Examples are American History, Political Science, Humanities (other than Philosophy) or their equivalents and do not count towards repeated failures.
- Effective, Fall 2003, Failure of two nursing courses. All courses with an "N" prefix are included in this policy. Failure is defined as receiving a grade of "D" or "F" in nursing courses, or general education courses that serve as prerequisites to nursing courses.
- Failure of one nursing and two general education courses (which serve as pre-requisites to nursing courses)
- Failure to earn a satisfactory grade (C or above) in a required nursing course which he/she is repeating.
- Failure to earn a satisfactory grade (C- or above) in a general education course, which is a pre-requisite to a nursing course which he/she is repeating.
- The falsification of any information provided to the College or University on any record.
Dismissal - Graduate
A graduate student can be dismissed from the Graduate School on the recommendation of the College and the concurrence of the Graduate School. A student can be dismissed for failing to maintain a 3.00 GPA and for receiving a C+ or less in two graduate courses or in one graduate course twice. The Graduate School will send out dismissal letters with copies sent to the graduate advisor and the Admissions Office. The Graduate School will send notification to the Registrar's Office.
Grade Appeal Procedure
On each campus of the University of Missouri it is the Chancellor who is ultimately responsible to the President and the Board of Curators for all campus programs, policies and activities. On the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, the Chancellor has delegated responsibility for overseeing the grade appeal process to the Provost. The Provost is therefore responsible for assuring that grade appeals are handled in a fair and timely manner. More specifically, that officer is responsible for seeing that the procedures outlined below are appropriately followed.Application of this Policy
Students are responsible for meeting the standards established for each course they take. Faculty are responsible for establishing the criteria for grades and evaluating students' academic performance.
The grade appeal procedure is to allow only the review of allegedly capricious grading. It is not intended as a review of the instructor's evaluation of the student's academic performance.Capricious grading is defined as any of the following:
- The student's grade was assigned on the basis of factors other than performance on the graded material (e.g. homework, examinations, papers) or performance in the course (e.g. class participation, absences).
- The student's work was graded with more demanding standards than were applied to equivalent students in the course; (Note: Different grading criteria are expected of graduate students enrolled in 4000-level courses.)
- The instructor assigned a grade using standards that were substantially different from those previously announced or stated in the syllabus.
At any time after the awarding of a grade, for a course or an assignment in a course, a student may discuss the grade with her or his instructor and request that the instructor review the grade.
The following procedures apply if the above informal procedure does not resolve a dispute concerning a grade to the student's satisfaction and if the process is initiated within thirty working days of the start of the first regular semester (fall or spring) following the semester for which the grade was given, or thirty days after the assignment of the grade (whichever is greater).
- If the student has not already done so, he or she discusses the contended grade fully with the course instructor (1). The student should prepare for this meeting by taking all relevant written work (test, reports, etc.) with her/him. If the issue is not resolved, and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, she or he should consult the level Program Director of the department (BSN, BSN-C, MSN, Ph.D.) housing the course in question. (This will normally be someone below the level of the Dean.) The Program Director will discuss the appeal with the course instructor and will inform the student of the result of this discussion. (That result may be the instructor's agreement to change the grade, her or his refusal to change the grade, or her or his agreement to discuss the case further with the student.) The Program Director may require that the student put the appeal in written form before the Program Director discusses it with the instructor.
- If the matter remains unresolved, the student may, within 10 working days of being notified of the result of the discussion between the Program Director and the instructor, or within 10 working days of her or his last discussion with the instructor, submit a detailed written statement of the complaint to the Program Director. The Program Director will refer it to the Student Affairs Committee composed of at least three faculty members from the College of Nursing. This Committee will investigate the matter, meeting, as it may deem necessary with the student, the instructor, and possibly others. Following its inquiries and deliberations, but prior to making its final recommendations, the Student Affairs Committee will submit a copy of its findings to the course instructor. If the course instructor elects to comment on the findings of the Committee, this must be done in writing within 7 working days. After further consideration, but within 30 working days after receiving the student's statement, the Student Affairs Committee will submit its findings with its recommendations and reasons for those recommendations directly to the course instructor, with a copy to the Program Director.
- If the Student Affairs Committee recommends that the grade be changed, the Program Director will ask the instructor to implement the recommendation. If the instructor declines, the Program Director will change the grade, notifying the instructor and the student of this action. Only the Program Director, upon the written recommendation of the Student Affairs Committee, will effect a change in grade over the objection of the instructor who assigned the original grade.
- If the Student Affairs Committee recommends that the grade not be changed, the Program Director will notify the student of this action. The student may then appeal to the Dean of the College of Nursing who will determine whether the above procedures have been properly observed. If the Dean determines that the procedures have not been appropriately followed, and that their not being followed may have substantively affected the outcome, the case will be returned to the Student Affairs Committee for review by the same, or, if the Dean so determines, by a different committee.
- If the Dean denies the procedural appeal the student may ask the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, acting as the Chancellor's designee, to conduct a procedural review. The Vice Chancellor is not obligated to conduct such a review and will normally do so only where there is compelling evidence of procedural irregularities. If the Vice Chancellor finds the procedures have not been appropriately followed, and that their not being followed may have substantively affected the outcome, the case will be returned to a lower level for re-review. As the Vice Chancellor is acting as the designee of the Chancellor, there is no appeal beyond this level.
¹ If the instructor is deceased, cannot be located, or is otherwise unable or unwilling to reconsider the grade, the student should consult directly with the level Program Director of the College of Nursing. The remaining procedures here specified will be followed except that the Program Director and the Student Affairs Committee will not consult with the instructor if she or he is unavailable.
² Under current campus policy, transcript notation of "DL" automatically becomes an F after one regular semester. This change, which the Registrar is mandated to make, is not considered grade changes and are consistent with this Grade Appeal Policy. Students may appeal this change provided the appeal is initiated within 30 working days of the notification of the change.
Grievance Concerning Dicrimination
Any grievance or complaint (informal grievance) that alleges discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability - especially concerning admission to and retention within the College of Nursing shall be treated according to policy of the board of Curators entitled "Discrimination Grievance Procedure for Students".
Students claiming a grievance under this policy are referred to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for the specific procedures to be followed in the event of such a grievance.
Grievance Concerning Other Issues- See University Bulletin
While the problem resolution procedure is in process, the student may remain enrolled in the program.
The following are program requirements for students. Each student will be expected to meet these requirements or be subject to disciplinary action and may be ineligible for program progression.
- Professional appearance may be defined as, but is not limited to:
- Maintenance of professional attire and appearance
- Adherence to agency dress-code requirements
Display of appropriate professional and University identification
- Professional conduct may be defined as, but is not limited to:
- Protection of patient rights and privacy
- Maintenance of patient confidentiality
- Academic Honesty (see Student Responsibility)
- Delivery of safe nursing care
- Prompt reporting of mistakes, errors, accidents or unusual circumstances to supervising faculty and appropriate health team staff
- Adherence to policies of clinical agencies and those of individual courses.
- Functioning under the specific direction of faculty
- Courteous and respectful interpersonal interactions
- Prepared, present and punctual
A faculty member has the authority to remove a student from an academic activity if the student's behavior is irresponsible, unsafe or unprofessional.
As part of the computing fee, all students are provided with a free e-mail account automatically upon enrollment. No additional registration is necessary. E-mail can be accessed at any computer lab on campus. Student e-mail addresses are in the following format: firstname.lastname@example.org. …where "yourssoid" is your own SSOID. Default passwords for SSOIDs have been created using a combination of birth date and social security number*. The format of the new password is yydd9999 where:
yy = year of birth; dd = date of birth; 9999 = last 4 digits of SSN
Computing facilities at the University of Missouri provide access to powerful computing resources, which are available to students, faculty, and staff for educational, research, and administrative needs. Access to local facilities is provided by the Student Computing Fee.
Six Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATC's) are available in the Computer Center Building. Each room is equipped with a state of the art projection system and a computer at each student desk. Two rooms contain Apple Macintoshes, three rooms are equipped with DOS systems and the remaining room has Sun workstations. One ATC, equipped with Apple Macintoshes, is available on the South Campus. Other computer labs are available throughout the campus:
Benton Hall 232
Clark Hall 419
South Campus Computer Building 200
Thomas Jefferson Library 234
SSB 409 (Writing Lab)
SSB425 (Math Lab)
Computing Services office telephone number is 516-6000. Questions concerning open student labs and general information should be directed to the Help Desk at 516-6034.
Computer Proficiency Requirement
The College of Nursing requires all students to be computer proficient prior to entering their clinical courses.
Students must indicate proficiency in the following:
Preferred, but not required
- Logging on to the University's portal (mygateway.umsl.edu)
- Send, receive, and respond to web-based email on and off campus
- Attach a document/file to an email message
- Familiar with using a graphical interface to access programs (use of Icons on the desktop)
- Start up and switch between multiple programs/windows
- Copy, move, rename and delete files
- Create, move, rename and delete folders
- Able to use a web browser to access the Internet
- Able to create and organize bookmarks in web browser
- Be familiar with several different search engines to find information
- Use the Internet to collect and print information
- Able to download programs from the Internet to their computer (e.g., readers and plug-ins)
- Able to save, copy, and incorporate Internet information into a word processing program
- Create a document using a word processor
- Able to save, edit, and print a document in a word processing program
The College of Nursing has adopted:
- Able to create, edit, enter formulae for calculations, and create graphs using a spreadsheet
- Able to create PowerPoint presentations (including adding video clips, sounds, and links to other presentations)
The University has adopted:
- Windows/PC as its operating system;
- Microsoft Word as its standard for word processing; and
- APA, the latest edition, as the standard manuscript style. (The University bookstore has APA disks available for Word and WordPerfect.)
Resources for computer literacy proficiency:
- Netscape as its standard browser; and
- Blackboard as its course management software.
- Computer course
- Computer lab training