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Good Standing 

A student in good standing is defined as a student who:

  • Maintains the proper GPA
  • Maintains the proper course load (without incompletes)
  • Is not on academic probation
  • Does not have two consecutive semesters of non-enrollment
  • Is on an approved leave of absence
  • Is not on financial hold nor carrying past due balances
  • Has completed the immunizations, background check, and drug screening processes with no identified problems

A student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to remain in good academic standing and to graduate from the School of Nursing and the University.


Academic Warning 

A student who has a cumulative GPA or single semester term GPA between 2.5 and 3.0 will be given a warning notice.


Academic Probation 

A student will be placed on probation if they:

  • Has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.5 at the end of any semester
  • Has a term GPA below 2.5 at the end of any semester
  • Has a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 for two consecutive semesters
  • Has a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0 in Nursing core, theory, and clinical courses (required courses)
  • Has failed a required Nursing core, theory, or clinical course (required course)

A student on probation may not take classes pass/fail.


Dismissal 

A student will be withdrawn from the School of Nursing for failing a required Nursing course twice.

A student who has been on academic probation for at least one semester and who has a cumulative GPA below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters may be withdrawn from the School of Nursing.


Grading Policies 

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is tabulated at the end of each semester.  A minimum of a C- is needed to pass a non-clinical graduate level course (a grade lower than this will be reported as an F on the student’s transcript).  A minimum grade of B- is needed to pass a clinical course (a grade lower than this will be reported as an F on the student’s transcript).

All course grading policies are at the discretion of individual course instructors.

GPA Scale

A+   =   4.0          B+   =   3.3          C+   =   2.3

A     =   3.7          B     =   3.0          C     =   2.0         F     =   0.0

A-    =   3.3          B-    =   2.7          C-    =   1.7

GPA Calculation

To calculate the GPA, the following formula should be used: 

                               GPA =    SUM (C.U. x GRADE)  /  TOTAL CUs

The GPA is calculated by multiplying the course unit for each course (usually 1 c.u.) by the numerical equivalent for the grade received in the course, adding the total number and dividing by the total number of credits taken. Averages are tabulated for each semester and on a cumulative basis.

Pass / Fail

When a course is taken as Pass/Fail, the grade of P (pass) is not calculated into the grade point average. However, if an F (fail) is received in a Pass/Fail course, it is calculated into the GPA. 
Other GPA Notations (NR / GR / W)
The notations of NR and GR indicate that the grade has not been received by the Registrar. All NRs (instructor did not submit grades for the course) and GRs (instructor did not enter a grade for the student in question) must be cleared from the student’s transcript before graduation. The notation W indicates an approved withdrawal from a course.

Course Failure 

If a required course is failed, it must be repeated at the next available offering and a satisfactory grade must be achieved. The repeated course may not be taken with the Pass/Fail Option. Any courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite may not be taken until a satisfactory grade in the prerequisite course has been achieved. However, the “F” remains on the transcript even though the student has repeated the course and obtained a passing grade or above. The “F” is still calculated into the cumulative GPA.

Students will receive an “F” in a clinical course if they fail to meet objectives or if they are removed from the clinical setting for unsafe practice at any point during the course. A student who is failing a clinical course for unsafe practice may not withdraw from the course. In the event of a failure for unsafe clinical practice, the Academic Standards and Progressions Committee and Program Director will define the conditions under which the student may repeat the course.

A student may only attempt a required Nursing course twice. A student will be withdrawn from the School of Nursing for failing a required Nursing course twice or withdrawing from the course on the first attempt and failing the course on the second attempt or vice versa.


Incomplete Policy 

A student who fails to complete a course within the prescribed period and does not withdraw from the course or change his or her status to auditor will receive, at the instructor’s discretion, either a grade of I (incomplete) or F (failure).

Incompletes in Non-Clinical Courses

A grade of incomplete in a non-clinical course is assigned by the instructor only under the following conditions:

  • The student has academic good standing in the course with a passing grade average.
  • The student has no more than two outstanding course requirements unmet in the course.
  • The student and instructor have completed a Learning Plan to Achieve Complete Course Work.
  • The student and instructor have an agreed date of submission for all outstanding course requirements. This date is no later than the end of the academic term that follows the term in which the grade of incomplete is assigned.

These conditions must be conveyed to the Office of Student Information via email and approved by the Assistant Dean or her/his designee before the grade of incomplete is assigned.

Except in unusual and extreme situations, the “I” must be removed within the following academic term. Only with the approval of the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, the instructor may permit an extension of time up to one year for the completion of the course. Incomplete extensions must be accompanied by a written faculty approval on file with the Office of Student Information. Any grade of incomplete which remains after one calendar year from date of assignment becomes a permanent incomplete grade designated by the mark I* on the student’s record and is not credited toward any degree.

Incompletes in Clinical (Theory and Practice) Courses)

A grade of incomplete in a clinical (theory and practice) course is assigned by the instructor only under the following conditions:

  • The student has academic good standing in the course with a passing grade average.
  • The student has clinical good standing in the course with no record of clinical practice errors risking patient safety in the course.
  • The student has no more than two outstanding course requirements unmet in the course.
  • The student has completed the majority of any required clinical hours (e.g. more than 50% of clinical hours are completed) in the course.
  • The student and instructor have completed a Learning Plan to Achieve Complete Course Work.
  • The student and instructor have an agreed date of submission for all outstanding course requirements and completion of any outstanding clinical hours. This date is no later than the end of the academic term that follows the term in which the grade of incomplete is assigned.

These conditions must be conveyed to the Office of Student Information via email and approved by the Assistant Dean or her/his designee before the grade of incomplete is assigned.

The grade of incomplete may be carried on the student’s transcript only until the end of the following term. Carrying this grade beyond that time holds severe implications of failure to progress to next term with delay in the student’s academic and clinical progression of an academic term or full academic year. Any extensions of work toward an incomplete past the end of the following academic term must be reviewed and approved by the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs or the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.

Any grade of incomplete for a clinical course which remains after the end of the academic term following the one in which it was assigned becomes a permanent incomplete grade designated by the mark I* on the student’s record. A permanent incomplete requires registering and retaking the entire clinical (theory or practice) course in its entirety to complete the degree for which the clinical course is required. The permanent grade of incomplete is not counted toward any other degree should the student elect a change or major or track.


Clinical Remediation (NURS 799) 

Students whose clinical performance would benefit from additional clinical exposure in order to demonstrate the expected competencies are, with course faculty and faculty advisor approval, eligible to register for NURS 799.  This experience will be allotted no more than one credit unit and must be completed in a time frame not to exceed one academic semester.  A course may be remediated only one time. 

NURS 799 will be graded on a pass/fail basis and will not be factored into the student’s cumulative grade point average. Completion of NURS 799 may not be applied to program elective requirements.

Procedure
  1. Approval to register for the remedial experience must be obtained from the faculty responsible for the course and, in the event that it involves a graduate nursing course, from the Program Director as well. If the course involves activities in the simulation lab, the Director of the Laboratory must be involved in the planning of the remedial experience.
  2. The student, in collaboration with course/program faculty, will design an individual experience that addresses the areas of deficit and which affords the student sufficient time and clinical exposure so that expected course outcomes are achieved. This experience will be detailed in a contract format, using the Independent Study Proposal Form, that will be signed by both student and faculty.
  3. Specific objectives for the experience should fully address the areas of deficit and be congruent with the course in which the clinical difficulties were encountered. Additionally, the student will be held to the objectives that are detailed on the course clinical evaluation form that correlates with the specific course involved.
  4. The course/program faculty must approve the plan for remediation before the student can proceed to the clinical area for practice.
  5. The course/program faculty will determine the credit allotment (0.5 or 1.0 CU) for this remedial experience. The tuition will be determined based on this credit allotment and will apply to the costs associated with personnel costs necessary to oversee this experience.
  6. Total hours completed during the remediation experience is not to exceed the number of hours originally assigned to the course.
  7. At the conclusion of the experience, the student will complete the clinical evaluation tool as part of the self-evaluation process.   Additionally, in narrative form, the student will evaluate his/her success in achieving the goals that were set for this individualized experience.  All work must be accomplished with the grade of “pass” in order for the student to progress to the next level and for the successful completion of the course to be noted on the transcript. 
  8. A copy of all materials related to the completion of this course will be maintained in the student’s file.

Current Competence in Advanced Physical Assessment Policy 

Time away from clinical learning experiences is essential in determining whether the student needs to demonstrate current competence in advanced physical assessment. If more than one semester has lapsed since the student was active in advanced clinical learning, current competence in advanced physical assessment must be demonstrated before progression in the clinical sequence begins.

Procedure

Components assessed in demonstration of current competence are:

  • Demonstration of a comprehensive physical assessment (mandatory);
  • Comprehensive documentation of physical examination findings (mandatory);
  • Written comprehensive history of present illness (HPI) (completed at the discretion of the Program Director).

Successful demonstration of current competence as described above depends on adequate preparation for this examination. Faculty assistance in preparation for the examination is an additional educational activity. As such, faculty time and additional resources are directly billable to the student. The amount billed is calculated based on time and resources required.

A maximum of two attempts to demonstrate current competence is allowed. Demonstration is graded on a pass/fail basis. Demonstration, pass or fail, is not calculated in the student’s GPA.   Failure to demonstrate current competence requires repeating NURS 657 / NURS 721 at the student’s expense and achieving a passing grade. Failure to demonstrate current competence also delays re-entry into the clinical course sequence. The student may need to take a leave of absence until she or he is able to rejoin the clinical course sequence.


Academic Standards and Progression Committee 

All matters of academic discipline are acted upon through the Academic Standards and Progressions Committee of the School of Nursing. 

The Academic Standards and Progressions Committee is the highest ruling body in the School of Nursing. (Note: The Doctoral Progressions Committee holds the same level within the Ph.D. Program). The Academic Standards and Progressions Committee reserves the right to make decisions in the best interest of the student and the School of Nursing.

Meetings
The Academic Standards and Progressions Committee meets three times a year at the close of the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and as needed, to rule on specific academic problems.
Purview
The cases of students with academic concerns are presented to the Academic Standards and Progressions Committee for action. Committee deliberations may result in issuing a warning, placing the student on probation, or withdrawing the student from the School of Nursing. Students will receive a letter informing them of the Committee’s decision and outlining the required course of action. A copy will be sent to the student’s faculty advisor.
Petitions
Other academic problems may be brought to the Academic Standards and Progressions Committee for action. A student must petition the Committee in writing, describing the situation, and may be asked to present his or her case at the Committee meeting. The petition should be submitted to the Assistant Dean for Academic & Student Affairs.

 


Academic Integrity Policies 

Since the University is an academic community, its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Essential to the success of this educational mission is a commitment to the principles of academic integrity. Every member of the University community is responsible for upholding the highest standards of honesty at all times. Students, as members of the community, are also responsible for adhering to the principles and spirit of the following Code of Academic Integrity.

University Code of Academic Integrity

Academic Dishonesty Definitions

Activities that have the effect or intention of interfering with education, pursuit of knowledge, or fair evaluation of a student’s performance are prohibited. If a student is unsure whether her/his action(s) constitute a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, then it is that student’s responsibility to consult with the instructor to clarify any ambiguities. Examples of such activities include but are not limited to the following definitions:

  • Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized assistance, material or attempting to prevent another from using authorized assistance, material or study aids. Example: using a cheat sheet in a quiz or exam, altering a graded exam and resubmitting it for a better grade, etc.
  • Plagiarism: using the ideas, data or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment. Example: copying another person’s paper, article, or computer work and submitting it for an assignment, cloning someone else’s idea without attribution, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate, etc.
  • Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise. Example: making up data for an experiment, fudging data, citing nonexistent articles, contriving sources, etc.
  • Multiple Submission: submitting, without prior permission, any work submitted to fulfill another academic requirement.
  • Misrepresentation of academic records: misrepresenting or tampering with or attempting to tamper with any portion of a student’s transcripts or academic record, either before or after coming to the University of Pennsylvania. Example: forging a change of grade slip, tampering with computer records, falsifying academic information on one’s resume, etc.
  • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping or attempting to help another violate any provision of the Code. Example: working together on a take-home exam, etc.
  • Unfair advantage: attempting to gain unauthorized advantage over fellow students in an academic exercise. Example: gaining or providing unauthorized access to examination materials, obstructing or interfering with another student’s efforts in an academic exercise, lying about a need for an extension for an exam or paper, continuing to write even when time is up during an exam, destroying or keeping library materials for one’s own use, etc.

Source: Pennbook, Code of Academic Integrity

Office of Student Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is responsible for acting on behalf of the University in matters of student discipline. OSC deals with alleged instances of academic dishonesty and other student misconduct, in order to determine how best to resolve these allegations consistent with the goals and mission of the University as an educational and intellectual community. (Note: As of January 2015, all alleged violations of the University’s Sexual Violence, Relationship Violence and Stalking Policy are handled by the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer).

 For detailed information regarding the Disciplinary Process, resources for students and faculty, and frequently asked questions, please consult the OSC website.

If you have any questions about the Code of Academic Integrity or the processes required by the Code, or if you would like a complete copy of the Code of Academic Integrity, please contact the Office of Student Conduct directly by calling 215-898-5651 or visiting the office located in 207 Duhring Wing, 236 S. 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. 


Examination Policies 

Examinations in the School of Nursing courses follow the Rules Governing Final Examinations from the Office of the Provost. The Final Examination schedule for each semester is published by the Office of the University Registrar.

Students with such special circumstances as time conflicts between multiple exams, illness, or grave personal difficulties such as a death in the family should petition the faculty immediately to work with and find a resolution.


Readmission to a Graduate Program 

Graduate Nursing students are readmitted through the Academic Standards and Progressions Committee. The Academic Standards and Progressions Committee is the highest ruling body in the School of Nursing with regard to readmission decisions for master’s students; as such, it has the final say. 

Procedure
  1. The student should indicate interest in readmission by emailing the Office of Student Services at least six months before the desired return date. The following materials are required for the readmission petition to be considered: 
    1. A letter requesting readmission addressed to the Academic Standards and Progression Committee
    2. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from nurse managers or those who have supervised the student (to be sent directly from the recommender to advisor@nursing.upenn.edu)
    3. A resume
    4. Any transcripts from institutions attended since separating from Penn.
  2. The Associate Director for Graduate Academic Affairs will forward the materials to the Graduate Program Director(s). The Graduate Program Director(s) will communicate with the applicant if any additional admissions requirements, such as an interview, are needed.
  3. The Program Director(s) will review the applicant and communicate their recommendation to the Associate Director for Graduate Academic Affairs prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Academic Standards and Progression Committee. If the Program Director(s) recommend readmission, an updated plan of study should be provided. 
  4. The readmission materials and Program Director(s)’ recommendation will be reviewed by the Academic Standards and Progression Committee and the student will be notified of the decision.