CON Professional Graduate Nursing Program Academic Evaluation Appeals Procedure

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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER
COLLEGE OF NURSING
Professional Graduate Nursing Program Academic Evaluation Appeals Procedure Subsection: Appendix W
Section 5.0 - Information Originating Date: May, 2013
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, and Scholarship Committee.
October, 2014
J:/RESOURCE MANUAL/Table of Contents College of Nursing Resource Manual


Policy:

Under the provision of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents, students may appeal grades or other evaluations of their academic progress which they believe to have been prejudiced or capricious and each College shall provide for a faculty-student appeals procedure (See Paragraph 5.3 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents).

Such procedure shall provide for changing of student's evaluation upon the committee's finding that an academic evaluation by a member of a faculty has been improper.

Faculty Section 4.1 (Rules of the Faculty Organization) and Policy 4.1.7 (Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, and Scholarship Committee) state that a committee shall review professional graduate nursing program student grade appeals, determine appropriate course of action and submit committee recommendations, and report to all appropriate parties in accordance with written procedures and as stipulated by the Bylaws of the Board of Regents.

Academic Evaluation Procedures

  1. It is recognized that students and faculty initiate, develop and maintain professional relationships in the teaching-learning process. To this end, it is strongly encouraged that students seek consultation with individual faculty whenever there are questions about the determination of a grade. In all cases, informal discussion between faculty and student is preferred to resolve any potential miscommunication in an evaluation that has been determined. As a result of this consultation, faculty will maintain the right to retain or change an evaluation. Factors such as misinterpretation of scoring, mathematical calculation, or other factors should be objectively discussed so that both faculty and student conclude the informal communication process with an understanding of the nature of the issue at hand.
  2. If, after the initial discussion cited in step #1 of this procedure, a student in the professional graduate nursing program (MSN, post-master, and DNP) believes that an evaluation has been rendered in an arbitrary or capricious manner, the student may discuss the concern with their faculty advisor, specialty coordinator or program director and if no resolution is reached, the student will be referred to the department chair or division Assistant Dean. If no resolution is reached, the student will be counseled on the formal appeal procedure and will also discuss the elements that determine the existence of arbitrary or capricious behavior. Based on this conversation, the student may or may not choose to proceed to seek a formal appeal of the evaluation. The role of faculty advisor, specialty coordinator, program director, Department Chair or Division Assistant Dean, is one of neutral objective information sharing and consultation.
  3. If the student chooses to seek a formal appeal, the student must submit an official written appeal to the Chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, and Scholarship Committee and to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs within 10 days of receiving the evaluation. Upon receiving the student’s written statement, the Chair of the Committee may elect to meet with the student and faculty to understand the nature of the concern.
  4. If the appeal goes forward, the Associate Dean for Academic Programs (with consultation of the Chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, and Scholarship Committee) will appoint an ad hoc appeals committee. The ad hoc appeals committee will be comprised of no fewer than 5 individuals: 1 faculty chairperson, 2 faculty members, and 2 student representatives. The Dean of the CON will appoint the 2 student representatives. The student representatives will be from a specialty area different from the student who is appealing.
  5. All members of the ad hoc appeals committee will be equal voting members and will not have a conflict or competing interest in the outcome.
  6. The ad hoc appeals committee chair will convene and record a hearing with the members of the committee. The Chair will conduct the meeting in a civil and non-threatening manner and there will be breaks as needed. The appeals committee chair or members may request any additional materials that they deem to be essential in the information gathering process. In addition, the committee may choose to meet with the faculty or student as needed. The student has a right to request to meet with the committee and to have a support person who cannot actively participate in the hearing, but confer with the student during the hearing.
  7. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the ad hoc appeals committee members will determine if there was the existence of arbitrary and capricious behavior. The chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee will be notified at the conclusion of the hearing of the outcome to either support or not support that there was sufficient evidence of improper evaluation of the student by the faculty.
  8. The Chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee will communicate the findings of the ad hoc appeals committee to the involved faculty member, student, and specialty coordinator. The faculty involved in the appeal will have the opportunity to change or retain the original grade based on the ad hoc appeals committee findings.
  9. The ad hoc appeals committee chair will write a report which describes the decision making process and steps taken in the deliberation, including the decision, and will send the report to the Chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee and to the Associate Dean For Academic Programs within 48 hours of conclusion of the hearing.
  10. The findings from the hearing will be communicated to the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee Members. The Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee will consider the findings in a consent vote to support or not support the recommendation of the ad hoc appeals committee.
  11. The faculty member involved in the appeal will receive the results of the decision of the vote (support or not support) from the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee. If the faculty member disagrees with the ad hoc appeals committee decision, the faculty member has the right to appeal to the Dean.
  12. The student will be notified by the Chair of the Professional Graduate Nursing Program Admission, Progression, Graduation, & Scholarship Committee or by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of any changes in the findings of the proceedings.
  13. If the appeal is not supportive of the student, the student may request deliberation by the Dean of the CON. The Dean will deliberate the issue and make a determination of the final decision of the appeal. If the decision is made to support the student appeal, the evaluation will be changed by the course coordinator. If the decision is made to support the original evaluation, the evaluation will be retained.