Academic Performance & Progression in Master’s Program

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A student becomes a candidate for the master’s degree upon acceptance and matriculation into the program.

[The following policies were adopted by Master’s Executive Committee, April 2003.]

Honor at Carolina (http://honor.unc.edu)

All students are expected to be familiar with the Honor System of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and abide by it fully. Special attention should be given to not plagiarize the work of others such as copying word for word ideas written by another without using quotes and a reference, as well as improper or inadequate referencing of ideas in papers or presentations.

Any student who submits the identical or nearly identical assignment (paper, project or other assignment) to 2 or more courses will be considered as having violated the Honor Code.

Requirements for Graduation

The Advanced Practice Coordinator in the student’s specialty area will provide information regarding academic requirements at the time of matriculation into the program to each student.

If a student has withdrawn from the program for a significant length of time or has interrupted the clinical sequence in their advanced practice area, the student may be required to repeat coursework to prepare them for returning to the appropriate advanced practice standing . Standing in the specialty area upon return to the program will be determined by the Advanced Practice Coordinator and graduate faculty in the student’s specialty area (see Readmission).

Prerequisites

In general, prerequisites for required nursing courses are to be met in order to progress. Refer to the University Record for a complete listing of courses and their prerequisites. Any student enrolled in a nursing course for which prerequisites have not been met will be subject to administrative withdrawal from the course.

Student Evaluation Procedures

The academic and clinical performance of each master’s student will be reviewed during and at the completion of each semester by the advanced practice area coordinator together with specialty faculty in the student’s area of study. The Advanced Practice Coordinator will notify the Director of Master’s Programs regarding any student experiencing academic or clinical difficulties. Student-faculty conferences may be initiated by the student, advanced practice area coordinator, or by a faculty member at any time.

Academic or Clinical Difficulties

Students who are having academic or clinical difficulties are encouraged to contact the course instructor, clinical faculty, and clinical preceptor, if applicable, as early as possible in the semester. It is also recommended that students appraise their academic advisor and advanced practice area coordinator of academic or clinical difficulties.

At mid-semester, the Director of the Master’s Programs requests from course coordinators the names of students who may be experiencing academic or clinical difficulties. This list will be shared with the Director of the Office of Student Affairs, the student’s academic advisor and advanced practice area coordinator. Course coordinators will be instructed to ask for a meeting with each student who is experiencing academic or clinical difficulties, informing them of their academic standing, and setting up a plan to facilitate their ability to meet course objectives. The course coordinator will refer the student back to their faculty advisor and advanced practice area coordinator for further guidance and assistance.

Students who are not making satisfactory progress in a course will set a time to meet with the course coordinator and develop a formal learning contract with the course coordinator or a designated course faculty member. The contract should identify the areas of deficiency and specify corrective actions to satisfactorily meet course and/or program objectives.

The academic and clinical performance of master’s students is reviewed at mid-semester and at the end of each semester. In programs of study where course work is sequential or clinical performance is unsatisfactory or marginal, the student may not progress in the program until improvement is made and course objectives are met. These situations will be reviewed at the end of each semester (see Progression Review Process).

Progression Review Committee

The Master’s Progression Review Committee is composed of five members: a chair, a representative from each academic Division, and one at-large member. The committee members are appointed by the Master’s Executive Committee and must be faculty that teach or advise students in the master’s program. The Chair of the Progression Review Committee will be an existing member of the Master’s Executive Committee and will be appointed by the Master’s Executive Committee. All members will serve on the committee for a one-year term. The Director of Master’s Programs and the Director of the Office of Student Affairs serve as ex officio members of the committee.

At the end of each semester the Director of the Office of Student Affairs forwards the names of all masters students and their grades to the chair of the Master’s Progression Review Committee and the Director of Master’s Programs. A progression review meeting will occur within 1-3 business days of the receipt of the grades by the School of Nursing Registrar. The committee shall also review all students who withdrew from a required nursing course at any time during the semester or were assigned a temporary grade such as IN or AB. The committee will review all students at any point in the semester who are reported to the Program Director by the Office of Student Affairs as non-compliant with health and safety requirements.

Any member of the Progression Review committee who has a conflict of interest with a specific progression case in question (e.g., involved in teaching the course where the issue arose) must recuse himself or herself from that portion of the meeting.

Within 3 business days following the meeting of the Committee, the Chair will send a letter of notification of the committee’s decisions and recommendations to the student, with copies sent to the Office of Student Affairs for placement in the student’s academic file and to the Director of Master’s Programs. In cases in which dismissal from the program is the Committee’s recommendation, the letter also will contain the committee specific requirements for readmission, if applicable. The Program Director will then notify the student’s Advanced Practice Area coordinator and academic advisor of the recommendations.

Reinstatement Process

Students declared academically ineligible due to grades may petition the Graduate School for reinstatement after endorsement from the Director of the Master’s Programs.

Students seeking reinstatement must notify their Advanced Practice Coordinator and academic advisor as soon as they are aware of their academic ineligibility or the potential for academic ineligibility. The Advanced Practice Coordinator will notify the Director of Master’s Programs of the names and the semester for which any student in their specialty area is seeking reinstatement.

In order to determine whether a student’s request for reinstatement is eligible for endorsement, the Director of Master’s Programs will convene a committee made up of the student’s academic advisor, advanced practice coordinator, and one other graduate faculty member from the student’s specialty area, the program director, and the Director of the Office of Student Affairs (ex-officio). The Director of Master’s Programs will chair the meeting and be a nonvoting member. The student will be notified of the day and time of the meeting and be invited to meet with committee members.

In collaboration with the student, the committee will develop a plan to support the student’s success that may include student activities and program supports. A simple majority of the voting members of the committee is required for any decision or recommendation regarding a student’s progression in the program. If the committee’s judgment is that no plan is likely to support success, reinstatement will be denied. However, such a decision will not be made without offering the student the chance to personally meet with the committee.

The Director of Master’s Programs will prepare a brief summary indicating the decision of the committee. This summary should include any conditions for continuance in the program, which may include, but are not limited to, extended study and tutorial assistance. A copy of this statement will be sent to the student and placed in the student’s folder.

Students have the right to appeal the progression decision in writing to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Nursing within 10 working days of notification by the Director of Master’s Programs.

Students who are reinstated are on academic probation and are automatically declared academically ineligible if they receive a grade below P.

Second reinstatements are only granted by the Graduate School in exceptional situations and with strong endorsements from the program director. Therefore, the review committee for a student requesting a second reinstatement will be made up of the student’s academic advisor, advanced practice coordinator, and one other graduate faculty member from the student’s specialty area, the program director (nonvoting member), the director of the Office of Student Affairs (ex-officio), and two uninvolved graduate faculty members suggested by the Chair of the Master’s Executive Committee. A simple majority of the voting members of the committee is required for any decision or recommendation regarding a student’s progression in the program.

Students who fail comprehensive examinations twice are not eligible for reinstatement but may appeal directly to the Administrative Board of the Graduate School.

Other Reasons for Dismissal

If a student fails to make satisfactory progress towards the completion of the degree or to demonstrate sufficient promise to the discipline, regardless of grades, the student shall not be allowed to continue in the Graduate School.

In cases in which the progression review committee recommends dismissal from the program, a letter will also contain the Academic Standards Committee’s specific requirements for readmission if applicable. The student may appeal the decision of the Academic Standards Committee to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The Dean acting on behalf of the School of Nursing reserves the right to request the withdrawal of any student who fails to meet the qualifications considered essential for professional nursing, irrespective of grades.

Appeals

Students may appeal the denial of reinstatement or recommendation for dismissal to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dean of the School of Nursing, and the Graduate School (in that order). The only grounds for appeal are procedural; denial of due process, arbitrariness, or discrimination.

Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Harassment and Discrimination (www.unc.edu/campus/policies/harassanddiscrim.pdf) prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Appendix B of this Policy provides specific information for students who believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of one or more of these protected classifications.

Students who want additional information regarding the University’s process for investigating allegations of discrimination or harassment should contact the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office for assistance:

Equal Opportunity/ADA Office

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

100 E. Franklin Street, Unit 110

Campus Box 9160

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599

Telephone: (919) 966-3576

Fax: (919) 962-2562

Email: equalopportunity@unc.edu

Any administrator or supervisor, including a department chair, associate dean or other administrator, who receives a student’s complaint about prohibited harassment or discrimination must notify the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office within five (5) calendar days of receiving the complaint. If a student raises a claim of prohibited harassment or discrimination during an academic appeal, an investigation of the student’s claim must be performed under the direction of the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office. The school or department must await the results of the harassment or discrimination investigation before deciding the student’s academic appeal.

Updated September 2012