Course Policies in Graduate Practice Courses

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Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is a student obligation. A student is responsible for all the work, including tests, laboratory and clinical assignments and written work, of all class meetings. Each individual instructor of classes at the graduate level has the authority to prescribe attendance regulations for his or her class.

A faculty member wishing to require class attendance must have a systematic method of monitoring student attendance and a stated process for factoring excessive absences into the student’s grade or any recommended remedial activity. The attendance requirement and any mechanism for calculating the grade must be given to students in writing at the beginning of the course.

Attendance does not apply to recognized religious holidays. Students do not have to attend class on any major religious holiday that is regularly observed. Faculty members make every effort to avoid scheduling papers or exams on religious holidays, but the student is required to make up any work that is missed.

In the School of Nursing, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has delegated the handling of absences to course coordinators. The Director of the Graduate Practice Programs must be informed of all unusual situations.

Attendance at Regular Exams or Tests

Students are expected to take tests as scheduled unless an excused absence is obtained from an appropriate course faculty representative before the time of the test. A grade of F will be given to a student with an unexcused absence from a test.

All graduate faculty and students are expected to be familiar with the Honor Code of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and conduct themselves according to the principles it contains.

Attendance at Clinical Experiences

Students are expected to uphold the clinical policies and procedures of the School of Nursing. Specifically, students are required to:

  1. Attend all clinical experiences except when ill.
  2. Complete all required clinical hours by the end of the semester in which they are enrolled.
  3. Notify the course faculty and/or clinical preceptor of an absence due to illness or emergency prior to the scheduled clinical time if possible.
  4. Assume responsibility for making up any specific experiences. Make-up laboratory time is at the discretion of the course faculty and/or clinical preceptor.

Course faculty and/or a clinical preceptor may deny a student access to a clinical experience if the student is:

  1. Unprepared for patient care, e.g. does not meet all the health and safety requirements and documentation as outlined in the Student Handbook (most current version) or does not meet the requirements as set forth by the clinical site.
  2. Physically or mentally ill.
  3. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Unaware of his/her own limitations or fails to seek help when he/she recognizes his/her limitations.
  5. Unprofessional in appearance or behavior.

Appropriate Classroom Behavior

Faculty and students are mutually responsible for enforcing optimal classroom behavior and thus helping to create an appropriate learning environment for all.

All students shall be given the opportunity to learn in an environment that is free from noise, intrusions and disruptions. Students should remain attentive to the activities of the classroom and behave in a manner that allows others to be attentive. Noise must be avoided and includes, but is not limited to: beepers, cell phones, children, side conversations among students, monopolization of conversation, reading newspapers, and frequent getting up and down while class is in session.

Final Examinations

Final examinations are not required of graduate courses; therefore there is no published final examination schedule for graduate courses. In general, exams for graduate courses are scheduled on the same day and time that the course was held during the semester. The course coordinator will discuss the timing of the final exam at the beginning of the semester with students. If conflicts arise with scheduling among graduate courses, students are encouraged to discuss this with the course coordinator. If the conflict cannot easily be resolved, the course coordinator will take this issue to the Director of Master’s Programs for further discussion and resolution.

In the University in general, no exams or classes are to be scheduled on reading days. If graduate students or faculty believe that the agreed upon exam schedule should change and a final examination be given on a reading day, students must be given the opportunity for an anonymous vote on the proposed change. If any student objects, the final exam cannot be held on a reading day or faculty have the option of offering the exam on the reading day and on a second day during the final exam period so that all students are accommodated.

In courses with a final examination, no special preparation quizzes may be given during the last five days of class before the beginning of the final examination period. Only examinations requiring an exceptional portion of practical work should be longer than three hours. The length of the final examination should reflect the credits allocated to the course. Appropriate time should be allocated to take exams.

A student who has three final examinations scheduled within a twenty-four hour period may petition the Director of the Master’s Programs to have one of the scheduled examinations rescheduled. Any petition for a change in the examination schedule because of the “three exams in a twenty-four hour” rule must be made to the Director of Graduate Practice Programs before the first day of the final examinations. In all cases in which an examination is to be rescheduled, the instructor may reschedule that examination during the final examination period, but not later than the end of the following semester.

Students in the Graduate Program of the School of Nursing who have failed to comply with course requirements may be prevented from sitting for the final examination (e.g. students who have not turned in all their assignments).

 Approved MEC, 9/9/2013; DNPEC, 2013