Satisfactory Academic Progress - Nursing

 

PURPOSE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

This policy defines Satisfactory Academic progress (SAP) for all who matriculate in the School of Nursing.  The policy presents the standards adopted by the UCSF Graduate Studies Office, the School of Nursing, and the Student Financial Aid Office.  The School of Nursing Dean or designee(s) are responsible for implementing this policy.  It will be reviewed regularly in collaboration with the Student Financial Aid Office for federal compliance and revised when necessary.

 

DEFINITION

Satisfactory Academic Progress is determined by measuring a student’s performance in four areas:

  • Completion rate: percent of courses or credits attempted that must be completed each term;
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): a calculation of the average of a student’s grades in a course, term or terms (cumulative GPA);
  • Maximum time frame: number of terms or years allowed to complete the program of study; and,
  • Behavioral Expectations: including Nursing’s Ethical Policy Statement standards and program-specific engagement expectations.

 

POLICY

Sound academic principles require that students maintain satisfactory academic progress. In addition, federal regulations require the School of Nursing to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for students who receive federal financial aid. The following standards apply to all matriculating students, whether they are financial aid recipients or not. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each term or year as determined by degree program (see specific program guidelines, below). Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress may be placed on financial aid warning (if applicable), financial aid probation (if applicable) or may be dismissed.

COMPLETION RATE

School of Nursing faculty advisors, specialty track coordinators, in consultation with the appropriate academic dean/graduate program director or designee, shall evaluate all students’ academic progress by comparing the number of attempted credit hours with the number of earned credit hours. All students must complete 75% of any credits attempted.

GRADES

Attempted and Earned

Attempted but not earned

Not attempted or earned

A, B, C, D, P

F, W, I, IP

Audit

 

 

Transfer credits (transfer credits will not be included in the calculation of GPA or completion rate)


GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

Nursing students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.  This includes those in the MEPN, Masters, Post-masters and PhD programs.

MAXIMUM TIME FRAME (PACE)

The maximum time frame is defined by the School of Nursing as the maximum number of terms a student may attempt in the pursuit of a degree or certificate. The maximum time frame for completion of any program is 150% of the usual, expected number of terms of enrollment (see Addendum A). The normative time to degree for each program is further defined below. Periods of non-matriculated study, leaves of absence and periods of inactive status are not included in the maximum time frame (pace).

 

NOTIFICATION OF LACK OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS AND REINSTATEMENT

Following evaluations of completion rate, GPA, pace, and behavior, the appropriate academic dean/graduate program director or designees shall transmit written notification to all students who have not met the standards of satisfactory academic progress. The notification will be copied to the Student Financial Aid office and appropriate faculty advisor or track coordinator.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who are not making SAP may be placed on financial aid probation, suspension or dismissal. Students eligible to receive financial aid may be funded during financial aid probation. Students on academic probation in accordance with this policy may make satisfactory academic progress during the academic probationary period or any subsequent academic probationary period, provided all standards of this policy are met.

Appeal of Unsatisfactory Progress designation

Students are permitted to dispute a determination of unsatisfactory academic progress by submitting an appeal to the academic dean/graduate program director or designee, with a detailed statement of the facts and circumstances supporting an appeal and why the student believes the determination should be changed. Supporting information and a list of persons with information relevant to the change in designation must accompany the appeal. The academic dean/graduate program director or designee will notify the student of the decision in writing.

DISMISSAL or WITHDRAWAL

Students who are dismissed or withdraw have not maintained satisfactory academic progress and are not eligible to receive financial aid.

INCOMPLETE GRADES

Occasionally, students receive an incomplete grade for one or more classes. Any incomplete grades must be removed within one calendar year or, if the course is not given yearly, by the end of the quarter in which the course is next offered. Each student must have an evaluation conference with his/her graduate adviser at least once a year. The results will be reported to the School of Nursing Office of Student and Curricular Affairs on the "Annual Report of Academic Review" form, which will be placed in the student's academic file.

DOCUMENTATION AND DISSEMINATION

Documentation of decisions regarding SAP shall be transmitted to the affected student and maintained in the student academic file in accordance with normal record retention requirements. Student appeal documents will be housed in the student files maintained by the appropriate academic dean/graduate program director or designee.

This policy shall be published in the same manner as other academic policies, will be disseminated to students upon enrollment and annually thereafter or whenever changes to the policy are made.

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS: DEGREE-SPECIFIC POLICIES

Master's Entry Program In Nursing (MEPN)
This program is designed for individuals with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing. The first year of the program provides general nursing education which prepares students to obtain a Registered Nurse license (RN) by taking and passing the National Council Licensure Examination. During the second and third years of the Master's Entry Program, students pursue the remaining requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing degree and for the purposes of financial aid are considered to be indistinguishable from post-BSN master's students.

During the first year of the MEPN, students must complete a total 0f 70 program units or credits during four terms (summer, fall, winter and spring). Students are considered to be making satisfactory progress as long as they maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average and meet program requirements established by the faculty. Each student's performance is monitored on a continuous basis, and students are evaluated at the end of each quarter. Students who do not meet the program requirements established by the faculty will not be permitted to continue in the program.

If a student temporarily withdraws from school, the quarter in which the student withdraws will be considered a quarter of enrollment if the student attended up to or after the three-week census date. If the student was not enrolled at the census date it will not be considered a quarter of enrollment.

When the student is in the second and third years of the master's program, the satisfactory academic progress policy described in the Master of Science in Nursing Program, below, applies.

Master of Science In Nursing
The normative time allowed to complete the requirements for this degree is nine terms (three academic years). Students must complete between 57 – 98 program credits or units (depending on selected specialty), maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in core courses and/or clinical courses, and are subject to dismissal for failure to do so. A student shall be placed on financial aid probation if his/her cumulative GPA at the end of the academic year is below 3.00. The student shall be removed from financial aid probation if the cumulative GPA reaches 3.00 at the end of the probationary quarter. If the cumulative GPA does not reach 3.00 at the end of the probationary quarter, the student will be suspended from financial aid eligibility until the cumulative GPA returns to 3.00.

  • All students must complete 100% of any credits attempted
  • Students will be considered in academic jeopardy and subject to dismissal by the faculty of the School of Nursing if s/he:
    • Fails to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in graduate core course and/or clinical core courses in any quarter;
    • Earns more than one “C” grade in any graduate core or clinical core course – OR- earns a D, F, or U, in any SON course;
    • Is assigned 2 or more Incomplete grades;
    • Demonstrates a continued pattern of documented unprofessional behavior despite attempts at remediation.
  • All students are required to meet with their advisor a minimum of twice per academic year. Students in academic jeopardy are required to meet with their advisor a minimum of once per quarter; additional meetings may be required at the advisors’ or Associate Dean, Academic Programs discretion.

Students originally enrolled in the MEPN program normally complete the program within 13 terms. If a student temporarily withdraws from school, the quarter in which the student withdraws will be considered a quarter of enrollment if the student attended up to or after the three-week census date. If the student was not enrolled at the census date it will not be considered a quarter of enrollment.

Post Master's Program In Nursing
The normative time allowed to complete the requirements for this degree is nine terms (three academic years). Students must complete between 57 – 98 program credits or units (depending on selected specialty), maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 and are subject to dismissal for failure to do so. A student shall be placed on financial aid probation if his/her cumulative GPA at the end of the academic year is below 3.00. The student shall be removed from financial aid probation if the cumulative GPA reaches 3.00 at the end of the probationary quarter. If the cumulative GPA does not reach 3.00 at the end of the probationary quarter, the student will be suspended from financial aid eligibility until the cumulative GPA returns to 3.00.

In addition to maintaining a 3.00 GPA, Post-Master’s students must also:

  • Complete 100% of any credits attempted
  • Have none or one incomplete grade
  • Meet regularly with the student’s academic advisor and
  • Demonstrate professional behavior
  • Complete the minimum number of units required per quarter
  • Complete the degree program in the normative time allowed

If a student temporarily withdraws from school, the quarter in which the student withdraws will be considered a quarter of enrollment if the student attended up to or after the three-week census date. If the student was not enrolled at the census date it will not be considered a quarter of enrollment.

PhD Program in Nursing

1. Criteria for satisfactory academic progress​
The policy regarding satisfactory academic progress in the Doctoral Program in Nursing is as follows:

First- and Second-Year Students

First- and second-year students must meet with their graduate advisors at least once a quarter. Satisfactory academic progress in years 1 and 2 of the Program is marked by timely and successful completion of all courses, with grades of “B” or better in all required courses, and cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above in all coursework. Student progress is assessed in the Fall quarter of the following year on the basis of course grades, the Annual Student Progress Review Form (completed by the student and advisor), an updated CV, individual goals, plus additional comments from course instructors and advisors about students. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must receive an evaluation of "excellent" or "good" annually on the Annual Student Progress Review form. Those who receive the evaluation "needs improvement" will be placed on academic jeopardy and may be in jeopardy of dismissal.

Third-Year Students

Third-year students meet with their graduate advisors at least once per quarter. Students are evaluated on the basis of their progress toward and then successful completion of the qualifying exam. Students are expected to pass their qualifying exam within 11 registered quartersafter admission. Substandard work or unprofessional conduct (as reported by course instructors or research supervisors) would constitute unsatisfactory progress toward the qualifying exam, as would failing grades in any courses taken in year two. Student progress is assessed in the Fall quarter of the following year on the basis of the Annual Student Progress Review Form (completed by the student and advisor), an updated CV, individual goals, plus course grades (if applicable), and additional comments from qualifying examination committee chairs and graduate advisors about the student. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must receive an evaluation of "excellent" or "good" annually on the Annual Student Progress Review form. Those who receive the evaluation "needs improvement" will be placed on academic jeopardy and may be in jeopardy of dismissal.

Advancement to Candidacy

A student may be advanced to candidacy after successful completion of the qualifying examination, provided there are no other deficiencies, e.g. incomplete grades. At least three quarters in registered student status must elapse between advancement to candidacy and conferral of the degree.

Students Who Have Advanced to Candidacy

Students must form their dissertation committee and submit their research proposal within one quarter (or three months) of passing their qualifying exam.

Students must meet with the dissertation committee chair at least once per quarter. It is recommended that students communicate their progress to their committee members at minimum on a quarterly basis, and confer with individual committee members about specific aspects of their dissertation research and writing as needed. Students are expected to complete all degree requirements within six years. Students are expected to complete their dissertation no later than the end of the 12th quarter, or 4 years, after advancement to candidacy. Candidacy for the doctoral degree is considered "lapsed" when a student has not completed requirements for the degree within four years, or 12 quarters, after advancement to candidacy.

Student progress is assessed in the Fall quarter of the following year on the basis of the Annual Student Progress Review Form (completed by the student and advisor), an updated CV, individual goals plus additional comments from dissertation committee chair and members about students who might be exhibiting difficulty.

2. Unsatisfactory progress indicators include:​

  • Falling below a 3.0 GPA
  • Grades below a B in any course required in the foundation/modal curriculum and/or added to the student’s curriculum by the graduate advisor/dissertation chair
  • Failing the qualifying exam the first time, and/or failing to meet the milestone to pass the qualifying exam within 11 registered quarters after admission
  • Failure to find a dissertation advisor
  • Unsatisfactory research work (as reported by the dissertation advisor)
  • Unprofessional conduct (as reported by the dissertation advisor, a course instructor, other faculty, staff, or peers)
  • Disciplinary concerns and other conduct and professionalism infractions that fall within the scope of the School of Nursing behavioral expectations and/or the UCSF’s Code of Conduct.

3. Process by which failing students will be notified and remediated
Students whose progress is unsatisfactory (according to one or more of the criteria listed above) will be notified in writing. The student will meet with the advisor, the Vice Chair/Academic Jeopardy Committee Member, the Program Director/Associate Dean (or designee), and any other relevant faculty to develop an individualized remediation plan to address the deficiencies. Additional comments and information about academic progress and deficiencies will be solicited from course instructors and other faculty where necessary. The meeting results in a learning contract or memorandum of understanding (MOU) that clearly outlines specific steps and associated deadlines that the student must fulfill in order to meet and remain in good academic standing. The contract/MOU is then signed by the following parties: the student, the dissertation advisor (or graduate advisor if the dissertation advisor has not yet been chosen), and the Program Director/Associate Dean or designee. The contract/MOU is filed in the student’s academic file and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs is notified.

Should the student be unable to fulfill any of the expectations according to the timeline outlined in the MOU, the student will be subject to dismissal from the program. Depending on the student’s standing in the program and current School and university policies on the conferral of Master of Science degrees, s/he may be allowed to leave with a terminal master’s degree. The process for in-depth review of a student’s eligibility for dismissal will follow the UCSF Divisional Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs, http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/stugr.html

Addendum:  Listing Required Program Length

Nursing Master's

   

Curriculum

Summer Required?

Number of Quarters Required

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

No

5 to 6

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)

Yes

7

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Critical Care/Trauma (AG CNS-CC/T)

Highly Recommended

6

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS)

Highly Recommended

6

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist-Oncology (AG CNS-ONC)

Highly Recommended

6

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Oncology (AG ACNP-ONC)

Yes

7

Advanced Practice Public Health Nursing (APPHN)

No

4-6

Nurse Midwifery/Women's Health Practitioner (MW)

Yes

8

Health Policy

Yes

5

Occupational and Environmental Health/Adult Gerontology (OEHNP)

Yes

7

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

No

6

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

No

6

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practioner Yes 7

Post-Master's

   

Curriculum

Summer Required?

Number of Quarters Required

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Yes

6

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)

Yes

4

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Critical Care/Trauma (AG CNS-CC/T)

Maybe

3 to 4

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS)

Maybe

3 to 4

Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist-Oncology (AG CNS-ONC)

Maybe

3 to 4

Health Policy

Maybe

3 to 4

Occupational and Environmental Health/Adult Gerontology (OEHNP)

Yes

6 to 7

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

No

3 to 4

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

Yes

5 to 6

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Yes

4 to 7

 

 

 

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