Academic Policies

The Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) is the official representative of the College in matters pertaining to the scholastic life of the student body. Regulations made by the VPAA in addition to, in abrogation of, or in interpretation of the following regulations have the same force as the regulations themselves.

In case of discrepancy between the College catalog and other publications or academic information provided by any faculty or staff member other than the VPAA, the catalog takes precedence.

The College reserves the right to terminate or modify program requirements, content and sequence of courses, and program offerings. Students withdrawing from the College completely for a period of one calendar year or more are bound by the catalog in effect when they re-enter.

It is the responsibility of each student to be acquainted with all requirements for his or her degree program and to assume responsibility for meeting those requirements. In case of ambiguity, discrepancy or disagreement, the regulations and requirements stated here and any subsequent modifications or interpretations by the Vice President for Academic Affairs will prevail.

In many situations related to academic issues, the Vice President for Academic Affairs has delegated decision-making authority to the Council of Academic Deans. The Council of Academic Deans is comprised of the Deans of Nursing, Health Professions, and Arts & Sciences. The Council of Academic Deans is authorized to make decisions for the Vice President for Academic Affairs, with the same authority as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs retains the right to rescind the authority of the Council of Academic Deans at any time.

Academic Calendar, Holidays and Recesses

Students should be advised that the Academic Calendar may vary among programs and ground versus online courses. The on campus and online academic calendars are posted to the College website. Calendars for specific academic programs can be obtained from the respective Program Director or Dean.

Students of all races, cultures and heritages bring to the College a rich and valuable perspective. We welcome the attendance of all students and will endeavor to be supportive of various faiths and practices. Although the designated holidays for the College are New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, we expect that students of various faiths will request excused absences for other religious holidays. Please direct requests to the instructor. Refer to the Academic Calendar for specific recess periods.

Updated: July 2013

Academic Calendar >

Academic Enrollment Status

Student enrollment status at the college is classified as active or inactive.

Active Status

Active students are:

Certificate (Medical Assistant) Students:

  • Full-time when enrolled in a minimum of 240 clock hours per term.
  • Part-time when enrolled in fewer than 240 clock hours per term.

Undergraduate Students (not including accelerated BSN students):

  • Full-time when enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Part-time when enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours per semester.

Undergraduate Acclerated BSN Students:

Graduate Students:

  • Full-time when enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours per semester.
  • Part-time when enrolled in fewer than six credit hours per semester.

Inactive Status

Students are classified as inactive when they do not register for and enroll in at least one course per semester.

Updated: July 2013

Academic Honors

Honor Roll

Upon completion of a term, all certificate students earning a grade point average of 3.75 or above will be listed.

Dean's List

All full-time undergraduate students earning a semester grade point average of 3.75 or above will be listed. Students with an incomplete on their semester grade report are not eligible for the list.

Graduation Honors

Graduates with an Associate Degree or a Certificate in Medical Assistant will be awarded honors based on cumulative grade point averages as follows:

Highest Distinction

3.87 - or above


3.64 - 3.86

Honorable Mention

3.50 - 3.63

Graduates with a Baccalaureate Degree will be awarded honors based on cumulative grade point averages as follows:

Summa Cum Laude

3.87 - or above

Magna Cum Laude

3.64 - 3.86

Cum Laude

3.50 - 3.63

Graduates who complete exemplary portfolio and portfolio presentation will be enrolled in the Educated Citizen Honor Society.

Updated: July 2013

Attendance and Course Participation Policy

Students are expected to be prompt and attend all classes and clinical/practicum experiences in their entirety. Instructor expectations for attendance will be made available to the students in writing via the course syllabus during the first week of class. Extenuating circumstances will be dealt with on an individual basis.

On-line Course Participation Policy

Regular and substantive interaction between students and faculty in distance education programs is required by the US Department of Education.

  1. Students must demonstrate activity in the course within 48 hours of the course start date.  All courses begin Monday at 12:01 AM Central Standard Time, therefore the 48 hour period during which activity must be initiated ends at 11:59 PM Tuesday Central Standard Time.  For financial aid purposes, any activity prior to the actual course start date will not be considered as demonstrated activity.
  2. Activity must be demonstrated by logging into the course and completing one or more of the following academically related activities:
    • downloading or viewing the syllabus,
    • reviewing course material,
    • submitting an assignment,
    • taking a quiz or exam,
    • participating in an online discussion related to the course content,
    • initiating contact with the faculty to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.
  3. Students who feel they are unable to complete the course or have decided to drop the course  must initiate the official drop process by contacting their advisor within the 48 hour period (as described above) to be eligible for full tuition refund.  A course dropped within the first 48 hours does not show on the student's academic transcript.
  4. Students who do not drop the course and do not demonstrate activity in the prescribed period of time will be administratively withdrawn from the course on the Friday of the first week. The student will be ineligible to receive financial aid for the course and will receive a grade of "W" for the course on his/her academic transcript.
  5. Students who initiate attendance during the first 48 hours of the course may withdraw from the course with a "W" if the withdrawal date is on or before 55% of course completion. After this date students will receive a grade of "W/F".
  6. Students who initiate attendance during the first 48 hours but later fail to participate in the course for 14 consecutive days will be considered to have withdrawn for financial aid purposes, though they may still receive a grade of "F" for the course.  The faculty is not required to administratively drop a student in this situation.

Student eligibility for financial aid will be based on the above criteria.  Financial aid recipients should review the financial aid policies related to Refunds & Withdrawals, Treatment of Aid When a Student Withdraws, and the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for further information on the consequences of dropping/withdrawing from a course or failing to initiate or maintain participation in a course.


  • Dean of Students will send an email to all on-line faculty 9Am Tuesday (after the start of the course) requesting faculty to submit names to the Dean of Students of students who have not actively participated in the course by 9AM Wednesday (definition of active participation above).
  • The Dean of Students will forward the names to the student's academic advisor and to the director of financial aid
  • The academic advisor will attempt to contact the student
  • The Financial Aid Office will review each student's financial aid eligibility and make any necessary changes as required by federal regulation, state guidelines, and/or institutional policies.
  • An SOS Procedure reminder will be sent to all faculty by mid-course (for retention efforts)
  • Advisors will follow up with students, make schedule changes if necessary and communicate student progression changes or issues to Program Directors. Advisors will document all correspondence in EX.

Updated: December 2013

Campus Closure Policy

Occasionally, the College will be delayed in opening, close early, or close completely due to severe environmental conditions. College Administration will announce a delay in opening or closure prior to 5:00 am if at all possible, and will be communicated to students via e2Campus, the "College Hot Line" voice mail at (402) 354-7222; local radio and TV stations will also be notified and may broadcast the news of the College closing. Students are not to report to the College if it is declared closed, as college closure includes all ground-based classes, clinical, and laboratory sessions for the calendar day. Departmental guidelines may apply to specific programs regarding clinical attendance. Refer to emergency communication plan on the website and program handbooks for more information.

Updated: July 2013

Academic Integrity

Students of Nebraska Methodist College are expected to conduct themselves in a manner reflecting personal and professional integrity. Academic honesty and personal conduct are fundamental to the integrity of professionals. Any student who fails to follow the academic integrity policy is subject to disciplinary procedures. Disciplinary actions will be taken against students whose academic behavior is not congruent with the expectations of the College.

Violations of Academic Integrity

Academic or academic-related misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism from any source. Plagiarism is the act of using another's writing or ideas without giving proper credit.
  2. Cheating or assisting another student to cheat on any examination or assignment.
  3. Alteration of grades by any means.
  4. Submission for credit of any work that is not the work of the student.
  5. Falsification of participation and/or documentation in clinical/lab/field assignments.
  6. Misrepresentation to avoid academic work.
  7. Violations of the Code of Conduct.

Students found to be acting dishonestly are subject to disciplinary actions ranging from reprimand to dismissal. Depending on the severity of the offense, the consequences may include suspension or dismissal at any level of offense.

Procedure for Violations and Sanctions

Course Level

  • Faculty member and student meet when violations are identified (either can request a witness) and complete reporting form for violations of academic integrity and personal conduct.
  • Specific penalties (e.g., loss of points, failure of assignment, alternative learning activity, or failure of course) determined by course faculty and department policies and reported to the office of the Registrar.
  • Student can appeal the decision - refer to Resolution Process

Administrative Level

  • The Registrar will review all forms to determine subsequent student violations. With every additional violation, the Registrar will refer the situation to the Academic Standards Committee for review. Upon review of cases, Academic Standards will make recommendations for disciplinary action (if any) to the Council of Academic Deans for deliberation, consensus, and decision.
  • Documentation of violation(s) may be removed from the student's permanent file and shredded after the student graduates or withdraws. Suspension or dismissal for violations of academic integrity will be recorded on the student's academic transcript.

Remediation/Action Options for Violations of Academic Integrity

  • As faculty work with students, options for remediation and/or other actions include:
  • Referral to Student Services for assistance with personal and academic needs
  • Direction to online resources, including the WAC website
  • Referral to external sources for remediation on academic expectations and ethical decisions
  • Referral to the Academic Standards Committee
  • Referral to the Council of Academic Deans for recommendation of suspension or immediate dismissal

Writing Across the Curriculum Resources

Short of plagiarism, faculty often encounter papers that do not meet college-level writing standards. To distinguish between violations of citation style and violations of academic integrity, faculty should send significant writing errors to the WAC coordinator.  Should the WAC coordinator find repeated carelessness with citation, the coordinator may contact the student for directed assistance and/or forward evidence of the student's disregard for faculty instruction on citation to the Registrar as a violation of academic integrity.

Philosophy of Reporting All Violations

All violations of academic integrity must be reported for the process to work. The process is such that a faculty member will determine the appropriate consequence in the course.  By forwarding the incident to the Registrar, the faculty member ensures that documentation is recorded as to what steps were taken to inform the student of the academic integrity policy. Should a subsequent violation occur, it is clear what assistance was offered to the student previously. Once the faculty member determines the appropriate consequence for his/her course and meets with the student to complete the reporting form, the faculty member's responsibility is met.  This process relies upon faculty understanding the long-term benefit of reporting each violation.  The intent of the report is to correct initial minor errors before they develop into egregious errors later.

Updated: July 2013

Credit for Prior Learning

The College is committed to working with potential students to maximize transfer credit. The Admissions Office can provide an initial evaluation during the application process. Applicants granted admission will have an official evaluation completed by the Registrar's Office. A guide to articulation agreements with area colleges is available on the College website.

Credit for courses taken elsewhere may be accepted for transfer from another college provided:

  1. Course credits are listed on the official, electronically verified or raised-seal transcript mailed to the College from the former institution.
  2. The educational institution is accredited by a regional accrediting body and, where applicable, the program is approved by the state and is accredited by professional organizations.
  3. Course is determined to be comparable to one required in the curriculum or is considered to be appropriate as an elective.
  4. Grade of "C -" or better is achieved at the certificate and undergraduate levels and a grade of "B" or better at the graduate level. Grades earned in transfer courses will not be used in determining the student's cumulative grade point average, unless the student has already matriculated and has been given permission to enroll at another institution. All courses accepted for transfer will be noted on the transcript. Such transfer courses will be included in the total number of hours passed.

The Registrar is responsible for interpreting and implementing the transfer of credit policy.

  1. The Registrar reviews official transcripts of the student from accredited educational institutions. In consultation with the Division of Arts & Sciences, the Registrar authorizes transferability of arts and sciences courses. The Program Director is responsible for the determination of the transferability of professional/technical and graduate courses.
  2. Courses older than five years will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for transferability. To maximize the chance of student success in any program, the College recommends that a student retake any course older than five years regardless of whether or not the course is transferable.
  3. Syllabi for nursing courses taken previously will be evaluated for transfer of credit if taken within three years of the time of application. Nursing courses between three and five years old will be considered but will not necessarily be awarded credit. Nursing courses five years and older will not be awarded transfer credit. [Note: This does not apply to LPN, MSN or RN advanced-standing applicants.]
  4. Courses considered for transfer are reviewed to assure that they are comparable to ones required in the curriculum or meet requirements to be used as an elective.
  5. Students matriculating who took a three-credit language course will be given two credits for either COM 230 or COM 245 and must take COM 252 Cross-Cultural Service Learning in Health Care for one credit.
  6. Students matriculating who are given two credits for COM 320 must take COM 352 Portfolio Development & Integration for one credit.
  7. Students matriculating with a bachelor's degree or who took a three-credit public speaking course and a three-credit critical thinking course are awarded two credits for HUM 150 and must take HUM 152 Portfolio Introduction for one credit.
  8. Partial credit may be considered with directed study to meet deficiencies.
  9. The Registrar will work with the appropriate Dean on a case-by-case basis to determine equivalency for quarter credit hours from transfer institutions.
  10. The student and the student's academic advisor are notified in writing by the Registrar of courses recognized for transfer.
  11. If the student has a question about any course(s) not being recognized for transfer, such questions are to be directed, in writing, to the Registrar within 30 days of receipt of the College's summary of official transferred courses.
    • Undergraduate Students: No course with a grade below "C-" is considered for transfer of undergraduate credit.
    • Graduate Students: No course with a grade below "B" is considered for transfer of graduate credit.

Validation of prior learning can be obtained through several methods. Credits earned by validation are not applicable toward the residency requirement. Grades of "CR" will be issued for all credit earned through these methods. In all cases, the appropriate Program Director is responsible for whether or not credit can be earned. In cases where the student is attempting to receive credit for an arts and sciences course, approval must come from both the Program Director and the Dean for Arts & Sciences. All credit for prior learning must have approval of the Program Director and the Dean of the division in which the course resides.

Validation Methods

Placement Testing: Nebraska Methodist College accepts the veracity of the following placement tests, provided the student achieves the minimum required score.

  1. Advanced Placement Examination Program (AP).  Credit will be given for a score of 3 or above.
  2. College Level Examination Program (CLEP).  Credit will be given for a score of 50 or above. 
  3. Excelsior College Examinations.  Credit will be given for a grade of C or better.
  4. DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST).  Credit will be given according to the recommendations given by the American Council on Education (ACE).

Professional Certification: Students may hold certifications from professional organizations that reflect a level of competence and cognitive ability. College credit for certifications will be awarded as block credit (i.e., in one lump sum total) after completion of NMC required courses. Those certifications currently approved as valid for credit in specific programs (provided all other requirements are met) are listed below. Students with certifications potentially relevant to their area of study that are not addressed below may request a review of the certification by the appropriate Program Director to determine if the certification can be awarded credit for relevant program requirements.

  • Medical Assistant certification (Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association for Medical Assistants (AAMA)) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs
  • Physical Therapist Assistant certification  (Registered Physical Therapist Assistant through Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs
  • Radiologic Technology certification (Registered Technologist Radiography (R.T.(R)(ARRT)) through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs
  • Respiratory Care certification (Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) through the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC)) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs
  • Sonography certification (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS)-registered in at least one learning concentration from among general, ob/gyn, adult echo or vascular) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs
  • Surgical Technology certification (Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) through the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA)) as applied to undergraduate degree completion programs

Course Challenge: Students can demonstrate that they possess the necessary competence to be awarded credit for a particular course by successfully completing a comprehensive examination for the challenged course. The course challenge must be completed prior to the start of the semester. In the event that the challenge is not successful, the student will then have the opportunity to enroll in the course. The student is required to present to the appropriate Program Director a rationale (e.g., related on-the-job learning, certification training) for why a course challenge is plausible. The following courses are not challengeable: Professional/Technical courses at the 200- level for associate degree students; COM252, COM352, HUM152 and SSC465 in the Division of Arts & Sciences. The Program Director makes a determination as to the legitimacy of the request in consultation with appropriate faculty.  If valid, the appropriate faculty will create a comprehensive examination designed to assess the student's knowledge of the subject matter in the challenged class. The fee for a course challenge is 25% of the current tuition rate.

Undergraduate and Graduate Validation of Prior Learning Policy (Professional Portfolio)

Validation of prior learning can be used to satisfy outcomes specified in a course in their program of study.  The student must compile a validation portfolio that faculty review to grant a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade.  Each program determines whether validation of prior learning can be used for full or partial credit in a course, or if the validation is given for a combination of courses within the program. For example, in the RN to BSN program, incoming students with professional licensure and on-the-job training can request validation for full or partial credit of required nursing course.

  1. A prospective student who anticipates using the Validation of Prior Learning policy will discuss this possibility early in the admissions process. The student will first request the course syllabi/course outcomes from the advisor of the program to determine if validation is possible.
  2. The student should next request permission for the validation from the director of the program.  The director will determine the number of credits available for validation.
  3. If given permission to pursue validation, the student will be enrolled in an online Validation of Prior Learning course.
  4. The student will be registered for the number of credits they wish to attempt to validate and will be charged 25% of the regular undergraduate/graduate tuition rate. Payment of fees related to the validation process does not guarantee the validation of credit. Students should check with their employers to see if the validation charges will be covered by the tuition remission program.
  5. In the Validation of Prior Learning course, the student will be offered resources on how to pursue validation.  A faculty member from the student's program will be available for periodic consultation throughout the validation course.  The validation portfolio is neither a biographical sketch, nor a research paper, nor a collection of documents. The accumulation of continuing education units or participation in conferences and training seminars alone will not qualify for validation.  In accord with the Higher Learning Commission's Assessment of Prior Learning Principles, credit is offered for the demonstration of learning, not the identification of learning experiences.  The validation is an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of current college-level work (not outdated information) and the application of that knowledge to lived experiences. To accomplish this requirement, students must clearly articulate in writing how each course outcome is met in consultation with the faculty member assigned to the student. The structure and length of the essay in the validation portfolio will be determined by the assigned faculty member.
  6. In addition to the essay, documentation must be provided to verify learning experiences. Evidence may include but is not limited to the following:
    • Previous academic coursework
    • Published articles, research, evidence-based practice
    • Special accomplishments (musical, artistic, audio-visual)
    • Membership in professional organizations, leadership roles within organizations
    • Professional conferences/ seminars/ awards
    • Certifications
    • Community service with a letter of support
    • Letters of verification that speak to the mastery of outcomes (not a letter of reference)
    • Thesis, dissertation
    • Continuing education
    • Other scholarly/academic evidence
  7. The course validation is first submitted 10 weeks prior to when the course is offered. The faculty member assigned to the student should conduct an initial evaluation of the course validation and direct the student to areas that need more explanation before the final submission which is due five weeks prior to when the course begins. 
  8. A committee of two faculty members with expertise in the area to be evaluated will review the course validation documents and make a recommendation to the Dean for either a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade according to the student's evidence to meet the outcomes of the course/program. The Academic Dean will grant final approval for validation. If a satisfactory grade is granted, the student's transcript will list the course(s) validated. This will be done by listing the course number(s) with a "VA" in the credit type column. These credits do not count toward NMC residency requirements and are not included in the calculation of a student's GPA. NMC does not guarantee that other institutions will accept validation credits for transfer credit.
  9. The Validation of Prior Learning - Professional Portfolio process is overseen by the Academic Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate. This committee conducts periodic audits of validation material submitted to assure consistency of standards.

Updated: March 2014

Drug Screening Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe working and learning environment for patients, students, clinical and institutional staff and property in the clinical programs of Nebraska Methodist College. Healthcare accreditation organizations mandate that hospitals and other health care agencies require students who participate in the care of patients be subject to the same standards as their employees. Accordingly, submitting a negative urine drug screen is a condition for participation in the clinical component of all programs.

Applicability and timing

For all programs, submitting a negative drug screen will be a requirement prior to the start of clinical courses. Testing is done through the NMC Campus Health Center. Repeat testing may also be required for cause or to retest a dilute sample. Failure of the drug test, tampering or attempting to tamper with a specimen, or refusal to cooperate with any aspect of this policy, or any health system policy on substance abuse, will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, refusal of enrollment or denial of clinical course progression.


The student shall be responsible for paying any and all associated costs of urine drug screening including necessary retesting for any reason. Charges will be added to the students' account.

Use and care of information

Test results will be kept confidential with disclosure of results provided only to approved persons involved in evaluating qualifications for clinical programs. Because of the mandate to comply with health system policies, disciplinary actions against students may be imposed without the customary mechanisms of academic warning and probation. Any records generated by an adverse sanction levied against a student's   will be considered College property, and will not be provided to the student unless requested.. All student drug screening records will be kept in confidential in Student Development Services for at least ten (10) years.

Updated: July 2013

Background Investigation Policy

The purpose of this policy is to assure the safety and well-being of patients, students, faculty and staff in the clinical and academic environments and to attest to clinical agencies the students' eligibility to participate in clinical activities. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate students, on-ground or on-line, enrolled in a program of study that has a clinical component. Read the full policy by clicking on the link below.

Updated: July 2013

Background Investigation >

Recording of Classroom Sessions Policy

Reason for Policy: To prohibit or limit recording of class activities or re-distribution of classroom materials in order to:

  • Respect the integrity and effectiveness of the classroom experience;
  • Protect students and faculty dignity and privacy;
  • Respect faculty and College rights in instructional materials, and
  • Comply with copyright law.

Policy Statement: Nebraska Methodist College prohibits recording and transmission of activities (e.g., lectures, discussions) that occur as part of a classroom session by a student unless written permission from the course instructor has been obtained and all students in the course as well as any guest speakers have been informed that audio/video recording may occur. A recording is defined as a video or audio replication or photographic image recorded on devices, including, but not limited to, audio recorders, video recorders, cellular phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, computers, tablets, and other handheld devices that records images and/or sound. If a student is granted permission to record any portion of a classroom session, that student understands that the recording is for the sole use of the individual student and may not be reproduced, sold, posted online, or otherwise distributed. A student does not have permission to reproduce or post the information on any social media (e.g., YouTube, FaceBook, etc), or other public or private forum that would infringe on the privacy rights of others represented in the recording.

Public distribution of such materials may constitute copyright infringement in violation of federal or state law, or College policy. Violation of this policy may subject a student to disciplinary action under the College's Student Code of Conduct and Resolution Process policies.

Exception: It is not a violation of this policy for a student determined by the College's Academic Skills Specialist to be entitled to educational accommodations, to exercise any rights protected under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, including needed recording or adaptations of classroom lectures. Qualified students with a disability should follow the College's Services for Students with Disabilities Policy. The restrictions on third party sharing and external distribution apply in such cases.

Destruction of Approved Recordings: Students must destroy recordings at the end of the semester in which they are enrolled in the class unless they receive the instructor's written permission to retain them or are entitled to retain them pursuant to authorized accommodations.

Procedures: A student should review the course syllabus for instructions regarding the instructor's policy on class recordings. Unless directly authorized by the syllabus, any student wanting to record a classroom session must discuss the request with the instructor and obtain written permission and inform others in the class that a recoding is being made.

Updated: July 2013

Course and Grading Policies

Grading Policy

To ensure consistent awarding of course grades throughout the College, the grading system is as follows:

Symbol Quality Points Percentages
A+ 4.0 96-100
A 4.0 90-95
B+ 3.5 86-89
B 3.0 80-85
C+ 2.5 76-79
C 2.0 70-75
D 1.0 60-69
F 0.0 <60
WF 0.0 (withdrawal after deadline)
CR Credit *
NC No Credit *
S Satisfactory (must be equivalent to a grade "C" or better) *
U Unsatisfactory *
I Icomplete *
AU Audit *
W Withdrew *
WIP Work in Progress *
WX Administrative Withdrawal *

*Not used in calculating grade point averages.

Every undergraduate course uses the "70" mark as the minimum grade required for passing the course as a whole. However, certain assignments within a course may carry additional requirements that are more stringent (e.g., a required minimum '75' on all tests), and are determined at the discretion of the instructor. Students must meet all requirements of the course at the level determined by the instructor in order to successfully complete the course.

Certificate and Undergraduate Students: A grade of unsatisfactory or a letter grade less than "C-" in any course is unacceptable and must be repeated. See specific course grading policies in program handbooks.

Graduate Students: A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. A grade below "B" in any course triggers an automatic progression review by the program. A student receiving a course grade of "C" for the first time will receive credit for the course*. A grade below "B" in two courses is unacceptable and results in dismissal from the college. All required coursework for a Master's degree must be completed within six calendar years from the program matriculation date.

*In the MSN program, any grade below "B" for NRS 523, NRS 524, NRS 558, NRS 559, NRS 592, or NRS 594 is unacceptable, and results in the student having to retake the course.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

Cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is computed based on final course grades. The CGPA is not affected by "S", "U", "AU", "CR", "NC", "NR", "I", "W", "WX". When a student repeats a course, the better grade will be computed in the CGPA. Both grades will appear on the official transcript. Each letter grade equals the quality points per credit hour as shown above.

AU = Audit

CR = Credit

I = Incomplete

NC = No Credit

NR = Not Reported

S = Satisfactory

U = Unsatisfactory

W = Withdrew

WX = Withdrawn Administratively

The Registrar will compute the cumulative grade point average (CGPA) based on quality points and credit hours earned for courses completed after matriculation to this campus. Only courses in which quality points are assigned are computed in the CGPA. The CGPA is computed by dividing total quality points earned by total credit hours attempted in didactic class work.

Course Incomplete

An "I" is given to a student who has substantially completed a course, but who as a result of serious illness or other justifiable cause cannot complete all requirements of the course by the end of the term. The "I" is not granted to a student who has been excessively absent during the term or who has simply failed to complete the work of the course before the end of the term without an exceptionally good reason. The student faced with extenuating circumstances that prevents satisfying course requirements according to the established schedule must contact the faculty in the course. The faculty reviews the situation and agrees or disagrees with the student request. If a faculty member agrees, the student and the faculty member will complete and endorse an Incomplete Approval Form (available from the Registrar) detailing the requirements and plan for completion of the course. This agreement will specify the final grade to be assigned if course work is not completed by the deadline specified. The faculty member will forward the agreement to the appropriate Academic Dean for final approval. Upon approval, the faculty member will provide the student and Registrar with a copy of the Incomplete Approval Form.

The responsibility for completing all coursework rests with the student. The maximum time allowed for clearing a grade of "I" is one year from the START of the course. If, after one year, the student has not completed the necessary requirements to finish the course, the instructor will assign the final grade as agreed to in the Incomplete Approval Form. The student must be passing the course at the time of the request for the incomplete. Completion of the course material should be done within a month of the last day of class if at all possible. When the course is completed, a Change of Grade Notice must be filed.

Change of Course Grade

A permanently recorded grade may be changed by the person(s) who assigned it or, in case of change of personnel, by the appropriate Academic Dean.

If a student believes a grade is recorded incorrectly, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the course faculty within 30 days of receipt of the grade report from the Registrar. If a change in personnel has occurred, the appropriate Academic Dean is to be contacted. Evidence should be reviewed. If a grade change is indicated, a Change of Grade Notice is initiated by the faculty member, forwarded for appropriate signatures and then entered in the student's permanent record by the Registrar. The Registrar replaces the course grade with the corrected grade.

Repeating Courses

When certificate or undergraduate students have an unsuccessful academic experience resulting in a final course grade of "D" or "F," students may be allowed to repeat the course depending on the progression policy of the program. However, the initial grade remains on the official transcript. If a student is granted special permission to repeat a course at an institution other than NMC, that course repeat will be calculated into the student's semester grade point average and cumulative grade point average, and probation/suspension/dismissal policies will apply if the student is not successful. The student is responsible for having official transcripts forwarded to the Registrar within thirty (30) days of course completion. Graduate students should refer to "Grading Policy."

When a course is failed, the student must meet with his/her Academic Advisor to facilitate a written Academic Development Plan. The Academic Advisor will consult with faculty and Student Services personnel as appropriate. Refer to the Academic Development Plan Policy below.

The plan must be implemented prior to the student's re-enrollment in the course. Re-enrollment in the course is on a space-available basis and the student must wait until general registration to register for the course to be repeated.

Academic Development Plan

The academic advisor will contact the student to initiate the Academic Development Plan (ADP) for any student who fails a course or is placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic suspension are required to initiate the creation of the ADP by contacting their academic advisor. Failure to maintain an active ADP once it is established may negatively impact financial and/ or result in dismissal from the college.

The academic advisor or appropriate college personnel will facilitate the development of the ADP and may consult with faculty, college personnel or agents of the college (such as clinical instructors/preceptors). Copies of the ADP will be provided to the student, the academic advisor and the program director, and will be placed in the student's academic advising file. Each student's ADP will be reevaluated according to the timetable established in the plan at a minimum, but also as needed based on student needs or changes in performance. The Financial Aid Office will be notified of student failure to meet the terms of the ADP in the established time frame who will notify the student of any changes to their financial aid status. In addition, students may end up on financial aid suspension due to withdrawing from courses rather than failing them. If students choose to appeal financial aid suspension, they must contact their academic advisor to initiate the ADP. The ADP must be submitted with the letter of appeal for consideration of reinstatement of financial aid.

Updated: July 2013

Academic Progression

All programs at NMC require that satisfactory progression be made during the student's academic career. Students who experience difficulties are notified through the various mechanisms as described below. Unsatisfactory performance can have serious consequences for the student, both in relation to the program in which the student is enrolled as well as the student's standing at the College.

Each semester, the Registrar reviews the academic performance of all students at the College, and identifies students whose academic performance is unsatisfactory. The Registrar notifies students of changes to student status relative to the College by letter, sending copies of the letter to the Program Director, Advisor, Financial Aid Director, and Dean of Students.

Cohort Programs

Accelerated Nursing, Medical Assistant, Sonography, Radiography, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, and Physical Therapist Assistant are cohort programs, meaning that the programs are designed to be completed by the student in a lockstep fashion from beginning to end, according to a preset schedule. Satisfactory progression with the cohort is necessary to maintain one's position in the clinical portion of the program because of limited clinical availability.

When a student fails a professional course or professional course prerequisite in the Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, and Physical Therapist Assistant programs, the student cannot progress in the program until the course is successfully repeated. Because most professional/technical courses are only offered once per year, students are advised that progression may be delayed by as much as one year. Furthermore, when a student is unable to progress with their cohort, they forfeit their clinical position. Therefore, enrollment in subsequent clinical courses will be determined by clinical space availability. Students who fail any course in the Medical Assistant program cannot progress with their cohort. Refer to the specific program handbook for additional related policies.

If a student enrolled in the Sonography program fails to progress within the professional curriculum (including all pre-requisite courses), the student will be dismissed from the program and will be eligible to apply for readmission into a subsequent cohort, but readmission is not guaranteed. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If an accelerated nursing student fails to progress within the professional curriculum, the student may be eligible to apply to transfer to the traditional nursing program, but admission is not guaranteed.

Competency Assurance Following Absence

When a student returns to the College after being on a leave of absence, or following a disruption in academic progression within the professional/technical portion of their program, the student must contact the Academic Advisor who will work with the student and Program Director on a registration plan to ensure the student has the knowledge, competency and skills needed to resume professional course work within the student's program. The plan may include assessments, skills checks, reviews and/or bridge course work to ensure that their knowledge and skills in the technical/professional courses are current and proficient.

Academic Probation

Undergraduate Students: All students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress while enrolled at the College. Academic progress is considered unsatisfactory if the student fails to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, or if the student earns a GPA of less than 2.0 while enrolled in at least six credit hours in any given semester. Students who have unsatisfactory academic progress are placed on academic probation. When a student is placed on academic probation, an Academic Development Plan will be established. Refer to Academic Development Plan policy.

Academic Suspension

Medical Assistant Program: Students who fail to complete all coursework with a grade of 70 or above will be suspended. An Academic Development Plan will be established to articulate requirements that must be completed before the student can make the request for reinstatement to the College. Reinstatement to the College after suspension is not automatic. The request for reinstatement must be in writing to the Academic Dean and be accompanied by evidence of completion of the Academic Development Plan. Refer to Academic Development Plan policy. Assuming successful completion of the Academic Development Plan and subsequent reinstatement to the College, the student will be allowed to reenter the program as a member of the next available class.

Undergraduate Students: A student will be suspended if placed on academic probation for two consecutive semesters, if placed on academic probation three or more times or if an unsatisfactory grade (below "C") is received in the same course twice. Individual programs may also have additional circumstances that warrant suspension and are valid as approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Upon suspension, a student is required to meet with his or her advisor and initiate an Academic Development Plan as dictated in the section below.

The length of suspension will be determined by the Academic Dean after consultation with the student's advisor and Program Director. Reinstatement to the College after suspension is not automatic. After the time of suspension has elapsed, the student may request reinstatement to the College. The request must be in writing directed to the Council of Academic Deans and will be accompanied by evidence of completion of the Academic Development Plan. To maximize the chance of reinstatement the student should strictly adhere to the Academic Development Plan, although completion of the plan is not the sole determinant of reinstatement. The Council will forward a recommendation to the VPAA for final decision.

If a student feels that extenuating circumstances contributed to the suspension, the student may appeal the suspension to the Council of Academic Deans. The student must submit a written appeal to the members of the Council of Academic Deans within thirty days from the date of suspension and should include any supporting evidence as well as a detailed plan for academic improvement. The decision of the Council is final.

Academic Dismissal

A student may be dismissed from a program and/or the College as separate actions.

Dismissal (from the College) is considered a permanent action, although appeals for readmission in exceptional circumstances will be considered. Upon dismissal, all official ties to the college are terminated, including email, ID card access, and access to campus spaces. Former students wishing to access campus personnel or spaces must check in with the front desk before doing so to obtain proper permission.

A student who is dismissed from a program should refer to the Program Student Handbook and meet with the Retention Specialist to explore viable alternatives at the College.

Certificate and Undergraduate Students: Students suspended more than once will be dismissed from the College.

Graduate Students: Receipt of a second course grade below "B" will result in dismissal from the College. If a student feels that extenuating circumstances contributed to the second course failure/dismissal, the student may appeal the terms of dismissal to the Council of Academic Deans and request reinstatement. The student must submit a written appeal to the members of the Council of Academic Deans within thirty (30) days from the date of dismissal and should include any supporting evidence as well as a detailed plan for academic improvement. The Council of Academic Deans will forward a recommendation to the VPAA for a final decision.

Updated: July 2013

Graduation Requirements

NMC retains the exclusive right to judge academic proficiency and may decline to award any degree, certificate or other evidence of successful completion of a program, curriculum or course of study based thereupon. All College and Program requirements must be satisfied prior to commencement in order to participate in the ceremony.

Certificate Programs

Successful completion of Certificate Programs includes student compliance with program and College policies. Students must also satisfy all classroom, laboratory, clinical, and examination requirements. Students must also complete appropriate clinical requirements.


Undergraduate study comprises two areas: arts and sciences and professional/technical education requirements. Students are expected to assume responsibility for understanding the requirements of the program and for seeking appropriate assistance to do so. Students must complete the arts and sciences and professional education requirements described in the program section of this catalog.

Students should expect to fulfill the requirements for the program under which the initial enrollment occurred. However, students taking longer than six (6) academic years to meet the requirements of a baccalaureate or three (3) academic years of an associate program of study may be required to meet curriculum changes and/or modifications regardless of the coursework previously completed.

Graduation is dependent upon a student attaining a "C" (2.0) minimum cumulative grade point average for the required course of study. A minimum grade of "C" (2.0) must be attained for each course. Additionally, the student must satisfactorily complete all requirements for the Student Portfolio Assessment in order to graduate.

The minimum credit hours required per program are as follows:


AS Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Multispecialty

AS Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Cardiovascular

AS Health Studies

AS Physical Therapist Assistant

AS Radiologic Technology

AS Respiratory Care

AS Surgical Technology

BSN Nursing

BSN Accelerated Nursing

BS Health Studies (hours vary depending on area of study)

BS Healthcare Administration

BS Respiratory Care

BS Imaging Sciences

BS Women's Medical Imaging

Minimum Credit Hours
















The following graduation requirements apply to the NMC Master's Degree Programs:

  • Students in the NMC Master's Programs must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate.
  • Graduate students are allowed to incur a grade below "B" in no more than one course. In the MSN Program, students are not allowed to incur a grade below "B" in NRS 523, NRS 524, NRS 558, NRS 559, NRS 592 or NRS 594.
  • Students must complete the minimum number of credit hours required for the program in which they are enrolled.
  • All work for the Master's degree must be completed within six calendar years from the date of credit for the first graduate course in the program.


MS Health Promotion Management

MS Healthcare Operations Management

MSN Nursing

Minimum Credit Hours




Residency Requirement

To ensure that students have met College residency requirements for graduation, certificate students must complete the prescribed plan of study in residence to receive the certificate of completion for the program.

Undergraduate students must complete 30 of the last 36 hours in residence to receive a baccalaureate degree.

Students must complete 15 of the last 18 credit hours in residence to receive an associate's degree. One exception to this policy is for those who graduated with a 12-month certificate from NMC and return to the College having not attended an institution of higher learning in between earning the certificate and returning to complete an associate of science degree in health studies. For these students, a minimum of 9 out of 21 arts and sciences credits must be taken at NMC.

Graduate students may transfer in a maximum of nine credits toward their master's degree.

Exceptions to the residency requirement can be made in extenuating circumstances but require the approval of the Academic Dean.

Graduation Candidacy

After confirmation of intent to graduate from the Academic Advisor, the Registrar will audit the academic record to identify variances from compliance with graduation requirements for certificate- and degree-seeking students.  Students and advisors will be notified of any deficiencies. If all degree requirements are not completed before the anticipated graduation date, students must wait until the next semester to graduate.

Licensure and Certification

While the academic programs described herein are designed for the purpose of qualifying students for licensure, certification or registration in a profession, successful completion of any such program in no way assures licensure or certification by another agency. For specific programs, certification examinations are a program requirement for graduation. (See specific program handbooks.)

Updated: July 2013



New Student Registration

Depending on the program of study, most first-time students will register as a part of Registration Day prior to the start of their first semester. Students will be notified of the registration process with their letter of acceptance. Admissions distributes dates for Registration Day and Orientation to new students. This information is also available on our website,, under New Student Information.

Current Student Registration

  1. Students meet with their Academic Advisor each semester to validate completion of prerequisites and begin the registration process.
  2. Students register for courses online during designated registration weeks.
  3. The Academic Advisor views and approves online registration submissions.
  4. If special permission is required to enroll in a course for which students do not have all prerequisites, they must obtain the signatures of the Program Director and course faculty prior to obtaining signature of the academic advisor.
  5. Students are required to withdraw from any course if prerequisites have not been met unless exceptions have been made.

Course Audit

An individual who registers to audit a course may attend course sessions but will not earn course credit.  Permission to audit a course must be granted by the Program Director or academic dean in consultation with the faculty member. Audit enrollment is permitted on a space available basis with priority given to students enrolling in the course for credit. Tuition will be 50% of the for-credit tuition rate and no fees will be assessed.  An individual should declare audit status at the time of registration. Registration to audit may not be changed to credit after the first week of the course. Likewise, changing registration from audit credit to regular credit is not allowed after the first week. Participation in course activity in an audited course is at the discretion of the faculty member.

Course Sequencing

Students are to follow established course sequences so that they will have the requisite knowledge and skills for undertaking the learning required. There are three sequencing requirements to be adhered to:

  1. Prerequisites: A prerequisite course is one that must be completed prior to enrollment in a given course.
  2. Corequisites: A corequisite course is one that must be taken at the same time as or with another course.
  3. Some courses may be identified as either prerequisite or corequisite. In such cases, the course may be taken either before or concurrently with a given course. It may not be taken after the course for which it is designated as pre-requisite or corequisite.
  4. It is the student's responsibility to meet the established prerequisites and/or corequisites for any given course.
  5. Withdrawal from a course will be required if prerequisites/corequisites have not been met, unless the student has obtained written permission for an exception from the Program Director.

Credit Hour Allocation

Credit hour allocation is based on the following ratio:

Classroom (didactic)



NRS Preceptorship

PTA Clinical

RAD Clinical

RCP Clinical

DMS Clinical

SUR Clinical

15 Class hours

30 Lab hours

45 Clinical hours

96 Clinical hours

45 Clinical hours

85 Clinical hours

50 Clinical hours

72 Clinical hours

60 Clinical hours

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

= 1 credit hour

Developmental Coursework

Courses that are less than freshman level or remedial in nature will not be accepted for credit toward graduation. Remedial coursework cannot be used for either transfer or support purposes.

Directed Study

Directed study credit can be earned for professional and arts and sciences coursework. Directed study allows students the opportunity to complete a course of study when there is a deficiency in course requirements; it is determined by the Program Director of the department in which a student is majoring. Arts and sciences course work is determined by faculty responsible for each course and approved by the Dean of the Division of Arts & Sciences.

Independent Study

Independent study allows students the opportunity to complete a course of study in an area that is of special interest. A maximum of six credit hours may be earned through independent study. A student wishing to complete course work via independent study should initiate such through his or her Academic Advisor. After meeting with his or her Academic Advisor, the student will be referred to the Program Director of the appropriate department in which the student will work toward the independent study. The Program Director will then direct the student to the appropriate faculty member. After consulting with the faculty member, the student will develop a proposal for the independent study. The faculty member will then develop evaluation criteria and submit the entire proposal to the Program Director for approval.

Student Classification for Degree-Seeking Students

NMC undergraduate students are classified according to the total number of semester hours earned:





30.99 or fewer credit hours

31 - 60.99 credit hours

61 - 90.99 credit hours

91 or more credit hours

There are no similar classifications for graduate students.

Transient Study

Students are expected to complete all course requirements at NMC after their initial enrollment to the College.  Exceptions to this policy may be considered under extraordinary circumstances. Any request for transient study (i.e., enrolling in courses at other regionally accredited institutions after initial enrollment to NMC) will be reviewed by NMC's Retention Committee; the decision of the Retention Committee is final. Under no circumstance will a student be awarded credit for a course taken off campus after his/her initial enrollment to NMC unless approved in advance by the Retention Committee. Students are advised to consult with their academic advisor if they have any questions regarding this policy.

Updated: July 2013

Course/Program Changes

Change of Program

Should students choose to change their programs, they should meet with their academic advisor to initiate the admissions process. Admission into another program is not guaranteed. Student applicants must complete the admissions process and are subject to the evaluative criteria for that program.

Course Add/Drop

A course may be dropped or added during the first week of a course for full-length semester courses and during the first two days for summer and shorter-term online courses. Courses dropped during this period will not be reflected on the student's transcript. Students must meet with their academic advisors to complete a course schedule change form. This form is submitted to the Registrar's Office.

Courses dropped after the first week of classes for each semester or after the second day for summer courses are considered withdrawals. Refer to "Withdrawal from a Course" below.


Course Withdrawal

The student must see his or her academic advisor when it is necessary to withdraw from a course and must file an official withdrawal form with the Registrar. If a student is withdrawing from all courses, the student must follow the College policy for Withdrawal from College. Student responsibility for tuition, fees, etc., still owed is determined by the Tuition Refund policy.

If a student officially withdraws from a class prior to 55% of the course being completed, the student's record will be marked as a withdrawal, "W." After this point, if a student drops or withdraws from a course, a grade of "WF" will be recorded. If the student officially withdraws from the course by the end of the semester Add/Drop deadline as published by the Registrar (usually within the first week of classes), no record of the course will appear on the student's transcript.

If a student withdraws from a course, which is designated as a co-requisite for another course in which the student is enrolled, withdrawal from such course(s) may also be required. Exceptions can be made in unusual circumstances, but will require the approval of the relevant Academic Dean(s) responsible for the courses affected.

If a student is withdrawing from a NMC course offered through the OCICU consortium, different rules and fees for withdrawal apply. Substantial fees for OCICU courses are incurred if a student drops any later than the first week of class, and are the sole responsibility of the student.

Under extenuating circumstances, deadlines applying to withdrawal may be waived by the appropriate Academic Dean or the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

College Withdrawal

A student considering withdrawal from the College should make an appointment with the appropriate academic advisor to discuss options before withdrawal, as a student who has officially withdrawn from the College must reapply for admission upon returning. When the decision to withdraw has been made, the student obtains a Student Status Change form from the Office of the Registrar and completes the withdrawal section of the form. The form is then returned to the Registrar for processing.

It is considered an unofficial withdrawal from the College if a student does not submit a request to withdraw but stops attending all classes or does not re-register for the upcoming fall or spring semester.

All College property, including the student ID card, must be returned to the College before withdrawal is complete. The student must also make arrangements to fulfill any financial obligations before withdrawing.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence from the College requires submission of a Student Status Change form requesting an LOA to the Office of the Registrar. A student must submit this form if she/he will not take coursework during the fall or spring semester, or longer, but plans to return within one year. Upon return, re-enrollment in professional course work will be on a space available basis and will be determined by the Program Director. Registration in bridge course work, as described in the Technical Competency section of the Catalog, may be required of the student. Additional program requirements may apply; refer to program handbook.

If a leave of absence was not requested, the student will be required to reapply for admission to the College. A student who returns after an absence longer than one year will also be required to reapply for admission to the College, whether or not a leave of absence was requested by the student.

Transcripts and Maintenance of Student Records

Transcripts will be issued only upon written request of the student. The student submits a Transcript Request Form to the Registrar, who will then verify with the Business Office that the student's account is current, as the student must be in good standing with the College for a transcript to be issued. If the student account is current, the Registrar will process the request. The College is not responsible for loss of transcripts due to incorrect or insufficient addresses.

Faculty are responsible for maintaining complete and accurate records of students enrolled in their course(s), electronically when possible. Faculty are to submit the grade records for all classes taught to the appropriate administrator upon termination of employment or when requested. Support documentation of student performance over and above assigned grades (i.e., submitted papers, projects, copies of tests) must be maintained at least 45 days from issuance of final course grade before being destroyed.

Student records will be maintained by the Office of the Registrar in accordance with guidelines provided by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, as official student records provide documentation of the student's progress through a program of study. Upon a student's matriculation into the College, student records are forwarded from the Office of Admissions to the Office of the Registrar. Academic records for current students will be kept up to date, stored in the Office of the Registrar, and will contain the following items as applicable:

  • College transcript(s)
  • High School transcript(s)
  • GED transcript
  • Application
  • ACT/SAT report
  • Any applicable correspondence (e.g., letters of acceptance to the College)
  • Background check records

Upon graduation from any graduate program or four-year program of study, the following items will be maintained for five (5) years as applicable:

  • Application
  • High School transcript(s)
  • Other college transcript(s)
  • GED transcript
  • Degree Audit

Upon graduation from any certificate or associate degree program of study, the entire student record is maintained for five years in the event the student should return to engage in a four-year program of study. When a student withdraws from the College, the entire student record is maintained for a period of five years.

Five years after a student graduates or withdraws, the contents of the student record will be destroyed, except for the final NMC transcript and any items required by FERPA to be kept permanently. Academic departments may also maintain permanent records as dictated by accrediting entities.

Military Commitments

Nebraska Methodist College recognizes the valuable contributions of the service men and women who are also students at the institution. NMC is dedicated to assisting these students in the successful completion of their programs of study and fulfillment of their service to our country.

Updated: July 2013

Resolution Process for Academic Concerns

The resolution process for an academic concern is to provide an impartial review of academic situations and issues for ensuring that the rights of all students are properly recognized and protected. No adverse action will be taken against a student who chooses to utilize this process.

This process is to be used for instances in which a student has an academic concern regarding:

  • The grade received in a course
  • A decision perceived to be arbitrary, capricious, or applied unequally and impacts one's academic progression.

Sexual harassment/misconduct complaints are handled through the College's Sexual Harassment Policy.

Nebraska Methodist College is required to share with institutional or programmatic accreditation agencies information about written complaints received from students. However, the information shared relates to the nature of the complaint and does not include the identity of the student(s) who submitted the complaint. Therefore, the identities of students who submit written complaints shall remain anonymous.

A common academic concern sought by a student is the appeal of a course grade. A faculty member determines the character of a course which includes content, instructional practices, and assessment procedures. Instructors have the right to assign a course grade based on any method that is professionally acceptable, shared with all students, and applied equally. Each student has the right to a course grade based upon an unbiased evaluation of his/her performance and the specified grading procedure. A student has the right to ask for clarification of the basis for his/her grade.

Valid reasons for initiating the resolution process include, but are not limited to: a failure to follow published course, program, or college policies, a lack of consistency within the student's course section, the grade awarded was motivated by ill will, or concern over the accuracy of the grade calculation.

The following are NOT valid reasons for initiating the resolution process: (i) a disagreement with the application of course policies and/or grading standards, (ii) the requirements or examination standards of an academic program, (iii) issues regarding program accreditation requirements, (iv) concerns over professionally acceptable teaching approaches, (v) differing personalities, and (vi) differences in classroom policies or grading schemes in different courses or between different sections of the same course. The resolution process should not be initiated simply due to its impact on a student's academic progress and standing, ability to receive or maintain a scholarship, or any other monetary award, ability to maintain recognition of distinction, or eligibility for a club or organization. It is the student's responsibility to justify that the final grade he/she received in a course was the result of a decision that was arbitrary, capricious, or applied unequally.

The resolution process for an academic concern must be initiated no later than one (1) month from the occurrence of the concern. A student is encouraged to talk with the Dean of Students to allow him/her to offer an assessment of the concern and to clarify the steps of the resolution process.

Flow Chart

Step 1:  A student is encouraged to pursue a good-faith attempt at informally resolving the academic concern.  The student will communicate the concern with the involved individual (e.g., faculty member, program director, or Academic Dean) to find a solution.  A student may be requested to put their concern in writing.  Within five (5) working days from the time the student raises the concern, written or oral, the involved individual will evaluate the concern, render a decision, and notify the student.  As part of his/her evaluation, the involved individual may schedule a follow-up conversation with the student and may consult College faculty, staff, or administrators for clarification and/or guidance.  At the request of the student or the involved individual, the Dean of Students can be asked to arrange a meeting of those involved, attend such meetings(s), and aid in mediating a resolution.   If the involved individual does not act on or resolve the concern to the reasonable satisfaction of the student, the student can initiate Step 2 of the resolution process.

Step 2:  Within five (5) working days of the student being notified by the involved individual of his/her decision, the student writes a notification letter specifying:

  • a statement of facts as the student perceives them, citing specific instances where, in the student opinion, policies and procedures were violated or were unfairly applied,
  • a summary of the outcome from Step 1,
  • the remedy sought by the student, and
  • the best method to communicate with the student (phone, e-mail, etc.).

The student is encouraged to seek guidance from the Dean of Students on development of this letter.  The student proceeds to:

  • Step 3 if the involved individual is a faculty member and he/she reports to a Program Director
  • Step 4 if the involved individual is a Program Director
  • Step 4 if the involved individual is a faculty member and he/she directly reports to an Academic Dean
  • Step 5 if the involved individual is an Academic Dean.

Step 3: The student provides their notification letter to the Program Director.  Within five (5) working days from receipt of the letter, the Program Director will evaluate the concern, render a decision, and notify the student via written communication.  As part of his/her evaluation, the Program Director may schedule a conversation with the student and may consult College faculty, staff, or administrators for clarification and/or guidance.  If the Program Director does not act on or resolve the concern to the reasonable satisfaction of the student, within five (5) days of being notified of the decision, the student can initiate Step 4 of the resolution process.  

Step 4: The student provides their notification letter to the appropriate Academic Dean.  Within five (5) working days of receipt of the letter, the Academic Dean will evaluate the concern, render a decision, and notify the student via written communication.  As part of his/her evaluation, the Academic Dean may schedule a conversation with the student and may consult College faculty, staff, or administrators for clarification and/or guidance.  If the Academic Dean does not act on or resolve the concern to reasonable satisfaction of the student, within five (5) days of being notified of the decision, the student must meet with the Dean of Students to initiate Step 5 of the resolution process.  

Step 5:  The Dean of Students will provide the student's notification letter and the Academic Dean's decision to the Dean's Council for review and consideration.  The Academic Dean from Step 3 can be a participant in the discussions, but will be a non-voting member during any deliberations. Within five (5) working days after the Dean's Council meets, the Dean's Council will evaluate the concern, render a decision, and the Dean of Students will notify the student via written communication.  As part of their evaluation, the Dean's Council may schedule a conversation with the student and may consult other College faculty, staff, or administrators for guidance and/or clarification.  If the Dean's Council does not act on or resolve the concern to the student's satisfaction, within five (5) days of being notified of the decision, the student must meet with the Dean of Students to initiate Step 6 of the resolution process.  

Step 6:  The Dean of Students will provide the student's notification letter and all decisions from prior steps to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) for review and consideration.  Within five (5) working days from the VPAA's receipt of the materials, the VPAA will evaluate the concern, render a decision, and notify the student via written communication.  As part of his/her evaluation, the VPAA may schedule a conversation with the student and may consult other College faculty, staff, or administrators for guidance and/or clarification.  A decision by the VPAA is final and ends the academic resolution process. 

Updated: July 2013