I can't completely answer for the Spring, but yes the new Dean is trying to make it much more difficult for students to pass comps. This is in order to curve the pass rate on the NCLEX as some students on this forum have already discussed. For the fall class of 2006 comps was given on 2 separate occasions. If you did not pass the comps on one of those 2 occasions you are still allowed to walk but you did not receive a diploma. You then have 2 more chances to pass the following semester and again the semester after that. If you don't pass after those 6 attempts you have to take your senior classes again and if you still don't pass you are removed from the university. The class for fall of 2006 had about 10-15 students who received diplomas. Through the last 2 comps exams all but about 4 students have passed comps, from what I have heard. Currently from my understanding our pass rate for the NCLEX is just above 80%, so the dean got the results she was after. However, the means the school used to achieve these results is not fair to the students. They chose comps exams that are not created by the school, such as ATI, HESI, and Meds Pub. These tests do have online courses available but they are not required material for the nursing school
. So, the comps exams are administered by a 3rd party company which does not have course material required by the school and each test had different criteria, methods, standards and information (some of which is not even taught by the school.) The school then changes its grading scale to suit its needs on each test. They claim a 78% pass rate would be required but then chose not to use the HESI scale when using the HESI test and create their own scale. Then when using the ATI test they took a 70% otherwise only 1 or 2 students would have passed comps for the entire semester. Since no one passed comps on the HESI test due to the schools
refusal to use the HESI grade scale they had to adjust the acceptable grade scale for the ATI test so they could at least have some students receive diplomas.
In the end the school will get the result they want, which is to achieve a higher pass rate on the NCLEX. But the way in which they have done it comes very close to being illegal and certainly unethical. Academic affairs said that all comps must be approved through them and should be created by the university; however, the nursing school feels they are above these academic standards.
Some students from the Spring 07 class are saying that all test will now require a 78% to pass for comps due to some problems that came up this semester (someone complaining to the administration); however, I can not state this for certain as it is second hand knowledge. From my understanding a 78% was required for Spring 2007 Comps that was administered via ATI and in the Fall a 70% was acceptable. Considering ATI doesn't give a grade above 70% because 70%=99% pass rate on NCLEX it seems unfair that the school requires a 78% just because that is the passing rate for the schools own test.