Totally floored - put on Probation in FNP program? I can't take this anymore!!!!

  1. I'm completely devastated. Yesterday my (new) advisor pulled me out of lab and into her office to tell me I am on "academic probation" because I got a 'C' in a course last Spring. (She's just telling me now?) She told me verbally only. This was the FIRST I had ever heard of it. I read the University policy manual and it says "a certified letter will be sent to inform the student of probation status and outlining the steps that need to be taken to return to Good Standing. The student will have 10 days to appeal." I did not receive any letter last Spring (4 months ago!) or even see one with my advisor when she told me about being on probation. I still have maintained a cumulative GPA above 3.0 which is considered In Good Standing. I am halfway through my FNP/MS program - I don't know if I can take this anymore! They keep changing the rules as they go along and I'm sick of it. For example, an instructor will say "well, it didn't ask in the assignment criteria for you to include this area in your paper, but I'm going to mark you down for it anyway." Or "This is not supposed to be a graded assignment....but I'm counting it as graded." This term (Fall) I currently have straight A's - pretty typical for me, and my performance has also been praised. How can I be on probationary status and also have had no formal notification? The worst thing is that I was told you are never taken OFF probation! If you meet all the requirements (which are supposed to be outlined in the certified letter that I have never received) at graduation, then and only then will your transcript be changed to "In Good Standing." As an aside, this University has been sued 3 times in the last 5 years by students in both the undergrad and grad programs - I'm guessing this type of BS has something to do with it. I need feedback, advice and moral support. Has anyone else experienced this? Thank you for listening.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    sometimes things really suck try and get things that you have to do on paper so that you have something to fall back on if this rears its ugly head again..do what you have to do to get through..be invisable..if you stand up for your rights you may be right but it they have the power they can hurt you

    i really don't like people who love their own power
  4. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from zias
    I read the University policy manual and it says "a certified letter will be sent to inform the student of probation status and outlining the steps that need to be taken to return to Good Standing. The student will have 10 days to appeal." I did not receive any letter last Spring (4 months ago!) or even see one with my advisor when she told me about being on probation.
    *** The university policy manual is a contract. If you have not recieved the certified letter you are not on probation, period, end of story. If they give any problem I would take them to court so fast their head would spin for breach of contract.
    I would LOVE to know what university you are talking about. I am in the market for an FNP program and would like to avoid a bad program.
  5. by   augigi
    I would write a letter to the person in charge of the program, listing your concerns and asking for written explanation of the situation. At least that way you have a permanent record.
  6. by   zenman
    When any organization has "rules," it can work both for and against them. While you may lay as low as possible, you can also "cripple" them by making them follow their own rules to the letter. Know what I mean?
  7. by   redhen
    I agree with the reply: If they did not send you the certified letter, then you are not on probation. They can throw around that term it they want to, but I would make it clear (pleasantly) that no such letter was received and they appear to be separating from written policy. You are obviously a conciencious student, so just remember all this frustation will be over soon. Good luck!
  8. by   destiny5
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    sometimes things really suck try and get things that you have to do on paper so that you have something to fall back on if this rears its ugly head again..do what you have to do to get through..be invisable..if you stand up for your rights you may be right but it they have the power they can hurt you

    i really don't like people who love their own power
    I agree with Chatsdale. While you are in school you play by their rules.. period. I am sure you know that, from your last nursing program or at the very least, reading other posts. My advice... play the game and graduate.... It makes no sense to me to fight the people who hold your grade, especially when they can test you..ect... and grade you the way they want to.... unless it's all scan-tron but I'm sure it's not. Lay low. If you want to fight...fight after graduation ..... for future students.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Zias - I'm so sorry you are going through this - how frustrating. I know in my MSN and post-MSN courses, you couldn't get a "C" because it wasn't accepted as credit. However, you knew this going in and the rules didn't change. I would at least ask for something in writing addressing the school's concerns and suggested remedy.

    For the most part, I do agree about not making waves, but I think in this case, I would want to have something in writing.
  10. by   Dixiecup
    I thank GOD every day for the FNP program I am in. The instructors bend over backwards to make sure you pass.

    I just flunked my first test ever. In advanced pathophysiology. The heart, never understood it, never will.

    My instructor said she would give me study questions for the next test to make sure I score high on it. I'm overwhelmed the lengths they go to to help you.

    I think it's because the tuition is $768 a credit hour so I'm getting my money's worth.
  11. by   BSNtobe2009
    This is the thing: Colleges and Universities have written policies for a reason...to keep professors for coming up with their own.

    Your professor clearly violated your rights, and you need to take it up the ladder. I think your "probation" will be tossed out the window.

    The entire purpose of the certified letter is to PROVE that you received notice and come up with a course of action to ENSURE you know exactly what you need to do to not be kicked out of the program.

    Considering they didn't do any of that, you need to address this IMMEDIATELY. This isn't the time to worry about politics. If you don't, and you get dismissed, and then cry foul later, it will look like retaliation.
  12. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** The university policy manual is a contract. If you have not recieved the certified letter you are not on probation, period, end of story. If they give any problem I would take them to court so fast their head would spin for breach of contract.
    I would LOVE to know what university you are talking about. I am in the market for an FNP program and would like to avoid a bad program.
    I absolutely 2nd this!
  13. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from Dixiecup
    I thank GOD every day for the FNP program I am in. The instructors bend over backwards to make sure you pass.

    I just flunked my first test ever. In advanced pathophysiology. The heart, never understood it, never will.

    My instructor said she would give me study questions for the next test to make sure I score high on it. I'm overwhelmed the lengths they go to to help you.

    I think it's because the tuition is $768 a credit hour so I'm getting my money's worth.
    *** Would you mind telling me what program you are in?
  14. by   lannisz
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    This is the thing: Colleges and Universities have written policies for a reason...to keep professors for coming up with their own.

    Your professor clearly violated your rights, and you need to take it up the ladder. I think your "probation" will be tossed out the window.

    The entire purpose of the certified letter is to PROVE that you received notice and come up with a course of action to ENSURE you know exactly what you need to do to not be kicked out of the program.

    Considering they didn't do any of that, you need to address this IMMEDIATELY. This isn't the time to worry about politics. If you don't, and you get dismissed, and then cry foul later, it will look like retaliation.
    Thank you everyone for your replies. And I am struggling with the two lines of thought here - don't make waves vs stand up for your rights and make a fuss. This is exactly my dilemma. I have only 3 weeks left in the term. I'm doing well in my classes and expect to get all A's. I worry about making waves right now because if I do, my advisor (who currently is teaching 2 of my courses and has the power to lower my grades) could make life miserable for me. While she has the final say in my grades and performance this term, I do get the impression she is "just the messenger" as far as informing me about academic probation. I'm wondering if I should just continue to plow through this term and do well. Then, AFTER my grades are posted for this term I could write a letter to the Dean asking her to address my concern. I would refer to the school's own policy and note that I was never formally informed in writing. By not being notified (if I AM truly on probation status) I was not given the chance to fight the grade I was given by that OTHER instructor (I had an 89% in that class and evidently bombed the final which was 50% of the grade - I certainly was unaware until after the term was over that I received a C in that class - by then everyone was gone for the summer.) By not being informed by certified mail, where I would have to sign that I had received a letter from the school, I was not given the chance to file a formal grievance. Because this advisor is new and we are a small group, I don't have the choice to change advisors...so I really don't want to burn my bridges here.
    Last edit by lannisz on Nov 9, '06

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