help! please! GRIEVANCE LETTER/APPEALS PROCESS

  1. Hey there Allnurses world,

    I am a brand new nursing student that just finished a semester at a ABSN nursing program in Illinois. They have this exam policy where you have to get a 77 average on all your exams in order to pass the course. Then they add in all your other work like homework, paper, case studies, discussion and responses, et cetera. This program is fairly new so there is a lot of hearsay from staff and students. I had a rough start entering this program, I am not going to even lie but later towards the program I got the hang of it and started to improve. This is our last week of exams and in my pharmacology class, I averaged a 76.79 overall score in exams. There were a couple of questions I had in the final that needed clarification. I came so close so I emailed the professor to review my final exam. She replied but did not say if she was to review it or not. I asked about rounding policies since I am only .21 away from the 77 percentile, is there anything I can do or can I meet with her to discuss my final or my other exams that might make a difference in my score. She did not reply and it has been a week with nothing from her.
    On top of her not replying, I felt that the whole course did not meet my expectations to help me advance in my performance throughout the class. This pharmacology class is also taught to two other cohorts with my cohort which makes it 3 cohorts taking the same class with two different professors, but we are all learning the same material, taking the same exams, having the same homework and everything. But i feel that the other professor reaches out more to her students and offers more help and they are allotted extra time on quizzes than my cohort. For example, before exams, the other professor of the other cohort schedules a live chat where the students in her cohort get to ask any questions they have about the exam or concerns on concepts that needs further explaining. My professor have never offered a live chat and takes forever to answer our emails. Second problem is that the other cohort gets an extra five mins on taking the timed quizzes than my cohort. They get 20 mins to answer 15 questions and my cohort only get 15 mins to answer 15 questions. 5 mins is not a lot but while taking a quiz, every second matters and counts. That is just not fair. If all cohorts are taking the same class with the same material and same everything but just different teacher then shouldn't all of us get the same time on quizzes and preparation before exams? So she just said sorry she couldn't do anything to help me, she did not even take my asking her to review my final exam in consideration. I had specific questions about a specific question on the final which she did not even respond to my request. She just said sorry then i tried to ask my coordinator of the program is there anything i can do. She said no. Then I email the success team to find answers, they forward my email to academic faculty and she said there is nothing i can do and that i can try to file for grievance letter but that would not help me in my case. are you serious? they can't do anything to help me? they can't even review my final???????// and answer my questions???? this class is unfair and unequal. is there something i can do or file? like grievance or appeals process? HAS ANYONE OUT THERE HAVE EXPERIENCE THIS PROBLEM OR IS IT ONLY ME? PLEASE HELP ME OR OFFER SUGGESTION THAT I CAN CONSIDER. PLEASE, THIS IS MY LAST CHANCE AT STAYING IN THIS PROGRAM. I SACRIFICE A LOT TO BE PLACE IN THIS PROGRAM. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT BUT WAIT FOR THEIR PROGRESSION LETTER FOR ME TO ACADEMICALLY WITHDRAW ME OR SO. I am helpless. and when i ask them for answers or solutions, they keep stringing me along saying they don't know, they don't have answers for me. So if anyone have any advice, incentives, points for me then I would gladly appreciate it. I really need to be in this program, I can't just be withdrawn cause of this one class. HELP!
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    Joined: Dec '15; Posts: 1

    6 Comments

  3. by   JustBeachyNurse
    You admit you were struggling all along. Claiming it's not fair after not meeting the minimum score to progress is not going to go over well with the appeals committee. 0.21% is not that small of a number and it's extremely rare for a traditional BSN program to round never mind an ABSN program. The live chat is not a significant difference to win an appeal. Did you score low on the quizzes ? Are you certain extra time would have made a difference? Different instructors structure their classes differently even if the content is the same.

    What was your previous degree in? What was your first degree GPA? What was your nursing pre-req GPA?

    Did you review the school policy for academic grievances /grade appeals? Do you meet the requirements to appeal? It's rare for faculty to help a student to grieve an academic dismissal especially in a competitive ABSN program. .
  4. by   Guest12/13/16
    Unfortunately, the extra five minutes thing and the live chat thing don't sound like sufficient grounds. Not every class has to be the exact same. The professors are allowed some discretion in how they teach their classes, or else anyone could teach them if they had a cookie cutter way that the class was taught. If you had questions before the exam and were not offered the live chat, you should have gotten in touch with the professor to ask those questions, regardless if there was a specific live chat available or not.

    I mean, you can always file an appeal. Who knows, maybe you'll get the exception. One time I filed an appeal as an undergrad that was totally baseless, and the professor let me re-do the assignment and he gave me a 100%, and even though that 100% wasn't enough to change my grade, he still changed my grade. It sounds like your appeal really rests on getting an answer about the final exam questions you felt were not clear or not fair. That's a good place to start.

    Also, the professor is not going to help you with this process. You need to talk to the dean. Make it clear you felt some questions were unfair, that you expressed this to the professor, and that the professor did not give you an adequate reply.
  5. by   HouTx
    Based on my own exposure to academic rules & regulations, there is very little likelihood of success with this type of grievance. If they make an exception for you, then they would have to do so for everyone... and the rule would effectively be useless. There have been several widely publicized cases involving nursing students with similar issues, such as the one at Misericordia in May. She wasn't successful either.

    The separate issue of non-responsive faculty should definitely be addressed by the program. In traditional schools, faculty roles and behavioral expectations are clearly outlined with respect to their availability to students - e.g., "office hours" are a requirement. It sounds like this was an online course (program?), and it's a bit more difficult to maintain this level of support with virtual instructors... but the school should have some requirements.

    You have my sympathy. I hope it works out well for you.
  6. by   EmKayy18
    I know that my program has made it clear from day 1 that there is no such thing as rounding in nursing school. We need a 78% (in both exam and coursework separately) to pass and 77.99999% is failing. I'm afraid I have to agree with the previous posts also about your basis for appeal being unfair treatment throughout cohorts. Are all of the cohorts ABSN programs or do they vary? It is possible your instructors expect more from you than your peers if they are taking upper-division level courses for the first time. Regardless, i know my nursing school, and, from what I've read and heard, most others are heavily reliant on your ability to self-teach independently. So, if you do find a way to appeal, I would focus on taking FULL responsibility for not passing and have a very specific plan to present to the committee on how you would ENSURE your success if given a second opportunity. Wishing you the best of luck as you deal with this difficult situation.
  7. by   mrsboots87
    There were people in my final nursing course who failed by 0.01. Literally. The program requires a 76% pro tired score before assignments are added in and there is not rounding. A handful of people received a 75.99 and are required to repeat if a first time fail. Dropped completely if a second failure. It totally sucks, but it is what it is.

    We we were split into two groups for classes. One section took mental health first and one section took critical care first. The first mental health group all did really good in the mental health tests. The second class mostly did very poorly. There is speculation that the tests for the second group were harder then that if the first group. But at the end of the day, none of that matters. We either passed or we didn't and what happened to the other class doesn't apply to USA. And this is from the same instructor. With 2 different instructors, I would imagine there to be even more difference.

    Every professor teaches their class how they want within policy. You will not win an appeal based in the classes being set up and taught differently. There is no way to know if you would have done better in the other class or not. When you took your pre reqs there were probably multiple classes taught by multiple instructors, and they were all taught differently. That's just the way it is.

    Also, check your student handbook. It is made clear in ours that the final is not reviewable. EVER. The I structors are not obligated to review the answers or the material with any student. It could be the same for yours. If this is in your handbook, then there is nothing you can do about you instructor not getting back to you about your final.
  8. by   needlesmcgeeRN
    Guess what's NOT part of the NCLEX? Rounding and fairness.

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