University changing cirriculum mid year HELP!!

  1. A good friend of mine called last night madder than h***. She is getting ready to take the final in peds and was ORDERED to go to a manditory meeting on the 15th or she won't get her grade. Her final is on the 12th.

    It appears as though the School of Nursing is requiring ALL nursing student to take the Assessment Technologies Institute test and PASS before they can go to the next course!! :angryfire

    My friend is one semester away from graduation and has earned A's in ALL her classes. So my question is, can a school change the courses w/o prior notification? I graduated from this school last year and we were not required to take this test. If I understand right, they are replacing the HESI with this one.

    Is this legal? Can they change w/o informing the class? If they can't who does she need to talk to about this?

    Thanks!!

    ____________________________________

    In His Grace,

    Karen

    Failure is NOT an option!!
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    About kwagner_51

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 766; Likes: 53
    Home Health Nurse
    Specialty: Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Home Health

    29 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Sure, they can change the test at any time. A student is accepted to a school, the school is required to provide an appropriate curriculum for them, if they decide that this is a better exam, then that is what they can do. That is not considered changing your program.
  4. by   mtnmom
    I agree with Suzanne. This does not seem to constitute changing a required course but rather an assessment tool. If a student is having trouble mastering a particular area of nursing subject matter, better to find out now and repeat a course than to pass and fail the NCLEX, possibly more than once. Just my 2 cents but it sounds legit.
  5. by   kwagner_51
    If it was just an assessment tool, I wouldn't have a problem with it. However, they are REQUIRING te students to pass the test BEFORE they can take the next class. In other words, it doens't matter if she gets an A in peds and in M/S if she/they doesn't pass this newly required test, she can't take M/S 3 or Psych UNTIL she/they does pass the test!!

    I do NOT think that it is right to tell these seniors that no matter how good they did in the class if they fail this test, they can't go on UNTIL they pass it!! Like she said, she has $20,000.00 invested in her education and it isn't fair to throw this at them with one semester left before graduation!!

    Thanks!!

    __________________________

    In His Grace,

    Karen

    Failure is NOT an option!!
  6. by   Jolie
    There have been previous threads on this subject, and I'll reply as I did then. It is my understanding that a college catalog basically constitutes a contract between the school and the student. The college can not (unilaterally) add requirements once a student has been accepted to a program and is making satisfactory progress toward graduation according to the requirements of the catalog under which s/he enrolled. Any changes may affect subsequent classes of students, but are not retro-actively applied to students already in the program and making satisfactory progress toward completion.

    Furthermore, I can't begin to comprehend all of the ridiculous standardized tests that are used these days under the guise of NCLEX preparation. Such testing did not exist in years past, and I daresay that students were better prepared for NCLEX because they were held to high standards academically and clinically. Our school prepared us for NCLEX thru a rigorous curriculum, not by relying on the "test of the day". Schools that rely on tests to ensuregood pass rates are not doing their job very well, in my opinion.
  7. by   Jerico
    Quote from Jolie
    Our school prepared us for NCLEX thru a rigorous curriculum, not by relying on the "test of the day". Schools that rely on tests to ensuregood pass rates are not doing their job very well, in my opinion.
    Could not agree with this statement more. When school teach to the test, they don't teach THINKING and ANALYZING complex situations.
  8. by   mommy2BCD
    [QUOTE=kwagner_51]A good friend of mine called last night madder than h***. She is getting ready to take the final in peds and was ORDERED to go to a manditory meeting on the 15th or she won't get her grade. Her final is on the 12th.

    It appears as though the School of Nursing is requiring ALL nursing student to take the Assessment Technologies Institute test and PASS before they can go to the next course!! :angryfire

    My friend is one semester away from graduation and has earned A's in ALL her classes. So my question is, can a school change the courses w/o prior notification? I graduated from this school last year and we were not required to take this test. If I understand right, they are replacing the HESI with this one.

    Is this legal? Can they change w/o informing the class? If they can't who does she need to talk to about this?

    Thanks!!

    ____________________________________
    We were required to take the ATI exam before getting admitted to nursing school. It was part of the acceptance or denial process. I thought it was stupid then and I agree with you here. Also in South Dakota we are required to take a proficiency exam before we can graduate from any university here which I think is possibly the most retarded thing I have ever heard of. I think I need to go back to Ohio!
  9. by   veegeern
    My state requires all university students to pass a Regent's exam that is taken in the junior year. If you don't pass, then you take remedial courses. My school of nursing required us to take a standardized test every semester. During our second (senior) year, they made passing the test a requirement for progression, and we had to pass a comprehensive test to graduate. The university supported the nursing school when we appealed, but we were given the opportunity to re-take the test if we failed the first time. No, from the reports I got, it wasn't the exact same test. Our experience was that the students who had A's and B's passed the first time. Those who had C's all passed the second time. Needless to say, if you had a "D" you were failing anyway...
  10. by   Altra
    Quote from suzanne4
    Sure, they can change the test at any time. A student is accepted to a school, the school is required to provide an appropriate curriculum for them, if they decide that this is a better exam, then that is what they can do. That is not considered changing your program.
    Agree w/Suzanne. Sounds like the faculty have determined that the ATI requirement is a better fit w/the overall curriculum than the HESI at this time, simple as that.

    Maybe I'm not understanding your position, but I don't understand the suggestion of taking legal action? On what grounds? If you want to graduate from XYZ Institution, then you must meet XYZ Institution's requirements, IMHO.
  11. by   Ex130Load
    My school requires students to pass HESI at the end of the junior year in order to matriculate to senior status. We had three attempts. To be eligible to sit for NCLEX, we had to take HESI (after we graduated) and pass within three attempts.

    HESI came to my school several years before I entered in response to the state nursing board that mandated schools have a first time NCLEX pass rate of at least 75%. Otherwise, schools could lose accreditation. Administration informed me that prior to HESI, some schools had pass rates in the 60s. Last year I believe, the lowest rate was in the upper 80s.

    Does HESI benefit students, schools, or the public? All have time and money invested. The sad part of reality is that weaker students (as usually indicated by grades, HESI results, etc.) most likely will always struggle which sometimes extends to on the job/floor. Do the exams help struggling students face reality earlier thus saving them time, money, and perhaps ultimately patients lives? Tough questions. Many emotions. Many concerns for all interested.

    Is it "legal" to change requirements midstream. Some courts in some states would recognize a handbook as a contract. The problem quickly becomes one of money, time, and concern--lawyers, testing deadline rapidly approaching, getting a court date, and apathy usually from other students who are "doing ok" and personally know it. Additionally a lot of students won't protest or try making changes under any guise because they are younger, still used to taking orders from elders or those in position of power, or don't want to "rock the boat"--less assertive.

    During school, I highlighted/raised hell/didn't back down on several issues that I deemed important. I often became the only one complaining or the loudest of them. I made some progress or drew positive attention occasionally. I paid some prices for my actions. Still, I feel I did the right things and garnered some private accolades from classmates.

    Long and short to the original poster, I hear you and understand your concerns. I had to repeat a class, retake HESI, and sweat out passing HESI in my senior year to be eligible for NCLEX. It all worked out. It might help your friend to keep things in statistical perspective. If she is receiving As and Bs, she'll probably do ok. My class lost about half its size mostly to poor grades, not supplemental assessment testing. I remember maybe four being dropped, not bad in the grand scheme of things though it "sucked" for the individuals. I can't remember the exact number lost, but all were academically weaker than me. Hope my thoughts and observations are helpful.
  12. by   kwagner_51
    Quote from MLOS
    Agree w/Suzanne. Sounds like the faculty have determined that the ATI requirement is a better fit w/the overall curriculum than the HESI at this time, simple as that.

    Maybe I'm not understanding your position, but I don't understand the suggestion of taking legal action? On what grounds? If you want to graduate from XYZ Institution, then you must meet XYZ Institution's requirements, IMHO.
    If the requirement had been there 1 1/2 yrs ago when she started, fine, no problems. When I took HESI it was an assessment tool to let me know where I was weak. It DID NOT affect whether we continued with our courses.

    With this new test, if a person DOES NOT pass the test, they can NOT go on, REGARDLESS of their grades!! :angryfire Let's say, she has an A in M/S 2, one of her kids gets sick and she can't study for this test. When she takes the test, she is sick, having caught it from her kids. She FAILS the test. Now, the A in M/S means squat, she can not go into M/S 3 in January 2006, BECAUSE she failed a test that wasn't required when she was accepted into the program 1 1/2 yrs ago!!

    Is this a better explaination? I graduated from this program in May of this year. She was a Freshman in the Program. Now they are trying to hurt the good students because some of MY class can't pass boards!!

    Thanks!!

    _________________________________________

    In His Grace,

    Karen

    Failure is NOT an option!!
  13. by   P_RN
    I agree with Suzanne. This is not a change in curriculum. Schools have a bulletin which outlines the order or number of courses needed for graduation. Each course is amended as new information comes around. A different assessment tool is no different than a new bit of information to be learned. You must pass that assessment/test/exam/procedure before you can advance. That's the bottom line.
  14. by   mitchsmom
    I am curious about this, too - whether a school can change what is outlined in the catalog as required for graduation. I didn't think they were supposed to change things until a new class and hence new catalog came in.

    That said, my school of nursing has done it several times. I think it is wrong. People make plans for the years of their schooling based on what the catalog describes. Changes are fine, just start it with a new group of students and put it in their catalog so they may plan accordingly.

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