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Is this a fair way to fail a student?

Students   (1,173 Views | 11 Replies)
by duroch1 duroch1 (New) New

177 Profile Views; 1 Post

So I'm in my school's nursing school and you need at least an 83% in any nursing course to continue with the program. I had an 85% just before our final assignment was due (it was a post-simulation assignment). Grades for the Registrar were due at 7AM last Friday, and the assignment opened up for us at 5pm the Wednesday before. In every nursing course we've had, post-simulations have ALWAYS been due Thursday at midnight (so we got 31 hours to complete the assignment). However, a new professor sent an e-mail saying this assignment was due at 5pm instead this time. After work on Thursday, I got home at 10pm (which I knew two hours would be enough time to complete it), only to see me locked out of the assignment. I checked my e-mail and about had a heart attack when I saw the e-mail she sent out. Immediately I e-mailed her and another professor.

The next morning I checked my grade in my class and my grade dropped 4%, putting me at an 81%. At this point I knew I had a failing grade because that was the last assignment to be submitted. I then texted the dean of the program (I go to a small school so she is close with most of the students) and asked her to call me. When she did, she said my professor said I wasn't turning assigments in on time and therefore wasn't passing. I explained my situation to her but also said that I take full responsibility for not checking my e-mail, but also said that post-SIM has always been due at midnight in the past.

She said she has to speak to the provost to decide what they will do. I have been anxious about it all weekend. I am a pretty good student and I do well on all my HESI's and have a 3.5 GPA and have made the Dean's List the past 3 years. The head of the program even told my mom how good of a student and standardized tester I was. I just don't know what to do and if I should try to fight it or if it's fair treatment for me to have to retake the course, which I don't even know if I can fit it in next semester with the class below me. If I can't fit it in with the 2 last nursing classes I need (I'm going into my last semester), then I will have to wait A WHOLE YEAR to take the course. I guess I just would like some insight or advice about the situation.

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5 Followers; 37,429 Posts; 100,469 Profile Views

When you end up on the wrong side of the school, there you are, pretty much at their mercy. Prepare to repeat the course (the worst scenario) and be thankful you are not booted from the program at this point.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 105,703 Profile Views

It's a shame that you got caught by the change in deadline, but the instructor was within her/his rights to change the deadline in order to make the deadline for submitting the grades. (I can certainly understand the instructor not wanting to sit down to start working on calculating the final grades after midnight.) Just because the assignments have always been due by midnight before, that doesn't mean they're always going to be due by midnight. You're right, it was your responsibility to check your email and, if you hadn't left the assignment until the very last minute (very last two hours), you would have been fine.

You mentioned that your dean said the instructor told her that you hadn't been "turning assignments in on time" -- have there been other instances when you have been late turning in your work? If so, I wouldn't expect any mercy or sympathy this time. The bottom line is that you failed the class, and I don't see much of a case for you to make that you deserve special treatment or an exception to the school's policies (if they give you a break, every student will want some kind of special treatment).

Best wishes!

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FutureNurseInfo has 1 years experience.

1,093 Posts; 11,739 Profile Views

I do agree with others. I does suck, but such is the nature of nursing school. My suggestion, have push notifications on your cell about your emails. This way you will be notified when an email arrives so you can check it wherever you are, whenever you are.

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560 Posts; 9,067 Profile Views

My nursing school was very unforgiving. Students would have been kicked out of the nursing program completely for this error.

Good luck!

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51 Posts; 1,367 Profile Views

As others have said, you're at the mercy of your school. Are there other students in the same situation?

Forward your school e-mail to your phone so you don't miss anything - so even if you are caught off guard, you have a better chance to do something about it. I know a lot of my classmates don't have their e-mail connected to their phone, and well ... they miss a LOT of important notices and deadline changes.

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direw0lf has <1 years experience as a BSN.

1,047 Posts; 10,976 Profile Views

There's a few points going against you:

1. ONE assignment dropped you 4%. Which means you couldn't have had that many assignments or this one was worth more percent than the others.

2. If you didn't have many assignments in this class, having an 85% (with failure at an 83%) is really bad. Actually it doesn't speak in your favor in the eyes of your school, regardless.

3. If you did have a lot of assignments, and this ONE was worth more percent-wise, you will appear irresponsible to the school for being so careless with not checking emails, knowing the school's grade deadlines, and that you would have started it so late.

What you have going for you:

1. There wasn't sooner communication from your teacher about this (although, she was within her jurisdiction)

2. Your good standing in the school up until now. But in all honesty...in this case it won't matter. A course failed, is a course failed no matter if you were an A or C student before.

3. I'm trying to think of anything else but I can't and I really do feel bad for you if you need to wait a whole year. There could be worse things, but I know that doesn't help to think right now. You could take classes towards a minor and work as a tech, you'll build connections that could help you land a job faster than someone who graduates before you..sorry though that this happened.

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU.

1,208 Posts; 11,040 Profile Views

Fair means applied to all students without special consideration.

Yes, it sounds fair.

Unfair would be to make an exception because of your circumstances.

If several students had the same issue, it could be considered fair to make a change for the whole class. However, it would be somewhat unfair to others who might have made some sacrifices in order to squeeze in under the new, restricted deadline while waiving the deadline for others such as yourself who presumably had equal access to the information whether they did or didn't actually see it for whatever reason.

It is an unfortunate occurrence but, in my opinion, is entirely fair.

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128 Posts; 1,284 Profile Views

The 83% to pass rule is absurd, and only benefits the school, not the students. Because then you have to pay to retake your classes, or fail and they still get paid. The people who do make it through then just make the school look good with their all 83% and up gold stars, while still failing the nclex at the same rates. It's absurd, to think that Cs get degrees in other professions but not nursing. However this is the way of nursing schools across the board, so technically it is individually "fair", as all students are in fact held to these standards. It is misguided to think that this practice is fair in a collective sense... we nurses as a whole should not accept being manipulated and squeezed financially by these schools. Nursing education is profitable and this is how profit is maintained, and it will not change until we demand it.

Edited by operations

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97 Posts; 2,026 Profile Views

Fair means applied to all students without special consideration.

No it doesn't. If they sent an email to all students saying the assignment was due in 1 hour, would that be fair simply because the same standard was applied to all students?

In all honesty, it really depends on when the instructor sent the email. Was it two days before? A week? How long exactly did you go before you checked your email last? Deadlines are deadlines after all...

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128 Posts; 1,284 Profile Views

No it doesn't. If they sent an email to all students saying the assignment was due in 1 hour, would that be fair simply because the same standard was applied to all students?

In all honesty, it really depends on when the instructor sent the email. Was it two days before? A week? How long exactly did you go before you checked your email last? Deadlines are deadlines after all...

True. There are certain standards that all of academia must live up to. I ammendment my statement OP. Giving reasonable notice for assignments is one of those standards. If she did not give you reasonable notice for that assignment, you can and should argue that case. Just be detailed. Administration are going to side with the instructor by default, you would have to make them listen with clear facts.

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU.

1,208 Posts; 11,040 Profile Views

Fair means applied to all students without special consideration.

No it doesn't. If they sent an email to all students saying the assignment was due in 1 hour, would that be fair simply because the same standard was applied to all students?

Yes, it does. That is precisely the meaning of "fair."

Perhaps you'd like to debate whether it's reasonable to change the deadline for the final assignment and, as you point out, the timing of the notice is significant, but it is without question fair.

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