Would Columbia University's ETP program really kick a student out for missing a test?

  1. I was just accepted to Columbia University's ETP program. While researching it, I came across a NY Post article (linked here: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regiona...#ixzz1G4bSL400) titled "F Student Sues Columbia Nurse School." I found the situation pretty off putting, and I was wondering if there are any ETP students/grads that can set the record straight about Columbia's ETP Program.

    Here's the article:

    Columbia University gave him an "F," but he deserves an "A" for audacity.

    Nicholas Perrino was kicked out of the Ivy League institution's School of Nursing for missing an exam, and now he is suing to get back in.

    "I should have went to Yale," moaned Perrino, who is representing himself in the case.

    The 27-year-old Illinois native said he was working toward two master's degrees last summer, when his grandparents became gravely ill, forcing him to take a few days off.

    He told his instructors he would be absent for a skills exam and tried to arrange a makeup, Perrino claims in documents filed June 15 in Manhattan Supreme Court.

    Instead, he says, the school failed him in the course - part of a fast-track master's program.

    Without the test, the school wouldn't let him continue his nursing coursework.

    Filing academic grievances and appealing to the Columbia provost got him nowhere, he said, and he was withdrawn from the School of Nursing.

    "It's insane," Perrino said. "It's not like I killed someone."

    Perrino, who says he spent $65,000 on tuition, did complete a master's degree in public policy. He says he had a nearly spotless
    academic record at the School of Nursing.

    A Columbia spokesman said he could only confirm Perrino had been a nursing student, and cited privacy rules preventing him from discussing the case.

    Perrino is asking a judge to remove the "F" from his transcript, reinstate him at the school and reimburse tuition costs for classes he has already taken.
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  3. by   Anderson11
    Now that's scary I'm a mother and although I have arranged my mom to be a full time nanny for my son when I start an accelerated course if my son was seriously ill I'm not going to be in class. I'm applying for Columbia ETP 2012 btw. Surely there has to be more to this, perhaps his general performance was not up to par.
  4. by   elkpark
    I haven't been a Columbia student, but there is v. little "wiggle room" in the schedules for accelerated nursing programs (or even traditional nursing programs). Missing an exam or more than the allowed amount of clinical time could mean you end up flunking out of school.

    However, without knowing anything at all about the specifics of this situation, I wonder whether there isn't a lot more to this story than we're being told (from my experience in nursing education, there usually is). The info in the Post (which is known as a sensationalist tabloid, of course) article certainly sounds "fishy" to me. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a student who had created problems earlier, and this was just the final straw. Suing the school??? IMHO, that's not the action of someone for whom everything was going great until this suddenly happened.

    There are often posts here about how "my school treated me so unfairly, I didn't do anything wrong, and they were so mean to me for no reason," and then, eventually, much later in the discussion, it turns out the situation was really quite different from what the OP originally reported. There's a big difference between being angry about getting kicked out and having been treated unfairly. Most schools (in my experience teaching in a few different nursing programs) bend over backwards to avoid kicking students out, have an appeal process, and go out of their way to be sure that, if they're going to flunk someone out, they have followed all their own policies about appropriate documentation, school policies/procedures, etc., etc., etc., precisely to be careful that they're not in a position where they could be successfully sued. I suppose it's possible that a school of Columbia's stature and reputation could have just thrown caution to the wind and arbitrarily flunked a student out, but that seems highly unlikely to me.

    (Interestingly, I just did a Google search to see how this situation eventually turned out (the original situation happened in 2007), and, while there are lots of articles/references in June and July of 2007 to Perrino suing the school, I couldn't find any later references to how the suit was resolved. I can't help but think that, if he had been successful in suing the school (or being reinstated in school), that would have been news that would get at least some coverage. Instead, the whole matter seems to have disappeared.)