Professional standards refer to criteria for behavior that must be demonstrated by undergraduate and graduate students in professional programs. They are often based on standards set by professional bodies, such as codes of ethics or standards of professional behavior. All students must meet the professional standards and/or essential functions of the program in which they are enrolled. These standards are outlined in the departmental student handbooks. Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to those standards. Students who fail to meet basic professional standards may be disenrolled from the program.
Academic standards refer to the requirements for minimum course, semester, or cumulative grades or grade point average (GPA). The faculty in each department of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) establish the standards for students' academic achievement within the department or program (major). These standards are outlined in the CNHS Student Handbook.
Academic trial is an intermediate status between good standing and dismissal in which a program allows a student to continue with warning of academic difficulty. Students will be notified by email when their status has been determined to be "on trial." Normally, the period of academic trial is one semester.
A departmental standards committee may place a student on trial at the end of a semester in which the GPA was less than the program academic standard for progression. Academic trial may also be used when students are readmitted to a program after discontinuance. Placement on academic trial is not appealable. A student on academic trial should register for courses recommended by the student's academic advisor, the departmental standards committee, or the chair of the department.
Students will be removed from academic trial when the GPA is equal to or greater than the departmental standard. Students will be notified by email that they have been removed from academic trial status no earlier than one semester following placement on trial, but no later than the earliest practicable time when a determination can be made that the student has met the academic standard for progression in the program (e.g., at the beginning of the fall term if summer courses have been approved to meet the academic standard and the student has shown evidence of satisfactory completion of those courses).
Discontinued status means that students will not be allowed to register for courses in their academic programs in CNHS. Students remain enrolled at UVM and may register for classes outside their programs. Discontinued students have two (2) semesters to effect a transfer to another major. Students are responsible for determining the programs into which they are eligible to transfer and for completing application requirements to accomplish the transfer. Students who fail to transfer within 2 regular semesters will be notified by letter of their status in the CNHS or the University.
Students who fail to meet program academic standards after having been on academic trial may be discontinued from their programs.
A dismissed student is no longer a student at UVM and may not register for classes.
Students may be dismissed from the University upon receiving failing grades in one-half or more of their semester hours in any semester (if only one class is taken and failed then this criterion is met).
Students who fail to meet requirements set for academic trial periods and students who exhibit consistently low scholarship below the average required for graduation may be dismissed even if they do not meet the requirements for academic trial.
Students dismissed for low scholarship must direct their appeals for readmission to the dean of the CNHS and receive written permission before they will be permitted to enroll in any UVM course.
Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons must receive written approval from the Vice President for Student & Campus Life before being permitted to enroll in any UVM course.
Graduate student academic and professional standards are set forth annually in departmental handbooks based on program. Progression and appeal policies are outlined by the Graduate College. The CNHS may be involved in any appeal if requested by the Graduate College, but not until such request is made of the relevant department chair or of the CNHS Student Standards Committee through the CNHS Dean's office.
At the end of each semester, students' academic performance is reviewed by the departmental faculty or the faculty designee (departmental student standards/progression committee). The faculty applies the relevant academic standards for the program in which the student is enrolled. The Office of Student Services is responsible for collecting any additional information that may influence student progression decisions and shares this with the departments prior to action.
At the end of each semester department faculty or their designee may also review allegations related to any individual student's behavior/performance based on professional standards. Decisions to discontinue or dismiss students based on professional standards are forwarded to the Dean's Office for action.
Students who have been placed on academic trial or discontinued from their programs will receive written notice from the Office of Student Services after written notification by the department of the action to be taken and any additional requirements of the student. Students who have been dismissed from the University will receive written notice directly from the Dean's Office.
Students have the right to appeal discontinuation from a program or dismissal from the University. They may not appeal a decision of academic trial status. Appeals may be brought only on the following grounds: (1) procedural error; (2) error of fact; (3) perception of bias; (4) failure of faculty or designated progression committees to adhere to published standards. Letters of appeal must state clearly and precisely the basis for appeal and provide supporting evidence of infringement of the student's rights. Medical problems, personal issues, or other extenuating factors do not generally constitute grounds for appeal.
Written appeals must be submitted to the chair of the student's home department. The chair will review available documentation and may seek additional information or advisement in making a decision about the appeal. The student may be asked to provide additional evidence or to be interviewed.
Students who believe that the procedures, facts or policies have been misinterpreted or that the decision was made arbitrarily may, after receiving an unfavorable response from the chair of the department, appeal to the Dean of the CNHS. The Dean may ask the College Student Standards Committee (an interdisciplinary committee representing all departments in the College) to review the facts, standards, procedures and any other relevant information and to make a recommendation. The Dean of the CNHS will then render a decision that is final.
Graduate Student Appeal Process
Graduate student appeals are governed by the Graduate College policies and procedures. The College Student Standards Committee may be asked by the Dean or Associate Dean of the Graduate College to evaluate existing evidence and claims and provide a recommendation for the Graduate College. The Dean's Office of the Graduate College is the final arbiter of the academic action.
This Committee is charged to consider appeals from students who have been discontinued from majors within the College or dismissed from the College or University based on low scholarship. The Dean may ask the Student Standards Committee to review cases involving unprofessional conduct in circumstances where there is a question of fact. The Committee will recommend actions to the Dean or the Dean's designee. The Committee will consider appeals of discontinuance from the program in cases where an undergraduate student has first appealed to the Department Chair and has received an unfavorable decision or when requested to do so by the Dean. The Student Standards Committee embodies the collective faculty responsibility to ensure that due process has been observed in dismissal actions. The Committee will evaluate any evidence that was submitted during the appeals process by both the student appealing and by the department and faculty, and may make further inquires to assure that students receive fair and equitable treatment during the appeals process. The Committee shall abide by existing policies of the academic departments or the College in rendering its decision which shall be based solely on the issues of process, fact, or bias.
In the case of graduate students, the Student Standards Committee will consider appeals made to the Graduate College that have been returned to the College for evaluation. The Committee will work with the Associate Dean to provide the Graduate College with sufficient detail to make an informed decision on the appeal.