Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students

Academic Probation

A graduate student whose semester G.P.A. falls below a 3.0 will be place on academic probation at the end of any semester. Probationary status is removed if, at end of the following semester, the semester G.P.A. is 3.0 or better. A student on academic probation failing to raise the semester G.P.A. to 3.0 may, on recommendation of the Graduate Faculty Senate, be allowed a second and final probationary semester.

A student will be dismissed from the program upon failure to earn a 3.0 at the end of the second probationary semester. A graduate student may be on academic probation for no more than two semesters while enrolled at Saint Luke’s College. The student, faculty advisor, and Director of Graduate Programs are notified in writing when a student is placed on academic probation.

APA Writing Style

The official writing style for student papers and thesis should follow the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition. Each student is expected to purchase and use this manual as a reference for written assignments. All written assignments should be presented in APA style and any thesis must meet Saint Luke’s College Graduate School directives. Guidelines for electronic references may be found at http://www.apastyle.org/apa-stylehelp.aspx

Add, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

During specified periods each semester, students may add, drop or withdraw from a course. Dates and deadlines are posted in the Academic calendar. If a student wishes to drop a course after the last day to drop a course without a grade, the process is referred to as withdrawing from a course. To add, drop or withdraw from a course, students must complete the drop/add form available on the college website, or from the Registrar.

Guidelines: Students must consult their academic advisor prior to adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a course

Students should complete the appropriate add/drop form available on the college website or from the Registrar’s office. The form must be completed with appropriate signatures obtained, and turned in to the Registrar’s Office before the transaction is considered official. The date the form is turned in to the Registrar is considered the official date of the transaction.

Advisor Assignment

Upon admission to the M.S.N., degree program a student will be assigned a graduate faculty academic advisor. The advisor assignment will be made by the Director of Graduate Programs based on the student’s admission interview and the area of interest/degree track. Graduate faculty will serve as advisors to graduate students. Academic Advisors maintain contact with the student throughout the program. Students are encouraged to schedule individual academic advisement conferences upon admission to the program, during the pre-registration period each semester, and as needed.

The Academic Advisement Program is directed toward assisting students with accomplishment of the following goals throughout their program of study.

● Development of suitable educational plans, which are compatible with career goals and program requirements
● Selection of appropriate courses and other educational experiences
● Interpretation of program requirement, policies and procedures
● Student awareness of available educational resources
● Evaluation of student progress toward established goals

The Director of Graduate Programs will notify the Registrar when a graduate student is assigned an academic advisor. The Registrar will record the student’s advisor in their official academic record. Graduate students may make an appointment with their assigned academic advisor to discuss courses, future plans and review their official plan of study.

Continuous Enrollment

Once a student is admitted to the M.S.N. program, that student must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of one course each semester during the academic year (including summer) or have an approved leave of absence in order to remain in the program.

Students who fail to maintain continuous enrollment must seek re-admission to the M.S.N. degree program.

The length of the Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program is 45 semester hours and the Masters of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator Track is 42 semester hours. Both programs of study must be completed within seven years.

Clinical Practicum Policy

Students must be licensed as a Registered Nurse in the state where the clinical site is located, if required by that state’s board of nursing. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the state board of nursing in the designated state to determine and meet licensure requirements.

An active unencumbered Registered Nurse license is required for the M.S.N. program. Should a student have their Registered Nurse license revoked by the State Board of Nursing in the granting state, they will not be allowed to continue in the M.S.N. program.

A photocopy of the student’s nursing license will be placed in the student’s academic file and stored in the Records Office.

Clinical Readiness

Students will provide verification of clinical readiness prior to starting courses in the Graduate Program.

Students must provide a record of having met all Amendment A requirements for Clinical Readiness.

Conditional Acceptance into the Graduate Program

Applicants with an undergraduate G.P.A. of 2.75 – 2.99 on a 4.0 scale may be conditionally accepted to the Graduate Program.

Students who are accepted conditionally and who maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher during one semester of full time coursework, or two semesters part-time course work will have their conditional status removed. The academic status of the student admitted conditionally, will be monitored by the Director of the Graduate Program.

Grade Appeal

A student may appeal a final course grade. The assessment of learning and assignment of grades is the responsibility of the course instructor. The final grades are to reflect the work completed during the semester in which the student was enrolled in the course.

Informal Process

The first step in attempting to resolve a grade dispute is for the student to meet directly with the instructor to review the student performance in the course. Although a student may request that the instructor reconsider a grade, such reconsideration is at the instructor’s discretion and only if there is a compelling reason to believe the original grade was based on a seriously inaccurate assessment of the student’s work. If the grade dispute remains unresolved after consultation with the course instructor involved, the student should then attempt to resolve this with the lead teacher of the course if this person is different from the instructor in question. If resolution cannot be achieved at this state, the student may continue to the next formal grade appeals process.

Formal Process

Grade appeals must be submitted in writing to the Graduate Faculty Senate within ten working days of the end of the semester in which the student completed the class. Such an appeal must include whatever documentation the student deems appropriate to support the request.

The Chair of the Graduate Faculty Senate will call a Grade Appeals Committee which will be comprised of the Chair of the Graduate Faculty Senate, two faculty members, two students, and one student services representative. All members of the called Grade Appeals Committee will be unbiased parties and therefore will not be affiliated with the course under discussion. The student’s academic advisor will be notified, and can help support and counsel the student, but will not serve as a member of the committee.

Once a letter for the grade appeal has been received from the student, the Chair of the Graduate Faculty Senate will request information from the lead instructor of the course to explain and document the basis used for determining the student’s course grade. All written materials will then be reviewed by the Grade Appeals Committee and a decision regarding the appeal will be made.

The student will be notified through his/her school email and by registered mail to the address on file with the College, and may accept the Grade Appeals Committee’s decision or make one final appeal to the Academic Dean within 10 working days of the Committee’s decision.

The Academic Dean will review the recommendation of the Grade Appeals Committee and the appeal submitted by the student and will make a final decision to either accept the Grade Appeal Committee’s decision, or to change the course grade. This will then end the Grade Appeals process. The student will be notified of the final decision in writing through his/her school email and registered mail to the address on file with the College.

If the student receives a failing grade in the course in which the grade is being appealed, they may not progress if the course in question is a prerequisite. The student also may not be dismissed during the Grade Appeal process.

Grade Point Average

A graduate student's grade point average is based on the student's entire graduate record at Saint Luke’s College. To remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.

A graduate student must maintain a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 to graduate and must have an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 in all graduate courses taken at Saint Luke’s College. Student Academic Progression will be determined each semester by the Registrar.

Summer session is not counted as a semester.

Grading and Scholastic Requirements

Grades in all Graduate courses are reported as follows:

● A (4.0): coursework is of outstanding merit
● B (3.0): coursework is entirely satisfactory
● C (2.0): acceptable only to a limited extent in fulfilling the requirements for an advanced degree (not acceptable for a graduate nursing course)
● F (0): the work has not satisfied the minimum requirements of the course

If a student fails to achieve an A or B, the course must be repeated. Graduate nursing students must achieve a grade of B or higher in all required courses.

Graduate Project Guidelines

The Graduate Project course is an intensive mentored experience with a focus in or clinical practice. The project provides the student with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills acquired in graduate coursework. An individual faculty member (mentor) provides guidance throughout the process.

The goal of the project requirement is to provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge from graduate-level core coursework, while focusing on a substantive area of professional interest. It is suggested that the student enroll in the N695 Graduate Project course next to the last semester and N795 the last semester of his/her program of study. While enrolled in N695 the student works closely with a faculty member mentor (with graduate faculty appointment) and contracts to carry out specific project activities. The student (with faculty mentor guidance) must submit their Graduate Project plan to the Graduate Faculty Senate chairperson for approval. This approval for the Graduate Project must be obtained from the Graduate Faculty Senate prior to registering for N695. The final Graduate Project must include development and submission of a professional presentation abstract, manuscript for publication in a peer reviewed journal or project presentation to professionals related to the student’s specialization.

Graduate Project Time Frame

It is expected that the project will be completed in two semesters. The student should discuss the project with a selected faculty member mentor one semester prior to enrolling for the Graduate Project course (N695). A student must secure a faculty member (mentor) prior to registration in the course.

Graduate Projects may include, but are not limited to:

● Completion of a research utilization project
● Completion of an intensive research of an ethical dilemma related to student’s area of practice
● Conduct a quality assurance project
● Conduct an intensive literature review
● Analysis of data from established data bases
● Conduct a research pilot study
● Serve as an assistant to a faculty member in the development of a grant proposal
● Publication of an article.
● Concept Analysis

Graduation Requirements

Masters of Science in Nursing must complete the following requirements:

• Completion of the required program of study for the M.S.N. degree.
• Completion of the final 36 hours of nursing coursework at the Saint Luke’s College.
• Completion of the nursing coursework including successful defense of Thesis or Graduate Project within the prescribed allotted term of enrollment at Saint Luke’s College of seven years.
• Students must successfully defend their thesis or graduate project.
• Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
• If a student earns less than a B in a course, it must be repeated. Students may repeat a course only one time. Students are allowed to repeat a maximum of two courses.
• Students must have fulfilled all financial obligations to Saint Luke’s College prior to receiving an M.S.N. degree.
• All books, supplies, and equipment belonging to the Saint Luke’s College must be returned prior to receiving an M.S.N. degree.

A student must complete an application to graduate with their faculty advisor at least one semester prior to the expected graduation date. The application to graduate will be forwarded to the Program Director to verify that all requirements for graduation have been met. The Program Director will send a list of degree candidates to the Registrar for grade review at the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. The Registrar will also send a list of candidates to the Board of Directors for approval.

Graduate Student Academic Dismissal from the College

A student may be dismissed from the Graduate Program for the following reasons:

● A student fails to complete the nursing curriculum in seven calendar years.
● A student fails to achieve a satisfactory grade in a repeated course, including electives.
● A student receives an unsatisfactory grade in any two courses throughout the curriculum.
● Although a student received an unsatisfactory grade in a course and may retake that course and earn a passing grade, the original grade will still be counted in the dismissal policy. A student may withdraw from a maximum of three courses.
● Additional reasons for dismissal appear in the Professional Conduct section.

Student Academic Progression will be determined each semester by the Registrar.

A list of students who fail to maintain academic progression in the graduate program will be provided to the Director of Graduate Programs at the end of each semester.
Registering for Classes

Newly admitted or re-admitted graduate students may enroll during identified registration periods. Currently enrolled students are given the opportunity to register for the next semester’s classes during pre-registration which usually begins in October and March; the specific dates are widely publicized.

Upon admission into the M.S.N. degree program students are expected to consult with their academic advisor to develop a Program of Study specific to their degree program or area of study. The Program of Study must be approved by the academic advisor, signed/dated and submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to registering for any coursework.

Any revision made to the Program of Study must be approved by academic advisor and resubmitted to the Registrar’s Office. A change in the Program Plan of Study may result in course(s) being unavailable and may delay graduation. The M.S.N. curricula are subject to change based upon professional or accreditation standards and/or national certification requirements. Student will be notified when changes occur.

Graduate students will be notified via email the dates of registration, how to register, and the schedule for the upcoming semester. Fall and summer schedules are typically sent to students in March. The spring schedule is typically sent to students in October.

All graduate students must register through mySLC during the specified registration dates.

Registered License Requirement

An active unencumbered Registered Nurse license must be maintained during enrollment and submitted after each renewal process. Verification of the license must be provided to CertifiedBackground.com. A student who has not submitted a copy of their current licensure may not enroll in coursework and may not participate in any clinical practicum hours.

Students will provide verification of clinical readiness prior to beginning course work in the Graduate Program by submitting their active and unencumbered Registered Nurse license from the state in which they intend for clinical practicum hours.

Upon admission to the program, the student must supply a verification of their Registered Nurse licensure to Certified Background.com. The admission office will document this licensure requirement prior to enrollment in the first nursing course.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of nine credit hours may be transferred into the master’s degree program at Saint Luke’s College. Transfer credit request are approved by the Director of Graduate Programs and courses must be a close match to courses in the M.S.N. program at the College. Consideration of transfer credit must occur as part of the admissions process and will not be considered after a student has begun the program. Transfer credit will be applied to the student’s graduate academic record only after 12 hours are completed at Saint Luke’s College.

Transferability of credits from Saint Luke’s College to other institutions would be at the discretion of the receiving institution.

To establish mechanisms by which students who have earned graduate credit at another institution may apply said credit (a portion or all) to a degree at Saint Luke’s College.

Transfer credit must be at the graduate level and earned from a regionally accredited college or university. The student must have an earned grade in the course of B or higher to be considered for transfer.

Graduate school candidates will interview with the Director of Graduate Programs. As a part of that interview process the candidate must declare their intention to transfer credit to Saint Luke’s College. The Director of Graduate Programs will evaluate the candidate’s transcript for course transferability based on the established policy and guidelines. When a course or courses have been determined eligible for transfer, the Director of Graduate Programs will notify the Registrar. The Registrar will add the credit to the student’s academic record following the aforementioned policy and guidelines.

Master’s Degree Time Limitation

All requirements for the Master's degree must be completed within a period of seven consecutive calendar years from the date of first enrollment in courses applicable to the degree.

If necessary a written request for extension must be submitted by the student and approved by the faculty advisor, the Director of Graduate Programs and the Academic Dean.

A plan of study will be developed for the student by their academic advisor. Students will be notified by their academic advisor of the date when they should expect to graduate. It is up to the student to know that date and plan enrollment around it. Student progression will tracked by the Registrar and Director of Graduate Programs each semester.

Residency Requirement

To insure curricular integrity, a student must complete a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit at the College earn an M.S.N. degree.

Only nine hours of academic credit may be transferred to Saint Luke’s College Master of Science in Nursing degree program.

As students earn graduate credit at Saint Luke’s College, that credit will become the student’s official graduate academic record maintained by the Registrar.