Academic Policies

Smith Chason College School of Nursing students can find Academic Policies on smithchason.com

The College recognizes that regular attendance positively impacts students’ success in their program of study. Students are expected to attend class regularly and be on time. Non-compliance with the attendance policy may lead to termination from the College.

The College offers courses and programs via distance learning using an online, blended and/or hybrid course format. Students may be enrolled in an online course with a required weekly live session (on campus or via a Zoom based lecture) or an online course with no required live sessions (asynchronous). It is the responsibility of the student to meet the College’s attendance requirements, regardless of the course delivery mode.

The College posts attendance for each course on a weekly basis to support academic success and properly administer financial aid. Students are expected to participate in all scheduled courses during each quarter. Attendance is only recorded based on the activities in the table below.

If the class is delivered:

“Attendance” means

On campus (Class or Lab)

Students participate in scheduled class meetings or lab on campus. If a student arrives late or leaves class early, then he or she will be reported as "present" only for the time physically in the classroom/lab. To be counted present students must attend 90% of each scheduled class.

Online (asynchronous)

Student makes an academic post to a graded Discussion Board, uploads a file in the submissions area of the Virtual Classroom, submits an assignment via the Virtual Classroom, completes a quiz or exam, completes a McGraw Hill Connect activity (if applicable), or attends an in-progress Zoom-based Live Lecture.

Blended or Hybrid

(This refers to online courses with a lab or clinical component on campus and/or a required Zoom-based Live Lecture)

Student participates in the scheduled live class/lab on campus or attends an in-progress Zoom-based Live Lecture for a minimum of 90% of the time. Student makes an academic post to a graded Discussion Board, uploads a file in the submissions area of the Virtual classroom, submits an assignment via the Virtual Classroom, completes a quiz or exam, or completes a McGraw-Hill Connect activity (if applicable).

Students are expected to participate in the course activities listed above at least once per week for attendance to be recorded. If a student fails to attend class or complete a gradable activity as outlined in the table above for a period of fourteen (14) consecutive calendar days (not just scheduled class days), excluding scheduled breaks of five days or more, the student is considered to have unofficially withdrawn. For example, a weekend student would be terminated under this policy if he/she missed class on two consecutive weekends. This policy applies even if the student has submitted an excused absence within the 14-day period.

Nursing students should see the applicable Nursing handbook for nursing policies on attendance and make up work.

Students may not use cell phones for personal use in the classrooms, or laboratories or externship/clinical sites unless approved by the instructor and preceptor. In case of emergencies, cell phones may be kept on vibrate.

  • Cell phones are not answered during class. Any call must wait until official breaks.
  • Secondary computers, computer pads, and cellphones may be used for note-taking or class activities in direct support of the course objectives with the permission of the instructor.
  • The instructor has the right to ask students to shut down any electronic devices.

The College has a zero-tolerance policy for copyright violations, and requires all students, employees and agents to abide this policy. Copyright exists in any original work that exists or is fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Images displayable on computer screens, computer software, music, books, magazines, scientific and other journals, photographs and articles, are some of the things subject to copyright. A copyright notice is not required. Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

The College may monitor use of the institution’s network or utilize other technical means to attempt to detect and identify indications of copyright infringement, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing. Any student, employee or agent who engages in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, is subject to disciplinary actions by the College, or any applicable in conjunction with federal and state law.

The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject you to civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

For more information, please see the Web site of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQ's at www.copyright.gov/help/faq

The purpose of the dress code is to cultivate a culture and environment of professionalism and to help students in the pursuit of becoming a medical health care professional. Students must appear and dress professionally, at all times, while attending the College, clinical sites, and participating in a virtual learning environment. The virtual learning environment is an extension of the College. As such the expectations and protocols outlined in the catalog and Student Code of Conduct for the Online Classroom apply.

Students who are not in dress code may not be allowed to attend classes or go to their clinical site that day and will receive an unexcused absence. Repeated noncompliance may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination (see Conduct Policy). Furthermore, please refence the Student Handbook and course syllabi for additional program specific dress code requirements.

General Appearance: College issued picture ID student badge is to be worn at all times. If the name badge is lost, the student must purchase another one from the Registrar or Student Services Office. Students must wear school provided medical scrubs while on campus. Scrubs must be unaltered, laundered, free of stains and wrinkles. Jackets and/or hoodies can be worn in the classroom setting, however, may not display unprofessional or offensive material.

Shoes: Shoes must be safe, clean, in good repair, closed toe, and appropriate for the clinical setting. Sandals and open toed shoes are not permitted.

Hair/Headwear: Hair must be kept clean, neat, and well-groomed and should not obstruct eye to eye contact or create a health/safety hazard. Long hair should be secured back. Facial hair must be clean and neatly groomed. Headgear, bandannas, scarves, hats, caps, or beanies are not permitted unless required for medical, safety, or religious purposes.

Tattoos: All tattoos must be covered.

Jewelry: A minimal amount of jewelry is allowed (e.g., wedding bands or engagement rings); however visible facial or body piercings are not permitted. No jewelry is permitted in the lab setting.

Nails: Fingernails should be short and clean. The length of nails should not exceed the length of the finger. Artificial nails are not permitted. Only clear nail polish is permitted.

Personal Hygiene: Good personal hygiene includes grooming, bathing, and the use of deodorant. Scents are not permitted.

Students are allowed one excused absence (defined as one instance, not to exceed seven (7) calendar days) per class, per quarter. In order for an absence to be excused there must be documentation provided to the Registrar upon return to classes. Students have one week from the time of the absence to bring in documentation for the absence to be excused. No documentation will be accepted after this time. Excused absences include: death in the immediate* family, illness or injury with a Doctor’s note, jury duty and military duty. Any requested exceptions to this policy may be appealed in writing to the Director of Education. Please note lab time missed with an excused absence must still be made up before the end of the quarter in which the absence occurred.

Nursing students should see the applicable Nursing handbook for nursing policies on attendance and make up work.

*Note: Immediate family members include: spouse or domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, or grandparent; the spouse’s or domestic partner’s parent, child, sibling, or grandparent.

The College utilizes an absolute grading system as stated below.

Letter Grade

Quantitative Assessment

Qualitative Assessment 

Grade Points

Explanation

A

90% and Above

Excellent

4.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

B

80% - 89%

Above Average

3.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

C

70% - 79%

Average

2.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

F

Below 70%

Failure

0

Computed in GPA & Pace

P

-

Pass

0

Not Computed in GPA  (computed in Pace)

W

-

Withdrawn

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

WF

-

Withdrawn Fail

0

Computed in GPA & Pace

WM

-

Withdrawn Military

N/A

Not Computed in GPA & Pace

DR

-

Dropped

N/A

Not Computed in GPA & Pace

I

 

Incomplete

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

TC

-

Transfer Credit

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

 

Cardiovascular Sonography and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs - LABORATORY COURSES only grading system:

Letter Grade

Quantitative Assessment

Qualitative Assessment

Grade Points

Explanation

A

90% and Above

Excellent

4.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

B

80% - 89%

Above Average

3.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

F

Below 80%

Failure

0

Computed in GPA & Pace

 

Associate Degree in Nursing, Vocational Nursing, and Practical Nursing programs utilizes an absolute grading system as stated below:

Letter Grade

Quantitative Assessment

Qualitative Assessment

Grade Points

Explanation

A

90% and Above

Excellent

4.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

B

80% - 89%

Above Average

3.0

Computed in GPA & Pace

C

75% - 79%

Average

2.5

Computed in GPA & Pace

F

Below 75%

Failure

0

Computed in GPA & Pace

P

-

Pass

0

Not Computed in GPA  (computed in Pace)

W

-

Withdrawn

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

WF

-

Withdrawn Fail

0

Computed in GPA & Pace

WM

-

Withdrawn Military

N/A

Not Computed in GPA & Pace

DR

-

Dropped

N/A

Not Computed in GPA & Pace

I

 

Incomplete

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

TC

-

Transfer Credit

N/A

 Not Computed in GPA

(computed in Pace)

 

Specific grading formulas and policies (i.e. rounding) are found in the individual course syllabi, which students receive at the beginning of each course.

A key characteristic of successful working professionals is the ability to meet project and assignment deadlines. Students are expected to submit the course assignments on or before the due dates. Due dates for every assignment are clearly stated in the syllabus and posted in the assignment list in the virtual classroom (Canvas). A late assignment will receive a ten percent deduction for each 24-hour period it is late, with no credit given for work submitted after 48 hours from the original due date. If you are going to be late submitting an assignment, communicate with your faculty member within a reasonable amount of time prior to or immediately after the assignment due date. No late submissions (penalty or not) will be accepted for the last assignment in the quarter/term.

Students are required to make up all missed lab time by each quarter’s end date or they will fail the quarter. All missed assignments must be made up according to the policy stated in the course syllabus. Students in the nursing programs must make up all missed time and work. Nursing students should see the applicable Nursing handbook for nursing policies on attendance and make up work.

The most common form of academic dishonesty is taking someone else’s work or ideas and presenting them as one’s own and is referred to as “plagiarism”. To avoid plagiarism, students must cite their sources and give credit where credit is due. Students can refer to the APA Citation information (Links to an external site.) in the Smith Library for samples, templates, and guidance for how to properly cite resources. Students are expected to produce work that displays proper use of the most up-to-date version of APA. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of in-text citations, quotation marks, and references to ensure proper acknowledgment is given to any external source(s) used in the creation of academic material.

Students violating this policy by failing to submit original work may be subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal from the institution. Any alleged incident of plagiarism will be investigated to determine if it is a reportable offense. An appropriate form of disciplinary action or sanction will be determined based on severity of the offense. Sanctions are determined by the faculty member after discussion with the student and the Program Director or Director of Education.

Sanctions may be combined as appropriate for the level of offense and take several forms, including the following:

  • REMEDIATION: Following an investigation, a first offense or an incident deemed to be unintentional may result in providing the student an opportunity to revise and resubmit the assignment for regrading. Consultation with the school’s librarian to review the APA Citation resources and templates available in the Smith Library will be required.
  • FAILING GRADE: Some assignments may result in an automatic failing grade for the assignment (or course). Examples of an automatic failing grade include reusing another student’s work, contract cheating where another person or organization is hired and compensated to complete academic work on the student’s behalf, manipulation of a submitted assignment to avoid detection of content that is non-original, and/or a pattern of dishonest student behavior has been documented.
  • WARNING: The student will receive an official warning and the violation will be recorded in the student’s file. Students will be required to work with the school’s librarian to review the APA resources and requirements and will be notified any subsequent violations will result in an Academic Integrity Acknowledgement.
  • ACADEMIC INTEGRITY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Students who have a pattern of behavior resulting in more than one reportable violation must sign an Academic Integrity Acknowledgement form acknowledging that any future offense can result in suspension and/or dismissal. The violation and the acknowledgement form will be recorded in the student’s file.
  • SUSPENSION OR DISMISSAL: The student is suspended or dismissed from their academic program and the institution with the inability to return. A copy of the official letter of dismissal will be recorded in the student’s file. The Chief Academic Officer (or their designee) has the authority to dismiss a student from the institution based on the investigation, findings, and recommendations from faculty or other appropriate personnel.

Professional behavior will be demonstrated at all times when students are on campus or online.  This includes a proper dress code, professional conduct, and thoughtful behavior.  Any instructor may give a verbal or written warning. Continued non-compliance with the dress code or unprofessional behavior will result, without warning, in the student being required to sign out of class, take an absence for the day, and leave the campus or the online session. Examples of unprofessional behavior include:  Improper dress, making disparaging remarks about fellow students or staff, and disruptive noise levels.

School Catalog 

A student found to have committed any of the following violations of the College’s policy will be subject to a range of penalties up to and including termination and legal prosecution at the discretion of the administration:

  • Abusive behavior: physical, verbal, harassment, and sexual assault to any faculty, staff, student, or visitor.
  • Discrimination.
  • Alcohol and any illegal substance: use, possession, sale, distribution, public intoxication.
  • Breach of Peace: disorderly, disruptive, indecent behavior
  • Possession of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other weapons.
  • Property damage, vandalism, and theft: destruction, damage, misuse.
  • Cheating or Plagiarism.
  • Exhibiting violence, insubordination, or inappropriate language toward any College staff, faculty, student, or visitor.
  • Conveyance of threats by any means of communication.
  • Bullying by any means of any individual, including coercion and personal abuse.
  • Audio/Video recording during lecture or lab classroom and clinical or externship sites. If outside the classroom, recordings are only permissible with the knowledge and consent of all parties involved.
  • Cell phone usage during lectures, labs, externships or clinical.
  • Unprofessional Conduct.
  • Falsifying information, including but not limited to attendance or information submitted to obtain Financial Aid.
  • Dress Code Violations. Observance of the rules and regulations of the College as well as maintaining a professional manner is required at all times. Conduct which interferes with the education of other students and the operation of the College may result in termination.

  • It is required to be in a safe and quiet place free from distractions.
  • No student can join the class video conference while working, driving, running errands, doing household chores, etc.
  • The dress code or proper attire is strictly observed.
  • During the class session, your video screen (camera) must be on, and audio muted unless instructed otherwise.
  • The student should not lie down in bed or on a couch while listening or participating.
  • Engaging in disruptive or distracting behavior is not allowed, including but not limited to:
    • Talking in class, interrupting the instructor or other students
    • Using offensive language
    • Personal attack
    • Creating distractions or disturbances
    • Reading unrelated materials

WCUI/Smith-Chason utilizes the TurnitIn® Originality Verification Tool to assist students in ensuring the work they are submitting is their own. Students are encouraged to utilize the tool prior to submitting their work for grading. While the TurnitIn® Tool does not detect plagiarism, it does assist in the verification of the overall integrity of the work being presented by the student. Students can review the information provided in the Turnitin report and revise their assignment before the official submission. Faculty members thoroughly review each student assignment regardless of the score provided by TurnitIn® to determine the most appropriate action. Exclusive use of the TurnitIn® similarity score % as criteria for identifying possible violations of academic integrity is prohibited. All student work must be assessed based on the content and contextual use of sources.

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