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Academic Policies

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Grading / Grades

The Grading System for the college courses is determined by the college or university.

The Grading System for the nursing courses is based on the student's achievement of course objectives. The School of Nursing's Grading Scale is as follows:

  Grade Scale GPE*
Theory A = Outstanding
B = Above Average
C= Average
D = Below Average
F = Unacceptable
92 -100%
84 - 91%
78 - 83%
70 - 77%
69% or below
Clinical S = Satisfactory
U = Unsatisfactory
I = Incomplete
W = Withdrawal

* GPE = grade point equivalent


Grade Point Average


A grade point average is computed each term and cumulatively. The grade point average is computed by (1) multiplying each grade point equivalent by the corresponding number of credits for each course, (2) adding the products and (3) dividing by the sum of credits.

Calculations include the required college courses from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and nursing courses from the West Penn Hospital School of Nursing.

College course grades accepted for transfer/advanced standing credit from schools other than Clarion University are not included in calculations.

If a student repeats a course, the most recent course grade is used.


Grade Reports

College grades are mailed to the student's home address according to the policy of the college or university.

Grade reports for nursing courses are addressed and delivered in the student's name after the end of each term.


Recognitions of Excellence

Students are recognized for academic and clinical excellence.


Honor Roll

Students with high scholastic standing are recognized at the completion of each term (term grade point average) and at graduation (cumulative grade point average):

  • Highest Honor: 3.5 - 4.0
  • High Honor: 3.25 - 3.49
  • Honor: 3.0 - 3.24


Clinical Performance Awards

The Clinical Performance Award recognizes excellence in clinical performance. Annually it is awarded to a student who has successfully completed the first year of the program and to a student who is graduating.


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Progression Criteria

Students progress through the curriculum according to the Curriculum Plan outlined in the Curriculum section of this catalog.

Students will progress to the next term when the following are achieved:

  1. A 2.0 grade point equivalent or higher in a nursing course
  2. A satisfactory clinical grade in a nursing course
  3. A 2.0 grade point average at the completion of each term and at graduation
  4. Completion of 4 community volunteer hours each year
  5. Completion of remedial work if the student achieves below 78% on the final exam or "Below Proficiency Level" on an achievement test
  6. Completion of required standardized tests
  7. Completion of Professional Portfolio requirements of each nursing course

A student cannot progress to the next course if he/she fails the cumulative course final and achieves a "Below Proficiency Level I" on any ATI exam required in that course.

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Attendance / Probation Policies


Academic Probation

Students who have a grade point average below 2.0 in any term will be placed on academic probation.

Students are involuntarily withdrawn from the School for a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 in any subsequent term.

Students are removed from academic probation when they achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in the term following academic probation. Students may only be on academic probation once during the program.


Professional Probation

Professional probation considers the professional behavior and responsibility of the student. At the discretion of the director of the School of Nursing, a student will be placed on professional probation for conduct that violates program requirements, including problems with attendance. Details of the professional probation policy may be found in the Student Handbook.


Student Attendance

Students enrolled in the college courses follow the attendance policies of the college or university.  Attendance at class and clinical experience is necessary for achievement of the objectives of nursing courses.  Students with a record of high absenteeism may not be able to meet all course objectives.  Course faculty may recommend to the director that a student be considered for Professional Probation based on attendance concerns. 

If a student is absent more than 20% of the scheduled clinical hours in a nursing course, the student will be involuntarily withdrawn. Students taking Health Care Management (NSG 401) will be reviewed on an individual basis. A fee is assessed for a second and subsequent clinical experience and each examination that is made up related to absent time.

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Course Audit

Course audit is an option for a student who has challenged course(s) successfully or completed a course satisfactorily. No grade or credit is awarded. Prevailing tuition is charged. Arrangements are made prior to the course. Audit includes only the theory portion of nursing courses. Students have the option to complete assignments and/or take the examinations.

Students who wish to audit college courses follow the policy of the college.

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Leave of Absence

A leave of absence may be granted for illness, pregnancy or other personal reasons.

A student who requests a leave of absence must submit a letter stating the reason and length of the leave to the director of the School of Nursing. The student must schedule an interview with the director and the financial aid officer.

The student's physician must send a statement indicating when the student can resume class and clinical activity if the leave of absence was due to illness or pregnancy. The School's director determines the point at which the student may re-enter the program. No faculty action is required.

A leave of absence is not granted to students who are performing at an unsatisfactory level in either theory or clinical. Students who do not qualify for a leave of absence must withdraw. A leave of absence can be granted only once in the completion of the program.

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Voluntary Withdrawal

A student may withdraw at any time.

A student who wishes to withdraw from the School of Nursing must submit a written letter of resignation to the director of the School of Nursing.

The resignation letter must include the effective date of withdrawal, which is the last day class/clinical was attended, the reason for leaving the School, and the student's signature. If no letter is received, the last day of class or clinical attendance will be considered to be the date of withdrawal.

The student must schedule an interview with the director of the School of Nursing and the financial aid officer.

If a student makes a request to withdraw from a nursing course during the final week of a course, the withdrawal will be considered an "involuntary withdrawal".

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Involuntary Withdrawal

The School of Nursing faculty and administration make every effort to help students who experience difficulty in adjusting to the School and its requirements. However, the faculty may recommend withdrawal of a student whose health, conduct or level of achievement does not meet the standards essential to the individual's performance as a student and nurse.

Students will be withdrawn from the School for any of the following reasons:

  • A cumulative grade point average below 2.0 in more than one term
  • A theory grade point equivalent below 1.0 in any college course.
  • A theory grade point equivalent below 2.0 in any nursing course
  • An unsatisfactory clinical grade in any nursing course
  • Failure to meet criteria for removal from professional probation
  • Failure to meet community volunteer hours
  • Failure to complete required standardized tests
  • Failure to complete course requirements
  • Failure to achieve 78% or higher on a nursing course cumulative final exam and if the course has an ATI exam, failure to achieve "Proficiency Level I" or higher on any required ATI standardized exam.

The student must schedule an interview with the director of the School of Nursing and the financial aid officer. 

Failure of the same nursing course twice or failure of a second, subsequent, nursing course results in permanent dismissal from the program.

A student may be dismissed permanently from the School for a serious breach of conduct as decided by the director or designee.

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A student who has withdrawn from the School of Nursing either voluntarily or involuntarily has the option to reapply for admission.  A letter to the School's director is submitted 3 to 6 (three to six) months prior to the requested re-entry date. The same nursing course may be repeated only once.

Requests for readmission after withdrawal from any nursing course will be acted upon by the Admission and Progression Committee and are not guaranteed. 

A student's readmission may include an accompanying contingency that may need to be met prior to attending classes or when returning to classes or may involve a Probationary Period.

College courses completed with a "D" grade or an "F" grade must be repeated with achievement of a grade of "C" or above prior to application for readmission.

A student is readmitted at the appropriate time in the curriculum. Once accepted for readmission, a student is required to complete a reorientation. A fee is charged for this reorientation.

A student will not be readmitted if an outstanding balance is due to the School.

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Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is the "misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means" of an individual's work, which includes any paper, exam, essay, evaluation, project, or assignment, whether oral, in writing, in other media, in simulation, or in clinical. There may be serious outcomes if academic dishonesty is demonstrated, including dismissal from the program and/or civil and/or criminal liability damages up to $150,000.

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