2021-2022 University Catalog

Academic Policies

The following provides a summary of our University Academic Policies. Program-specific academic policies can be found in each program section of the University Catalog.

Academic Evaluation and Grade

Academic Honors

Academic Standards

Add Drop Policy

Attendance Policy

Awarding a Posthumous Degree

Credit Assignment Policy

Dean’s List

Early Alert Policy

Enrollment Status Definitions

Excused Absence Policy

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Grade Appeal Policy

International Baccalaureate Policy

Military Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

Preferred Name Policy

Pregnancy and Childbirth Leave Policy

Readmission to the University

Request to Officially Withdraw or Take a Term-off

Short Term Leave of Absence

Transfer Credit and Prior Learning Assessment Policy

  

 

Academic Evaluation and Grade Policy

Purpose

To describe the grading scale/system used at the University.

Scope

The scope of this policy applies to all students in all programs.

Policy

Instructors assign letter grades based on student performance. The grade in a course represents the extent to which the learning objectives have been demonstrated by the student.

Students who complete all the work assigned in a course are graded as follows: A, B, C, or D (excellent, above average, average or minimal achievement, respectively). Students who fail to achieve minimal competency are graded with F for failure. An incomplete (I) indicates that the full work of the course has not been completed because of illness or some cause beyond the student’s control. Students in some classes may be assigned either an “S” for Satisfactory or a “U” for Unsatisfactory. The grades of “S/U” are not included in determining grade point average (GPA). The final grade of “U” (unsatisfactory) is considered to be a grade of failure in the course. The criteria for assignment of grades are contained in each course syllabus. Some programs allow for + / - grading, which will be noted in each course syllabus.

Revised Date: October 2017 / Effective Date: December 2017

Procedure

Final grades in each subject are issued at the close of the term. Grades are submitted to the Registrar on class grade reports and are final.

Northwestern Health Sciences University uses a grade point system to evaluate the overall quality of coursework. The letter grades are given for individual courses, and grade points are used to compute GPAs for each student at the end of each trimester, on both a trimester and a cumulative basis.

The number of grade points earned in a given course is the number of credits for that course multiplied by the grade points corresponding to the grade recorded in that course, as shown below.

Grading Scale

Points Grade Points
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.0
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.0
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.0
F 0.0
AU 0.0
I 0.0
S 0.0
T 0.0
U 0.0
UF 0.0
W 0.0
WF 0.0
IP 0.0

AU - A student who registers as an auditor should request audit status at registration. An auditing student will enroll in, pay tuition and fee for, and attend classes but not complete assignments or take examination. The symbol “AU” will automatically appear in the grade column of the student’s transcript. The fee for such a course is the same as for credit. Audited courses may not be used for credit, will not transfer to other colleges and do not meet the requirements for a degree. Financial aid is not available for audited courses.

Prerequisite requirements for audited courses must be completed prior to enrolling in the course. Audits are allowed on a space available basis with priority given to full credit registrants or students currently enrolled. Each academic program may have additional requirements that an individual must meet prior to registering as an auditor. Prior to auditing, it is necessary to have approval from appropriate course instructor and the program director.

F - The grade of F indicates an overall deficiency sufficient to preclude the student's using the required material effectively in the clinic or subsequent courses. No academic or attendance credit is received. The course must be repeated the next time the course is offered and the student may not take courses for which the failed course is a prerequisite until the “F” is removed. A grade of “F” may not be changed unless an error in calculation occurred. For example, the student may not do extra credit, re-take exams, or write a paper to change a grade of “F”.

I - The grade of “I” (incomplete) indicates that the work in the course was not completed. A grade of “I” is not given for poor or neglected work or unauthorized postponement of examinations. The student must fill out and sign an application for an incomplete grade prior to the final examination. The student must have the instructor(s) complete and process the application. Applications are available from the Registrar’s Office. The incomplete grade must be removed within four weeks of the next term unless a waiver is requested and granted by the instructor and approved by the appropriate Dean. The Academic Standards Committee may also grant such a waiver when there are extenuating circumstances. The University reserves the right to require the student to provide proof of extenuating circumstances.

An incomplete grade not removed by the end of the fourth week of the subsequent term in residence becomes a grade of “F”. If the course is a prerequisite, registration in subsequent courses of the sequence is contingent upon removal of this grade of incomplete. If an incomplete grade reverts to a grade of “F”, the student will be removed from those registered courses for which the course is a prerequisite. An incomplete, which reverts to an “F”, may result in immediate dismissal from the college in accordance with academic dismissal standards.

IP – A grade of “IP” indicates a course that is currently in progress.

T – A grade of “T” represents a course that has been accepted for transfer.

U - The final grade of “U” is considered to be a grade of failure in the course. The course must be repeated in the next term of enrollment and the student may not take courses for which it is a prerequisite until the “U” is removed.

UF - A grade of “UF” is awarded to students who did not officially withdrawal from the course, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period.

W – A grade of “W” is awarded to students who officially withdraw from a full trimester course up to, but not beyond the equivalent of 60% of the course contact time or from a course of duration other than a full trimester beginning the second day the course meets and any time prior to the end of the midpoint of the course

WF - A grade of “WF” is awarded to students who officially withdrawal from the course after the 9th week of the trimester for full term course and after the mid-point a course of duration other than the full trimester.

Grades will be posted within 14 calendar days of the last scheduled class session.

Academic Honors

Purpose

To describe the process and procedure for recognizing academic honors at commencement.

Scope

All eligible students

Policy

Students whose official cumulative grade point average qualifies them for graduation with honors the trimester before they graduate will be recognized at the Commencement Ceremony.

Revised: December 2016 / Effective: March 2017

Procedure

  • The list of graduate candidates with their cumulative grade point average from the most recently completed trimester will be reviewed by the University Registrar or his/her designee to determine those students who qualify for graduation with honors.
  • The following will be used as the appropriate honors designation for all degree programs:
    Summa Cum Laude 3.9 - 4.00
    Magna Cum Laude 3.7 - 3.89
    Cum Laude 3.5 - 3.69
  • The above procedure will be used to determine those students to be listed in the commencement program and who will receive honors recognition at the commencement ceremony. Final eligibility for the level of graduation honors will be determined following the posting of grades for the final trimester and will be reflected on the Northwestern Health Sciences University transcript and diploma.

Academic Standards

Purpose

The purpose of Academic Standards is to create, maintain, and promote academic excellence and set expectations toward student achievement of educational goals and objectives. Students may be placed on either Academic Warning, Academic Probation and or may be Academically Dismissed.

Scope

Applies to all students enrolled at the University.

Definitions

Term of academic difficulty: Students are considered to have a term of academic difficulty when they have been placed on academic warning and or probation.

Academic Standards Committee: The Academic Standards Committee consists of one faculty representative from each program, the Dean of Students, the Registrar and the Academic Advisor.

Academic Warning Policy

Academic warning is indicative of substandard achievement. A student is placed on academic warning when one of the following occurs:

  • The student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 for the first time;
  • The student fails one or more required courses in a term;
  • The student fails to successfully complete at least 67% of the courses attempted (completion rate).
  • The student will remain on academic warning for no more than two consecutive terms unless permitted by an approved Corrective Action Plan.  Please note a student may be dismissed after three terms of difficulty.

Revised: October 2017 / Effective: May 1st 2018

Academic Warning Procedure

Placement on academic warning status is determined by the Registrar’s Office at the end of each term.  Notification is sent via university email.

Students on academic warning:

  • Must meet with the University’s Academic Advisor to determine a schedule. The Academic Advisor must approve the student’s final schedule in order to complete the registration process;
  • Must meet regularly with a faculty mentor.  A faculty mentor will be assigned at the beginning of the trimester if one has not already been assigned to the student;
  • Must prepare a Corrective Action Plan to be shared with faculty mentor;
  • The corrective action plan should include the following:
    • A brief paragraph explaining the reason for the deficiency;
    • Steps the student plans to take to be successful in the future;
      • May be asked to reduce course load in the following term and retake all required courses in which unsatisfactory grades were received. If the required course is not offered the next term, the student must complete the course during the next offering and will not be permitted to enroll in any course(s) for which the course that is being repeated is a designated prerequisite.

The Registrar will review the student’s academic standing at the end of the term to determine whether or not the student has cleared academic warning status. 

Academic Probation Policy

A student is placed on academic probation when one of the following occurs:

  • The student fails to obtain a term GPA of 2.0 or higher in the next term of enrollment while on academic warning;
  • The student fails to obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher after the next term of enrollment while on academic warning, unless eligible for continued academic warning due to circumstances described above;
  • The student fails at least one required course during a term while on academic warning;
  • The student fails the same course for a second time;
  • The student is placed on a 2nd term of academic difficulty;
  • The student fails to complete at least 67% of course work attempted while on academic warning.

Revised: October 2017 / Effective: May 1st 2018

Academic Probation Procedure

Placement on academic probation status is determined by the Registrar’s Office at the end of each term.  Notification is sent via university email.  The student’s subsequent registration   may be placed on hold until the student’s registration is approved by the University’s Academic Advisor and the Financial Aid Office. In addition, a student on academic probation:

  • Must update and present the Corrective Action Plan the student submitted while on academic warning to the Academic Standards Committee;

Please note:  The Academic Standards Committee may require the student take a reduced course load and/or retake course(s) in an effort to improve the student’s success. If a failed course is not offered the next term, the student will be allowed one additional term to meet the requirement.

  • Must meet with an Academic Advisor to establish a schedule for the following trimester; any recommendations set by the Academic Standing Committee will also be considered during this meeting;
  • Is not permitted to enroll in any course(s) for which the failed course is a designated prerequisite;
  • Must complete a Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form to be eligible for financial aid during the term of academic probation and allow financial aid to be released for the term;
  • Obtain tutorial assistance, which is available through Academic Advising;
  • Must clear the academic probation status by the end of the trimester or the time-frame approved on the student’s Corrective Action Plan.  The student may remain on academic probation for one or two additional trimesters in accordance with Corrective Action Plan requirements. 

The Registrar will review the student’s academic standing at the end of the term to determine whether or not a student has cleared academic probation status. 

Academic Dismissal Policy

A student can be academically dismissed whenever one of the following occurs:

  • The student fails to meet the requirements set by the approved Corrective Action Plan;
  •  The student fails to obtain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 after the next term of enrollment while on academic probation, unless eligible for continued academic probation based on approved Corrective Action Plan;
  • The student fails at least one required course during a term while on academic probation;
  • Student receives a third term of SAP difficulty (academic warning or probation) unless allowed by Corrective Action Plan;
  • The student fails the same course for a third time;
  • The student fails to complete at least 67% of course work attempted while on academic probation unless allowed by approved Corrective Action Plan.

Revised: October 2017 / Effective: May 1st 2018

Academic Dismissal Procedure

Notification of academic dismissal is sent by the Registrar via university email and US Postal Certified Mail.  The student has a right to appeal academic dismissal by following the guidelines outlined in the dismissal notice.

 

 

Add Drop Policy

Purpose

To describe the policy and procedure for adding, dropping or withdrawing from a course.

Scope

The policy applies to all students.

DEFINITIONS

Add/Drop Period

After initial registration, a student may add (register for) one or more additional courses, or drop (cancel registration for) any course for which they are registered during the first full week of the trimester. This period is considered the Add/Drop Period.

Full Trimester Course

A course that is offered the full length of the trimester.

A Course of the Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

A course that is not held for the full length of the trimester (example: one day courses, an accelerated course)

Policy and Procedure

ADDING A COURSE ON OR PRIOR TO THE FIRST DAY OF ATTENDANCE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students must register for the course by the end of the day on which the course first meets, including labs.  A registration request form or Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. 

Procedure:  Students MUST complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form to add the course to their registration.

 

A Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students must register for the course by the end of the day on which the course first meets (including labs).  An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. 

Procedure:  Students must complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form to add the course to their registration.  Emailed requests will not be accepted.

 

ADDING A COURSE AFTER THE FIRST DAY OF ATTENDANCE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students in good standing may register for a full trimester course by the end of the 2nd day on which the course meets (including labs) with permission and an appropriate signature from one of the individuals noted in the procedures below. 

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must obtain approval from the instructor or department chair and complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form. Department chairs are encouraged to consult with the instructor prior to approving the request.  The registrar's office will send an email to the instructor to confirm approval to add the course.  The course will not be added until the instructor's approval is received. 

 

A Course of the Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students in good standing may register for a course of the duration other than the full trimester by the end of the 2nd day on which the course meets (including labs) with permission from one of the individuals noted in the procedures below.

Procedure: To add the course, the student must obtain approval from the instructor or department chair.  Upon approval, the student must complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form.  Department chairs are encouraged to consult with the instructor prior to approving the request.  The registrar's office will send an email to the instructor to confirm approval to add the course.  The course will not be added until the instructor's approval is received. 

 

ADDING A COURSE ON OR AFTER THE SECOND DAY OF ATTENDANCE

Full Trimester Course

Policy: A student in good standing may register for a full trimester course after the second meeting of the course, with permission from the individuals noted in the procedures below.

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor and both the instructor and the department chair of the course.  Upon approval, the student must complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form.  The registrar's office will send an email to the instructor to confirm approval to add the course.  The course will not be added until the instructor's approval is received. 

A Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy: A student in good standing may register after the second meeting for a course of the duration other than a full trimester, with permission and the appropriate signatures from the individuals noted in the procedures below.

Procedure:  To add the course, the student must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor and both the instructor and the department chair of the course.  Upon approval, the student must complete the online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form.  The registrar's office will send an email to the instructor to confirm approval to add the course.  The course will not be added until the instructor's approval is received. 

 

DROPPING OR WITHDRAWING FROM A COURSE

The difference between dropping a course and/or withdrawing from a course is based on the time at which the student decides to stop participating in a course. If a student decides to stop participating in a course on or BEFORE the last day of the Add/Drop period, it is defined as dropping a course. If a student decides to stop participating in a course AFTER the Add/Drop Period, it is defined as withdrawing from a course.  Completion of an Add/Drop Withdrawal Form is required to officially drop or withdraw from a course.

If a student officially drops a course, the course will no longer appear on the transcript.  If a student withdraws from a course, the course will be included on their transcript with a grade of 'W.' This 'W' indicates to transcript reviewers that the student attempted the course but eventually withdrew prior to completing the course for a letter grade. 'W's do not count towards a student's GPA. Students may withdraw from courses ("required" or elective) up to, but not beyond the equivalent of 60% of the course contact time (e.g., the end of the 9th week in a traditional, 15-week course). University refund policies will apply. 

 

DROPPING A COURSE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students may drop a full term course without academic penalty before the end of the Add/Drop Period.  The course will no longer appear on the student's transcript. An online Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must receive appropriate approval to drop a "required" course.  Please note: financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form online to change their registration.  Students dropping from a "required" course must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  The date the student submits the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

A Course of Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students may drop a course of the duration other than the full trimester without academic penalty by the end of the first week in which the course meets (including labs).  Please note:  courses that meet for one or two days, must be dropped prior to the first day of the course.  The course will no longer appear on the student's transcript. An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must receive appropriate approval to drop a "required" course.  Please note: financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students must complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form online to change their registration.  Students dropping from a "required" course must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  The date the student submits the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

 

WITHDRAWING FROM A COURSE

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  Students may withdraw from a full trimester course up to, but not beyond the equivalent of 60% of the course contact time (e.g., the end of the 9th week in a traditional, 15-week course).   Please note:  courses that meet for one or two days, must be dropped prior to the first day of the course.  An Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is required. The student must receive appropriate approval to withdraw from a "required" course.  University refund policies will apply.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student's transcript.  Please note:  financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form online to change their registration.  Students dropping from a "required" course must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  The date the student submits the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student's transcript.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

A Course of Duration Other Than the Full Trimester

Policy:  Students may withdraw from a course of the duration other than a full trimester beginning the second week the course meets and any time prior to the end of the midpoint of the course (e.g. the end of the 4th week of an 8-week course).  Please note:  courses that meet for one or two days, must be dropped prior to the first day of the course.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student's transcript. University refund policies apply. Please note:  financial aid eligibility may be adjusted according to federal and or state rules and regulations.

Procedure:  Students MUST complete an Official Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form online to change their registration.  Students dropping from a "required" course must obtain approval from the University's academic advisor prior to completion of the form.  The date the student submits the Add/Drop/Withdrawal Form is considered the official drop date for the course.  Failure to attend courses does NOT constitute a drop and does NOT cancel the student's registration or obligation to pay all tuition and related fees for the course.  A grade of "W" will appear on the student's transcript.  A change in the credit hours a student is enrolled in may result in a financial aid adjustment. A new award notification will be sent to the student, if applicable.

 

LATE WITHDRAWALS/FAILURE TO WITHDRAW

Full Trimester Course

Policy:  A student may not withdraw from a full term course after the 9th week in the trimester or after the course has ended unless highly unusual, extenuating circumstances (beyond the student's control) are established to the satisfaction of the Program Dean of the student's program.

Procedure:  A failing grade (UF or U) will be reported if a student stops attending a course and neither officially withdraws from the course prior to the appropriate deadline nor establishes, prior to the end of the term and to the satisfaction of the instructor, that extenuating circumstances prevented completion of the course. If the instructor determines that such extenuating circumstances were present, the instructor may approve the late withdrawal or recommend that the student request an incomplete.  An Incomplete Request Form must be completed by the student and instructor, if applicable. Incomplete Request Forms are available in the Registrar's Office.  Completed forms should be returned to the Registrar's Office.

A Course of Duration other than the Full Trimester

Policy:  A student may not withdraw from a course after the midpoint for courses of the duration other than the full trimester or after the course has ended unless highly unusual, extenuating circumstances (beyond the student's control) are established to the satisfaction of the Program Dean of the student's program.

Procedure:  A failing grade (UF or U) will be reported if a student stops attending a course and neither officially withdraws from the course prior to the appropriate deadline nor establishes, prior to the end of the term and to the satisfaction of the instructor, that extenuating circumstances prevented completion of the course. If the instructor determines that such extenuating circumstances were present, the instructor may approve the late withdrawal or recommend that the student request an incomplete.  An Incomplete Request Form must be completed by the student and instructor, if applicable. Incomplete Request Forms are available in the Registrar's Office.  Completed forms should be returned to the Registrar's Office.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE WITHDRAWAL

Policy:  Students are expected to be properly registered for courses and to abide by drop/add and late registration changes according to all existing procedures and all officially posted deadlines, and to attend all courses in which they are enrolled.

In certain circumstances, a student may be administratively withdrawn from their program. While the University reserves the right in each instance to determine when administrative withdrawal appears appropriate, this process can be initiated after the following conditions have occurred:  The student missed at least two weeks of attendance, or attendance and work for the course is erratic; The student does not respond appropriately or at all to reasonable requests from faculty, and/or other University personnel for explanation of non-attendance.

Procedure:  Based on the above considerations, the Registrar, in consultation with faculty and other relevant University personnel, identifies the student for administrative withdrawal consideration and attempts to make contact with the student, giving the student a one-week warning of impending administrative withdrawal including its reasons and consequences.  If the student responds on or before the end of the one week warning period, the Registrar will meet with the student to determine whether the student desires to withdraw from University, and if not, any conditions for the student's continued enrollment with the University; if the student does not respond on or before the end of the one week warning period, the Registrar and the Program Dean, will meet to determine the conditions of withdrawal and the actions the student must take in order to be readmitted to the college. These conditions are described in a letter sent to the student; the letter is placed in the student's academic file.



 

Attendance Policy

Purpose

Attendance and engagement in courses (offered via lecture, lab or clinic) is an essential part of the student learning process and student success. This policy defines attendance expectations, faculty reporting related to attendance and student engagement.

Scope

The scope of this policy applies to all students in all programs.

Policy

Students are expected to attend and participate regularly in class meetings, required clinic hours, online learning activities and other activities assigned as a part of a course of instruction.

Students are required to attend the first class session or required clinic in order to receive important information about the course from the instructor.

Faculty are required to report student participation in compliance with institutional policies and federal financial aid guidelines.

Revised: October 2017 / Effective: January 1 2018

Definitions

Drop: The process by which a student chooses to discontinue enrollment in a course on or prior to the drop date published on the course syllabus.

Withdrawal: A status on the transcript resulting from a student discontinuing enrollment in a course after the drop date and through the withdraw date published on the syllabus. A student who fails to officially withdraw will be assigned a grade of “UF” for the course.

Course: Refers to any course offered via lecture, labs and/or clinic

Procedure

  1. Each instructor provides attendance policies on the course syllabus/clinic handbook and includes whether or not there are penalties for missed classes/clinic hours and clearly notes the penalty. Penalties may include a course grade deduction for excessive absence as defined by the instructor; grade deduction for missed work; or inability to submit make-up work for evaluation. In extreme cases, or where required by regulatory agencies, penalties may include instructor administrative withdrawal from the course. Instructors are encouraged to include required intervention for excessive absences such as meeting with the course instructor, clinic supervisor or academic advisor.
  2. If a student wishes to remain in a course from which the student has been absent the first day without prior approval, the student must contact the instructor as soon as possible. In this circumstance, instructors have the right to deny access to the class if other students have been added and the course is full. However, instructors should consider extenuating circumstances that may have prevented a student from attending the first course/clinic session and from notifying the instructor in advance.
    1. The policy extends to online courses as well as traditional in-person courses. Students must attend the first class meeting or obtain permission from the faculty member to be absent. In the traditional classroom courses, attendance means the student is physically present in the course. For courses that are delivered partially or completely online, instructors have discretion to indicate on the syllabus the academic action as it relates to learning in the class a student would need to take within a specified time period (e.g., post an online discussion group on academic matters, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about an academic course topic, submitting an assignment, taking a quiz) in order to be considered as having attended the online course.
  3. Students should confer with instructors/clinic supervisors in advance if absences are anticipated (see Excused Absence Policy for additional information). If the option for making up work/hours exists (for anticipated or unexpected absences), the student is responsible for consulting with instructors/clinic supervisor immediately upon return in order to make necessary arrangements.
  4. Following the Add/Drop Period, faculty will report students who are no longer participating in academically-related events when a student has two unexcused absences though withdrawal deadline. If the student continues to miss classes or required clinic hours, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the course. The student will be notified when an administrative withdrawal is pending and must respond accordingly if they wish to remain in the course.
  5. Students who find they are unable to continue in a course(s) may choose to withdraw from one or more courses. Students must understand that the act of withdrawing from a course or courses may affect their financial aid status and risk eligibility in future trimesters. Students should contact the financial aid office to understand the implications of withdrawing from one or more courses.
  6. A student who fails to officially withdraw will be assigned a grade of “UF” for the course.

Awarding a Posthumous Degree

Purpose

To recognize the academic achievement of students who have died, and to award degrees posthumously where the student has completed enough of the planned degree program.

Scope

Applies to all students enrolled at the University.

Policy

The University may grant undergraduate, graduate and doctor of chiropractic degrees posthumously. If the University determines that a deceased student has completed sufficient coursework to be awarded a degree, the University has the authority to grant the degree posthumously.

Revised: na / Effective: May 1 2018

Procedure

Requirements for Nomination:

  1. A student must have been in good standing with the University at the time of death. Good standing is defined as not having any of the following statuses: academic probation, academic dismissal, disciplinary suspension or expulsion.
  2. The student must have been enrolled at the time of death or their continuous enrollment was interrupted by their injury, illness, deployment, or other extenuating circumstances.
  3. An undergraduate student must have earned 90 undergraduate credits (at the University or through transfer).
  4. A graduate or doctor of chiropractic student must be within 75% of degree completion.
  5. The program in which the student was enrolled recommends the awarding of a posthumous degree with support from the department chair or program director and the dean.

Nomination/Approval Process:

  1. Any university student, faculty, or staff member can suggest a candidate be considered for a posthumous degree. This request must be made to the Provost.
  2. The student’s degree audit file will be obtained from Registrar’s Office to verify the program/plan and progress toward degree completion. The Provost will notify the department chair/program director and dean of the college in which the student was enrolled of the student’s eligibility for the posthumous degree.
  3. The department chair or program director and dean of the program in which the student was enrolled makes the formal recommendation of the candidate for a posthumous degree in the form of a written request to the Provost. The request must include the name of the student, the degree/program to be awarded, and the recommended trimester for degree conferral.
  4. If approved by the Provost:
    1. The Provost will notify appropriate university personnel (e.g., registrar, student affairs)
    2. The Provost or Dean of Students Affairs will inform the immediate family of the university’s decision and desire to recognize the student (This process will be kept confidential until and unless approved at all levels). If the family desires to represent the student and receive the diploma at a commencement ceremony, this must be relayed to the commencement coordinator for planning purposes. If the family does not wish to attend the commencement ceremony, the diploma will be mailed to the requested address.
    3. A posthumous degree will be printed in the commencement program. If the family chooses not to participate, this award may still be read during the ceremony (unless explicitly requested otherwise by the family). Example: Jane M. Doe – Awarded Posthumously


Credit Assignment Policy

REVISION/EFFECTIVE DATES

December 2019

PURPOSE

This policy applies to all courses at all levels that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the university) regardless of the mode of delivery. Credit hours are also used to convey the breadth, depth, and length of a program of study. Academic units, the Registrar, and the University Curriculum Council are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are assigned and awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in this policy.

SCOPE

The scope of this policy applies to all credit-bearing courses and academic programs.

POLICY

Northwestern Health Sciences University reflects the requirements in U.S Department of Education regulations that define a credit hour. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom, direct faculty instruction, or prescribed learning activity, and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one trimester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in 1 above for other academic activities as established by NWHSU including laboratories, internships, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Definitions:

  • Trimester: A trimester at NWHSU is equal to 15 weeks.
  • Clinical: A course requiring medical- or healthcare-focused experiential work where students test, observe, experiment, or practice a field or discipline in a hands-on or simulated environment.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio: Variable: Contact Hours vary depending on the requirements for the clinical experience.
  • Direct Instruction: Instructional and learning activities lead or prescribed by the faculty. These activities’ goals are to create or enhance students’ knowledge of generally-accepted principles or theorems of a field or discipline.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio: 1 Hour in class + 2 hours out of class student work = 1 credit hour
  • Direct Instruction & Laboratory - A course that requires the combined attributes of a Direct Instruction course and a Laboratory course.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio: Contact hours should be an aggregate of the contact hours for direct instruction and lab based on the existing lecture and lab contact hour guidelines.
  • Independent/Directed Study: A course requiring students to participate in individualized, independent, directed, or guided studies under the supervision of the faculty.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio: Variable: Credit and contact hours are determined on an individual student basis with the assigned faculty member and department chair but may be no more than 6 credits per student.
  • Internship: A course requiring students to participate in a partnership, professional employment, work experience, or cooperative education with an entity external to the institution, generally under the supervision of a qualified employee of the given external entity. *Contract required.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio: Variable: Credit and contact hours are determined on an individual student basis with the assigned faculty member and department chair but may be no more than 10 credits per student. 3 hours in clinic = 1 Credit Hour
  • Laboratory - Laboratory describes a class in which all students are “practicing” an application of a scientific or technical nature that, for the most part, has already been delivered in the class environment. The laboratory course requires scientific or research focused experiential work where students test, observe, experiment, or practice a field or discipline in a hands-on environment. The role is facilitation of students in an exercise-oriented activity for which there is a single goal or outcome.
    Contact/Credit Hour Ratio:  2 hours in lab + 1 hour out of class student work = 1 Credit Hour
  • Program of Study-A coordinated, coherent collection of academic, or any combination of academic, laboratory, clinical, and internship experiences, that when successfully completed, prepare graduates for practice in their field of study. Programs of study and their length will meet all relevant federal, state, and accreditor expectations.

CONTACT TIME EXPECTATIONS

Regardless of mode of delivery or course type, workload expectations must align with the stated learning outcomes for students that meet the standards set forth above.

PROCEDURE

PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING CREDIT HOURS

Course Review

The initial determination of credit hours is made when a new course or program of study, or a revision to an existing course or program of study, is proposed. The University Curriculum Council shall review the submitted syllabus to examine for the instructional format and contact time as well as for assignments and evaluation mechanisms to certify that the credit hour assignment reflects the expected student learning outcomes for the course. The University Curriculum Council will also ensure that programs of study length are appropriate.

The faculty and departments, in coordination with the Registrar, are responsible for ensuring that each course and program of study complies with the university’s credit hour standards as set forth in regulation.

 

Dean’s List Policy

Purpose

To provide information and guidelines for eligible students to qualify for the Dean’s list.

Scope

All eligible students

Policy

Students who earn a term grade point average of 3.5 and above and who are enrolled at last half time, will be placed on the Dean’s List.

Revised: December 2017 / Effective: March 1 2018

Procedure

After final grades are completed and submitted, including the incomplete grades, the Registrar’s Office compiles a list of all students who have achieved the status of Dean’s List. Students are notified of this achievement with a letter from the respective Deans of their program. The Dean’s List is generally published online during the next trimester.

Early Alert Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the Early Alert Program is to identify students exhibiting at risk behaviors that are impacting academic performance and to effectively intervene by establishing a referral process available to faculty, leading to increased retention, increased utilization of campus support services and a reduction in the number of students in academic probation and /or dismissal status. 

Scope

All students attending Northwestern Health Sciences University

Overview

The Early Alert Program is a retention program that places at risk students in contact with the appropriate campus resources to assist them in meeting their educational goals at Northwestern Health Sciences University. Faculty, clinic supervisors and staff members contribute directly to the Early Alert system's success by referring students who may be having difficulty with one or more classes or clinic rotations because of:

  • Deficit academic performance
  • Class attendance
  • Behavioral concerns
  • Life stress 
  • Financial concerns that are negatively impacting academic performance                

Northwestern Health Sciences University is committed to the retention and graduation of its students by providing a learning environment that is conducive to student success. The Early Alert system has been put in place to help ensure that every student is able to take full advantage of the educational opportunities and academic support services available on campus.

Procedure

  • At the beginning of each trimester an Early Alert welcome letter is sent to all faculty and staff members. This letters details the purpose of Early Alert and how to access and utilize the system.
  • Students that are at risk academically are identified and entered into the Early Alert database through one of four methods:
    • Students that have been placed on academic probation at the end of the previous trimester
    • All incoming chiropractic students that are enrolled through the AATP (Custom Track) Program or GPA Exceptions
    • Through the collection of exam grades in Basic Science Courses for all T1 and T2 chiropractic students
    • Through the submission of an online Early Alert Form 
      • Click here to access the form:  Early Alert Form
      • Access to this form is also available to faculty through Moodle.

  • All Early Alert submissions are received and reviewed by the Registrar prior to being entered into the Early Alert database.
    • Students that have experienced academic difficulty in two or more courses are listed as priority and a faculty mentor is assigned to them, if one has not already been assigned.
    • Students with mental health or behavioral concerns are referred to the Office of Student Affairs
  • The faculty mentor is notified of the student’s need for support and asked to set up a meeting with the student.  The purpose of the meeting is to reach out to assist the student by identifying additional steps that can be taken to resolve current difficulties.  
  • The faculty mentor is asked to notify the Registrar when the meeting is scheduled.
  • The Registrar will update the database accordingly.
  • A student is considered “closed” by the Early Alert when one or more of the following criteria has been met:
    • Student demonstrates academic improvement and stability over a period of time
    • The mentor determines the student no longer requires assistance
    • Academic support services have been provided to student and student is actively taking advantage of those resources
    • Improvement occurs in the management of life stressors and academic performance improves
    • Student chooses to withdraw from the program or institution

  • Students identified through the Early Alert system may be referred to the following support services based on individual need:
    • Individual peer tutoring
    • Group peer tutoring
    • Open lab sessions
    • Scheduled meetings with faculty to review course material
    • Academic advising to review course load and academic plan
    • Study skills assistance
    • Mental health counseling
    • Disability services
    • Registrar or Financial Aid offices
    • Community emergency financial assistance
    • Conduct/Behavioral standards

Enrollment Status Definitions

Purpose

To define full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time or less than half-time enrollment for students in each program of study. Students often need verification of their enrollment status to outside entities for various reasons (e.g., student loans, financial assistance, employer, etc.).

Scope

The scope of this policy applies to all students in all programs.

Policy

Enrollment status at Northwestern Health Sciences University is defined as either full-time, three quarter-time, half-time or less than half-time.

  • Doctor of Chiropractic Program: T1 – T8 full-time (12 credits or more); three-quarter-time (9 to 11.99 credits) half-time (6 to 8.99); less than half-time (5.99 or less), T09 - T10 chiropractic: full-time (9 credits or more); three-quarter time (7.5 to 9.99 credits) half-time (5 to 7.49); less than half-time (4.99 or less) 
  • Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine Programs:  full-time (9 credits or more); three-quarter time (6.75 to 8.99 credits); half-time (4.5 to 6.74 credits); less than half-time (4.49 or less)  
  • Undergraduate and Massage Therapy Programs:  full-time (12 credits or more); three-quarter time (9 to 11.99 credits); half-time (6 to 8.99); less than half-time (5.99 or less)
  • Master of Health Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition and Graduate Certificates:  full-time (4 credits or more); three-quarter time (3.0 credits to 3.99); half-time (2.0 to 2.99 credits); less than half-time (1.99 or less)

Revised: July 2020 Effective Fall 2020

Procedure

Generally, a student’s enrollment status is based on the number of credit hours in which the student is enrolled at the end of the drop/add period each trimester.

Only courses required for the student’s degree can be counted when determining the student’s enrollment status for Federal Student Aid.



 

 

Excused Absence Policy

Purpose

University policy recognizes that there are a variety of legitimate circumstances under which students will miss course and clinic time, and that accommodations for makeup work will be made.

Scope

This policy applies to all student course/clinic requirements. Students requesting excused absences longer than two days are required to complete a short term leave of absence request.

Policy

Students are responsible for planning their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course/clinic requirements. A student may request an excused absence from a course/clinic for the following reasons:

  1. Instructors may not penalize students for absence during the academic term due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Such circumstances include but are not limited to:
    • illness, physical or mental, of the student or a student's dependent;
    • medical conditions related to pregnancy (also see Pregnancy and Childbirth Leave Policy);
    • subpoenas;
    • jury duty;
    • military service (see Military Leave Policy);
    • bereavement, including travel related to bereavement;
    • religious observances, including travel related to religious observance;
    • graduate/medical school admissions: interviews (in-person only) and associated testing (MCAT, DAT, GRE, etc.);
    • officially excused events sponsored by the University and or designated by University leadership.

    Please note: Voting in a regional, state, or national election is not an unavoidable or legitimate absence.

  2. For circumstances not listed in (1), the instructor/clinic supervisor has the primary responsibility to decide on a case-by-case basis if an absence is due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Instructors/clinic supervisors have the discretion to grant a request for makeup work/hours in such circumstances.

Revised: NA / Effective: October 11 2018

Procedure

  • The University will publish a list of known excused events at the beginning of each trimester.
  • Students must notify their instructors/clinic supervisors of circumstances identified in (2) or other circumstances leading to a request for makeup work/hours as soon as possible and provide information to explain the absence. Some situations will be sufficiently urgent that arrangements for makeup work/hours cannot be made prior to the date of an absence. In such cases, arrangements should be made as soon as possible following the student’s return.
  • The instructor/clinic supervisor has the right to request verification for absences.
  • Students must provide verification of the absence if requested by the instructor/clinic supervisor.
  • The instructor/clinic supervisor may not penalize the student and must provide reasonable and timely accommodation or opportunity to make up missed work/hours, including exams or other course requirements that have an impact on the course/clinic grade if the student:
    • Was absent due to circumstances identified in (2);
    • Has complied with the notification requirements; and
    • Has provided verification if the instructor/clinic supervisor has requested further information.
  • Academic and Clinic Departments may establish more specific criteria for notifying instructors/clinic supervisors and completing the associated make-up work and/or clinic hours. (See Clinic Handbook for each program)
  • Instructors/clinic supervisors are not obligated to accommodate a student who has missed or may miss so much of the critical components of a course or clinic shift, even for legitimate reasons, that arrangements for makeup work would not be reasonable. The student may be encouraged to withdraw in these situations.

Instructors should take all factors into consideration when determining whether to grant an excused absence and how to make arrangements for makeup work that has an impact on the course grade. If a student has missed a component of the course that cannot be made up in exactly the same manner, the instructor may substitute another activity or assignment in order to assess the missed components. If no substitution can be devised, the missing component(s) cannot be factored into determining that student's final grade for the course.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

PURPOSE

The University maintains an educational record for each student who is or has been enrolled at Northwestern Health Sciences University.  In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, student rights are covered by the act and afforded to all students at Northwestern Health Sciences University.

SCOPE

All students in all programs

Revised April 2017/Effective April 2017

DEFINITIONS

Covered students:  If a student is 18 years of age  or enrolled in higher education, his/her student records are covered by FERPA guidelines.  It specifically covers students who are currently enrolled or were formerly enrolled.

FERPA: A Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

Record: An academic record includes paper documents, electronic files, microfilm, and other materials that contain information personally identifiable, directly related to a student, and maintained or used by the University.

Third Party: The student is the party of the first part, Northwestern Health Sciences University is the party of the second part, and the requester is the third party.

POLICY

Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to educational records. The law, also known as the Buckley Amendment, applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more, visit www.ed.gov.

FERPA applies to personally identifiable information in educational records

This includes items such as the student's name, names of family members, addresses, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and personal characteristics or other information that make the student's identity easily traceable.

Definition of educational records

Educational records are all records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting on its behalf. A record means any information recorded in any way, including handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and digital images.

Educational records do not include the following:

  • Sole possession records - records kept in the sole possession of the maker which are used only as a personal memory aid and are not accessible or reviewed by any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record
  • Medical or psychological treatment records that include those maintained by physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists
  • Employment records, provided that employment is not contingent upon being a student
  • Law enforcement records
  • Records collected about an individual after that person is no longer a student

FERPA rights apply to students

At Northwestern Health Sciences University, FERPA rights apply to students. A student is a person who is or has been in attendance at the institution, regardless of the person's age.  

Student rights under FERPA

Under FERPA, as a student, you have:

  • The right to inspect and review any of your educational records that Northwestern Health Sciences University maintains
  • The right to seek amendment of these records
  • The right to consent to disclosure of these records
  • The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education

The University notifies students annually of their FERPA rights in the annual calendar booklet, online in the catalog. If students believe that such rights have been violated, they may contact the Family Policy Compliance Office at the Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC 20202-4605. Additional information is available at www.ed.gov.

A student's right to see and change educational records

Upon written request, the University shall provide a student access to his or her educational records except for financial records of the student's parents or guardian; and confidential letters of recommendation where the student has signed a waiver of right of access. If the records contain information on more than one student, the requesting student may inspect, review, or be informed on only the specific information about his or her own records.

A student may obtain copies of his or her educational records at a cost of 10 cents per page, an official transcript of academic record for $10.00, and an unofficial copy of the permanent academic record for $10.00. Educational records covered by FERPA normally will be made available within 45 days of the request.

The contents of a student's educational records may be challenged by the student on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student by submitting a written statement to the custodian of records. The Registrar’s Office is the official custodian of records at the University.

Directory information

FERPA identifies certain information, called directory information that may be disclosed without the student's permission. The University has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student's name
  • Local, permanent and email addresses
  • Telephone listing
  • Place of birth
  • Major fields of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment status
  • Degrees, awards and honors received, including selection criteria
  • Most recently attended previous educational institution
  • Expected graduation date
  • Participation in officially-recognized activities
  • Student parking permit information
  • Job title and dates of employment when employed by the University in a position that requires student status

Restricting access to directory information (FERPA block)

A currently-enrolled student may restrict access to their directory information during the first 10 class days in any trimester. (Restricted information remains so until revoked by the student.)

FERPA block of an education record

A FERPA block on your education record means that no information is released about you to outside parties with the exception of third parties necessary for financial aid. In addition, you will not appear in the student directory and will have to sign special releases to appear in the yearbook, Student Senate directory or have your name appear publicly on an Academic Dean’s List. See procedures below for instruction and required form.

Access to student educational records

According to FERPA, non-directory information may not be released without prior written consent from the student. Exceptions include access by appropriate "School Officials". A “school official” includes a person employed by Northwestern Health Sciences University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including public safety and health services staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; and a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee or assisting another school official in performing Northwestern Health Sciences University tasks. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of Northwestern Health Sciences University who performs an institutional service or function on behalf of Northwestern Health Sciences University (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent). Northwestern

Legitimate educational interest

Health Sciences University defines "legitimate educational interest" as "needs the record(s) to carry out employment, committee, service, or professional responsibilities to Northwestern Health Sciences University." Therefore, any university employee, or person acting on behalf of the university, may have access to student records without the student's written consent if that person needs the access to carry out his/her responsibilities.


Authorization to discuss your information with outside parties

Students must give written permission for Northwestern Health Sciences University to discuss their educational records with an outside party, such as a parent or a spouse. Concerns may include financial aid processing, account payment or academic performance. See procedure below for how to grant permission for a third party to access your records.

See the list below of the disclosures that post-secondary institutions may make without consent.

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure.  Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A post-secondary institution may disclose personally identifiable information from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –

  • To other school officials, including faculty, within Northwestern Health Sciences University whom the University has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34.  (§99.31(a)(2)) 
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs.  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of personally identifiable information to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.  (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.  (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.  (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.  (§99.31(a)(10))
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37.  (§99.31(a)(11))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39.  The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.  (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))

PROCEDURE

To request access to Student’s Academic Records:

The student should submit to the registrar or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  If the records are not maintained by the office, the Registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

To request amendment of an education record

A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

To restrict access to all or some directory information (FERPA block):

A currently-enrolled student may restrict access to all or some of their directory information during the first 10 class days in any trimester. (Restricted information remains so until revoked by the student.)  The form is available in the Registrar’s Office or online using the following link:

To authorize the release of protected records:

Student must complete an Authorization for Release of Student Information Form and return to the Office of the Registrar.  The form is available in the Registrar’s Office or online using the following link:

To Grant Permission for letter of reference and/or verbal recommendation

Students must give written permission for any Northwestern Health Sciences University faculty member or administrator to write a letter of reference or provide a verbal recommendation for you that includes information that could be construed to be part of your student record (e.g. GPA, classroom observances).

Complete the Letter of Reference and/or Verbal Recommendation Form and provide it to the faculty member or administrator. If you want grade or GPA information included in the letter, you must provide the letter writer with a copy of your transcript (can be an unofficial copy).

Grade Appeal Policy

Purpose

The purpose of the Grade Appeal Policy is to provide the student with a safeguard against receiving an unfair or incorrect final grade.

Scope

All course grades except “I” grades are intended to be final and permanent. It is expected that the instructor will arrive at and report final grades as accurately and precisely as the nature of the evaluation of student achievement and the grading system will permit. Final grades cannot be improved by “make-up” work, after the end of the trimester, and may not involve a challenge of an instructor’s grading standard.

Policy

Students are responsible for fulfilling the academic requirements for a course, as established by the instructor in the course syllabus. The instructor is responsible for evaluation of student performance and for determining a student’s course grade. It is considered the instructor’s direct and personal responsibility to ensure that grades are fair and reported correctly.

Revised: December 2016 / Effective: March 1 2017

Procedure

The following procedures are designed to provide a means for students to seek review of final course grades alleged to be arbitrary and capricious, or based on clerical error.

Definitions:

Arbitrary and capricious grading means the assignment of a course grade that:

  • was not based on that student’s performance in the course; or
  • was based on standards different from those which were applied to other students in that course; or
  • was made after a substantial, unreasonable and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards outlined in the course syllabus.

A clerical error is an error in the calculation of grades or an inaccurate recording of the final grade.

The burden of proof in challenging a grade rests on the student. The initial step of the student grade appeal procedure is for the student to seek resolution or redress through discussions with the course instructor within two weeks after the start of the following trimester. If the faculty member determines that the grade was based on clerical error, a grade change form will be issued by the instructor to the Registrar’s office. The changed grade can be verified on Ellucian Self-Service as soon as it is made available.

If the student feels that a satisfactory solution or relief has not been obtained the student should discuss the grade appeal with the Program Dean. The Program Dean will investigate the allegation by speaking to the student and the involved faculty member. If the Program Dean finds in favor of the instructor, the grade is upheld and the process ends. If the Program Dean finds that the instructor may have graded in an arbitrary or capricious manner, the case will be referred to an Ad Hoc Grade Appeal Committee. This Committee is comprised of three ranked faculty members jointly selected by the appropriate Program Dean and the Faculty Senate President.

Whenever possible, at least one individual will be selected with teaching experience or professional expertise in the subject or discipline which is the source of the appeal; the other two committee members may be selected from other areas within the University. Upon convening, the Committee selects a chair from the group and will review the facts of the case, interview the involved faculty, student and Dean, and gather pertinent data. The Committee will communicate their decision to the student, the faculty member and the Program Dean.

A student may appeal a decision of the Ad Hoc Grade Appeal Committee. This appeal must be filed in writing to the Chief Academic Officer within ten working days following notification of the Committee’s decision, and must present clear and convincing evidence supporting the student’s position that the instructor’s grade was arbitrary and capricious and/or that the Grade Appeal procedure had not been followed. The Chief Academic Officer will review the decision of the Committee, consult with the Committee Chair and Program Dean, if needed, and notify all parties of the final decision. The decision of the Chief Academic Officer is final.

International Baccalaureate Policy

Purpose

Northwestern Health Sciences University recognizes the IB program and accords special consideration for students presenting IB credentials on an individual basis. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the awarding of credit to students based on their success on IB examinations and/or the completion of an IB diploma.

Scope

Applies to all students applying to the University.

Policy

Northwestern Health Sciences University accepts credit based on qualifying scores in International Baccalaureate (IB) subjects. A maximum of 20 transfer credits will be accepted from the IB, CLEP, and/or AP program combined.

Students in IB Programs may take examination separately or receive a full IB diploma. The IB diploma covers six subjects and is awarded to students who achieve specified scores on three higher level and three standard level examinations or four higher level and two standard level examinations.

Students in IB programs may receive up to eight semester credits for each higher-level (HL) subject passed with a grade of five or higher. Please see table below for specific transfer credit.

Full diploma:

  • Those that earn the full diploma with 30 or more diploma points may receive eight semester credits for each high level (HL) subject with grades of five or higher and may receive up to two semester credits for some standard level (SL) with grades of five or higher*

IB second language course, either HL or SL, is not allowed for transfer.

Effective: October 11 2017

Procedure

The Registrar’s Office will determine eligible transfer credit though the IB Program based on the table below. Students will be sent a transfer credit evaluation upon completion of the review.

Area/Examination Score Award Transfer Credit
Art HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – Humanities
Biology HL 5-7 BIO2010: Introduction to Biology
Business Management HL 5-7 4 Semester Credits – Elective
Chemistry HL 5-7 CHEM2048: General Chemistry 1 & CHEM2059: General Chemistry 2
Computer Science HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – Elective
Economics HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – Social Sciences
English Language & Literature HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – English/Communications or Humanities
English A Literature HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – English/Communications or Humanities
History HL 5-7 8 Semester Credits – Humanities
Information Global Technology HL 5-7 4 Semester Credits – Electives
Math HL 5-7 MATH1005: Foundations of Math
Physics HL 5-7 PHYS2040: Physics 1 & PHYS2041: Physics 2
Psychology HL 5-7 4 Semester Credits – Social Sciences
Other Subjects HL 5-7 Contact the Registrar Office
  • Standard Level (SL) is ONLY granted if a student completes a full diploma of 30 points of more. No credit is awarded to SL credits alone. SL are only granted if the grades of five or higher are received. Please see table below for specific transfer credit.
Area/Examination Score Award Transfer Credit
Biology SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits - Natural Science/Math
Environmental Systems and Societies SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits - Natural Science/Math
Chemistry SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Natural Science/Math
Computer Science SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Elective
Economics SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Social Sciences
English Languages & Literature SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – English/Communications or Humanities
English Literature SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – English/Communications or Humanities
Film Studies SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Humanities
History SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Humanities
Information Technology SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Elective
Literature and Performance SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Humanities
Psychology SL 5-7 2 Semester Credits – Social Sciences
Other Subjects SL 5-7 Contact the Registrar Office

No credit for SL Math or Math Studies

Military Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

Military Leave of Absence Policy

As an alternative to withdrawal for military duty or required training, a student in the military will be allowed to choose an extension on coursework and exams for the time the student is absent. To qualify for this provision, the student must complete a Short Term Leave of Absence (STLOA) Request form and provide documentation including military orders or a letter of activation from the student’s military unit indicating the specific dates of service. Documentation can be attached to the STLOA Request or sent separately to the Registrar via email (registrar1@nwhealth.edu) or faxed to 952-887-1386.  A student on Active Duty who encounters an extended mission of a sensitive nature is eligible for a military leave of absence (MLOA). In this situation, the student must provide an email and/or letter from his or her unit stating the student will be unavailable for a time-frame, but not the nature of the mission with the Short Term Leave of Absence Request Form. Finally, a military student who successfully completed a sufficient amount of course work before the military absence began may be issued a grade of incomplete or the grade that the student earned to that date. In order to select the most appropriate option in light of a student’s academic needs, the student must contact the Dean of their Program. Lack of notification may result in ineligibility to receive these provisions.

Military Withdrawals

A student called to active military duty, and as a result unable to complete the current trimester, will receive a grade of WM, Withdrawal for Military Duty, for all currently registered courses upon the school’s receipt of duty orders. A full tuition refund will be applied to the student’s account for all courses for which the student is actively enrolled at the time of military activation. The student will be eligible for any financial aid stipends received above the cost of tuition/fees/books for the current trimester of enrollment.

Use the following email link to request a Military Withdrawal:  registrar1@nwhealth.edu

An Official Withdrawal/Term-Off Request Form will be sent to the student's university email address upon receipt of the request.

Preferred Name Policy

Purpose

To describe availability and use of “Preferred” Name

Scope

The scope of this policy applies to all students in all programs.

Policy

Northwestern Health Sciences recognizes that some of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the University allows students to use a first name different than the legal name on certain University records.

Please note that changing your preferred name for certain records does not change your legal name with Northwestern Health Sciences University. Below is a listing of all of the areas in which your preferred name will appear (once changed) and areas in which your legal name will still appear:

Preferred First Name Will Appear: Legal First Name Will Appear*:
• Alumni Office Records Email
• Address (*nwhealth.edu)
• Online directory
• Class rosters
• Commencement Programs
• Dean’s List
• Emergency Contact Lists
• Faculty Advisee Lists
• Library Records
• Moodle
• Student ID card
• Financial Aid and Billing Records and Communication
• Diploma
• Official and Unofficial Transcripts
• Paychecks and Paystubs
• Registrar’s Office Records (i.e. permanent student file records)
• Some official forms or correspondence from the University such as financial aid awards, new hire forms, etc.
• Study Abroad (i.e. travel documents, signature documents)
• Time Entry System (ADP)
• Transfer Credit Evaluation

* Students who have had their name legally changed should complete a name/address change form. Your new legal first and last name will appear on ALL University documentation listed above, though one’s former legal name will be stored in some University records and not redacted.

Revised: May 2017 / Effective:  July 1 2017

Procedure

A student can request the use of preferred name when initially completing an application to the University or any time after by completing a Preferred Name Request Form.

Once complete the student’s preferred name will be shown an all records or documents described in the policy above until it is rescinded by the student. The “Preferred Name Request Form” must be completed to rescind the use of a preferred name.

Pregnancy and Childbirth Leave Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe the process and procedure for requesting a leave of absence related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Scope

The scope of this policy applies to all students in all programs.

Policy

Northwestern Health Sciences University prohibits discrimination against any student on the basis of pregnancy, pregnancy related conditions or parental status, in the administration of its educational programs and activities. Northwestern Health Sciences University will neither require nor prohibit leaves of absences for reasons of pregnancy or child-birth related concerns. In addition, Northwestern Health Sciences University will reasonably accommodate its students, including pregnant students, so that they may continue to make progress towards completion of their degree.

Absences due to pregnancy related medical conditions and childbirth will be excused for as long as deemed medically necessary by a student’s doctor. Upon return from leave of absence, students will return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before the medical leave began, including being given the opportunity to make up missed work. Northwestern will work with each student to develop an individualized maternity leave plan which will include a plan for the completion of missed coursework. As part of the individualized plan, Northwestern will not require the student to complete missed work during her medically necessary leave period unless the student so chooses. As part of this plan, Northwestern may offer students an alternative to making up missed work, such as the ability to retake a course at no additional expense to the student.

Revised:  May 2017 /  Effective: July 1 2017  

Procedure

Follow the steps below to request a leave of absence related to pregnancy or childbirth.

  1. Schedule a Pregnancy Leave of Absence meeting with your Dean or Program Director:
  2. Request medical documentation from your health care provider which includes the length of pregnancy leave needed and any necessary additional time away for related medical appointments.
  3. Carefully review your rights and responsibilities under Title IX.
  4. Attend Pregnancy Leave of Absence meeting with the Dean or Program Director. If you already have medical documentation from your health care provider, please provide this information at this time.
  5. Turn in your medical documentation to your Dean or Program Director. Attach a copy to this packet and keep a copy for your records.
  6. Make arrangements with each of your instructors and the appropriate clinic coordinators regarding your leave. Document the plan in the Course & Clinic Planning packet.
  7. Meet with the Financial Aid Office to discuss any possible concerns regarding your leave.
  8. Turn in your completed Course & Clinic Planning packet to your Dean or Program Director. Keep a copy for yourself. Your Dean and Program Director will review and sign the document when the plan is approved.
    1. If any changes were made to the plan by your Dean or Program Director, pick up a copy of the modified plan for your records.
  9. Notify the Dean or Program Director when you have given birth to establish that your leave has officially begun. Your Dean or Program Director will work with the Office of the Registrar to have your instructors notified your leave has begun.
  10. Follow the Course & Clinic Plan that was approved by your Dean or Program Director.
  11. If additional leave time is medically necessary beyond the initial assessment, provide new medical documentation from your health care provider to your Dean or Program Director.

Program Time Limits

Readmission to the University

Re-entry within 12 Months of Withdrawal for Students in Good Academic Standing

Students who plan to return to the University within twelve months of withdrawing from the school should contact the Registrar at least one month before their return.    The student must meet criteria for good standing prior to re-entry as a full time student. Students who have withdrawn from the University will be considered to be in good standing and eligible to continue full-time study when they have achieved acceptable academic standing, have paid their tuition and fees liability, and have effectively remedied conditions leading to their withdrawal.

Note regarding time limits for Chiropractic Students - Chiropractic Students are required to obtain their degree no later than six calendar years from the date of their first term of studies. Failure to obtain the degree within this time period will require that the student reapply for admission and start the curriculum over. The Registrar’s Office will assist the student in checking that all records are cleared and current, and identify their status in relation to the present curriculum.

Note regarding time limits for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Students - Acupuncture Students must graduate within the six-year program time limit. Chinese Medicine Students must graduate within the eight-year program time limit. Failure to obtain the degree within this time period will require that the student reapply for admission and start the curriculum over. The Registrar’s Office will assist the student in checking that all records are cleared and current, and identify their status in relation to the present curriculum.

Re-entry Following One Calendar of Withdrawal for Students in Good Academic Standing

A Student who wishes to return to the University after one calendar year of withdrawing from the school should contact the Admissions Office to apply for re-entry to the University. 

Please note the time limits for completion of the Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine programs mentioned above may apply. 

Readmission Following a Withdrawal for Students in Poor Academic Standing. 

Application for readmission should be directed to the Office of Admissions. In the application process, an essay will be required addressing how the applicant has succeeded in overcoming past obstacles for academic success, and transcripts will be required for additional coursework that indicate readiness to meet the challenges of academic rigor of the program.

Readmission to the College of Chiropractic Program Following Academic Dismissal

Individuals who have been dismissed from the College of Chiropractic due to academic reasons are permitted to apply for admission to begin the Doctor of Chiropractic program as a new student and repeat all courses after one calendar year following the date of dismissal has elapsed. In the case of readmission, however, tuition will not be assessed for courses previously completed with a grade of S, C or better. Application for readmission should be directed to the Office of Admissions. In the application process, an essay will be required addressing how the applicant has succeeded in overcoming past obstacles for academic success, and transcripts will be required for additional coursework that indicate readiness to meet the challenges of academic rigor of the chiropractic program.

Readmission to the Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (ACM) Program Following Academic Dismissal

Individuals who have been dismissed from an ACM program due to academic reasons are not eligible to reapply for admission for one calendar year following the date of dismissal. No assurance of readmission can be given. Application is made through the Admissions Department. Any such application must include a request for a hearing before the ACM Academic Standards Committee. The Committee will attempt to identify the problems which lead to Academic Dismissal on the basis of student testimony, academic records, medical or psychological evaluations, learning and language ability, or any other documentation deemed appropriate by the Committee. Records of the applicant will be reviewed to determine what courses must be taken to meet current standards for graduation. Strong assurance that the factors which led to suspension or dismissal have been corrected, together with the convincing prospect that satisfactory work will follow, must be advanced by the applicant in order to obtain approval for readmission.

The plan developed to remove deficiencies may include, but is not limited to:

  • Readmission on Academic Probation.
  • Courses to be taken outside of the ACM program.
  • Medical or other professional treatment.
  • Courses designed to promote academic success.
  • Participation in a mentor program. This plan must be agreed upon, prior to readmission, by the student and the ACM Academic Standards Committee and Program Dean.

Readmission to Massage Therapy and Undergraduate Programs Following Academic Dismissal

A student who was dismissed may petition in writing for readmission. Petitions for readmission must be submitted to the Program Director.

The following procedure applies:

  • A committee composed of faculty convenes to review the student's written request.
    • The committee, chaired by the Program Director, either:
      • requests additional information; or
      • writes a report recommending or not recommending readmission based on review of the request.
    • A recommendation for reinstatement shall include:
      • specific provisions for readmission (e.g., retaking a course or courses)
      • a date for readmission (e.g., immediately or the following academic term)
      • The Program Director makes the final decision regarding readmission and communicates the decision in writing to the student. The decision of the Program Director may be appealed to the Dean of the College of Health and Wellness only if they believe the above procedures have not been followed. The decision of the Dean of the College of Health and Wellness is final.

 

Request to Officially Withdraw or Take a Term-off

To officially withdraw or take a term-off from the university contact the Registrar’s Office to request an Official Request to Withdraw or Take a Term Off Form. 

The Registrar’s Office will process the request upon receipt of the completed form.  The “Date of Initial Notification” indicated on the Official Request to Withdraw or Take a Term Off Form is used to determine the amount of tuition and fees refunded according to the chart found on the Institutional Refund Policy page.

Please note:  To ensure that you are making an informed decision about this action, it is strongly advised that you meet with the appropriate office.  At a minimum, meeting with an Academic Advisor is highly recommended as requesting to withdraw or take a term off during the term may impact your student account, financial aid, and academic standing.  

Short Term Leave of Absence

In the event of a significant health emergency involving the student or a family member, or a significant family event, requiring more than two days absence from a class or classes, a student may request a Short Term Leave of Absence (STLOA). A Short Term Leave of Absence is intended to provide relief until a long- term solution can be determined or the student resumes his or her academic course of study. 


If a Short Term Leave of Absence is approved, the student will not be penalized for missed class time. Upon return to the academic program, the student is responsible for working with instructors to complete missed assignments and course requirements.


Examples of a significant health emergency or family event include (but are not limited to):

  • Death or significant injury of a parent, grandparent, sibling, significant other or child
  • Significant accident injury or major illness that requires hospitalization
  • Health and or safety concerns (risk to self or others)
  • Childbirth

Short term leave of absence request process

  1. Review the Excused Absence Policy to determine if a Short Term Leave of Absence is required. A student experiencing a significant health or family emergency/event as described above or requesting excused absences longer than two days should proceed to step 2.
  2. Student submits an online Short Term Leave of Absence Request Form
    1. Turn in required documentation to the Registrar, if documentation was not included in online request form.
    2. Submitted form is reviewed by the Registrar.
      1. The Registrar may request additional documentation to support the STLOA request
      2. The STLOA request form and supporting documentation is forwarded to the Program Dean for final approval.
      3. The student is notified of the Program Dean's decision.
      4. If approved, the Office of the Registrar notifies all instructors included on the STLOA Request Form.
      5. Student makes arrangements with instructors to make up missed assignments and or course requirements.

If you have questions, contact the Registrar at registrar1@nwhealth.edu or by calling 952-888-4777, extension 440.

Transfer Credit and Prior Learning Assessment Policy

EFFECTIVE DATE
January 2020

 

PURPOSE

 

To specify consistent practices for accepting credit for college level courses transferred into Northwestern Health Sciences University and to award credit for prior learning.

SCOPE

 

The scope of this policy applies to all transfer students in all programs.

POLICY

 

Transfer credit is generally accepted for courses comparable to those offered by Northwestern Health Sciences University that were successfully completed with a grade of “C-” or above at another regionally accredited institution or internationally recognized institution. Academic programs may accept transfer credit from some non-regionally accredited institutions or programs on an individual basis. The university will evaluate official transcripts submitted by the transfer applicant and reserves the right to accept or deny any of the credits for transfer. Credit may also be awarded for prior learning when that learning is demonstrated at commensurate levels as the course/curriculum offered by NWHSU.

PROCEDURE
  1. Official transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit in the Registrar’s Office and the results are provided to the applicant. Only original, sealed transcript(s) from each college/university previously attended will be considered for the award of transfer credit by the NWHSU Registrar's Office and/or appropriate NWHSU academic departments. All courses submitted for transfer must be evaluated and approved prior to the student’s enrollment
  2. Transfer courses must have similar course content, title, length or objective, and correspond to courses within the applicant’s intended program curriculum. A course catalog and/or syllabus may be required to demonstrate course content.
  3. Only transfer courses earned with a minimum grade of "C-" or better at institutions outside of the Northwestern Health Sciences University will be accepted for transfer.
  4. All course requirements with the exception of general education and foundational sciences coursework submitted for transfer must have been completed within five years of the date of enrollment at the University.
  5. Transfer credit may be given to a student who has taken an equivalent course (which meets the above referenced standards) prior to the past five years, if work or life experience has enabled the student to use the skills learned in that course within the past five years
  6. Credit awarded at another college or university for course work completed in a nontraditional manner, e.g., through Advanced Placement programs (AP) or proficiency tests (CLEP or comprehensive examinations administered by an academic department), must be validated by the NWHSU Registrar's Office and/or appropriate NWHSU academic department. That is, such credits do not transfer automatically, and the student must furnish official score reports, etc., for consideration. Students must request that official AP and or CLEP test results be sent directly to the Admissions Office for evaluation.
  7. Credit for Military Training: The University will consider academic credit for military training equivalent to NWHSU courses required for the students' program requirements as defined in the Military Guide provided by the American Council on Education (ACE). Documentation of the training, such as a license of completion, Joint Services Transcript, or notation on the student's DD Form 214, is required. All credit hours transferable are converted to trimester credit hours.
  8. A maximum of 20 credits combined may be accepted from the ACE, CLEP and/or AP programs combined in the College of Health and Wellness and College of Chiropractic; a maximum of 30 credits combined may be accepted from the ACE, CLEP and/or AP program combined in the College of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
  9. Total semester credit hours transferred from each institution previously attended are recorded on the student's NWHSU transcript. (Note: Grades earned at institutions outside the Northwestern Health Sciences University do not become a part of the student's NWHSU cumulative grade point average. NWHSU does not issue copies of another institution's transcript.)
  10. The maximum transfer credits allowed varies by program.
    1. College of Health and Wellness program students may transfer up to 50% of major credit. 25% of overall credit requirements must be earned in residence. BS Completion Health Professions Core classes must be completed in residence.
    2. College of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine students may transfer up to 25% of program clinical training requirements and up to 50% of total program credit requirements.
    3. College of Chiropractic students may transfer up to 75% of didactic coursework, however, all clinical requirements must be completed at the degree granting institution and transfer students must complete a minimum of five trimesters of resident study at NWHSU to graduate from the University.
  11. A student currently enrolled at NWHSU may pass a specially prepared challenge examination and receive credit for a University course without having to do the normal course work. The student must contact the chair of the department in which credit is sought to request administration of an examination. Since it may not be appropriate to award credit by examination for some courses, the decision to offer an examination is that of the department. Hours earned through credit by examination will be indicated on the transcript, but no grade points will be awarded. Hours attempted will be assigned equal to the hours earned. Failure on such an examination will incur no grade point penalty or hours attempted.  Other procedures and methods for assessment of prior learning may be added at the discretion of the university.
  12. Prospective students may appeal the acceptance of transfer credit by contacting the Registrar.