Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Satisfactory academic progress is a cumulative measure of a student’s performance and includes all periods of the student’s enrollment. Both quantitative and qualitative standards are used to evaluate satisfactory academic progress in the BSN Program.  Quantitative and qualitative standards are measured every term.

Quantitative standards include grades on quizzes, exams, care plans and other measurement tools.

Qualitative standards for practice, as a registered nurse requires many competencies, such as the functional abilities listed below:

  • Ability to see, hear, touch, smell, and distinguish colors
  • Ability to speak and write with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency
  • Manual dexterity, gross, and fine motor movements
  • Ability to learn, think critically analyze, assess, solve problems, and reach sound judgments
  • Emotional stability and ability to accept responsibility and accountability

All students must satisfactorily demonstrate these competencies in the didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses throughout their program of studies.

General Requirement

A nursing student will be allowed a maximum time frame of two years of enrollment beyond the standard of four years required for the completion of the program.  Summer enrollment is considered part of the academic year for the purpose of this measure.

To ensure that a student is making sufficient academic progress in order to meet the maximum timeframe requirement, the student must complete 67% of all credits attempted. Development and skill courses are included in the timeframe calculation but not in the rate of progress calculation.

This policy also ensures that the Student Financial Aid requirements set forth by federal regulations have been met.  The SAP applies to all nursing students enrolled in Ponce Health Sciences University School of Nursing. Student’s academic progress is evaluated each trimester of the academic year.

For transfer students, the total years for completion of a degree include those years accredited on admission to the BSN Program.

Course Requirement

Students must complete all courses within the established time frame.

Performance Requirement

A student must pass each course. Any student failing to meet this standard of performance will be referred to the Students Promotion Committee to determine the action to be taken.

Professional Behavior Requirement

The students must conduct themselves in accordance with the norms for professional conduct set forth by the Ponce Health Sciences University and the corresponding accreditation agencies.

Grade Requirements

Students will not attain Satisfactory Academic Progress and will be referred to the School of Nursing Students Promotion Committee to be considered for dismissal if any of the following occur:

  • Earning an “F” or “WF” in two or more courses in one trimester
  • Earning an “F” or “WF” in a nursing course after having had two “F’s” or “WF’s” in previous trimesters
  • Earning an “F” or “WF” in the same nursing course taken twice
  • Earning less than a 2.50 semester GPA in two consecutive trimesters

Students receiving one “F” in one trimester, but has a trimester GPA of 2.5 or greater will be given an academic warning and will be placed on “Probation”. Students on probation must meet with the Dean of Nursing at the beginning and throughout the trimester.

Appeal Process

Students who are notified by the Dean of Nursing regarding decision of the Students Promotion Committee that he/she must repeat failed courses during the next academic year or to be dismissed from the nursing program, have the right to appeal the decision within seven working days after receiving the notification.

The appeal or due process presented below must be followed.

The student will appeal in writing to the School of Nursing Students Promotion Committee (SPC) and include all relevant documentation to support the request.  The Committee will evaluate the reasons and evidence submitted to determine if they change their initial decision.  The SPC has 48 hours to submit its decision to the Dean of Nursing, who will notify the decision to the student. 

If the SPC sustains the adverse decision, the student has the right to appeal to the Dean of Nursing. The appeal must be submitted in writing within seven working days after receiving the notification.  The Dean of Nursing will evaluate the appeal and the student’s academic record. The Dean can appoint a three-member Ad-Hoc Committee to re-evaluate all evidence. Rejection of the appeal by the Dean is final.

If an Ad-Hoc Committee is appointed, they will notify the student in writing of the date and the time when the appeal will be evaluated. The Ad-Hoc Committee has forty-eight (48) hours to submit a recommendation to the Dean of Nursing. The Dean of Nursing will consider the Ad-Hoc Committee recommendation and make the final decision within forty-eight (48) hours.

Any decision will be reported to the student in writing. The decision made by the Dean of Nursing is final.

The same process described above will be followed in the case that the adverse decision made by the Committee is for non-academic reasons, such as unacceptable professional behavior. The Department Chairperson, the Dean of Nursing or the VP for Student Affairs will refer the case to the SPC. If the recommendation of the SPC is to dismiss the student, the appeal process described above may be activated.

In the event that an adverse decision is made due to non-academic reasons and the Dean of Nursing sustains the decision after the appeal process, the student may appeal to the Provost/Vice-President for Academic Affairs and then to the President. 

Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid eligibility is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the institutional policy on Satisfactory Academic Progress published by the Office of Financial Aid.


The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs shall have primary responsibility for overseeing this policy and will provide all nursing students a copy of this document upon admission to Ponce Health Sciences University School of Nursing.

The President, the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, as well as the Dean of Nursing, Registrar and Financial Aid Manager will receive all pertinent data to ensure proper enforcement of the policy here set forth.

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