NESA utilizes a variety of assessment methods to evaluate a student's academic progress throughout the program, including written and practical exams, papers, projects, comprehensive examinations and assessment of clinical performance. Grades and other measures of academic performance serve three important functions: they let the student know how well he or she is learning the course material; they let the faculty member know how effectively he or she is conveying the course material; and they let the NESA administration know if an individual student is having difficulties with the program.
Most required courses at NESA carry a letter grade of A, B, C or F. A few courses/clinics are graded using the Pass/Fail system. Specific criteria for these grades are listed below. In addition, each course's grading criteria are outlined in the course syllabus. Grades are considered final when they are submitted to the Registrar for processing. Any student who finds a discrepancy in her or his grade report should immediately contact the Registrar's Office to confirm the grade was submitted, and then (if necessary) contact the course faculty. Letter grades can be changed in the case of clerical or compilation error, which must be documented in writing by the course faculty. Such change requests by the student should be initiated promptly upon receipt of the term grade report.
Quizzes, exams and cumulative term grades are assigned as follows:
Courses/clinics may carry grades of Pass or Fail. The letters "P" and "F" are used to denote these grades. Students must pass all sections of a Pass/Fail course to receive a passing grade for the course.
- P (Pass): The grade of "P" is not used in calculating the cumulative grade point average, however academic credit is awarded.
- F (Failure): The grade of "F" is used in calculating the cumulative grade point average and will remain on the student's transcript as part of the permanent record despite subsequent retake of the course. Academic credit will not be awarded for a failed course. All failed program requirements must be repeated and successfully completed in order to graduate. Students will not be permitted to enroll in courses for which the failed course was a pre-requisite.
- (Incomplete): This is a temporary grade and is not used in calculating the cumulative grade point average. A grade of Incomplete is given if the student has not completed all work required for the course, has missed more than the allowed number of class sessions, or has failed the final exam but is eligible to retake it. Academic credit is not awarded until a permanent grade for the course has been recorded. It is the student's responsibility to contact the faculty member to make arrangements to complete the course work necessary to convert the Incomplete to a passing grade. An Incomplete course grade must be converted to a passing letter grade by the end of the term following the term in which the Incomplete was given or it will automatically be converted to an "F". Where extenuating circumstances exist, an individual student may be given additional time to complete the course work; the student must work out the details with the appropriate faculty member and obtain approval from the Academic Dean.
For courses that are prerequisites taken in the term following in which an "I" was assessed, the student must make up the missed work during the first two weeks of the following term in order to avoid conversion of the grade of "I" to "F".
For courses that are not prerequisites taken in the term, students must make up the missed work by the end of the following term to avoid conversion of the grade or "I" to "F".