Academic Regulations & Information


An academic program consists of major and general education courses. Students entering Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences complete coursework in their major along with general education requirements. The general education courses may be completed and/or required prior to the coursework at Trinity. Some general education courses may be taken at the same time as major courses. Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences prepares graduates who have attained knowledge from their major and general education courses. The Learning Domains and Program Goals begin with knowledge learned in the general education courses and integrate with major coursework to achieve the Learning Domains of: Knowledge, Proficiency, and Culture Care Values.

College Assessment Plan

The College demonstrates its commitment to quality education by continually analyzing and evaluating the College, its academic programs, and course outcomes. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) is charged with oversight of student assessment. The committee and the faculty work collaboratively with each academic department, the students, and community partners in assessing, reviewing, and ensuring that the results of these efforts are used to improve instruction and the quality of education at Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Evaluating learning domains with appropriate assessment methodologies and measures is primary to the design of College Assessment. This assessment plan is referred to as the Assessment of Learner Achievement (ALA).

General Education Philosophy

General  education provides students with foundational and concurrent learning upon which health science education is built. The faculty believe that behavioral changes occur through the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The faculty recognize that students need to obtain general familiarity with broad areas of learning in order to function responsibly in a rapidly changing environment. General education fosters an aesthetic appreciation of the global environment and cultural differences. Students grow in wisdom and learn the intellectual skills of accurate observation, problem-solving, and critical thinking. General education encourages clear and effective communication of the written and spoken word.

General Education

All academic degree programs require general education as a component of the curriculum, which is designed to help each student develop as a liberally-educated person who possesses skills and competencies essential to function as a mature and responsible individual in a modern society.
General education courses ensure that, in keeping with Trinity College’s Mission, graduates will have the following competencies:
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the arts, music and literature
  • Ability to communicate effectively by writing and speaking clearly and concisely
  • Ability to use critical thinking skills for analysis and problem-solving
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method in the content of the natural and social sciences
  • Demonstrate an understanding of human behavior and the differences of individuals and groups
  • The ability to make ethically informed decisions while considering the beliefs of others.

General Education Objectives

The general education curriculum will assist the student to:
  • Integrate common knowledge/skills/attitudes from the natural and social sciences and humanities into health sciences education and practice
  • Broaden their perspective of the world and its citizens, including multicultural groups, while caring for clients and groups across the lifespan
  • Foster capacity for continuous and lifelong formal and informal learning, including critical thinking processes.
  • Assume social and professional accountability for the professional role.

General Education Course Clusters

Course clusters are categories designed to allow flexibility in fulfilling degree requirements. For example, “Oral Communication” may be fulfilled by taking one course from a “cluster” of courses such as speech, intercultural communication, or interpersonal communication. Course requirements that may be fulfilled from among a cluster of courses are indicated in the College Curriculum Plans. Trinity advisors assist students in the selection of applicable courses to fulfill degree requirements. Students must receive written approval of courses not listed in the clusters from the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences.
Students should note that some courses listed in the clusters may have prerequisite requirements such as Compass test scores and/or remedial courses determined by the offering institution. The prerequisites will be listed in the course catalog of the offering institution. The following general education clusters are applicable to all degree programs. Any questions about meeting requirements should be directed to the advisor. The Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences has final approval of courses not previously identified as part of a cluster.

2013-2014 Cluster Options
Communication Category
Oral Communication Cluster
Black Hawk College SPEC 101 Principles of Speech
  SPEC 111 Business & Professional Communications
  SPEC 114 Interpersonal Communication
  SPEC 175 Intercultural Communication
Eastern Iowa Community College  SPC 112 Public Speaking
   SPC 122 Interpersonal Communication
   SPC 170 Professional Communication
Written Communication (English) Cluster
Black Hawk College   ENG 101 Composition I
   **ENG 102 Composition II
    ENG 132 Technical Writing
Eastern Iowa Community College  ENG 105 Composition I
   **ENG 106 Composition II
   ENG 107 Composition I: Technical Writing
   ENG 108 Composition II: Technical Writing
    ENG 221 Creative Writing
Behavioral Sciences Category
Social Cluster
Black Hawk College  SOC 101 Principles of Sociology
   SOC 102 Contemporary Social Problems
   SOC 250 Minority Relations
Eastern Iowa Community College   SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
    SOC 115 Social Problems
Psychology Cluster
Black Hawk College   PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology
    (Prerequisite for Growth & Development)
    PSYC 200 Human Growth & Development
    PSYC 230 Social Psychology
Eastern Iowa Community College   PSY 111 Introduction to Psychology
    PSY 121 Developmental Psychology
**Satisfies BSN Requirements

2013-2014 Cluster Options
Critical/Analytic Science/Math Category
Math Cluster
Black Hawk College **MATH 108 Statistics for General Education
   MATH 110 Mathematics for General Education
   MATH 112 College Algebra
   MATH 116 Trigonometry
   MATH 118 Pre-Calculus
   MATH 131 Finite Mathematics
  **MATH 228 Probability & Statistics
Eastern Iowa Community College  MAT 110 Math for Liberal Arts
   MAT 121 College Algebra
   MAT 128 Pre-Calculus
   MAT 140 Finite Mathematics
   **MAT 156 Statistics
Science Cluster
Black Hawk College BIOL 145 Anatomy & Physiology I
   BIOL 146 Anatomy & Physiology II
   BIOL 261 Microbiology
  **BIOL 250
Genetics with BIOL 251 Genetics Lab – (BIOL 250 & BIOL 251 are co-requisites and must  be taken together)
   **CHEM 111 Principles of Organo-Biochemistry (Spring)
   **CHEM 115 Basic Organic & Biochemistry
   **CHEM 203 Organic Chemistry I
   **CHEM 215 Concentrated Organic Chemistry
   **PHYS 101 College Physics I
   **PHYS 102 College Physics II
   **PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics
   **PHYS 115 Concentrated Physics
Eastern Iowa Community College  BIO 168 Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab
   BIO 173 Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab
   BIO 186 Microbiology
   **CHM 132 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
   **CHM 261/263 Organic Chemistry I
   **PHY 162 College Physics I
**Satisfies BSN Requirements

2013-2014 Cluster Options
Humanistic Appreciation Category
Black Hawk College  **ANTH 101 Introduction to Physical Anthropology
   **ANTH 102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Eastern Iowa Community College **ANT 105 Cultural Anthropology
Black Hawk College  **PHIL 103 Ethics
Eastern Iowa Community College  **PHI 105 Introduction to Ethics
Humanities Elective
One 3 credit hour course in the following categories aisaccepted:
Black Hawk College   Anthropology
    Foreign Language
    International Studies
    Political Science
    Sociology (SOC 102, 210, 230, 250, 251, 261, 264, 270)
Eastern Iowa Community College   Anthropology (ANT 105)
    Cultural Studies
    Foreign Language
    Global Studies
    Interior Design
    Mass media Studies
    Political Science
    Sociology (SOC 115, 120, 220, 230, 240, 251, 261)
**Satisfies BSN Requirements


Enrollment Status Policy

Listed in the chart below are the College’s student enrollment status guidelines. Students will be assigned an enrollment status based on the number of credit hours for which they are registered.

Student Enrollment Status When enrolled in:
Full-time At least 12 credit hours during a semester (6 hours during the summer session)
Three-fourths time 9-11 credit hours during a semester
Half-time 6-8 credit hours during a semester
Less than half-time 1-5 credit hours during a semester

Course Grading System

The course syllabus provided by the instructor will identify the course grading criteria and procedures to be followed in that course. The didactic grading system is based on the percentage system and clinical percentage grade is based on clinical performance evaluations. A 0.5 point or more will be rounded up to the next whole number when computing course grades. The clinical grading system is determined by the program. In some programs/ courses the didactic and clinical grades are recorded separately. The Nursing Program has a grading scale separate from the general College course grading system. Also reference Radiography, and Respiratory Care programs for specific grading criteria.
"Incomplete" (I) is a grade indicating that a student is unable to complete the course due to exceptional circumstances. This term must be defined by the student and faculty member, but usually means that something beyond the student's control (e.g., hospitalization of self or a family member, death of a loved one, etc.) has occurred. Failure to complete assignments on time, or failure to withdraw from the course does not constitute sufficient grounds for assignment of an Incomplete (I) grade.
An Incomplete grade must be completed by the seventh week of the semester following the (I) grade. After the seventh week, the (I) will be changed to (F) on the student's transcript if the course is not completed.
If the course for which an (I) grade is assigned is a prerequisite to another course, the student may not enroll in that course until the Incomplete course has been completed; thus, the student's progression may be delayed. Any student wishing to enroll in a course for which the incomplete course is a prerequisite prior to the completion of the incomplete course may request permission from the course instructor(s) to enroll in that course. The decision of the course instructor(s) regarding such requests is final.

Grade Reports

When a student completes a course, grade reports will be available at My Pulse through the College website. Final grade reports will not be issued over the phone or given to students who attempt to secure them in person. All financial obligations to the College must be fulfilled in order for students to obtain their grades online. Faculty may share unofficial grade reports with the students in their courses.

Grade Point Average
The student’s grade point average is determined by dividing the number of credit hours attempted into the total grade points earned. The WF or WP are not computed in the student’s GPA.
Grading is based on a percentage system. Criteria for theory and clinical grades are specific to each major discipline. Refer to each program section for specific grading scales and grading policies.
Grade Quality Points Significance
A 4.0 Excellent
B 3.0 Good
C 2.0 Satisfactory
D 1.0 Unsatisfactory
F 0.0 Failure
I   Incomplete
WP   Withdrawal Passing
WF   Withdrawal Failing
AU   Audit
R   Repeat

Grade Appeals Policy

Informal Process: A student who has a concern about his/her final grade should discuss the issue with the faculty member of the course within two weeks of the end of the course. If the student and faculty member do not come to a successful resolution of the issue, the student may pursue the formal process.

Formal Process: A student must put in writing a letter of appeal, explaining the grade complaint, to the program coordinator within three weeks from the end of the course. The program coordinator will conduct an investigation and submit a letter of his/her findings to the student within ten calendar days from receipt of the letter.

If the student is not satisfied with the program coordinator’s findings, he/she may write a formal letter of appeal to the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences within seven calendar days of the date noted on the letter from the program coordinator.

Upon receipt of the letter the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences will conduct an investigation and provide a response to the student within ten calendar days. The findings of the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences are final.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

It is the goal of Trinity College to promote a sense of honesty and integrity on the part of students in fulfilling their academic requirements.
In order for an academic community to teach and support appropriate educational standards, an environment of collaboration, trust, and individual responsibility must be maintained. It is the student’s responsibility to achieve their educational obligations in a fair and honest manner. Students found responsible for plagiarism and/or cheating can face both academic and disciplinary action.
Plagiarism is the act of presenting another’s work as your own. Plagiarism takes several forms. Any of the following, without full acknowledgement of the original source, is plagiarism:
  1. Passing of words and/or images of another as one’s own.
  2. Passing of the ideas of another as one’s own.
  3. Using the original organizational scheme or plot of another as one’s own.
Examples of Plagiarism include, but are not limited to:
  • Copying someone else’s words without using quotation marks and citing (giving credit to) the source.
  • Misrepresenting someone else’s words or ideas or quoting them inaccurately.
  • Citing the wrong source.
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s words or ideas without citing the source.
  • Submitting one’s own work which has already been used for assessment purposes in another subject.
If plagiarism is suspected, the faculty member will discuss the “suspect” work with the student. The student in question may prepare a written statement of facts regarding the work in question. If the student has plagiarized, he/she will be entered into corrective action. Corrective action can include any of the following:
  • Failing of the assignment/exam
  • Requiring the student to re-do the original assignment
  • Assigning a failing grade for the course
  • Dismissal from the College
Students should refer to their course syllabus as to how each instructor handles incidents of plagiarism.
Cheating is viewed as an offense of severe nature. Each student is responsible for the authenticity of his/her own work. Students found cheating can be disciplined up to and including dismissal from the College without the opportunity for grievance or appeal.

Time Limit for Completion of Program

An individual may complete any number of or all of the required General Education courses before beginning major (program) courses. Continuity of matriculation in the major courses is expected due to the ongoing application of knowledge and skills and the rapidly changing health care environment.
Time lapses of more than one year in continual course sequencing are not acceptable if related to other than availability of course offerings or an approved Leave of Absence. The Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences will determine a time limit for completion of the Program in consultation with the student and the program faculty.

Repeat Policy

Students may repeat any course offered at Trinity College. The student should be aware of the following:
  1. A student may repeat a course only when one of the following conditions is met:
  1. If the student has not completed the course with a grade of C or better and the course is necessary to satisfy requirements for a degree, the course may be repeated once.
  2. No more than a total of two major courses may be repeated in each program. Exception: Nursing students are allowed to repeat only one major course in their nursing program.
  3. If the student needs to raise the grade point average to the required level for graduation, a course may be repeated once.
  1. Students who must repeat a course are required to complete an Intent to Return form in order to ensure a place in the next available offering of the class. Exception: Nursing students must complete the Request for Readmission process (See ASN Program Progression or ABSN Program Progression).
  2. In a repeated course, only the highest grade will be counted in the grade point average.
  3. Students’ transcripts will reflect a repeated course by placing an R next to the first course grade. Only the repeated course grade is counted in the student’s GPA.
  4. Failure to receive a C or above in a repeated course or in more than two courses in a program will result in dismissal from the program. Exception: Nursing students refer to item 1.b.
Students who are dismissed for failure to make satisfactory academic progress will not be considered for readmission. A student who fails to pass a course (receives a grade of D, F WP, or WF in theory and/or clinical for the semester grade) may not be allowed to progress to the next semester when the failed course is a prerequisite for the course(s) that follow.

Academic Calendar

The College operates on a 16 week semester calendar. The College offers certain courses on alternative schedules.
  • Fall, spring and summer

Unit of Credit/Credit Hour Definition

The unit of credit at Trinity College is the semester credit hour. Traditionally, a unit of didactic credit is earned by attending a non-laboratory class for one hour a week for 16 weeks. Trinity College offers a variety of course timeframes and delivery formats, depending on the specific course of study. In laboratory classes, one credit hour is granted for two to three hours in the laboratory per week. Clinical and laboratory contact hours are different from didactic courses. Contact hour descriptions are noted within each academic program section of the catalog.

Course Timeframes and Delivery Formats

Course Timeframes

Course timeframes are dependent upon the program of study and the semester in which a course is offered.
Standard Semester – Courses meet two to three times per week for a 16-week semester.
Accelerated – The BSN-Accelerated program at Trinity is a cohort program that requires 15-months of intense study. BSN-A students complete the first year of nursing in two summer sessions, with Session I occurring over a six week period and Session II occurring over a seven week period. Following the first semester, accelerated BSN students connect with other undergraduate nursing students The BSN-A curriculum consists of two summer, one fall, and one spring semester.
Summer Semester – Courses meet one to five days per week. The semester timeframe is three to thirteen weeks depending upon the course and number of credit hours.

Course Delivery Formats - Courses are offered through one of four course delivery formats.
Face-to-Face Format – Face-to-Face (F2F) courses meet in a classroom for regularly scheduled class meetings throughout the semester.
Online Format – Online courses typically do not meet in a scheduled classroom setting on campus. Course content is primarily delivered through a web-based technology/course management system. This format is recommended for students who are independent learners and comfortable with the use of technology. Some courses in the BSN-Completion program are offered in an online format.
Hybrid Format – Hybrid courses use both classroom meetings and web-based technology to deliver course content in a planned, pedagogically sound manner. In a blended-course, online delivery replaces a portion of the course meetings that are F2F. The online activities are integrated with the classroom meetings. Students receive the benefit of in-class meetings blended with online learning.
Study Abroad – Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences may offer a study abroad experience for students. Students will have to meet all requirements set forth by the supervising faculty member and as outlined in the syllabus. Students must participate in a learning community, which will be led by the supervising faculty and will introduce the student to the customs, lifeways, and health practices of the country of study.
The number of credits for each course can be found within the course description section of the catalog.

Attendance Policy

Regular class attendance is important for academic success since only with regular attendance are students able to participate fully in discussion and laboratory sessions, and to seek clarification concerning presented materials. Course outcomes are enhanced and success is more likely to occur through attending class. If a student is unable to attend class, it is the responsibility of the student to meet the course outcomes/objectives/requirements for the missed material. The student is expected to follow the established attendance guidelines for the course. Faculty may set individual attendance policies for their course(s), which are delineated in the course syllabus.
Clinical experiences are planned to use health care and general education theory and principles. Each student is expected to be in the clinical setting on scheduled clinical days to facilitate learning, experience unrehearsed learning opportunities, and meet clinical outcomes. When students must cancel their participation in planned clinical experiences with less than 24 hours notice, they are to notify both faculty and the staff in the clinical setting as soon as possible. If a student is unable to attend clinical, it is the responsibility of the student to arrange to meet course outcomes, clinical objectives, and requirements. Missed clinical experience is discussed with the clinical faculty and options for meeting objectives/ outcomes will be addressed. The student is expected to follow the established attendance guidelines for the College.
Course syllabi will also delineate specific clinical attendance policies for each course. Students may be required to register for clinical make-up unit(s) (CMU) for absences incurred throughout the semester. (See Tuition and Fees Information for CMU charges).

Leave of Absence Policy

Students who are performing satisfactorily and find it necessary to interrupt their course of study for personal reasons may be granted a leave of absence. A leave of absence refers to the specific time period during an ongoing program when a student is not in academic attendance. It does not include non-attendance for a scheduled break in a student’s program. The student who has an approved leave of absence is considered to remain in an in-school status. A leave of absence is an approved leave if it meets the following requirements:
  • The student must apply in advance for the Leave of Absence, except for extenuating circumstances, which require approval by the Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences.
  • The Leave of Absence must be in writing specifying the reason for the Leave of Absence and expected date of return.
  • A student will not be granted more than two leave of absences in a 12 month period.
  • The 12 month period would begin on the first day of the student’s Leave of Absence.
  • The college determines that there is a reasonable expectation that the student will return to the college.
  • The leave of absence does not involve additional charges by the college.
  • Only two interruptions in the program of study are allowed during the BSN-C curriculum.
  • A leave of absence may affect financial aid and loan repayment. Students may be granted a 180-day leave of absence in any 12-month period from the state and federal government. Therefore, all students requesting a leave of absence must meet with the Financial Aid Specialist for counseling.
If the student is a Title IV loan recipient, all Title IV funding will stop during the leave of absence period. The student also understands that a leave of absence may affect their current financial aid and that failure to return from a leave of absence may affect their student aid loan repayment terms, including the exhaustion of the student’s grace period. Therefore, all students who receive financial aid and request a leave of absence should meet with the Financial Aid Specialist for counseling.
A Leave of Absence Form may be obtained from the Student Services Office or on the College website. Students requesting a leave of absence must first meet with their academic advisor when requesting the leave. A completed leave request form must be submitted to the Student Services Office with all required signatures. If approved, the student must return on the requested re-entry date. If a student fails to return from a leave of absence, they will be immediately withdrawn from the College. The student loan lender will be advised of the student’s withdrawal, which will affect the grace period of the loan.
Students returning from an approved leave of absence must complete an Intent to Return Form, which may be obtained from the Student Services Office or on the college website. The student may be required to demonstrate proficiency prior to re-entry into their program of study, and will be placed back into course sequencing as courses become available and upon recommendation of their advisor.

Academic Standards

A 2.0 GPA is required to graduate from Trinity College. Any time the semester GPA or cumulative GPA is below 2.0, the student should reassess educational objectives and study habits. The student should seek assistance from their instructors and/or academic advisor during this process. Students whose GPA remains below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters of enrollment will be dismissed from the College.

Academic Course Progress

As a courtesy, students may be notified of their academic progress within a course by their course faculty during a given semester. Faculty may advise students to seek a variety of support methods in order to promote success in the course.

Good Standing

To be in good standing, any student while enrolled at Trinity College, regardless of where the hours were earned, must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. Good Standing is recorded on a student’s transcript for each semester that it applies.

Academic Warning

Regardless of where the credit was attempted, any student with a cumulative GPA below 2.0 is placed on academic warning. Achieving WF (Withdrawal Failing) D or F in a required course will also place the student on Academic Warning. Academic Warning is noted on a student’s academic transcript. A student placed on Academic Warning should talk to his/her advisor to discuss a strategy and action plan to improve the student’s chances of academic success.

Removal from Academic Warning

When the student achieves a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and/or successfully repeats the required course, the student will be removed from Academic Warning. The student must resolve the Academic Warning status by the end of the next semester or the next opportunity to repeat the course(s), whichever comes first.