Respiratory Therapy Handbook

The Vermont Tech Student Handbook includes information about campus resources, safety information, and a compilation of official policies of the College. Please be aware that all students are responsible for reading and knowing the contents of the Vermont Tech Student Handbook and for abiding by all College rules and regulations. […]

The Vermont Tech Student Handbook includes information about campus resources, safety information, and a compilation of official policies of the College. Please be aware that all students are responsible for reading and knowing the contents of the Vermont Tech Student Handbook and for abiding by all College rules and regulations.

Rules and policies are reviewed annually and may be changed at any time.

The Respiratory Therapy section of the handbook has been designed to share specific respiratory therapy department information including:

  • The Goal of the Respiratory Therapy Program
  • The mission of the respiratory therapy program
  • Team-based approach to learning
  • The expected outcomes for respiratory therapy students
  • The behavioral expectations of respiratory therapy students
  • The polices that govern student progression through the program

Goal of Respiratory Therapy Program

To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and effective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practices as performed by registered respiratory therapists.

Mission of the Respiratory Therapy program

The primary mission of the respiratory therapy program is to provide a high-quality education that is relevant and professionally sound to meet the respiratory care needs in the health care community.  Inherent in this mission is the program’s goal to prepare students who can demonstrate the attitudes, skills, and knowledge relevant to their role as registered respiratory therapists.

Throughout the study of respiratory care, an emphasis is placed on the role of the respiratory therapist as an essential member of the health care team.  Each new topic is presented in a manner that requires students to decide whether care is needed, administer the care competently, and determine whether the care provided was in fact effective.

Clinical experience is regarded as the highest importance to the success of program.  Extensive practice at premier academic medical centers help students develop critical thinking skills, use strong communication skills and demonstrate the leadership required of today’s respiratory therapists.

TEAM-BASED LEARNING

All respiratory courses are taught with a team-based approach to learning. Team-based learning is an evidence based collaborative learning teaching strategy designed around units of instruction, known as “modules,” that are taught in a four-step cycle: preparation, in-class readiness assurance testing, application-focused exercise, and examination.

Preparation before class

Students must complete preparatory materials before a class or the start of the module. Materials may be text, visual or other.

In-class Readiness Assurance Testing

The readiness assurance process holds students accountable for coming to class prepared and working together as a team. Students complete an individual quiz, consisting of 5 to 20 multiple choice questions.  After submitting their individual answers, students take the same quiz, the team quiz, with their team.   All members of each team share the same team quiz score, and both individual quiz and team quiz scores count toward the students’ grades.

Appeals: Teams can do a written appeal of a quiz they felt was poorly written, the answer was mistakenly coded, or their answer choice is better.
Instructor Feedback:  The instructor may review material from the quiz that students still feel are problematic.

In-class application focused exercise

The remainder of the session or module is taken up with exercises that help students learn how to apply and extend the knowledge that they have pre-learned and tested. Teams are given an appropriate problem or challenge, and must arrive at a consensus to choose a best solution to the problem. Teams then submit their answer choice, and the educator facilitates an electronic discussion between teams to explore the topic and the possible answers to the problem.

Examination

Student learning is evaluated with an individual exam for each learning module.

Respiratory Therapy student outcomes

Graduates of the respiratory therapy program are provided learning opportunities which lead to the accomplishment of the following program specific outcomes.

  • Collect, review and evaluate clinical data to determine the appropriateness of the prescribed respiratory care plan, and participate in the development of the respiratory care plan.
  • Initiate, conduct, and modify prescribed therapeutic procedures to achieve the desired objectives.
  • Assemble, check function, correct malfunctions and perform quality control of respiratory therapy equipment.
  • Acquire knowledge by questioning, analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information.
  • Use numbers and formulate relationships between them to analyze, interpret and develop appropriate strategies for respiratory care.
  • Work together with other professionals on the health care team in a manner that fosters mutual respect and facilitates the effective handling of patient care issues.
  • Completely document patient care sessions in the medical record in a concise and legible manner following a problem-oriented format and using the SOAP or other generally accepted notation.
  • Write clear, coherent, and comprehensive laboratory and clinical case reports.
  • Communicate with clients, family members of clients, and members of the health care team using appropriate verbal and nonverbal skills.
  • Inform practice of respiratory care by actively seeking new knowledge from colleagues, clients, the community, and related educational research.
  • Expand the role of the respiratory therapist as an essential member of the health care team.
  • Practice respiratory care effectively in a variety of cultural contexts.
  • Become aware of the ethical dimension of health care and strive to understand and maintain the highest personal and professional standards.

Essential functions required of respiratory therapists

Essential job functions are the fundamental duties of a position: the things a person holding the job absolutely must be able to do. Essential job functions are used to determine the rights of an employee with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employee who can’t perform the essential job functions, even with a reasonable accommodation, isn’t considered qualified for the job and isn’t protected from discrimination.

The following is a list of essential job functions of a respiratory therapist and the frequency with which these functions will be needed on the job.

Essential Function Frequency
Physical Stamina and Dexterity
Lift up to 50 lbs to assist moving of patients, supplies and equipment Frequently
Stoop to adjust equipment and perform procedures Frequently
Kneel to manipulate equipment and perform procedures Occasionally
Extend parts of the body in all directions in order to reach objects at a distance Constantly
Possess motor skill and manual dexterity to move and manipulate small and large equipment Constantly
Push/Pull large wheeled equipment Constantly
Walk for extended periods of time Constantly
Walk quickly to respond to emergency calls or assist in transport of patients Occasionally
Walk up and down stairs Occasionally
Stand for prolonged periods of time to perform duties Constantly
Sensory Function
Hearing ability to interpret simple sounds such as beeps and complex sounds such as speech Constantly
Visual ability to perform tasks that are dependent on vision Constantly
Speaking ability to communicate to others in English Constantly
Touch ability to organize, identify and interpret sensory information Constantly
Intellectual Function
Prioritize multiple tasks Constantly
Perform procedures Constantly
Analyze data to suggest and implement interventions Constantly
Manage time for both educational and clinical responsibilities Constantly
Read typed, handwritten, computer information in English Constantly
Write to communicate pertinent information in English Constantly
Mental Attitude
Function safely, effectively and calmly under stressful situations. Constantly
Maintain composure and concentration while managing multiple tasks simultaneously Constantly
Practice social behaviors that are appropriate to interpersonal situations Constantly
Communicate and cooperate effectively across cultural barriers Occasionally
Practice personal hygiene consistent with close contact during direct patient care Constantly
Display actions, attitudes consistent with ethical standards of the profession Constantly
Collaborate with a group of persons acting together as a team Constantly

ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT

Vermont Tech respiratory therapy students are expected to engage in ethical practice as a respiratory therapy student by following the ethical code of conduct as described in the American Association of Respiratory Care Statement of Ethics and Profession Conduct. Students whose behavior is not consistent with these standards may be subject to dismissal from the program. Any violation of the ethical codes of conduct or violation of municipal, state or federal laws by a student must be reported to the Program Director immediately. Review of the violation will be made to determine if the student may continue in the respiratory therapy program. Any student who fails to report violations of municipal, state, or federal laws may be dismissed from the respiratory therapy program.

The American Association of Respiratory Care Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct will apply to respiratory therapy students in the Vermont Technical College program.

American Association of Respiratory Care Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct

In the conduct of professional activities, the Respiratory Therapist shall be bound by the following ethical and professional principles. Respiratory Therapists shall:

  • Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, supports objectivity, and fosters trust in the profession and its professionals.
  • Promote and practice evidence-based medicine.
  • Seek continuing education opportunities to improve and maintain their professional competence and document their participation accurately.
  • Perform only those procedures or functions in which they are individually competent and which are within their scope of accepted and responsible practice.
  • Respect and protect the legal and personal rights of patients, including the right to privacy, informed consent, and refusal of treatment.
  • Divulge no protected information regarding any patient or family unless disclosure is required for the responsible performance of duty as authorized by the patient and/or family, or required by law.
  • Provide care without discrimination on any basis, with respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals.
  • Promote disease prevention and wellness.
  • Refuse to participate in illegal or unethical acts.
  • Refuse to conceal, and will report, the illegal, unethical, fraudulent, or incompetent acts of others.
  • Follow sound scientific procedures and ethical principles in research.
  • Comply with state or federal laws which govern and relate to their practice.
  • Avoid any form of conduct that is fraudulent or creates a conflict of interest, and shall follow the principles of ethical business behavior.
  • Promote health care delivery through improvement of the access, efficacy, and cost of patient care.
  • Encourage and promote appropriate stewardship of resources.
  • Work to achieve and maintain respectful, functional, beneficial relationships and communication with all health professionals. It is the position of the American Association of Respiratory Care that there is no place in a professional practice environment for lateral violence and bullying among respiratory therapists or between healthcare professionals.

Classroom and lab expectations

Students in the respiratory therapy program will always conduct themselves in a manner that serves to maintain, promote and enhance a high quality academic environment.  To this end, it is expected that all members of the learning community will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes.
  • Students are expected to arrive prepared for class and on time, and remain in class until the class is dismissed.
  • Students will treat all members of the learning community with respect.  Toward this end, students will promote academic discourse and the free exchange of ideas by listening with civil attention to comments made by all individuals.
  • Students are to maintain an appropriate academic climate by refraining from all actions that disrupt the learning environment. Cell phones may not be used in class or lab unless directed by the instructor.

Class Attendance Policy

  • Students are expected to attend and participate fully in each class.  If unable to attend a class due to illness or personal commitment, students should contact the instructor.
  • A grade of zero will be recorded for all missed individual quizzes, team quizzes and team exercises.
  • Quizzes and exercises cannot be made-up.
    • Two individual quizzes, two team quizzes and five team exercises will be dropped from the course gradebook to accommodate a student’s need to miss two classes during a course.
  • Make-up exams will be given on a specific day and at a specific time (to be determined by instructor) to those students who contact the instructor on or before the day of the exam to give the instructor a reason for missing the exam.
  • A make-up exam will not be given if the student does not make arrangements on or before the day of the exam.
  • Students attending class on the day of an exam will not be allowed to schedule a make-up exam.

Lab Attendance Policy

  • Two lab sessions can be missed without a grade change.  After the second lab absence, the course grade will be lowered five percentage points for each additional absence.
  • All missed lab sessions must be made up prior to the next scheduled lab at a time scheduled by the instructor.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor and arrange a make-up time on or before the day of the lab.   If a student does not contact the instructor on or before the day of the lab or if a missed lab session is not made up prior to the next scheduled lab, the student will not be allowed to participate in the next scheduled lab session and will be considered absent from this session.
  • Neither student nor faculty schedules allow much time for flexibility; students are advised to be conscientious about lab attendance as the instructor may only be able to make up a lab with a student during a time when the student has another class scheduled.

Late Arrival Policy for Classes and Labs

  • Students should be in the classroom or lab and ready to begin at the start time of the scheduled class or lab time.
  • When arriving late to class, students will not be allowed to attempt any quizzes or exams already in progress nor participate in team exercises already in progress.
  • A grade of zero will be recorded for all quizzes, exams and exercises missed because of late arrival to class.
  • Arriving to lab more than 30 minutes late or leaving lab more than 30 minutes before the end of the lab will count as a lab absence.

Clinical expectations

Requirements for Clinical Placement

  • Documentation of a background check is required before August 1 in order to be eligible to enroll in fall Respiratory Therapy courses.
  • Documentation of a health history and physical exam, specified immunizations, TB screening test results and proof of health insurance are required before October 15 to be eligible to enroll in spring Respiratory Therapy courses.
  • Documentation of flu vaccination is required before November 15 of each year in order to be scheduled for spring clinical sessions.
  • Annual renewal of TB screening test must be documented in order to attend any scheduled clinical sessions. The attendance policy will apply to all missed clinical days.
  • CPR certification is required before clinical practice and will be provided by the Respiratory Therapy Program.
  • Prior to placement at clinical sites, students receive information on the principles of infection control including hand hygiene, isolation practices, blood borne pathogens, and handling of biohazardous waste.
  • During orientation to clinical sites, each site provides a review of hospital safety policies and procedures.
  • Students must comply with the blood borne pathogens exposure control plan of the clinical site at which the exposure occurs.
  • During orientation to clinical sites, students must sign a confidentiality statement to abide by HIPPAA confidentiality regulations.
  • Students must adhere to universal infection control precautions including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments.
  • Students who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis must refrain from all direct patient care and from handling patient-care equipment and devices used in performing invasive procedures until the condition resolves.
  • Students will comply with current guidelines for disinfection and sterilization of reusuable devices used in invasive procedures.
  • Drug Screening Policy:  When students are going to practice in a clinical agency, they are expected to abide by the agency contractual requirements and regulations as well as the college regulations. Some clinical agencies require pre-clinical practice drug screening. To be in compliance with the college’s contractual agreement with these clinical agencies, students attending clinical practice at any of these sites must meet this obligation as per the following policy.
    • Pre-clinical Drug Screening: Acceptance into the respiratory therapy program is provisional until all pre-clinical practice requirements are met. Some students will be required to undergo and have a negative drug screening prior to the beginning their clinical practice experiences. These students will be notified of the drug screening requirement at the time of admission. Students will be provided instructions on the procedure for drug screening. The agency conducting the screening will be chosen by the college and only this agency may be used. There are no exceptions to this policy. Failure to appear for drug testing is considered a positive screening result. Students are responsible for all costs associated with the required pre-clinical drug screening.
    • The agency conducting the drug screening will report either a positive or negative result to the college. Should a positive report be returned to the college, the student may appeal the report to the drug screening agency one time. This appeal for a retest and review will be based on the original sample provided. All decisions made by Vermont Technical College (VTC) related to the drug screen results will be based on the report from the screening agency. VTC will not consider any appeals related to decisions based on the drug screen results. A positive drug screen report will result in the student not being admitted to or allowed to continue in the VTC respiratory therapy program. Students who are delayed in having the results of drug screen reported may attend class, but may not engage in agency clinical practice activities. Inability to participate in agency clinical activities will be recorded as a clinical absence. The student with a positive drug screen may reapply for admission to the VTC respiratory therapy program after one year of the positive drug screen finding.
    • Drug screen results will be made available by the screening agency to the Director of Clinical Education, Program Director and the Dean of Student Affairs. This information will be held confidentially on a secured server. Should the student not meet the pre-clinical requirements due to a positive drug screen, the Director of Clinical Education and the Dean of Student Affairs will be notified. Individual student drug screen information will be released to clinical agencies only with written student permission.

Clinical Schedule

  • All students will be expected to travel to sites at a distance from their primary learning site.
  • Students will be given a clinical schedule for each semester prior to the first day of clinical.
  • Students will have the opportunity to voice any scheduling requests prior to the schedule being completed, however, there is no guarantee that all requests will be granted.
  • Students are expected to have the designated clinical days free from other obligations.
  • Students are not permitted to attend a clinical rotation that has not been assigned without permission from the Director of Clinical Education. This includes switching shifts with another student.
  • Students may not attend clinical on a non-clinical day unless making up missed time and permission has been obtained from the Director of Clinical Education ahead of time.

Clinical Attendance Policy

Clinical practice is an integral part of the VTC respiratory therapy program. Absences from the clinical practice may lead to the student’s inability to meet the clinical course requirements. Course requirements must be met for students to pass the clinical course. The following policies govern the attendance for students in the respiratory therapy program.

  • Clinical time is critical to the educational process. Because of limited clinical time, excessive lost time in the clinical area could jeopardize the ability to safely care for clients.
  • All missed clinical time is counted.
  • After a student reaches a week’s worth of clinical absences per semester, the student will receive an absent time warning letter sent by the course instructor.
  • After an additional clinical absence, the student will receive an additional absent time warning letter and will be presented to the Director of Clinical Education and the Program Director for possible dismissal from the program. This decision will be made by considering whether the student is currently meeting clinical objectives. If the clinical faculty or the Director of Clinical Education feel that the student is not meeting the objectives due to excessive absent time, the student may be referred to the Program Director for a decision regarding continuation in the program. If the student is found to be meeting the objectives despite missing the maximum time, he/she will be allowed to continue in the clinical course, but each subsequent absence will trigger the faculty review process to determine continuation in the program.
  • One week’s worth of clinical absence will not be made-up.
  • All missed clinical time after one week’s worth of missed clinical time must be made-up.
  • Students are to attend all scheduled clinical time. If an urgent concern occurs and the student leaves clinical and misses more than 25% of a clinical shift, the student will be considered absent for the entire shift. The student must notify the assigned clinical preceptor of the need to leave, clock out of their time clock before leaving, and email the course instructor regarding the need to urgently leave by the end of the day.
  • Students are required to come to the clinical area prepared to safely care for assigned patients. Students must review appropriate clinical skills as taught in skills laboratories and complete an adequate chart review. Students not adequately prepared will be considered unsafe and asked to leave the clinical area. This absence will be counted as a clinical absence.

Clinical Call-Out Policy

  • The student must email the Director of Clinical Education and call the clinical site at least one hour prior to the scheduled beginning of the shift.
  • It is not acceptable for anyone other than the student to call-out for a shift.
  • The student must document a sick day using the Data Arc Time Clock.
  • Students who call-out incorrectly or do not document an absence in Data Arc will be counseled using the Clinical Warning System for Unsatisfactory Behavior outlined in this handbook.

Clinical Late Arrival Policy

  • Students should be at their assigned clinical area and ready to begin work at the beginning of the assigned clinical shift.
  • Students arriving between 1 – 15 minutes late will be allowed to participate in the clinical shift but will be counseled using the Clinical Warning System for Unsatisfactory Behavior policy.
  • Students arriving more than 15 minutes late will not be permitted to participate in the clinical shift, the day will count as an absence, and the clinical absence policy will apply.
  • Students should follow the call-out procedure if anticipating arriving more than 15 minutes late.

Clinical Agency Policy

When students are at clinical sites, they are expected to abide by clinical site rules and regulations, as well as the school site regulations. Many clinical site buildings and grounds are smoke free. Students are expected to abide by smoke free polices.

Student Health Policy

  • Students are responsible for their own health care and incurred costs. When students become ill or injured while in the clinical area, they are to report to the clinical instructor to assist in arrangements for patient care. The Clinical Education Coordinator of the clinical site will always be notified of any illness or injury that occurs in the clinical area.  The hospital emergency room is designed to care for true emergencies, NOT colds, sore throats, etc. Students are responsible for their own medical bills.
  • Students must provide proof of health insurance or carry the Vermont Technical Colleges student health insurance policy.
  • For the protection of the student, the patient, or other students, any exposure to infectious disease must be reported to the Clinical Education Coordinator of the clinical site and the Director of Clinical Education. The Director of Clinical Education may request a physical examination by a physician of the student’s choice if this seems necessary.

Appearance/Uniform Policy

To inspire patient comfort and confidence in the caregiver, students are expected to appear in complete uniform and exhibit professional demeanor at all times while in clinical areas.

When attending clinical rotations and lab sessions at hospitals:

  • Hunter green scrubs are required.
  • Scrubs are to be clean, pressed and in good condition (not frayed, ripped or with holes).
  • Pants must cover the entire leg and be short enough that they do not touch the floor.
  • Clothing should cover the torso and have wide shoulder straps.
  • Shorts, skorts, tank tops, T-shirts, tube tops, sweatshirts, sweatpants, or running suits are not acceptable attire.
  • Clothing with commercial slogans or pictures is not acceptable attire.
  • Clothing should not be tight fitting and should be appropriate to perform work and in a length, not to exceed four inches above the knee.
  • A solid, neutral colored shirt can be worn underneath uniform tops for warmth.
  • A student name pin/badge/photo ID required in the clinical setting per facility policy must be worn at all times in the clinical area.
  • Hair must be kept away from the face at all times.  There shall be no ornamentation in the hair.  If something is needed to keep the hair confined, it should be non-ostentatious.
  • Males can have a mustache and a beard.  The mustache must be neatly trimmed.  The beard must also be neatly sculpted to the face.  Otherwise, males must be clean-shaven.
  • Clean shoes with a back strap and closed toes are appropriate.  Perforated clogs are not acceptable in the clinic.
  • Socks are to be worn.
  • Hand jewelry is limited to a single ring without stones and with a smooth surface.
  • Very small, single, stud-type earrings may be worn.
  • No other jewelry is permissible.
  • Nails must be kept short.  Colored nail polish and acrylic nails may not be worn.
  • Gum chewing is not permitted in clinical areas.
  • Colognes and perfumes should not be used in patient care areas due to patient allergies and reactions.
  • The odor of cigarettes is not allowed nor tolerated.
  • Tattoos deemed offensive by the clinical facility, clinical instructor and/or clinical education coordinator will be covered.
  • A stethoscope, a clinical handbook, a pen with black ink and a watch calibrated to count seconds are required.

When attending clinical rotations at alternate sites:

  • When casual clothing is required instead of scrubs, the dress policy for clinical rotations at hospitals applies except the requirement to wear scrubs.

Performance Evaluation

Self-Evaluations

As part of clinical experiences, respiratory therapy students will be expected to complete self-evaluations three times during a semester. In completing the self-evaluation form, students are to consider the following:

  • Summary Report of Daily Evaluations
  • Number of Instructor Evaluations Performed
  • Number of Required Clinical Competencies Completed
  • Number of Daily Logs Completed
  • Clinical Attendance

Self-evaluations provide an opportunity for the student to analyze individual behaviors and receive feedback and validation from the Director of Clinical Education. Individual communication about clinical objectives is facilitated when the student and the Director of Clinical Education review the student’s progress as the semester proceeds. Evaluations will reflect clinical expectations at each semester level.

Daily Evaluations

The clinical preceptor will complete daily evaluations at the end of each clinical shift. The student may state disagreement with the clinical preceptor’s evaluation, either verbally or in writing to the Director of Clinical Education.

Students will summarize the results of current Daily Evaluations on Self Evaluations that occur three times each semester.

Clinical Competencies

Competencies have been defined as the behavior expected of beginning respiratory therapists, that includes psychomotor skills, knowledge of fundamental concepts, problem solving, and the ability to communicate to patients and other health care providers. The behavior must be performed at or above a satisfactory level defined by standards and accomplished without assistance.

Professionalism

Students in the respiratory therapy program are expected to assume and maintain an ethical and professional responsibility and respect for themselves, their patients, colleagues and the faculty. These personal qualities are essential for students to meet expected curricular obligations. Daily student behaviors that reflect these attributes include, but are not limited to:

  • Appears neat and well-groomed in appropriate attire.
  • Arrives to clinical prepared and on-time.
  • Dependable and skillful completion of assigned tasks.
  • Effectively consults, integrates and shares information with members of the health care team.
  • Friendly, helpful, loyal and speaks with good purpose.
  • Seeks constructive feedback, accepts guidance, and changes behavior for personal improvement.
  • Demonstrates respect, sensitivity and consideration for others while anticipating and attending to patient’s and family’s needs for comfort and help.
  • Exhibits concern for the dignity and welfare of patients and other health care practitioners; prevents conflict of interest; takes measures to deal with conflict effectively.
  • Communicates in a concise manner relating appropriate and complete information; maintains confidentiality.
  • Plans ahead, works efficiently and manages time wisely.
  • Self-directed and manages work responsibility.
  • Self-confident, seeks assistance when appropriate, respects professional boundaries and remains calm in stressful situations.
  • Readily initiates learning activities and participates willing in learning activities.

Clinical Warning System for Unsatisfactory Behavior

Clinical warnings may be issued to students for unsatisfactory clinical behavior at the discretion of the Director of Clinical Education. An unsatisfactory student behavior will be documented on a daily or effective clinical evaluation.

Students may review documentation of clinical warnings at any time with the Program Director. At each of the following warning steps, the student has the right to initiate an Appeal which must be submitted within 48 hours in writing to the Program Director.

Level I Clinical Warning

The Director of Clinical Education and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance. A written Level I Clinical Warning report describing the situation(s) will be placed in the student’s record, and the student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident. The Director of Clinical Education will provide a copy of this warning to the Program Director. If the unsatisfactory or unsafe performance reappears, or any other pattern of inappropriate behavior occurs, a Level II Clinical Warning will be given.

Level II Clinical Warning

A Level II Clinical Warning may be issued for recurrence of a specific performance for which the student has previously received a Level I Clinical Warning or additional inappropriate performance of a different nature subsequent to the original Level I Clinical Warning. The Director of Clinical Education and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance. A written Level II Clinical Warning report clearly describing the situation(s), the specific performance observed, a summary of the discussion of the specific performance, and the rationale and plan for remediation will be placed in the student’s record. The student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident. The Director of Clinical Education will provide a copy of this Warning to the Program Director.

Level III Final Clinical Warning

If the Director of Clinical Education notes that Level II Clinical Warning performance has continued or that additional unsatisfactory performance occurred, the student will receive a Level III Clinical Warning. The student will be required to meet with Director of Clinical Education and the Program Director to participate in the corrective action plan and goal setting. The student may bring a support person who will be a silent witness. The student may remain on a Level III Clinical Warning, and could receive multiple Level III Clinical Warnings until the end of the semester if performance does not improve. Level III clinical warnings are equivalent to failure and if sufficient improvement is not demonstrated by the end of the semester, the student will have earned a failing clinical grade and will be dismissed from the Program.

*Note: If the specific unsatisfactory performance is of grave nature as judged by the Clinical Coordinator of a site, the Director of Clinical Education, the Program Director and the Dean of Academic Affairs, immediate administrative dismissal from the Respiratory Therapy Program may be in order. Performance of a grave nature includes, but is not limited to: serious safety violations; actions inconsistent with scope of practice; and unlawful or unethical acts. Also, at the discretion of the Director of Clinical Education or Program Director, a student may be given a Level II or Level III Clinical Warning at any point in time based on the severity of the performance. Prior to an administrative dismissal from the Respiratory Therapy Program, the Program Director will discuss the student’s performance with the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Clinical Warning Appeals

Students have the right to due process.  The student should send a written appeal to the Program Director within 48 hours of receiving a clinical warning that leads to dismissal.  While the student is in the appeals process, he/she may remain in the program and participate fully in all course work until a determination on the appeal is made. The only exception is the appeal of a clinical dismissal for patient safety violations. In this case, the student will be suspended from the clinical environment, until a decision regarding the appeal is final. Appeals of clinical warnings will be reviewed by the Program Director, the Director of Clinical Education and the Dean of Academic Affairs. A final decision will be a made by the Program Director in conjunction with the Dean of Academic Affairs. The student will be notified of a final decision within 5 business days of receipt of the written student appeal.

Re-Admission After Clinical Dismissal

  • Any student, who has been dismissed for clinical failure and would like to request readmission to the VTC respiratory therapy program, will submit this request in writing to the Program Director. Such a letter should discuss action taken by the student to alleviate or correct the problem which led to the clinical failure. All students’ petitions will be presented to the Program Director for consideration. The Program Director will discuss the issue, and recommend admission or not-readmission to the Dean of Academic Affairs. The student will be notified of this recommendation by letter.
  • All applicants who have been out of the Respiratory Therapy Program for less than one academic year (9 months) must meet with the Respiratory Therapy Program Director to discuss skills updating including the possibility of remediation.  This may require the applicant to repeat respiratory courses and purchase new supplies and or textbooks.
  • All applicants who have been out of the Respiratory Therapy Program for one academic year (9 months) or more must repeat all the Respiratory Therapy courses without exception.  In addition, the purchase of new supplies and textbooks will most likely be necessary.
  • No student will be readmitted to the program more than once.
  • No student who has been administratively dismissed from the respiratory therapy program will be readmitted into the respiratory therapy program.

Other Clinical Guidelines

  • Respiratory therapy students have a legal and moral obligation to hold in confidence any information pertaining to the client. Violation of the client’s right to privacy will result in disciplinary actions by the program administrators, and may result in dismissal from program and/or legal action.
  • Vermont Technical College respiratory therapy students must not visit friends, relatives, or other patients when they are in the clinical area functioning under the supervision of a clinical instructor. Student visits during visiting hours must conform to behaviors as any other lay visitor. Vermont Tech is not responsible for student action or behaviors in these circumstances. Avoid visiting when in uniform.

Academic Progression in the Respiratory Therapy Program

Respiratory Therapy Program Academic Progression

  • Students must complete all RSP and BIO courses with a grade of “C” or higher to continue in the program. Any grade lower than a 75% (the equivalent of a “C”) will be considered a failing grade in that course.  Students may not progress from one semester to another without successful completion of all preceding courses.
  • Grades lower than the required 75% will be reflected on the transcript with the corresponding letter grade, so credits may be awarded for any grade above an “F”, but students will not continue to progress or graduate from Vermont Technical College’s Respiratory Therapy program unless their grades conform with the standards stated here.
  • Assignments and exam grades will be calculated to the nearest “one hundredth”, and the final course grade will be calculated to the nearest whole number.

Grading Scale for Respiratory Therapy Courses

A+   97 – 100
A     92 – 96
A-    90 – 91
B+   87 – 89
B     85 – 86
B-    80 – 84
C+   77 – 79
C     75 – 76
C-    70 – 74
D+   67 – 69
D     65 – 66
D-    60 – 64
F      below 60

Withdrawal or Academic Dismissal and Re-Admission Policy

  • A student requesting re-admission should understand that changes in courses and/or prerequisites might have occurred since the date of withdrawal, therefore the requested date of re-admission will take precedence over an earlier catalog enrollment date.
  • A student who exits the Respiratory Therapy Program for any reason is not guaranteed re-admission.
  • All re-admissions are on a space available basis and are reviewed outside of the standard candidate selection process.
  • At the time of withdrawal from the Respiratory Therapy Program, the student must have an exit interview with the Respiratory Therapy Program Director within 10 days of leaving the program to discuss a plan for re-entering the program at a later date.  Applicants without an early exit interview on file with the department will not be allowed re-admission to the program.
  • The applicant must contact the admissions office and request that application to the respiratory therapy program be reactivated and submit current transcripts.
  • The applicant must submit a written request for re-admission to the Admissions Office at least 60 days prior to the requested date of readmission.  This request will include a summary of work, educational or other life experience obtained since leaving the respiratory therapy program.
  • The Vermont Technical College Admissions Office will review the re-activated application packet, along with the plan for re-entering the program to determine whether re-admission will be granted or denied. All applicants will be notified in writing as to their application status.
  • All applicants who have been out of the Respiratory Therapy Program for less than one academic year (9 months) must meet with the Program Director to discuss skills updating including the possibility of remediation.  This may require the applicant to repeat respiratory therapy courses and purchase new supplies and/or textbooks.
  • All applicants who have been out of the Respiratory Therapy Program for one academic year (9 months) or more must repeat all the respiratory therapy courses without exception.  In addition, the purchase of new supplies and text books will most likely be necessary.

Additional Policies

Working as a Student Respiratory Therapist in Vermont

  • Students employed to perform respiratory care services under supervision and not as part of their clinical program shall apply for a student temporary license prior to performing respiratory care services. A student may apply for a student temporary license after beginning his or her third semester of study. The application will be made on forms provided by the Vermont Director of Professional Regulation and will include the designation of a Vermont licensed supervisor of record willing to take responsibility for the student therapist.
  • After obtaining a student temporary license, a student may render respiratory care services under the direct supervision of a Vermont licensed respiratory care practitioner. The student’s scope of practice is limited to those activities for which the supervisor has documented the student’s competency.
  • All “employee work” hours must be done outside of scheduled lab, lecture and clinical hours.
  • Students shall not complete any clinical coursework while in “employee work” hours.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones may not be used in class, lab or clinical unless directed by the instructor.  Students must follow clinical agency policies, including use of cell phones and the Social Media Policy in this handbook.

Closing (School)

Closing and delays stemming from inclement weather have historically been very rare in the respiratory therapy program. Because hospitals do not close, our respiratory therapy students must become accustomed to planning ahead for inclement weather. However, if weather is such that closing or delayed opening is advisable, a decision will be made by 6:00 a.m. and will be carried as soon as possible in the school delay announcements of the radio stations posted on the school bulletin board, communicated by telephone tree, or placed on the Moodle web site. Closings may vary by site; not all sites may be closed on any given day.

Fire/Evacuation Procedure

Students will be apprised of the procedure for the evacuation of the college or clinical environments at each agency.

Substance Abuse Policy

In conjunction with the Vermont Technical College Code of Conduct and Substance Abuse statements, the following Respiratory Therapy Program policy has been adopted.

  • Students will not report to the classroom, lab, or clinical area while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • If a respiratory therapy student is suspected of being impaired (i.e. slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, ambulatory problems, inability to comprehend or follow oral or written direction, or other such indications) in a clinical or other college setting, the student’s course instructor, clinical instructor or other college or clinical official should, whenever possible, seek verification of such suspicion by another college instructor or official or clinical instructor or clinical official.
  • If, after evaluation, the clinical instructors or other appropriate officials believe the student is impaired, the student shall be required to safely leave the clinical or academic setting immediately.
  • The course or clinical instructor will document the reason(s) for suspecting that a student is impaired and this documentation will be signed by the course or clinical instructor who suspected student impairment, a witness to the student’s behavior at the time, and the student.
  • The instructor or other appropriate official will immediately inform the Program Director, Director of Clinical Education or Clinical Education Coordinator when a student has exhibited signs of impairment that warrant dismissal from a class or clinical setting
  • A student who is dismissed from a class or clinical setting for impairment due to alcohol or drugs will be required to meet with the Director of Clinical Education before the student is allowed to return to class or the clinical setting. The student will sign and receive a copy of a document that specifies that he or she agrees to meet performance standards regarding professional conduct and the consequences of reporting to class or clinical while impaired. The student’s failure to comply with the conditions of this document will be grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal from the college and the student will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs and The Dean of Student Affairs for appropriate disciplinary and/or academic process and action.

Social Media Policy

The respiratory therapy faculty, in consultation with the Program Director, will enforce and adhere to Vermont Technical College Policy T123 “Social Media” and will follow the recommended process as outlined in the Vermont Tech Policies and Procedures Manual.

Cheating and Plagiarism

The respiratory therapy faculty, in consultation with the Program Director, will enforce and adhere to Vermont Technical College Policy T107 “Cheating and Plagiarism” and will follow the recommended process as outlined in the Vermont Tech Policies and Procedures Manual.

Honesty

It is an expectation that all members of the Vermont Tech community will be honest and forthcoming in their dealings with others, and truthfully answer questions put to them by Administrators of the College. This includes conveying information which the student knows or should know to be false, including but is not limited to: forging, altering, or entering false information into the College record, at a College proceeding, or to a member of the College community; or impersonating a member of the College community. Any student accused of academic dishonesty will get a hearing before the College Disciplinary Board to determine their level of responsibility. Dishonesty may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to expulsion from the College. For a full statement of policy and procedures see VTC Policy T107 in the Vermont Tech Policies and Procedures Manual.

Nursing Handbook

The Vermont Tech Student Handbook includes information about campus resources, safety information, and a compilation of official policies of the College. Please be aware that all students are responsible for reading and knowing the contents of the Vermont Tech Student Handbook and for abiding by all College rules and regulations. […]

The Vermont Tech Student Handbook includes information about campus resources, safety information, and a compilation of official policies of the College. Please be aware that all students are responsible for reading and knowing the contents of the Vermont Tech Student Handbook and for abiding by all College rules and regulations.

Rules and policies are reviewed annually and may be changed at any time.

Welcome

Welcome to the Vermont Tech nursing department. We are pleased that you are a nursing student in one of our programs. This section of the handbook has been designed to share specific nursing department information with practical nursing (PN), associate degree in nursing (ADN), and bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) students. Please review the following:

• The faculty’s and staff’s beliefs about nursing and nursing education
• The conceptual framework upon which the programs are delivered
• The expected program outcomes for nursing students
• The behavioral expectations of nursing students
• The polices that govern progression through the program levels

The nursing department faculty and staff look forward to working with you as you progress toward your goal of becoming a nurse.

Mission

Providing an accessible, seamless educational pathway that leads to professional expertise in nursing and lifelong learning in Vermont and neighboring communities.

Philosophy

Nursing is a discipline and a profession, a science and an art grounded in caring that provides holistic person-centered care with respect and dignity while promoting the health of society. Nursing theoretical perspectives guide the program of study. Individuals possess unique spiritual, social, cultural, intellectual, and physical attributes and have varying capabilities. The nature of our state and demographic trends are important in planning, as nurses focus on the health and wellness desires and needs of a dynamic multicultural society, maximizing living quality throughout the lifespan.

Collaboration among faculty and students encourages a spirit of inquiry, personal growth, and societal development. The career ladder model offers a smooth transition for the PN graduate to advance to the ADN level and then to the BSN level. Vermont Tech nursing believes that providing this opportunity is our responsibility as educators. There are different entry levels within nursing. The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), an integral part of nursing within the healthcare field, utilizes the nursing process under the direction of a Registered Nurse (RN), licensed physician, or dentist. Nursing education prepares the LPN to master competence in basic nursing skills to deliver care for patients whose conditions are relatively stable. LPNs provide teaching, maintain safe practice, and execute leadership within the scope of their practice and are responsible for maintaining and improving their competencies through continuing education.

The ADN represents the entry level of practice for the RN. The ADN collaborates with healthcare team, utilizes the nursing process by incorporating evidence from current research to establish a plan of care for individuals with complex health problems across the lifespan. The ADN delegates and supervises nursing interventions, maintains safe practice, provides teaching, and advocates for patients. The ADN demonstrates responsibility with provision of care for patients of all ages with complex healthcare needs. The ADN graduate recognizes the importance of continuing education, research, professional development, active participation in committees, and professional and community organizations.

The BSN is an evolving scholar striving for excellence as an innovative problem-solver incorporating holistic, multi-cultural, caring principles into practice. The BSN forms collaborative partnerships within organizations and communities, influencing health reform and policy, locally and globally. Utilizing advanced communication techniques, theory, health assessment, management, and leadership skills, the BSN mentors others in planning care, building evidence-based solutions, and conducting research that contributes to the discipline.  Through teaching and advocating for the patient, and through communicating effectively with stakeholders involved in healthcare, the BSN utilizes critical thinking skills, and engages with diverse communities locally and globally. BSNs manage information, incorporate technological developments to provide high-quality care, and provide transformational leadership to guide the direction of nursing and the future of health care.

Nurses are life-long learners who recognize that individuals, families, and communities attain unique life quality and meaning.  Using the ladder model, nurses can unite to integrate simultaneity and totality paradigm perspectives across borders, with all parts considered meaningful, yet together worth more than a sum of the parts, for the betterment of nursing and humanity.

Nursing Program Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of the Vermont Technical College nursing programs view each individual as a uniquely functioning human being affected by the environment, the community, the family, and by all significant relationships in a complex and dynamic society. Additionally, the program regards the individual as one who aspires toward a maximum level of self-care in spite of currently existing health deficits. As a result, the curriculum for the preparation of both PNs and ADNs has been designed utilizing Dorothea Orem’s Theory of Self-Care within the conceptual framework.

The teaching/learning of the nursing student proceeds in a sequential fashion from simple to complex and normal to abnormal. Additionally, students are introduced to the concepts of health promotion as well as health maintenance. The academic program includes a broad range of courses designed to introduce the student to intellectual thought processes. Interwoven throughout the program(s) are the threads of the conceptual framework and critical thinking exercises which demonstrate the decision-making capacity of students as they academically progress. The threads are: the nursing process, scientific principles, communication theory, ethical/legal principles, an understanding of the nursing role as a member of the interdisciplinary team, an understanding of the role of provider of care, teaching/learning principles, and responsibility for accountability/self-growth.

Nursing Student Program Outcomes

Graduates of each nursing program are provided learning opportunities which lead to the achievement of program specific outcomes.

Practical Nursing Program Outcomes

Each graduate of the practical nursing program, having proceeded in his/her course of study from an understanding of the concepts of normal to abnormal, simple to complex, and utilizing the program’s conceptual framework as a basis, will provide individualized nursing care as follows:

  1. Nursing Process: With guidance, employs the nursing process for selected clients to maintain, achieve, or regain their optimal level of self-care.
  2. Scientific Principles: Integrates knowledge of scientific, behavioral, and cultural principles in the care of selected clients in a variety of settings.
  3. Communication: Establishes collaborative relationships with members of the nursing and health team.
  4. Ethical/Legal: Supports the use of legal and ethical standards at the practical nurse level.
  5. Nursing Role: Assumes the role of member of the interdisciplinary team as a graduate practical nurse.
  6. Provider of Care: Provides care which maximizes the self-care potential of individuals across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
  7. Teaching/Learning: Contributes to the development of a teaching plan for the client with an alteration in basic self-care needs.
  8. Accountability/Self-Growth: Assumes responsibility for self-directed, goal-oriented growth.

Associate Degree Nursing Program Outcomes

In addition to the general requirements of all Vermont Tech associate degree programs, as outlined in the Vermont Tech catalog, the following program outcomes are expected for the Associate in Science degree with a major in Nursing:

  1. Nursing Process: Evaluates the plan of care, to assist clients with complex health care needs to maintain, achieve or regain their optimal level of self-care.
  2. Scientific Principles: Selects appropriate scientific, behavioral, and cultural principles for the care of clients with complex needs in diverse settings.
  3. Communication: Evaluates interpersonal skills in professional practice.
  4. Ethical/Legal: Incorporates into nursing practice legal/ethical standards of professional practice
  5. Nursing Role: Assumes the role of manager of care within the interdisciplinary team as a graduate professional nurse.
  6. Provider of Care: Competently delivers nursing care which maximizes the self-care potential of individuals with complex health needs in diverse settings
  7. Teaching/Learning: Evaluates a comprehensive teaching plan to meet the physical and emotional needs of individuals and groups with common and complex health care needs
  8. Accountability/Self-Growth: Is accountable for growth as individuals, as members of society, and as professional nurses.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Outcomes

Each graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, having progressed from understanding of the concepts of normal to abnormal, simple to complex, and utilizing the program’s conceptual framework as a basis, will in addition to the general requirements of all Vermont Tech Bachelor degree programs as outlined in the Vermont Tech catalog, integrate and synthesize the following program outcomes as follows:

  1. Nursing Process: Collaborate with clients, the inter-disciplinary team, and multiple care providers when planning care to establish client-centered goals to optimize wellness outcomes and evaluate care plan effectiveness for the individual, organization, and community.
  2. Scientific Principles: Engage applied sciences including scientific, behavioral, psychological, and cultural principles for the care of complex clients that incorporates global appreciation, understanding, and tolerance; and design evidence-based practice to improve patient care and health.
  3. Communication: Determine utilization of collaborative relationships with the health care team and the community to facilitate communication of team members to enhance care, promote quality care, and strategize utilization of technology, embracing diversity while evolving therapeutic communication techniques of presencing and dialogical exchange.
  4. Ethical/Legal: Integrate legal and ethical standards that encompass consideration of potential ethical dilemmas and promote self-integrity as well as consideration of benefit to the community, state, and nation’s health.
  5. Nursing Role: Help people flourish and find optimal meaning in their lived experiences, demonstrate sound nursing judgement, utilize critical thinking, develop scholarship, and ascertain how to promote the healthiest possible community, state, and nation.
  6. Provider of Care: Coordinate and co-lead the inter-disciplinary team; advocating for clients by compassionately caring for people and families using the art and science of nursing in theoretically/evidence-based practice.
  7. Teaching/Learning: Design a holistic teaching plan or pamphlet with understanding of the person, health, environment, and nursing.
  8. Accountability/Self-Growth: Strive for excellence through ongoing engagement in self-directed, lifelong learning with participation as an active member of society in their community, working with or becoming leaders; and developing their professional identity and ability to work with teams to create innovative or evidence-based solutions to problems.

Ethical Codes of Conduct

Vermont Tech nursing students are expected to engage in ethical practice as a nursing student by following the ethical codes of conduct for their level of nursing and by practicing expected behaviors. Students whose behavior is not consistent with these standards may be subject to dismissal from the program. Any violation of the ethical codes of conduct or violation of municipal, state or federal laws by a student must be reported to the Associate Dean of Nursing immediately. Review of the violation will be made to determine if the student may continue in the nursing program. A student who fails to report and fully disclose any violations of municipal, state, or federal laws resulting in civic or criminal charges may be dismissed from the nursing program.

Code of Ethics for Practical/Vocational Nurses

The Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Shall:

  1. Consider as a basic obligation the conservation of life and the prevention of disease.
  2. Promote and protect the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of the patient and his family.
  3. Fulfill all duties faithfully and efficiently.
  4. Function within established legal guidelines.
  5. Accept personal responsibility (for his/her acts) and seek to merit the respect and confidence of all members of the health team.
  6. Hold in confidence all matters coming to his/her knowledge, in the practice of his/her profession, and in no way at no time violate this confidence.
  7. Give conscientious service and charge just remuneration.
  8. Learn and respect the religious and cultural beliefs of his/her patient and of all people.
  9. Meet his/her obligation to the patient by keeping abreast of current trends in health care through reading and continuing education; and
  10. As a citizen of the United States of America, uphold the laws of the land and seek to promote legislation that will meet the health needs of its people.

(Courtesy of the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Services, Inc.)

ANA Code for Registered Nurses

  • Provision 1 | The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.
  • Provision 2 | The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.
  • Provision 3 | The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.
  • Provision 4 | The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care.
  • Provision 5 | The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth.
  • Provision 6 | The nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.
  • Provision 7 | The nurse, in all roles and settings, advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry, professional standards development, and the generation of both nursing and health policy.
  • Provision 8 | The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities.
  • Provision 9 | The profession of nursing, collectively through its professional organizations, must articulate nursing values, maintain the integrity of the profession, and integrate principles of social justice into nursing and health policy.

American Nurses Association (2015). Code of Ethics with Interpretive Statements. Retrieved from nursingworld.org

Behavior Expectations

Behavioral Standards for Nursing Students

The Vermont Tech nursing student shall:

General

  • converse in an effectively well-modulated voice with peers, faculty, agency personnel, staff, and patients
  • advocate for patients, families, visitors, and co-workers
  • focus communication on the patient, not on self
  • address the patient by their formal name, unless the patient requests otherwise
  • conduct self in the classroom, in clinical/preceptorship, and in the online learning environments in a professional, respectful manner

Attitude

  • accept directions and suggestions from instructor/preceptor or team member (initiates discussion whenever necessary)
  • accept and use constructive criticism from instructor/preceptor or team member (initiates discussion if not in agreement)
  • demonstrate honesty by responsibly completing what they said they would do
  • respect property rights of others by not stealing, borrowing without permission, or damaging others’ property
  • maintain confidentiality by discrete transfer of information
  • deal with stressful situations by obtaining appropriate assistance from instructor/preceptor and appropriate health team members

Relationships

  • maintain a constructive dialogue with staff, instructors/preceptors, patients, families, or peers in matters relating to patient care
  • share plan of care (verbal or written) with team member
  • volunteer assistance without jeopardizing own patient assignments
  • maintain appropriate nurse-patient relationship

Dependability

  • report on and off clinical practice/preceptorship on time and to the proper individual
  • start assignment promptly
  • proceed independently with familiar procedures and treatments
  • completes assignment in a timely manner
  • report any incomplete assignments to the responsible individual allowing time for work completion by appropriate others
  • comply with school attendance policies
  • notify proper person for unavoidable tardiness/absences according to school attendance policy

Responsibility

  • is consistently prepared for clinical practice/preceptorship
  • accepts responsibility for adequate preparation for the classroom learning environment, which includes significant study time outside of the classroom
  • carry out safe nursing care whether under supervision or not
  • seek guidance whenever necessary to carry out safe nursing care
  • convey (verbal or written) results to instructor/preceptor of findings suggested for independent study
  • submits written material which is the product of own research
  • report errors immediately
  • practice within the limits of the Nurse Practice Act
  • accept consequences of own actions through the use of “I” statements
  • wear uniform according to school/preceptorship agency policy
  • when unable to attend class, obtain any information missed from instructors/peers
  • follow the policies (smoking, documentation, etc.) of the various facilities
  • take examinations without incorporating the work of others

Classroom/Learning Environment Expectations

Class Attendance Policy

See specific course outline. Excessive classroom absence may impact the student’s ability to attend clinical due to insufficient theoretical learning. Students are expected to attend all regularly-scheduled classes. Classes and other learning experiences are rarely canceled due to inclement weather. Please follow the cancellation policy and procedure within your site/region.

Classroom Code of Conduct

Students in all Nursing and Health Professions programs will, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner that serves to maintain, promote and enhance a high quality academic environment. To this end, it is expected that all members of the learning community will adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes.
  2. Students are expected to arrive prepared for class and early to allow time to be settled and ready to begin at the official start time, and they will remain in class until the class is dismissed.
  3. Students will treat all members of the learning community with respect. Toward this end, they will promote academic discourse and the free exchange of ideas by listening with civil attention to comments made by all individuals.
  4. Students are to maintain an appropriate academic climate by refraining from all actions that disrupt the learning environment; this includes refraining from social media and internet “surfing”. Cell phones must be on silence and may not be used in class or clinical/preceptorship areas unless directed by the instructor/preceptor. Students must follow clinical agency policies, including use of cell phones and social media.
  5. No minors are permitted in the classroom/learning environment at any time.

Missed Exam Policy

Ten (10) points (based on 0-100% score) will be deducted from any exam score when the exam is taken after the scheduled exam period. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the exam make-up time with the instructor. Exams must be made up, at the instructor’s convenience, within seven (7) days of the original exam administration time or the student will earn a score of zero (0) on that exam.

Exceptions to the ten point deduction will be granted for the following circumstances:

  1. Death of an immediate family member: the student may decide whether to apply the ten point leniency to visiting the loved one prior to death, being with family immediately following the death or for attending a funeral. Immediate family members will be defined as spouse, children, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, step-children, step-parents and step- siblings, parent in-laws, children in-laws, sibling in-laws.
  2. Hospitalization of self or dependent minor at the time of the exam.
  3. Birth of the student’s child.
  4. Illness for which a medical provider note states that the student is unable to attend class.
  5. Court date that cannot be rescheduled.
  6. Military obligation.
  7. Other catastrophic event beyond the student’s control, at the discretion of the instructor.

Please note the above exceptions only apply to one exam per event. Students are expected to notify the instructor at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam time of anticipated absence. Failure to notify the instructor will nullify the ten point deduction exception. Documentation of the above events must be submitted to the instructor at the time of the make-up exam. The request to take an exam early because of an anticipated schedule conflict is rarely granted and is not sufficient to avoid the ten-point penalty. If a request to take an exam early is granted by the instructor, the exam can only be administered early on the same day of the scheduled exam time.

BSN missed exam policy may vary by course. Please see specific course outline.

Clinical/Preceptorship Expectations

Attendance Policy

Clinical practice/preceptor experiences are an integral part of the Vermont Tech nursing programs. Absences from clinical practice/preceptorship may lead to the student’s inability to meet the course requirements. Course requirements must be achieved in order to pass the clinical course/preceptorship. The following policies govern the attendance for students in the various programs.

Clinical Addendum to Nursing Policy on Absenteeism

*Addendum to current absence policy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, if a PN or ADN student misses more than the maximum clinical hours in any one semester, the student may be required to complete a clinical competency review with their clinical instructor either in the simulation lab or in clinical setting by the end of the semester, which may contribute to the decision as to whether or not the student may continue in the program.

PN Students

  1. Clinical time is critical to the educational process. Because of limited clinical time, excessive lost time in the clinical area could jeopardize the ability to safely care for clients. All missed clinical time is counted. After a student reaches twelve (12) hours of clinical absences per semester, the student will receive an absent time warning letter sent by the instructor; after eighteen (18) hours of clinical absences per semester, the student will receive an additional absent time warning letter and will be presented to the total faculty for possible dismissal from the program. If the student accrues additional absent time, they will be referred to the Associate Dean of Nursing for a decision regarding continuation in the program.
  2. There will be no makeup of missed clinical days.
  3. Students are required to come to the clinical area prepared to safely care for assigned patients. They must review appropriate clinical skills as taught in skills laboratories and complete an adequate chart review. Students not adequately prepared will be considered unsafe and asked to leave the clinical area. This absence will be counted as a clinical absence.

ADN Students

  1. Due to limited clinical time in the fall term, absences are limited to six (6) hours. After one absence, the student will receive an absent time warning letter. After twelve (12) hours of clinical absences, the student will receive an additional absent time warning letter and will be presented to the total faculty for possible dismissal from the program. During the spring term, clinical absences are limited to twelve (12) hours. After six (6) hours of absent time in the spring, the student will receive an absent time warning letter. After twelve (12) hours of absent time, the student will receive an additional absent time warning letter and will be presented to the total faculty for possible dismissal from the program. If the student accrues additional absent time, they will be referred to the Associate Dean of Nursing for a decision regarding continuation in the program.
  2. There will be no makeup of missed clinical days.
  3. Students must come to the clinical area prepared to safely care for assigned clients. They must review appropriate clinical skills as taught in skills laboratories and complete an adequate chart review as required by the faculty. Students not adequately prepared will be considered unsafe and asked to leave the clinical area. This absence will be counted as a clinical absence.

BSN Students

  1. Preceptorship expectation should be followed as outlined in the preceptorship handbook.

Performance Evaluation

Anecdotal Notes (PN and ADN Students)

The Anecdotal Note is a tool used to document and provide formative feedback on the student’s progress in meeting clinical learning objectives. Students and faculty review Anecdotal Notes on a weekly basis, or more frequently as needed.

Weekly Reflections (BSN Students)

Weekly reflection feedback will be provided by preceptors.

Self-Evaluations

As part of clinical/precepted experiences, nursing students will be expected to complete self- evaluations at the end of each semester. The criteria addressed on the evaluation are identical to the clinical learning objectives found on the course syllabus. In completing the self-evaluation form, students are to consider the following:

  1. Has the objective been met?
  2. How (in what manner) was the learning objective met?
  3. What are your clinical/precepted experience strengths?
  4. What areas in your clinical/precepted experiences need improvement?
  5. How are you meeting clinical/preceptorship learning objectives as they relate to theory?

Self-evaluations provide an opportunity for the student to analyze individual behaviors and receive feedback and validation from the clinical instructor/preceptor. Individual communication about clinical/preceptorship learning objectives is facilitated when the student and the clinical instructor/preceptor review the student’s progress as the rotation progresses. Evaluations will reflect clinical/preceptorship expectations at each semester level.

Instructor/Preceptor Evaluations

The clinical instructor will complete clinical evaluations at the end of each semester. BSN student preceptors will provide feedback to the primary course instructor for their consideration in student evaluations. Student absences are documented. The student and the clinical instructor will meet privately and discuss evaluations. The evaluation will be signed by the student and the clinical instructor/preceptor. The student may state disagreement with the evaluation, either verbally or in writing, and then sign the form. Signing the evaluation indicates that it has been read.

Satisfactory Behavior Examples

  • Utilizes the nursing process in the delivery of client care
  • Demonstrates respect for the dignity of self, client, family, and professions in all settings through actions, attitude, and appearance
  • Transfers previous and present knowledge of the objectives to the experiences
  • Initiates and maintains self-direction
  • Applies theory, principles, and skills at expected level
  • Demonstrates progressive semester level skill development
  • Recognizes own limitations
  • Seeks guidance when needed
  • Maintains confidentiality in the nurse/client relationship
  • Accepts responsibility for own actions
  • Demonstrates independent functioning in a progressive manner
  • Functions as a member of the health care team

Clinical Progression and Warnings (PN and ADN Students)

A passing grade in clinical (P) must be earned to pass a clinical co-requisite principles & practices course.

Unsatisfactory student behavior(s) will be documented on the weekly anecdotal note. At the discretion of the instructor, a Level I Clinical Warning may be issued for a non-starred behavior or a repetitive unsatisfactory behavior. If the unsatisfactory behavior is a starred (*) item, a Level I Clinical Warning will be issued. The Level I Clinical Warning report will state the problem, the discussion, and the subsequent action plan. If unsatisfactory performance continues, or if improvement does not occur, the student will be counseled, and a Level II Clinical Warning report will be completed. If unsatisfactory performance continues, the student will receive a Clinical Level III Warning report. If, at the conclusion of the semester, the student’s clinical performance does not warrant removal from Level III Warning status, the student has failed the clinical portion of the course. Clinical warnings are intended to be progressive; however, the severity of the unsatisfactory behavior may warrant starting at a Clinical Level II Warning. Egregious acts may warrant an immediate Clinical Level III Warning and dismissal from the clinical learning environment for dangerous and unsafe behavior.

At each warning step, the student has the right to initiate an Appeal which must be submitted within 48 hours in writing to the Associate Dean of Nursing.

Students may review this documentation at any time with the regional Site Director, their faculty, or Associate Dean of Nursing.

Level I, II, and III Clinical Warnings (PN and ADN Students)

Level I Clinical Warning
The clinical instructor and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance. A written Level I Clinical Warning report along with an Anecdotal Note describing the situation(s) will be placed in the student’s record, and the student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident. The clinical instructor will provide a copy of this warning to the Site Director. If the unsatisfactory or unsafe performance reappears, or any other pattern of inappropriate behavior occurs, a Level II Clinical Warning will be given.

Level II Clinical Warning
A Level II Clinical Warning may be issued for recurrence of a specific performance for which the student has previously received a Level I Clinical Warning or additional inappropriate performance of a different nature subsequent to the original Level I Clinical Warning. The clinical instructor and the student will have a conference concerning the need for improvement of unsatisfactory or unsafe performance. A written Level II Clinical Warning report clearly describing the situation(s), the specific performance observed, a summary of the discussion of the specific performance, and the rationale and plan for remediation will be placed in the student’s record. The student will receive a copy of this conference form within one week of the incident. The clinical instructor will provide a copy of this Warning to the Site Director.

Level III Final Clinical Warning
If the clinical instructor notes that Level II Clinical Warning performance has continued or that additional unsatisfactory performance occurred, the student will receive a Level III Clinical Warning. This will be discussed at a faculty meeting. The student will be required to meet with faculty to participate in the corrective action plan and goal setting. The student may bring a support person who will be a silent witness. The student may remain on a Level III Clinical Warning, and could receive multiple Level III Clinical Warnings until the end of the semester if performance does not improve. If a student remains on a Level III warning at the end of the semester, the student will receive a failing clinical grade. At the discretion of the clinical instructor, faculty, or Site Director, the student on a Level III warning may be placed in a “one-on-one” clinical experience to determine whether the student can safely be supervised in a clinical group. If during the “one-on-one” experience sufficient improvement is not able to be demonstrated, the student will have earned a failing clinical grade, will not be allowed to return to the clinical setting, and may be dismissed from the Program.

*Note: If the specific unsatisfactory performance is of grave nature (as judged by the faculty, clinical instructor, Site Director, Associate Dean of Nursing and/or Dean of Academic Affairs), immediate administrative dismissal may be in order. Performance of a grave nature includes, but is not limited to: serious safety violations; actions inconsistent with scope of practice; and unlawful or unethical acts. Also, at the discretion of the clinical instructor, faculty, or Site Director, a student may be given a Level II or Level III Clinical Warning at any point in time based on the severity of the performance. Prior to an administrative dismissal, the Associate Dean of Nursing will discuss the student’s performance with the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Clinical Warning Appeals

Students have the right to due process. The student should send a written appeal to the Associate Dean of Nursing within 48 hours of receiving a clinical warning that leads to dismissal. While the student is in the appeals process, he/she may remain in the program and participate fully in all course work until a determination on the appeal is made. The only exception is the appeal of a clinical dismissal for patient safety violations. In this case, the student will be suspended from the clinical environment, until a decision regarding the appeal is final. Appeals of clinical warnings will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Nursing and the Dean of Academic Affairs. A final decision will be a made by the Associate Dean of Nursing in conjunction with the Dean of Academic Affairs. The student will be notified of a final decision within 5 business days of receipt of the written student appeal.

Re-Admission After Clinical Dismissal/Preceptorship Failure

Any student, who has been dismissed for clinical failure and would like to request readmission to the Vermont Tech nursing programs, will submit this request in writing to the Associate Dean of Nursing. Such a letter should include an action plan taken by the student to alleviate or correct the problem which led to the clinical failure. All students’ petitions will be presented to the regional faculty for consideration. The faculty will discuss the issue, and recommend admission or not- readmission to the Associate Dean of Nursing. The student will be notified of this recommendation electronically and by letter. PN and ADN students who have been out of the program for more than one year will have to repeat the entire program. Students who have been out for less than one year will have to write a letter requesting readmission into the program. PN and ADN students who are eligible to return to the program must pass a Skills Test, administered by a faculty member or designee prior to being readmitted. Additional criteria related to readmission after clinical/preceptorship failure is as follows:

  1. No student will be readmitted to the program more than once.
  2. No student who has been administratively dismissed from the nursing program for unsafe or egregious clinical performance will be readmitted into the nursing program.

Other Clinical Guidelines

  1. Students are NOT allowed to witness the signing of consent forms, wills, or other documents.
  2. Nurses have a legal and moral obligation to hold in confidence any information pertaining to the patient. Violation of the patient’s right to privacy will result in disciplinary actions by the faculty, and may result in dismissal from program and/or legal action.
  3. Vermont Tech nursing students MUST NOT visit friends, relatives, or other patients when they are in the clinical area functioning under the supervision of an instructor/preceptor. Student visits during visiting hours must conform to behaviors as any other lay visitor. Vermont Tech is NOT responsible for student action or behaviors in these circumstances. Avoid visiting when in uniform.
  4. Co-signing charts policy: The patient’s chart shall be co-signed by the instructor/preceptor per agency protocol. The nursing instructor/preceptor’s signature means that the information written by the student is truthful and accurate to the best of the instructor/preceptor’s knowledge while supervising up to 10 students in the clinical area.

Academic Progression

Vermont Tech Nursing Department Grading System

Letter Grade Number Grade Quality Points
A 95-100 4.0
A- 90-94.99 3.7
B+ 87-89.99 3.3
B 84-86.99 3.0
B- 80-83.99 2.7
C+ 77-79.99 2.3 (PN & ADN course minimum)

76.99 or below = failure to progress in PN/ADN program

Letter Grade Number Grade Quality Points
C 75-76.99 2.0 (BSN course minimum)
C- 70-74.99 1.7
D+ 67-69.99 1.3
D 64-66.99 1.0
D- 60-63.99 0.7
F Below 60 0.0

NUR Principles and Practices Clinical Laboratory:

Letter Grade Number Grade Quality Points
P 75-100 0
NP <75 0

 

 

PN and ADN Programs

PN and ADN students must receive a grade of C+ (77) or more in all NUR courses, and a C (75) in BIO and PSY courses, in order to progress in the program. If a PN or ADN student in the last semester of his/her program does not achieve these grades, he/she will not be allowed to graduate.

Grades lower than the required 77 or 75 will be reflected on the transcript with the corresponding letter grade, so credits may be awarded for any grade above an F, but students will not continue to progress or graduate from Vermont Technical College’s nursing programs unless their grades conform with the standards stated here.

BSN Program

BSN students must receive a grade of C (75) in all NUR courses. If a BSN student receives a grade of less than 75, that student will be considered on probation, but can continue to take classes. They may retake the course once within a one-year period and will be removed from probation if they receive a C or greater in that repeated course. Student grades of C─ or less in the same course twice, or once in two separate courses, will be grounds for dismissal from the BSN program.

FOR ALL NUR COURSES, ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAM GRADES WILL BE CALCULATED TO THE NEAREST HUNDREDTH. THE FINAL COURSE GRADE WILL BE CALCULATED TO THE NEAREST HUNDREDTH AND WILL NOT BE ROUNDED.

Nursing students who wish to return to the nursing program after dismissal or withdrawal should see the Nursing Returning Student Policy.

Nursing Student Return Policy

Nursing Program Academic Progression

Vermont Tech offers students a comprehensive undergraduate nursing education, composed of the Practical Nursing certificate (PN), the Associate Degree Nursing degree (ADN) and the Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN). Students accepted into the Vermont Tech nursing program may request to progress directly through each program toward the bachelor’s degree or may choose to stop out after receiving the PN and/or ADN credentials.

To progress directly from the PN to the ADN level, a student must:

  • Declare their intent to progress via the electronic direct progression form no later than January 31 of the year they wish to progress.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point-average (G.P.A.) through each of the three PN semesters
  • Obtain the Practical Nursing License (LPN) during the summer between the PN and ADN years**

To progress directly from the ADN to the BSN level, a student must:

  • Declare their intent to progress via the electronic direct progression form no later than March 1 of the year they wish to progress
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative 2.5 G.P.A. through the PN and ADN levels
  • Obtain the Registered Nurse license during the summer after completing the ADN degree**

**Temporary Addendum for 2020-2021 Academic Year:

Due to COVID-19 and the diminished availability of NCLEX testing centers and limitations in testing dates and times, the Vermont Tech Nursing Department recognizes the potential difficulty in obtaining a testing date and time prior to the start of Fall classes.  Due to these difficulties, the Nursing Department has agreed to make the following amendments to our Academic Progression Requirements for the PN to ADN and ADN to BSN students.  This amendment is valid for the Fall of 2020 academic semester only. ADN and BSN students may continue in the respective nursing program if they have not yet received Nursing (PN/RN) Licensure provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Students must have applied for and received a temporary license from the Vermont, NH or NY Board of Nursing as appropriate for their cohort site prior to the start of classes on August 24th, 2020.
  • Students must be able to provide proof to their Site Director or BSN Advisor that they have a scheduled exam date and time for their NCLEX exam that is prior to the end date of the Fall Academic Semester.
  • The scheduled exam must be their first attempt at NCLEX testing and they cannot have previously failed the exam.
  • All students who take the NCLEX exam and fail prior to the end of the Add/Drop Period will be automatically dropped from their program.
  • All ADN students who take their NCLEX after the ADD/Drop period and fail will be allowed to continue in the program through the end of the first semester if they wish, but will not be able to continue beyond the Fall semester.
  • All BSN students who take the NCLEX after the ADD/Drop period and fail will be allowed to continue their Fall courses but will be unable to continue in the BSN program until proof of NCLEX pass and RN licensure is provided; no reapplication if within 2 semesters
  • All ADN students who wish to remain in the program must pass their NCLEX exam on the first attempt and provide proof of PN state licensure or they will not be allowed to continue to the Spring Semester.
  • Any ADN student who is dropped from the program due to their NCLEX testing can apply for re-admittance to the program for the next Academic year following the Vermont Tech Nursing Readmission Policy with the understanding that they are not guaranteed re-admittance and they must have a valid LPN (ADN) or RN (BSN) license prior to re-admittance.

Students wishing to take off a semester or more after completing the PN or ADN program may apply for re-admittance to the nursing program through the regular nursing program admissions process, but will not be guaranteed admittance.

While Vermont Tech guarantees direct progression from the PN to the ADN program for qualified students, it cannot guarantee direct progression at the same site at which the PN certificate was obtained. Because of the competitive demand for ADN slots and the limitations of clinical ADN placements in some areas of the state, some students may have to continue their nursing studies at a site other than their first choice or the site at which the PN certificate was obtained. Students progressing directly from the PN to the ADN level must request their first, second and third site preference for the ADN education the electronic direct progression form.

Vermont Tech Admissions will assign first priority to students requesting to remain at their PN site in order of GPA. Once the ADN slots are filled for any site, Vermont Tech Admissions will attempt to place students in the ADN site of their next highest stated preferences, if seats are available. Students whose first preference is to attend an ADN site other than that at which they took their PN program will be considered for the preferred site after qualified students attending that site for their PN have been offered a seat in that ADN program.

BSN Online Program

  • Our BSN program is offered entirely online with additional local precepted experiences.
  • The BSN program must be completed within six (6) consecutive years from the initial date of enrollment to the date of completion, regardless of continuous enrollment and/or leave of absence.
  • Students may take an approved leave of absence from the RN to BSN program for a maximum of one (1) calendar year.
  • Students wishing to take a leave of absence must submit an “Application for Leave of Absence” form and follow the Leave of Absence process as stated in the Vermont Tech course catalog.
  • If a student wishes to begin a leave of absence after the semester has begun, the one (1) year leave of absence time limit will start at the beginning date of that semester.
  • The student must submit written intent to return to the program to the Associate Dean of Nursing, the Academic Dean, and the Registrar’s office the semester immediately preceding the term the student wishes to restart classes.
  • If a student is not enrolled in RN to BSN courses for one semester and has not followed the leave of absence process, OR if they are absent from RN to BSN program enrollment for greater than one (1) year, the student must reactivate their file for the RN to BSN program via Admissions.

Learning Environment Policies

Appearance/Uniform Policy

In an effort to inspire patient comfort and confidence in the caregiver, students are expected to appear in complete uniform or other approved attire and exhibit professional demeanor at all times while in their respective clinical/preceptorship areas.

  • A school uniform is required and must be worn in the clinical and laboratory settings at all times.
  • Uniforms are to be clean and wrinkle-free.
  • Pants must cover the entire leg and be short enough that they do not touch the floor.
  • Students may wear a solid white ¾ sleeve cotton knit shirt underneath their uniform top for comfort, if permitted by the clinical agency.
  • A student name badge or photo ID required in the clinical setting, per facility policy, and must be worn any time the student is in the clinical/preceptorship area.
  • Hair must be confined, off the collar, and away from the face at all times. There shall be no ornamentation in the hair. Hair must be a natural color. If something is needed to keep the hair confined, it should be non-ostentatious. Gentlemen are allowed to have a moustache and a beard which must be neatly trimmed and close to the face. At the discretion of the instructor, the student may be asked to wear a beard bag if there is a concern for infection control. Otherwise, gentlemen must be clean shaven.
  • Clean, solid, plain texture white or black shoes with closed toe and heel. No “Mary-Jane” style shoes.
  • Socks are to be worn and must match the color of the shoe. “No-show” socks are not acceptable.
  • Bandage scissors, a penlight, stethoscope, a small notebook, a pen with black ink and a watch calibrated to count seconds are required.
  • Hand jewelry is limited to a single ring without stones and with a smooth surface. Very small, single, stud-type earrings may be worn in some clinical areas. If the instructor feels the ring or studs are inappropriate, you will be asked to remove them. Earlobe gauges may be no larger than ½ inch and must match the student’s skin tone. No other jewelry or piercing is permissible.
  • Nails must be kept short and bare. Colored nail polish and acrylic nails may not be worn.
  • No gum chewing is permitted in clinical areas.
  • When in the clinical agency, but not in uniform, students will wear their name badge and a lab coat over their street (business casual) clothes. Some Sites may not require a lab coat; only a name badge.
  • The odor of cigarettes is not allowed or tolerated.
  • Students will refrain from wearing perfume or fragrant lotions or hair products to the clinical agency area.
  • Tattoos deemed offensive by the clinical agency/clinical instructor/preceptor and/or Site Director will be covered. Facial tattoos must be concealed with make-up.
  • No visible dermal implants.
  • A hijab may be worn but it must be a white or black and secured in a fashion as to not interfere with infection prevention.

Interpretation of this policy will be at the discretion of the clinical instructor/preceptor. Students will be expected to adhere to this decision. Students who fail to meet these guidelines will be sent home. This absence will be counted as a clinical absence that is not able to be made up,  or preceptor hours will be rescheduled.

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones may not be used in class or the clinical/preceptorship agency unless directed by the Instructor/preceptor. Students must follow clinical agency policies, including use of cell phones and social media. (See Social Media Policy)

Cheating and Plagiarism

The nursing faculty and staff, in consultation with the Associate Dean of Nursing will enforce and adhere to Vermont Tech Policy #107 “Cheating and Plagiarism” and will follow the recommended process as outlined.

Class Organization

Each class shall elect a representative who shall conduct affairs of the class according to Robert’s Rules of Order and with the guidance/approval of the Faculty Advisor. A class leader or leaders shall serve on the committees which have student representation.

Clinical/Preceptorship Agency Policy

When students are in the clinical/preceptorship agency, they are expected to abide by agency rules and regulations, as well as the school site regulations.

Closing (School)

Closing and delays stemming from inclement weather have historically been very rare at the nursing programs. Because hospitals do not close, our nursing students must become accustomed to planning ahead for inclement weather. However, if weather is such that closing or delayed opening is advisable, students are expected to follow the procedure outlined in their region/site. Closings may vary by clinical site and start time; not all sites in a region or in the state may be closed on any given day.

Drug Screening

Acceptance into the nursing program is provisional until all pre-clinical practice requirements are met. Some students will be required to undergo and produce a negative drug screening prior to the beginning their clinical practice experiences/preceptorship. To be in compliance with the college’s contractual agreement with these clinical agencies, students attending clinical practice/preceptorship at any of these sites must meet this obligation as per the following policy. These students will be notified of the drug screening requirement by their Site Director. Students will be provided instructions on the procedure for drug screening. The agency conducting the screening will be chosen by the college and only this agency may be used. There are no exceptions to this policy. Failure to appear for drug testing is considered a positive screening result. Students are responsible for all costs associated with the required pre-clinical drug screening.

The agency conducting the drug screening will report either a positive or negative result to the college. Should a positive report be returned to the college, the student may appeal the report to the drug screening agency one time. This appeal for a retest and review will be based on the original sample provided. All decisions made by Vermont Technical College related to the drug screen results will be based on the report from the screening agency. Vermont Tech will not consider any appeals related to decisions based on the drug screen results. A positive drug screen report will result in the student not being admitted to or allowed to continue in the Vermont Tech nursing program. Students who are delayed in having the results of drug screen reported may attend class, but may not engage in agency clinical practice activities/preceptorships. Inability to participate in agency clinical activities/preceptorships will be recorded as a clinical absence. The student with a positive drug screen may reapply for admission to the Vermont Tech nursing program after one year of the positive drug screen finding.

Drug screen results will be made available by the screening agency to the student’s Site Director and Associate Dean of Nursing. This information will be held confidentially on a secured server. Should the student not meet the pre-clinical requirements due to a positive drug screen, the Associate Dean Admissions and the appropriate Site Director will be notified. Individual student drug screen information will be released to clinical agencies only with written student permission.

Fire/Evacuation Procedure

Students will be apprised of the procedure for the evacuation of the college or clinical environments at each agency. This information will be imparted during orientation, in the Fire/Evacuation Procedure on each clinical unit and on each site bulletin board.

Social Media Policy (SMP)

Vermont Tech students have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times. This includes upholding the provisions set forth under federal law (HIPPA). The Vermont Tech Nursing Social Media Policy (SMP) provides guidance to students, faculty, staff and our clinical affiliates and establishes consequences if the SMP has been violated.

Guidelines:

  • Student nurses must adhere to legal and ethical responsibilities and Vermont Tech student conduct policies.
  • Student nurses must adhere to clinical agency policies regarding their responsibility to protect patient privacy whether online or offline. This includes protecting patients’ name and any information that may lead to the identification of a patient.
  • Student nurses must maintain professional boundaries in the use of electronic media. This means establishing, communicating and enforcing professional boundaries with patients in the online environment.
  • Student nurses may not share, post or otherwise disseminate any information, including images, about a patient or information gained in the nurse-patient relationship with anyone unless there is a patient care-related need to disclose the information or other legal obligation to do so.
  • Student nurses will not interact with patients using social media.
  • Student nurses should evaluate all their social media postings with the understanding that a patient, colleague, educational institution, or employer could potentially view those postings.
  • Student nurses, as the patient’s advocate, have an ethical obligation to take appropriate action regarding instances of questionable healthcare delivery at an individual or systems level that reflect incompetent, unethical, illegal, or impaired practice. Student nurses who view social media content posted by a colleague that violates ethical or legal standards should bring the questionable content to the attention of the colleague and the Vermont Tech nursing faculty/staff so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • A student who uses social media to harass, bully, or violate professional codes of conduct may be dismissed from the program if the behavior violates VSC Policy 311.

A suspected violation of the SMP will result in the following actions:

  1. An investigation of the suspected violation will be conducted by the Vermont Tech nursing faculty/staff and a report of findings will be presented to the Associate Dean of Nursing.
  2. Consideration will be given to determine the intent of the student nurse. Remediation will be provided consistent with the nature of the violation.
  3. If the violation is determined to be of serious nature, consequences will reflect the nature of the violation and may include administrative dismissal from the nursing program.

Substance Abuse Policy

In conjunction with the Vermont Tech Code of Conduct and Substance Abuse statements, the following Nursing Department policy has been adopted. Students will not report to the classroom, lab, or clinical area while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

  • If a nursing student is suspected of being impaired (i.e. odor of alcohol/marijuana, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, ambulatory problems, inability to comprehend or follow oral or written direction, or other such indications) in a clinical or other college setting, the student’s faculty/clinical instructor/preceptor, or any other instructor or college official, should, whenever possible, seek verification of such suspicion by another college instructor or official or a member of the agency’s nursing staff. If the nursing student is suspected of being impaired, the student shall be approached by the professor or another appropriate college or clinical official. If, after evaluation, the professor or other appropriate official believes the student is impaired, then the student shall be required to safely leave the clinical or academic setting immediately. The faculty member will immediately inform the Site Director or designee when a student has exhibited signs of impairment that warrant dismissal from the class or clinical setting.

Required Documentation:

1. Observed Behavior – Reasonable Cause Tool

The purpose of this tool is to document faculty or clinical instructor/preceptor assessments of a student’s appearance, behavior(s), affect, speech, and motor skills that indicate impairment of drugs and/or alcohol.

The faculty member/clinical instructor/preceptor will document the reason(s) for suspecting that a student is impaired by completing Vermont Tech’s Observed Behavior – Reasonable Cause Tool within 24 hours of identifying signs of impairment. This tool will be signed by the faculty or clinical instructor/preceptor who suspected student impairment, a witness to the student’s behavior at the time, and the student.

2. Return to Class/Clinical Agreement Form

The purpose of this form is to provide support for students suspected of being impaired. This form is an agreement between the student and the college which is intended to ensure that professional standards are upheld. It is a contract that specifies the consequences of reporting to class or clinical while impaired.

Prior to returning to the class/clinical setting, the student and Site Director (or designee) will review the Return to Class/Clinical Agreement form. The student will sign and receive a copy of this form which specifies that he or she agrees to meet performance standards regarding professional conduct. By signing the Return to Class/Clinical Agreement form, the student agrees to undergo an alcohol and/or drug assessment, abide by recommendations made by a substance abuse treatment agency regarding to return to class/clinical, and not attend learning activities when unfit to work. The student’s failure to comply with the conditions of this document will be grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal from the college. A student’s failure to adhere to the conditions of the Return to Class/Clinical Agreement form will be reported to the Associate Dean of Nursing for appropriate disciplinary and/or academic process and action.

Until due process is completed, the student will not be allowed to attend clinical. The student may attend if there is no further evidence of impairment.

Student Health Policy

Students are responsible for their own health care and incurred costs. When students become ill or injured while in class or in the clinical/preceptorship area, they are to report to the instructor/preceptor to assist in arrangements for patient care. The Site Director of the region will always be notified of any illness or injury. There are specific instances when the college’s liability insurance may apply to an injury.

The hospital emergency room is designed to care for true emergencies, NOT colds, sore throats, etc. Students are responsible for their own medical bills, unless found otherwise. Students will be expected to provide proof of health insurance or carry the Vermont Tech student health insurance policy.

The Site Director may request a physical examination or medical clearance from a health care provider, if this seems necessary. For the protection of the student, the patients, or other students, any exposure to infectious disease must be reported to the Site Director.

Requirements for Clinical/Preceptorship Placement

The following documentation is required by Vermont Tech and the contracted clinical/preceptor agencies prior to placement:

  • Health history and physical examination
  • Records of specified immunizations/communicable disease
  • Background check
  • Fingerprint reports
  • BLS certification
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Report of drug screen (selected sites)

Failure to provide ANY of this documentation may result in student clinical absence(s) until the documentation is deemed complete.

Simulation Environment Expectations

The simulation program at Vermont Technical College is comprised of 6 simulation labs geographically dispersed throughout the state of Vermont. These labs are located within College and Community partner buildings. The state of the art simulation labs are fully equipped to provide a realistic healthcare space in which to practice clinical skills. Each lab has access to human patient high fidelity simulators which mimic human physiologic responses allowing participants to practice in a safe learning environment.

A simulation lab is one of many learning environments at Vermont Tech. As such, all learning environment policies apply in this setting.

Simulation Philosophy

Simulation is used to enhance, reinforce and apply nursing theory in the clinical setting. The simulation lab provides a safe, supportive and positive environment where students develop problem solving skills, enhanced communication skills, teamwork, and the opportunity to experience clinical decision making and critical thinking skills that meet defined learning outcomes. Simulation clinical days have the same requirements as for all clinical days including attendance, preparation and learning outcomes.

Clinical Addendum to Current Nursing Policy on Absenteeism

*Addendum to current absence policy. During the Covid-19 pandemic, if a PN or ADN student misses more than the maximum clinical hours in any one semester, the student may be required to complete a clinical competency review with their clinical instructor either in the simulation lab or in clinical setting by the end of the semester, which may contribute to the decision as to whether or not the student may continue in the program.

Mission

To provide participant centered high-quality simulation experiences that contribute to professional expertise and lifelong learning. We strive to make Simulation services accessible to all allied health participants at our geographically dispersed locations.

Vision & Core Values

Striving to meet the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) guidelines, the multidisciplinary labs will provide high-quality state-of-the-art simulation experiences that will promote collaborative inter-professional learning that contributes to professional development. It supports and enhances statewide healthcare education and will improve patient care and safety across healthcare.

  • The simulation program believes that all participants are valuable members of the healthcare team. They will be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Simulation experiences should be of high quality and evidenced based while keeping activities participant-centered.
  • The simulation environment will be a safe, supportive environment lending to participant participation, reflection, and personal growth.
  • Simulation experiences will be facilitated by qualified, dedicated faculty and staff.
  • Simulation is used to teach, enhance, reinforce, and apply theory in a clinical setting.
  • Simulation experiences have the same expectations and requirements as for all clinical experiences including attendance, preparation and learning outcomes.
  • Simulation provides a venue to enhance interprofessional collaboration as it supports participants as they develop in their healthcare roles.
  • High-quality debriefing is a responsibility of the simulation program. Good debriefing guides participant self-reflection leading to their personal and professional growth.
  • Simulation contributes to the development of participant professional expertise in the areas of problem solving, communication, teamwork and clinical decision making.

Simulation Lab Conduct/Expected Behavior

  1. All participants will be treated with respect.
  2. All participants will treat simulation as serious as they would clinical.
  3. All students will abide by the Vermont Tech Code of Conduct.
  4. Disruptive participants will be removed/sent home from the center.
  5. Issues between participants will be addressed to the instructor.
  6. Participants are expected to arrive on time.
  7. Any course pre-work is expected to be completed prior to the simulation event.
  8. Participants should contact the instructor/facilitator if unable to attend the event.
  9. Confidentiality will be maintained.
  10. All faculty/staff/participants will be oriented to the space and equipment before facilitating or participating in a simulated clinical experience.
  11. No food or beverage is allowed in the simulation lab with the exception of props/moulage for simulation.
  12. Adherence to the clinical uniform dress code as stated in the student handbook is required.
  13. Use of cellphones is prohibited unless allowed by facilitator, such as to access educational applications. The use of cell phones for the purpose of video recording or taking pictures is prohibited unless permission is obtained in writing in advance.

Health Professions

Appearance/Uniform Policy

In an effort to inspire patient comfort and confidence in the caregiver, students are expected to appear in complete uniform and exhibit professional demeanor at all times while in their respective clinical areas.

  • A school uniform is required.
  • Uniforms are to be clean and pressed and must also be in sync with the clinical agency “dress code”. Pant length must be short enough that they do not touch the floor. Pants must cover the entire leg and be short enough that they do not touch the floor.
  • Students may wear a solid white cotton knit shirt underneath their uniform top for warmth.
  • A student name pin/badge/photo ID required in the clinical setting per facility policy must be worn any time the student is in the clinical area.
  • Hair must be confined off the collar and away from the face at all times. There shall be no ornamentation in the hair. If something is needed to keep the hair confined, it should be non- ostentatious. Gentlemen are allowed to have a mustache and a beard. The mustache must be neatly trimmed. The beard must also be neatly sculpted to the face.  At the discretion of the instructor, the student may be asked to wear a beard bag if there is a concern for infection control. Otherwise, gentlemen must be clean shaven.
  • Clean white or black shoes. Socks are to be worn and must match the color of the shoe.
  • Bandage scissors, a penlight, stethoscope, a small notebook, a pen with black ink and a watch calibrated to count seconds are required.
  • Hand jewelry is limited to a single ring without stones and with a smooth surface. Very small, single, stud-type earrings may be worn in some clinical areas. If the instructor feels the ring or studs are inappropriate, you will be asked to remove them. No other jewelry is permissible.
  • Nails must be kept short. Colored nail polish and acrylic nails may not be worn.
  • No gum chewing is permitted in clinical areas.
  • When in the clinical facility, but not in uniform, students will wear their name pin and a lab coat over their street (business casual) clothes. Some Sites may not require a lab coat; but, only a name pin.
  • The odor of cigarettes is not allowed or tolerated.
  • Students will refrain from wearing perfume or fragrant lotions or hair products to the clinical area.
  • Tattoos deemed offensive by the clinical facility/clinical instructor and/or Site Director will be covered.

Dental Hygiene Student Handbook

I. General Considerations A. Philosophy Statement Members of the faculty strive to honor the mission of the Vermont Technical College by providing an educational environment that encourages evolving intellectual growth and personal and professional responsibility that is committed to ethical behavior, continued learning and quality patient care. To foster and […]

I. General Considerations

A. Philosophy Statement

Members of the faculty strive to honor the mission of the Vermont Technical College by providing an educational environment that encourages evolving intellectual growth and personal and professional responsibility that is committed to ethical behavior, continued learning and quality patient care. To foster and sustain this environment a special partnership with students, colleagues and patients is nurtured through the widespread spirit of collaboration and shared goals.

B. Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Dental Hygiene is the professional education of dental hygienists, to educate students to competently serve patients and communities and to prepare students to continue to grow In skill and knowledge over their lifetime.

C. Goals

The goals of the undergraduate curriculum in Dental Hygiene education are:

  1. To provide a curriculum that integrates general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and the knowledge of current dental hygiene theory, practice and the provision of dental hygiene care.
  2. To prepare a competent entry level dental hygienist to provide quality patient-centered comprehensive care in traditional and non-traditional settings, as well as to diverse populations within the community.
  3. To prepare a graduate to continually promote the most current concepts of disease control and prevention.
  4. To prepare a graduate to apply the principles of professional growth and ethical behavior in providing care.
  5. To prepare a graduate to make an essential and unique contribution as an integral member of a health care team.
  6. To foster an appreciation for professional growth and lifelong learning through self- assessment, accessing relevant research, and using current evidence based research.

The Standard Curriculum

Dental Hygiene is an Associate Degree program that is designed to be completed in three academic years.   In situations where a student does not follow the curriculum as outlined, completion of the entire program in a minimum of three academic years may not be possible. Students must be aware that the professional courses (those with the prefix DHY) must be taken in the designated sequence and are only offered once a year.

Expectations of Students in the Program of Dental Hygiene Degree Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, a student must have attained a cumulative average sufficient to meet the minimum grade point average requirement of 2.0. Grades in courses accepted for transfer credit are excluded in computing this average.

Use of the English Language

Correct use of the English language is required of all dental hygiene students. Written work of any kind that is unsatisfactory in manuscript form, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or effectiveness of expression may be penalized, regardless of content. Students whose written work falls below the standard of correct usage may be referred for additional instruction, even though the first-year course in English has been passed. Before admission to the department, foreign students must offer evidence that they are capable of reading and writing English at the college level.

Tardiness

A student who is not present at the beginning of a class or class exercise may be marked absent and point deductions will be applied.

Right of Appeal

Students who believe that they have been unfairly treated may appeal in writing to the Dean of the College or the Academic Dean.

Low Scholarship Policy Department of Dental Hygiene Expectations

Completion of all program requirements including a minimum of 93 approved semester hours and a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or above is required for the Associate in Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.  Completion of all program requirements and 120 credits is required for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene.

  • Must complete at least 50% of the course work at the home institution.
  • Each of the professional dental hygiene courses must be successfully completed with a minimum grade of C (73 class average).
  • Any specific independent project(s) that has been identified as “a graduation requirement” by the Program Director must be completed.
  • The candidate must attain a level of clinical competence and professional judgment, which, in the opinion of the faculty, demonstrates adequate preparation for professional licensure examinations
  • Financial obligations to the Vermont Technical College and the Department of Dental Hygiene must be resolved.
  • Any probationary status, whether it is disciplinary, academic or professional, must be resolved.

Professional Standards

Students In the health care field are expected to assume and maintain an ethical and professional responsibility and respect for themselves, their patients, colleagues and the faculty. These personal qualities are essential in order for students to meet expected curricular obligations. Daily student behaviors that reflect these attributes Include, but are not limited to; being prompt, preparing for and attending all classes, labs and clinics, demonstrating integrity, courteousness and cooperative conduct inside and outside the classroom and displaying an attitude that enables learning to occur. If, in the opinion of the faculty, a candidate is unsuited for the practice of dental hygiene, recommendation for licensure and the degree in Dental Hygiene will be withheld.

III. Competencies

Competencies for the Vermont Technical College Dental Hygiene Student Vermont Technical College Department Of Dental Hygiene can be viewed here.

IV. Infection Control Manual and Required Immunizations

The careful management of infection and cross contamination is extremely important in the dental field. The Department of Dental Hygiene follows the Blood borne Pathogen Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 2003 and all subsequent revisions. An INFECTION CONTROL MANUAL has been specifically designed for use by students and faculty in the Department of Dental Hygiene. The manual is available for download by each student in the fall semester of their first year in the program. Dental Hygiene students are required to have several vaccinations to prevent them from common diseases. These vaccinations must be completed prior to the initiation of patient treatment at the beginning of the spring semester of their first year. The following vaccinations are required: Hepatitis B or a positive titer; two Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccines or a positive titer; a tetanus vaccination within the last 10 years; Varicella virus (VZ) vaccination or positive titer; a PPD within 1 year; and proof of polio vaccination including dates. Documentation from the student’s personal physician must be made available to the College prior to patient care. The Vermont Technical College is not responsible for medical costs resulting from injury during clinical rotation, or during any other curricular activity, unless this injury is due to negligence by the College. All Vermont Tech students must carry their own health insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Dental Hygiene students are assessed through their student account an annual premium of $25.00 per year for professional liability coverage during their clinical patient experiences while they are a student in the professional dental hygiene program. These experiences begin early in the first semester of the professional curriculum and continue each semester until graduation. Individual student volunteer activities or employment in private practice is not included within this coverage.

Advisors

All students will be assigned an advisor who is a full time Dental Hygiene faculty member. The advisors will make every effort to be helpful and aware of the student’s progress. Although the advisor will schedule regular appointments, students are encouraged to consult with them at any time they have a need. In the event a student is not comfortable with the assigned advisor, he or she may request a change of advisor by talking with the desired advisor and her/his current advisor. In addition, each incoming student will be assigned a “senior-student-advisor” (a second year or third year student mentor). The mentor will offer information and guidance to the first or second year student.

Student Members of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association

Student membership in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association involves an organization of students of dental hygiene dedicated to building the ethical and educational basis for future service and success in the profession. Meetings are usually held once a month with officers elected annually. Yearly dues of $65.00 entitle each member to receive the Journal of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and Access Magazine, apply for ADHA scholarships, join the Association’s group insurance policies, and be eligible to attend state and national dental hygiene meetings.

The student association provides students with an opportunity to serve and benefit from their profession. Activities are scheduled throughout the year and include fund raising events, attending state, regional and national meetings, social events and community service projects. Participation as a student member helps students understand the part the American Dental Hygienists’ Association plays in the advancement of the dental hygiene profession.

Miscellaneous Items

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

All students In the Department of Dental Hygiene must be certified in Cardio- Pulmonary Resuscitation.  A healthcare provider course is required including training in one and two rescuer, child and infant CPR and foreign body airway obstruction and AED. Certification status must remain current until completion of the program.

Withdrawal and Re-Admission Policies

  • A student requesting re-admission should understand that changes in courses and / or prerequisites may have occurred since their date of withdrawal; therefore, the requested date of re-admission will take precedence over an earlier catalog enrollment date.
  • A student who exits the Dental Hygiene Program for any reason is not guaranteed re¬admission.
  • All re-admissions are on a space available basis and are reviewed as part of the standard candidate selection process.
  • At the time of withdrawal from the Dental Hygiene Program, the student must have an exit interview with the Dental Hygiene Program Director or their advisor.

Procedures for re-admission:

The applicant must contact the admissions office and request their application be reactivated and submit current transcripts.

The Vermont Technical College Admissions Office will review the re-activated application packet and previous course work to determine whether re-admission will be granted or denied. All applicants will be notified in writing as to their application status.

All re-admitted students who have been out of the Dental Hygiene Program for less than one academic year (9 months) must meet with the Dental Hygiene Program Director to discuss skills updating including the possibility of remediation. This may require the applicant to repeat or audit course work, purchase new instruments, supplies and or textbooks.

All re-admitted students who have been out of the Dental Hygiene Program for one academic year (9 months) or more must repeat the dental hygiene curriculum in its entirety without exception. In addition, the purchase of new instruments, supplies and textbooks will most likely be necessary.

Verification of Student Identity in Online Learning Policy

All users of the College’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of usernames, passwords, and other access credentials as required. An account is given to an individual for the exclusive use by that individual. Attempting to discover another user’s password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person’s files or mail is prohibited. It is against Dental Hygiene department policy for a user to give someone his or her password or allow others to use his or her account. Users are responsible for any and all users of their account. Users are responsible for all activity on their accounts. Failure of students to comply with this agreement/policy will be addressed through departmental and college academic honesty policies (Policy 107).

Third Party Comments

The Commission on Dental Accreditation regularly solicits third party comments relative to the accreditation status of the Department of Dental Hygiene at the Vermont Technical College. Comments may be submitted by interested parties such as faculty, students, program administrators, Commission consultants, specialty and dental related organizations, patients and/or consumers. The deadline for receipt of third party comments is 60 days prior to the accreditation site visit which will occur in 2026. Comments must pertain only to the standards for dental hygiene program or policies and procedures used in the Commission’s accreditation process. A copy of the accreditation standards and/or Commission’s policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling (800) 621-8099, extension 4653.

Complaint Policy

If a student feels that the Vermont Tech Dental Hygiene Department is not in compliance with the Dental Accreditation Commission standards or required accreditation procedures, he/she has the right to file a complaint with the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The Commission will review complaints that relate to a program’s compliance with the accreditation standards. The Commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related programs, but does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeals for individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the accreditation standards and/or Commission’s policy on third party comments may be obtained by contacting the Commission on Dental Accreditation, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 or by calling (800) 621-8099, extension 4653.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Vermont Tech has a strict non-discrimination policy. Please review this policy in the student handbook.

Academic Resources and Support

Hartness Library exists to support learning, teaching, research, and other activities of the College. Located in the heart of the Randolph Center campus, the Library provides a comfortable and welcoming place to study, learn and gather with friends to work collaboratively. The Library has study and meeting rooms, computers, printing, […]

Hartness Library exists to support learning, teaching, research, and other activities of the College. Located in the heart of the Randolph Center campus, the Library provides a comfortable and welcoming place to study, learn and gather with friends to work collaboratively. The Library has study and meeting rooms, computers, printing, and scanning available for students to use. A satellite location on the Williston campus offers the same services as the main library.

Library Collection

The Library collection includes over 42,000 books, 200,000 eBooks, 30,000 streamed films & documentaries, 6,000 videos/DVD’s, 60,000 full-text online periodical titles and course reserve materials. Students have 24-hour access to the library’s extensive online resources from anywhere through the library’s website, using a laptop or a mobile device. To explore the resources and services, visit our website.

The staff and professional librarians offer students support in finding and evaluating resources for their research. Librarians and staff are available to help students face-to-face, by phone at 1-800-431-0025, via live online chat, text message or by email at hartness@vtc.edu

Library Hours

Tutoring

One on one tutoring is available for most courses taught at Vermont Tech. Generally, we find tutors for about 95% of requests. Getting a tutor is not complicated and it is free, so if you want or need some support in your course work, don’t hesitate to speak with Beth Camp, Student Support Specialist. She is located in 222 Conant and can also be reached by phone at 802-728-1396. Tutoring can also be requested in Room 406 on the Williston campus during open hours Monday-Friday, 12-4 pm.

In addition to individual and small group tutoring, drop-in assistance is available. Drop-in is a great place to come to do homework, get immediate answers to questions, or prepare for an exam.

On the Randolph campus, math and writing as well as some science classes are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 pm and 6-9 pm in Conant 107.

On the Williston campus, drop-in assistance with writing is available four days a week whenever the writing tutors are free during the 12-4 pm office hours. Drop-in math tutoring is available 3 hours a week with Rachel Repstad. The exact schedule is posted each semester outside of Room 406.

The Center for Academic Success also provides test review sessions on a request basis as well as for math and science final exams. Final exam review sessions are a very popular way to prepare for finals. If you would like to set up a review for tests or exams, contact Beth.

Current students can request a tutor by filling out the tutor request form. Please login with the same username and password that you use to access the portal.

If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact anyone at the Center for Academic Success!

How to Get a Job as a Student Tutor

We are always looking for students who are interested in helping fellow students learn.

Our student tutors have a 3.3 cumulative GPA, work well with other students and are able to provide a recommendation from a faculty member.

If you are deeply interested or merely curious, please contact Beth Camp.

  • Tutoring is a paid position
  • Work Study is not required
  • Tutors control their own schedule
  • Training is offered and ongoing support is available.

Service Dogs at Vermont Technical College

Vermont Technical College supports the use of individually trained service dogs, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, for the benefit of individuals with documented disabilities. All service dogs must be registered with the Learning Specialist, Robin Goodall, at rgoodall@vtc.edu or 802-728-1278.

Individually trained service dogs may reside in a residence hall in the room of their owner who is solely responsible for the animal’s behavior and sanitary conditions. Any damage caused by a service dog will be billed to the owner as per VTC Policy 611.

Service animals in classroom, labs and other learning environments must be under the control of the owner at all times. Owners should respect the rights of others in the learning setting by ensuring that the dog is not disruptive. Disruptive dogs will be prohibited from being in learning environments. In all other campus settings, owners must abide by the provisions of VTC Policy 611. Service dogs are prohibited from kitchens and food preparation areas, utility rooms and hazardous service areas.

For students in nursing and allied health clinical settings, please contact the clinic for their policy as it relates to service dogs.

Academic Affairs

The Office of the Academic Dean, located on the second floor of Green Hall in room 215, is responsible for all issues related to academic programs, courses, classes, class scheduling, academic departments, faculty assignment and evaluations, student advising, grading, academic standings, graduation requirements and graduation standards.  The Academic Dean is […]

The Office of the Academic Dean, located on the second floor of Green Hall in room 215, is responsible for all issues related to academic programs, courses, classes, class scheduling, academic departments, faculty assignment and evaluations, student advising, grading, academic standings, graduation requirements and graduation standards.  The Academic Dean is responsible for overseeing the delivery of all courses offered for credit by Vermont Technical College, whether they are offered on or off-campus.

Each academic program or major is assigned to a specific department under the Academic Dean, and depending on the number of students in the program, a department will have a department chair or program director and additional faculty required to conduct and deliver the program.

Students who have concerns about faculty, class scheduling, advising, grading or other related issues that may be affecting their academic performance should first meet with their academic advisor to try to arrive at a resolution. If the advisor cannot help, students should meet with their department chair or director.  If after meeting with the advisor and the department chair or director the issues still cannot be resolved, the student should contact the Office of the Academic Dean.  Depending on the nature of the problem involved, students may meet with either the Academic Dean or the Associate Academic Dean to discuss possible solutions and outcomes.

For more information about academics affairs refer to the Academics section on the Vermont Tech web site at https://www.vtc.edu/academics, the catalog at https://www.vtc.edu/table-of-contents/, or the My Vermont Tech tab on the VSC Portal at http://portal.vsc.edu.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

All five Vermont State Colleges (VSC): Vermont Tech, Castleton State College, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College and the Community College of Vermont, use the same online academic database and share a common transcript. Students that share academic information with one college are sharing it with the entire VSC. The FERPA authorization form is a VSC-wide authorization.

The Family Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law gives eligible students, those who have reached the age of 18, or the parents of students under the age of 18, certain rights with respect to their education records. Students have the right to inspect, review and request that the College correct educational records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If parents/guardians claim a student as a dependent, they may have access to the student’s educational records without prior the student’s permission.

Generally, the College must have written permission prior to releasing any academic information from a student’s record. However, the law allows the College to disclose records without consent, for official school business.

Students must complete an online FERPA Authorization form in Web Services to provide parents or others with access to their academic records and to set up an access code for them to provide when seeking information either in person or on the phone.  This authorization does not include transcript requests, grade reports or enrollment verifications; these must be individually requested by the student. However, the law allows the college to disclose records without consent, to the following parties:

  • College employees who have a need to know;
  • Other schools to which the student is applying;
  • Certain government officials in order to carry out lawful functions;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Parents of dependent eligible students;
  • Organizations conducting studies for the college;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • Individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas;
  • Persons who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies; and state and local authorities, within the justice system, pursuant to specific state law.

Students must complete an online form in Web Services that provides parents or others with access to their academic records and an access code for them to provide when seeking information either in person or on the phone. This permission does not include transcript requests or grade reports; these must be individually requested by the student.

Directory Information

The college may also disclose, without consent, “directory type information” that is considered not to be harmful to student/parent if released. The information considered by the college to be directory information is name, home and college address, telephone listing, email address, date of birth, major, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), enrollment level (undergraduate or graduate), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, weight and height of athletic team members, photographs, most recent and previous educational institutions attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Parent information is not directory information.

Students have the right to withhold the release of any or all directory information, to do so a written request must be made at the Office of the Registrar.  It should be noted that if directory information is to be withheld, it will be withheld all parties.  A request to withhold directory information must be made as soon as possible after the start of term and will remain in effect until revoked by the eligible student.

For additional information, technical assistance or to file a complaint, you may contact the Family Policy Compliance Office at (202) 260-3887 or om@ed.gov or

US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Public Access to Student Information

The College may NOT disclose personally identifiable information from education records unless the disclosure meets one or more of the requirements of B and C of this section.

“Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) includes but is not limited to the student’s name, address, student identification numbers, social security number, other personal identifiers, ethnicity, race, nationality, and gender; name and address of student’s parent or other family members; and a list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

The College may disclose Directory Information without prior written consent of the student.

  1. “Directory information” means information which would not generally be considered harmful to the student or an invasion of privacy, if disclosed. See Directory Information above under FERPA.
  2. Release of directory information is permitted but not required under FERPA. The decision to disclose directory information will be made at the discretion of the appropriate school official.
  3. Students may opt out of the release of all directory information by submitting a Request to Withhold Directory Information form. Upon receipt of this form, the College shall release no directory information to any third party without prior student consent except as may be otherwise permitted by law.

PII from education records may be released to the student and, under the following circumstances, to third parties:

  1. Where the student consents to the release by signing and dating a written statement of consent before disclosing protected information. The written consent must specify: the record(s) to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure must be made.
  2. Where the disclosure is to school officials with legitimate educational interest. For the purposes of this section, “school officials” include persons employed by the VSC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff). “School officials” also include persons, companies or agencies with whom the VSC has contracted to provide services (i.e. attorney, auditor, collection agent, etc.), a person serving on the board of trustees, and a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing his or her own tasks. For the purposes of this section, “Legitimate Educational Interest” means: (a) the record or information requested is relevant and necessary to the accomplishment of some task or determination; (b) the task or determination is an employment responsibility for the inquirer or is properly assigned subject matter for the inquirer’s task or determination; and (c) the task or determination is consistent with the purpose for which the record or information is maintained.
  3. Where special circumstances are present including the following as well as any other circumstances permitted:
  • Upon request by officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll; b. To certain federal, state, or local education officials in connection with state or federally supported educational programs;
  • To authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education or State educational authorities, or authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement purposes;
  • To organizations conducting certain studies/research for or on behalf of the VSC;
  • To comply with a discipline order or a lawfully issued subpoena or IRS summons after making a reasonable effort to notify student in advance;
  • To appropriate parties in a health and/or safety emergency;
  • When a College has found, in the event of disciplinary proceedings against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a violent crime (18 USC section 16) or non-forcible sex offense, that the student committed a violation of College rules or policies, the final results of such disciplinary proceedings may be released. However, the institution may only release the name of the student, violation committed, sanction imposed, and the name(s) of other student(s) involved, such as the victim or witness, but only with the prior written consent of the other student(s).
  • To the parents of a student under the age of 21 where the VSC has determined that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance;
  • To the parents of dependent students, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code;
  • To accrediting organizations in order to conduct accrediting functions;
  • To an authorized representative of institutions from which a student has received financial aid or the student had applied for financial aid.
  • In accordance with the Solomon Act. Solomon requires institutions to provide specified information about individual students to representatives of the U.S. Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes unless the student has formally requested the school to withhold directory information from all third parties.

With the exception of the mandatory reporting of student recruiting information under the Solomon, disclosure without consent in these special circumstances is permitted but not required. The decision to disclose any information in these special circumstances will be made at the discretion of the appropriate school official.

The College shall maintain records of requests and disclosure of non-directory information under this section C3 above. The person or agency making a request for disclosure must submit a letter stating: the name of the student, name of the person making the request, the names of the parties to whom the information may be disclosed, the legitimate interest of the party making the request and the legitimate interest of the party who may receive the information. All requests for disclosure should be submitted to College Registrar.

Procedures to Amend Educational Records

Students have the right to ask to have record(s) corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights.

  1. A student must submit a written request to the College Registrar to amend a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record she/he wants changed and specify why she/he believes it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his/her privacy rights.
  2. The College has the authority to accept or reject any requests. If the College decides not to comply, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise him/her of his/her right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
  3. Upon request for a hearing, the College will arrange for a hearing and notify the student of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing officer may be an official of the College. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend his/her education record(s).
  5. The College will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reason for the decision.
  6. If the College decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation if his/her privacy rights, it will notify the student that she/he has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
  7. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education records as long as the contested portion is maintained.
  8. If the College decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his/her privacy rights, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.

Annual College Notification

Vermont Technical College provides this handbook notice to inform students of their rights under FERPA and requests each student update annually his or her FERPA General Release form during orientation to be kept on file in the Office of the Registrar.

The entire FERPA policy is available on the web under the VSC Public Information & Data under VSC Policy and planning, Policy 312 – FERPA.

Academic Honesty

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: plagiarism; cheating and other forms of academic misconduct; misuse of academic resources or facilities; misuse of computer software and hardware, data, equipment or networks or misuse of electronic devices such as cell phones. Students caught in acts of academic dishonesty face serious consequences, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Classroom Regulations

Students in a classroom, lab, studio, work period or assembly are under the supervision of the instructor in charge and are expected to act in a respectful, civil and mature manner.  Students working in classrooms, labs or studios are responsible for the furniture and equipment within these areas whether during organized classes or while utilizing the facilities independently.  Food and beverages are not permitted and smoking is not allowed within any College buildings.

Students who violate these regulations may be subject to reprimand or disciplinary action.

Academic Advising

The academic advising system is designed to help students achieve a successful educational experience.  It presumes that students will take responsibility for their own educational outcomes based on sound guidance and support.  Students are assigned academic advisors specifically for their program or major and are encouraged to meet with him or her regularly to develop a relationship and level of understanding so that they can take advantage of their advisor’s experience and knowledge in the pursuit of their academic and career goals.

Due to the complexity and lab-intensive nature of most programs at Vermont Tech, the class schedule is optimized to allow matriculated, on-track, degree students to successfully complete their required course work in a regular term-by-term sequence.  Students that enter off-track, drop or fail required courses or do not take the regular program course load may take additional terms to complete their programs.  For undeclared students, it is important that their advisor understands their educational goals, whether that be to transfer to another college or to enter a specific degree program at a later time.  Undeclared students do not have priority over matriculated degree students for seating in “required courses”.

If a student feels that he or she needs to get a different advisor, contact should be made with the department chair or director, or go to the Office of the Registrar and complete a change of advisor form.  There is no stigma attached to changing advisors.  Either the Registrar or the department chair/director can coordinate the change to ensure that a new advisor can be assigned.  After changing advisors, it is important to meet with the new advisor to establish a relationship and communicate goals and expectations.

Office of the Registrar

The Registrar’s Office, Admin 111, registrar@vtc.edu, 802.728.1302, Fax 802.728.1597, is responsible for all student registrations, maintains all student academic records, transfer credit information, class schedules, academic standings, verifications of enrollment and graduation degree audits and issues transcripts.  Registrar forms are available online at are available on-line at https://www.vtc.edu/registrar/academic-scheduling and at the office for pre-registration, registration, add/drop, withdrawal, verification of enrollment, changing programs, changing location of program, changing of advisor, grade forgiveness, transcript requests, grade requests and graduation application.

If students change their name, address, phone or email, they should let the Registrar’s Office know.

Notice of Shared Information

Vermont Tech is part of the Vermont State Colleges (VSC), which includes Castleton State College, Lyndon State College, Johnson State College, Vermont Technical College and the Community College of Vermont.  The five colleges share one database and academic transcript.  Pertinent academic information is shared among the five colleges.

Vermont State Colleges Consortium Enrollment Agreement

Matriculated Vermont Tech students (except those enrolled in the LPN trimesters) may enroll simultaneously at Vermont Tech and any of the other Vermont State Colleges (Castleton, Lyndon, Johnson or the Community College of Vermont) and use their total VSC enrollment for billing and financial aid at Vermont Tech.

Vermont Tech students may also enroll solely other VSC schools and maintain their Vermont Tech financial aid, billing and program, this is called non-home school enrollment.  To do this, students must be matriculated at Vermont Tech and secure written permission in advance of their registration from their advisor, their department and the Office of the Registrar.

First Term Registration

Newly admitted students are automatically registered for a full-time class schedule based on their placement, prior credits and program requirements, unless they have indicated to Admissions that they want to be less than full time.   Registration takes place in the months just prior to the start of classes, after applicants have been accepted and paid their deposits.  Initial class schedules are tentative and may change up until the start of classes.  Class schedules are available on Web Services.  Hard copies of the official schedule may be available at the Office of the Registrar or site office during orientation.

Students that need to change their initial schedules may do so with their advisor during orientation and through the first week of classes.  Online registration, add and drop are only available during the preregistration periods and the first week of classes, and only when approved by the academic advisor.  All other class schedule changes are on preregistration forms or add/drop slips that must be returned to the Office of the Registrar.

Pre-Registration For Subsequent Terms

Returning students, for spring and subsequent terms, pre-register with the advice and consent of their academic advisor during pre-registration periods that are annotated on the academic calendar in the Vermont Tech catalog.

During pre-registration, students meet with their advisor and registration may be done on departmental preregistration forms or online.  After the pre-registration period ends, no online adjustments to the schedule may be made, so students who need to change their schedule may do so with add/drop slips and their advisor’s permission.  The online registration or add/drop will be on for the first week of classes every term.

Class Loads

Full-time status is 12 credits or above.  Over 19 credits is an overload.  There is additional tuition charge for an overload.  Students must have advisor and departmental approval to take an overload.  Registration cannot be done online and is done on an add/drop or pre-registration form.  Students on probation are not allowed to take an overload.  See the catalog for further restrictions.

Adding or Dropping Classes

The add/drop period is the first two weeks of class.  During the first week, students who have not been approved for online registration must have the advisor’s permission/signature on an Add/Drop form to add or drop.  The Office of the Registrar will process the forms.

After the first week, there is no online adding or dropping, so the Add/drop form is required.  Adding is at the discretion of the class instructor and both the instructor’s and the advisor’s permission/signatures are required on the form.   Forms are available at https://www.vtc.edu/registrar/academic-scheduling/.

A late fee is charged for the schedule changes after the first two weeks and “W” grades will be issued for dropped classes.  “W” grades do not calculate in GPA.  Tuition is not adjusted when classes are dropped after the second week of classes.  In order to have reimbursement for course reductions after the first two weeks, students must drop all classes and withdraw from the College.

After the first two weeks, a fee will be charged for the late schedule changed and “W” grades will be issued for dropped classes.  “W” grades do not calculate in GPA.  Tuition is not adjusted when classes are dropped.  In order to have reimbursement for a course reduction after the first two weeks, the student must drop all classes and withdraw from the College.

After the 60% point of the term, dropping with a “W” is not an option.  Whether the student attends or not, he/she will receive earned grades, usually “F” or “NP.

Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence

To withdraw or take a leave of absence once the term has started, a student must give written notification to Office of the Registrar or off-campus site office. A parent or guardian must approve requests made by minors.

A student who stops attending classes after add/drop who does not inform the college will be considered to have withdrawn after the 60% point of the term if the last date of an academic event cannot be determined.

Grades for students on approved withdrawals or leaves of absence will be in accordance with the guidelines specified in Dropping a Course in the college catalog except that for an approved leave of absence, the I or W grades may be used after the 60% point until the end of the leave of absence.

If the request is for a medical leave of absence, a letter from the student’s health practitioner is required. Students approved for a medical leave of absence based on a letter from their health practitioner must provide a time frame for their return to a normal class schedule. The student will also be required to provide another letter stating that they are medically fit to return to their studies.

For a leave of absence to be approved, it is expected that incomplete coursework can be satisfactorily completed upon a student’s return. For more information on medical leaves of absence, please review Policy T116 on Vermont Tech’s Portal.

If a student fails to return to school at the end of an approved leave of absence or if the student makes a written request to rescind the leave of absence, the withdrawal date will be the original date of the request for leave or the last date of an academic event, whichever is later.

College policy will be followed for students required by the college to take a mandatory leave of absence.

Failure to Attend Class

Students are expected to attend classes.  Failure to attend class or complete class work may lead to dismissal.  For this reason, it is important to ensure that add/drop slips are turned in and processed.

Students should check their “VSC Class Schedule” on Web Services to confirm classes that they drop are removed from their schedule.

In addition to being dismissed from classes, students may also be dismissed from the College with all failing grades for absenteeism or academic neglect.

Final Exam Schedule

The final exam schedule is posted each semester at https://www.vtc.edu/registrar/academic-scheduling/.

Academic Appeals Committee (AAC)

The committee is charged with considering written student appeals of either College or program dismissals due to poor academic performance.

  • Meets twice per year
  • Makes recommendations to grant or deny appeals to the Academic Dean
  • Only written appeals filed by the date cited in the dismissal letter will be considered.
  • Submission by email is acceptable
  • Membership includes two full time tenured faculty, one full time tenure track faculty, two students in good academic standing who are in their second or subsequent year.
  • AAC is chaired by the Associate Academic Dean who votes only in case of tie.

Any student who believes that he/she was dismissed according to VTC academic policies but has significant mitigating circumstances should submit written appeal to:

Vermont Technical College
Attn: Academic Appeals Committee
PO Box 500
Randolph Center, VT 05061

The appeals will include:

  • Student’s full name, address and College ID number
  • A full explanation of the circumstances surrounding the appeal
  • The AAC will meet to and make a recommendation to the Academic Dean
  • The Academic Dean may discuss the appeal with the appropriate Department Chair
  • The Dean will make the final decision on the appeal and notify the student in writing
  • The Dean’s decision is final and not subject to further appeal

Grade Amelioration/Forgiveness of Grades

One time in an academic career, a student who is changing programs may, with the proper approval(s), have selected grades excluded from the calculation of his or her cumulative Grade Point Average in the new academic program. Grades may only be excluded for courses required in old programs that are not required in the new program or subsequent four-year programs for that degree program. All credits earned in courses excluded from the calculation are lost. This policy does not apply to electives or credits used for any diploma, certificate, or degree already awarded.

Students attempting to ameliorate grades must have at least one term of at least 6 credits of satisfactory academic progress (a term GPA of 2.00 or better) in the new program.

Summer Sessions

A few general education courses are typically offered during the summer based on student needs. The courses and dates for summer offerings will be available online by the end of the spring semester. Contact Student Affairs for information about on-campus housing during these sessions.

Portal

The VSC portal is the College’s online center for all types of information.  New users activate their account at http://portal.vsc.edu by clicking the Activate my account link on the VSC login page.  Students can also get their username or college ID by clicking on the links on the lower left of the page.

The portal is the College’s online center for all types of information from class schedules and cancellations to ride boards and club activities and financial aid other information.

Email

Each student enrolled will have a Vermont Tech email account and is expected it or forward mail to an account that they will check on a regular basis.

Web Services

Web Services is where students access their class schedules and final grades and a wide variety of other information using the following menus:

Student Academic Planning – has program evaluations/degree audits and graduation applications

Student Academic Profile – has the VSC class schedule, grades/warnings, transcripts, academic alerts/progress reports, test scores, my profile (program, advisor and contact info), FERPA authorization form and email advisor

Student Registration – Search for sections, register/drop sections.  Students must be approved by their advisor to do online registration, add or drop and it is only available during preregistration and first week of classes

Student Billing/Financials – Payments, bills, health forms and meal plans.  Bills are generated by the registration process that takes place during the months prior to the start of class.

Student Financial Aid – Documents, awards and statuses

Canvas

The Canvas learning management system is used for online classes and as a resource center by instructors. The Canvas Courses link in the center column on the portal only displays classes that have been activated by the instructor.

Search for Sections

Searching for sections or class offerings at any of the Vermont State Colleges is in Self-Service and available without login.

Select a specific-college term and at least other piece of information such as a course subject (ENG), course number (1061), section number (T1), location (VTC for Main Campus offerings, TONL for online offerings, TWIL for Williston Campus offerings), or, select an Academic Level of “UG” to display all sections offered in that term and click submit.

Graduation Standards

All Vermont Technical College students are required to demonstrate competence in written and oral communication, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning prior to graduation. These graduation standards are evaluated for competency at the associate and bachelor levels. Students are required to pass each standard only once for their degree level while in the Vermont State Colleges.  Completion of each standard is reflected in the student program evaluation. Students who have received a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution are waived from this requirement.

GS – Information Literacy

First semester degree students are automatically enrolled in GRS-0222 Information Literacy online.  In this zero credit online Blackboard course, the information literacy tutorial and evaluation can be completed.  After the first term, students who still need to complete information literacy can re-enroll in a subsequent GRS-0222.  Sections are offered every semester.

  • In the portal, in the – My Courses box, click on the T11FA: Information Literacy  link
  • In the Information Literacy course – GRS-0222
  • There is a tutorial and  practice quizzes– these are optional
  • To take the assessment choose ‘Take the Test’ from the menu
  • The scores will be officially reported to the Registrar at the end of the fall term
  • During the spring term, they will be reported bi-weekly after April 1st
  • The online evaluation is scored 1 through 28
  • To pass at the associate level, students must score at least  20
  • To pass at the bachelor level, students must score at least at least  25
  • Students can verify scores in the Portal by checking in My Grades
  • Email the instructor if you have questions
  • Students that do not achieve a satisfactory score for their degree level may re-take the evaluation  as many times as necessary
  • The GRS-0222 completions do not show on the degree audit until the end of the term

GS – Written Communication

The written communication standard is evaluated in the first-year English sequence and in the technical communication course.  Students must pass the evaluation at the associate level to pass the course.

  • The evaluation is graded 1 through 5
  • To pass at the associate level, students must score a minimum of   3
  • To pass at the bachelor level, students must score a minimum of   4
  • Students who have completed their English sequence and have not met the graduation standard may submit a research paper to the Department of English, Humanities and Social Sciences for evaluation as a challenge exam.

GS – Oral Communication

The oral communication standard is evaluated either in ENG-1070 Effective Speaking or in program courses in each major.  To pass at the associate level, students must pass the standard in a program course or pass ENG 1070.

  • The evaluation is graded 1 through 5, 3 required for AS level and 4 for the BS level
  • Associate degree students must score a minimum of 3
  • Bachelor degree students must score a minimum of 4
  • Students who have completed the required coursework in which the standards are assessed, but who have not met the standard at the required level, may take ENG-1070 or another course in which the assessment occurs, or may seek an opportunity to take a challenge exam by contacting the English department chairperson.

GS Quantitative Reasoning

The quantitative reasoning standard is evaluated in entry level mathematics courses for non-engineering programs and by placement exams and in the mathematics courses for engineering students.  Students must pass the evaluation at the associate level to pass the course in non-engineering mathematics courses.

  • Students who achieve placement level 4 (Tech Math) will have met the standard at the associate level
  • Students who achieve placement level 5 (Calculus) will have met the standard at the bachelor level
  • Students who complete the Tech math sequence will have met the bachelor level standard
  • The evaluation is graded 1 through 5
  • Associate degree students must score a minimum of  3
  • Bachelor degree students must score a minimum of   4
  • Bachelor students who have completed the required coursework in which the standards are assessed, but who have not met the standard at the bachelor level may take a departmental challenge exam.

GS Waivers, Challenges, Substitutions, Prior Completions and Transfer Credit

Students who have completed graduation standards at another VSC school, or are being awarded credit for course work in which the standard is an integral part of the learning outcome for that course, are waived from the graduation standard requirement at Vermont Tech.

Students that have received a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution are waived from graduation standard requirement.

  • If a student transfers in a course where a standard is evaluated and has achieved a B- or better in that course, the standard will have been met at the bachelor’s level.
  • If a student has completed the course requirements for a specific program without having satisfied the graduation standards, the student may contact the department chair or director to arrange for further evaluation.

GS Evaluation Records

The graduation evaluations will be maintained by the individual or party that performs the evaluation for a minimum of 3 years.  For faculty that complete the evaluation as part of a course, it is recommended that the evaluations and/or results be maintained with other course grading materials.

Completion of the graduation standards will be reflected in student degree audits and verified prior to graduation.   A degree awarded on the Vermont Technical College transcript since 2006 is verification that the standards for that level have been met.

A Drug Free College

Vermont Technical College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol by employees and students on College property, in any College owned or leased facility, or as part of any College employment or activity. A copy of this policy, which meets the Drug […]

Vermont Technical College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol by employees and students on College property, in any College owned or leased facility, or as part of any College employment or activity.

A copy of this policy, which meets the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, is available by clicking this link: T313: Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Individuals convicted of drug law violations may lose all financial aid, and any loans can become due in full immediately upon conviction.

Improper possession, sale, distribution and use of controlled substances, including but not limited to prescription drugs, is prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia is also prohibited.

Alcohol Policies

Vermont Tech is committed to sustaining an academic environment that respects individual freedom; promotes the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the community; and is free from the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Misuse and abuse of alcohol, and the use of illicit drugs, constitutes a threat to that wellbeing and so compromises the educational mission of the College.

The College alcohol policy applies equally to all Vermont Tech students, employees, and guests during the time they are on campus or at campus events. Questions of interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Resident Director or the Office of Student Affairs, Morey Hall, extension 71212. For more information read the full VTC Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy,T313.

Alcohol consumption is only permitted in appropriate residential spaces, see Permissible Alcohol Use below, or in the case of specifically approved events or functions where alcohol is available as part of the refreshments by a licensed seller. Consumption of alcohol in public areas of the College is prohibited.

Substance-Free Residence Hall Areas

No possession or use of alcohol is permitted in substance-free designated areas, regardless of the student’s age. It is the student’s responsibility to know whether he or she is on a substance-free designated floor. There are signs on the hall doors of all substance free floors.

Permissible Alcohol Use

Only students over 21 years of age may possess or consume alcohol. They must be in private residence hall space, not a lounge, hallway, or lobby, with the door closed, and with no minors present.

Those of legal drinking age may not possess alcoholic beverages in the residence hall room of an underage student, or be in the presence of underage students who are in possession of alcohol.

Responsible alcohol consumption requires that a person‘s actions are not disruptive, damaging, or threatening to themselves, others, or anyone‘s property. When alcohol use is permitted, it is always a privilege, never a right.

Allowable Quantities

Each resident, who is twenty-one or older, is allowed to possess one of the following:

• a twelve pack of beer
• 750ml or one fifth of spirits
• one bottle of wine

Students are not permitted to possess or use common sources of alcohol or devices intended for the rapid consumption of alcohol including, but not limited to: funnels; kegs; alcohol misting devices. Such items may be considered aggravating circumstances when considering appropriate sanctions.

Host Liability

When a guest who has consumed alcohol on the host‘s premises does harm to him or herself, to a third party, or College or individual property the host can be held liable. If the host supplies alcohol to a guest, then the host will be held responsible for injuries or damage to the guest or to third parties caused by the guest‘s alcohol-influenced actions. If the host supplies alcohol to a minor, the host will also be responsible and liable for supplying alcohol to a minor, which is in violation of Vermont State Law.

Consumption and/or Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Vermont State law, no one under 21 years of age is permitted to be in possession of any type of alcohol container. There are serious penalties for anyone under the age of twenty-one who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol by misrepresenting his or her age or by falsifying identification. Minors may not be present in a room where alcohol is being consumed, even if the minor is not drinking and others in the room are of legal drinking age.

Drinking, Substance Abuse and Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is against the law. Possession of open containers in motor vehicles on campus property is prohibited. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and will be referred to the Vermont State Police. Documented conviction of DUI charges may result in loss of campus vehicle privileges.

Substance Abuse

All community members are encouraged to become informed about substance abuse and its harmful effects. It is a serious problem that may require professional assistance and treatment. Students in need of assistance can seek information and confidential guidance at the Student Affairs office. Staff in this office can also make referrals to outside agencies within the community.

There are significant secondary effects for roommates and friends of those who drink excessively. Roommates and friends report that sometimes they cannot study or sleep because they are worried when a friend gets so drunk that he or she does not return home until the next morning. If a student is worried about a friend, and this concern affects living habits, he or she has the right and responsibility to seek help both personally and for that other person without concern for his or her privacy.

Fines and Penalties for Alcohol Offenses

The following are typical sanctions for alcohol policy violations. The College can, at its discretion, report offenders to the Liquor Control Board or State Police, and can increase or lessen these sanctions based on aggravating or mitigating circumstances. For a more complete list of possible sanctions, click here.

During disciplinary proceedings, empty alcohol containers are counted the same as full or partially empty containers. This includes cans and bottles collected for return to a redemption center.

Failure to comply with sanctions may result in a suspension/dismissal hearing. The nature of the offense and sanctions will be delivered in writing to the student and fines will appear on the student’s bill as an alcohol violation. Students may be responsible for costs of individual meetings with the substance abuse counselor. Community service must be completed within a specific time, and there are penalties for failing to do so.

First Offense

Fine of $75; five hours of community service; parental notification; mandatory alcohol awareness course. A first offense which requires medical transport and/or law enforcement response may be elevated to a second offense at the discretion of the hearing officer.

Second Offense

Fine of $150; ten to fifteen hours of community service; individual session with a licensed counselor, whose recommendations must be followed; parental notification; disciplinary probation.

Third Offense

Fine of $300; minimum fifteen hours community service; individual session with substance abuse counselor, whose recommendations must be followed; parental notification; disciplinary probation, possible housing suspension or expulsion from the College.

Supplying Alcohol to Minors

Counts as a second offense, with these additions: notification to the State Liquor Inspector; possible criminal prosecution; additional fines of $100 for the host and $50 per guest.

Student Handbook

Welcome to Vermont Tech’s Student Handbook. This web-based document provides access to information about services and resources for students as well as policies and procedures. The Student Handbook includes information about campus resources (academic and otherwise), social events, safety information, and more. Produced by the Student Affairs Office, the student […]

Welcome to Vermont Tech’s Student Handbook. This web-based document provides access to information about services and resources for students as well as policies and procedures.

The Student Handbook includes information about campus resources (academic and otherwise), social events, safety information, and more. Produced by the Student Affairs Office, the student handbook is a compilation of official policies of the College. Students should contact any member of the student affairs staff if they have questions or need advice regarding College policies.

Please be aware that all students are responsible for reading and knowing the contents of this handbook and for abiding by all College rules and regulations.

Rules and policies are reviewed annually and may be changed at any time.