79 F.3d 92 (8th Cir. 1996), 95-2409, Disesa v. St. Louis Community College

Docket Nº:95-2409.
Citation:79 F.3d 92
Party Name:Dianna DISESA, Appellant, v. ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE; Betty Duvall, Individually and in capacity as Dean of Instruction; Francis R. Dennis, Individually and in capacity as Chairperson of Nursing Department; Thelma Vasques, Individually and in capacity as Nursing Instructor, Appellees.
Case Date:March 14, 1996
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 92

79 F.3d 92 (8th Cir. 1996)

Dianna DISESA, Appellant,

v.

ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE; Betty Duvall, Individually and

in capacity as Dean of Instruction; Francis R. Dennis,

Individually and in capacity as Chairperson of Nursing

Department; Thelma Vasques, Individually and in capacity as

Nursing Instructor, Appellees.

No. 95-2409.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

March 14, 1996

Submitted Jan. 11, 1996.

Page 93

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri; David D. Noce, Magistrate Judge.

Stephen J. Nangle, St. Louis, MO, argued, for appellant.

Kenneth M. Lander, St. Louis, MO, argued, for appellee.

Before WOLLMAN, ROSS, and DIANA E. MURPHY, Circuit Judges.

WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.

Dianna Disesa appeals from the magistrate judge's 1 grant of summary judgment in her 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against St. Louis Community College at Florissant (the "College") and five college officials, alleging violations of her substantive and procedural due process rights regarding a failed nursing school course. We affirm.

I.

Disesa alleges that during her final semester as a nursing student at the College she was informed that she had failed the classroom portion of a multi-part class entitled "Nursing of Adults and Children III," taught by defendants Thelma Vasquez, Dorothy Bowen and Joan Burns. Following the receipt of this failing grade and the final decision not to allow Disesa to retake the failed exam, Disesa was required to repeat the entire semester course, thus postponing her graduation by one semester.

The course grade was calculated on the basis of five quizzes, which accounted for seventy-five percent of the grade, and a final examination, which accounted for the remaining twenty-five percent. Following the first few quizzes, several students complained of administrative deficiencies in the testing procedures,

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including typographical errors in the materials and test questions, testing on materials not covered in class, and an inability to review the quizzes after they were graded. The nursing department responded to these complaints by issuing a formal announcement regarding more rigorous faculty proofreading requirements and by allowing the students to retake the third quiz.

Following the final exam, Disesa received a call from Francis Dennis, the chair of the nursing department, who informed Disesa that she had failed the classroom portion of the course and thus would not be allowed to graduate on schedule. In a class of forty-six students, Disesa was one of seven who failed. The failing students met with Dean Dennis to discuss the possibility of retaking the test. After a series of faculty meetings to discuss the situation, the request was denied. The decision was appealed to the Dean of Instruction, Betty Duvall, who also denied the...

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