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Students Accuse NWACC Instructors of Academic Bullying

BENTONVILLE, AR -- A group of NWACC nursing students say instructors tampered with grades, showed favoritism and bullied them in class.
"The world needs to know how NWACC treats it's students." - Student
BENTONVILLE, AR -- A nursing program is being accused of academic neglect.

"The world needs to know how NWACC (Northwest Arkansas Community College) treats it's students," says one student, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"GPA tampering."
"FERPA violations."
"Vicious bullying."
"Singling students out individually, turning the class against them."

Those are a few of the accusations coming from nine current or former NWACC students.

They showed up for our interview but asked we conceal their identities, and all of them are calling for change.

"We have 4.0, die-hard, wonderful, dedicated students who've worked their butts off to get into this program, and it has been nothing what they've been promised it to be," one of the students says.

Tuesday, an anonymous e-mail arrived in NWACC President Dr. Evelyn Jorgenson's inbox, saying certain instructors are sabotaging students efforts to learn.

"If they have a concern they've got to follow the appeal process or we don't have a way to investigate because we don't know who they are," says Steven Hinds, Executive Director of Public Relations at the college.

Hinds says there is a grievance process in place, but none have been filed. The anonymous nine say differently.

"Our first semester we did go through the grievance process," one of the students says, "...and we were assured that something would be done and nothing was done."

Another student gives her take, "Basically, it's trickery. It makes the students have to do hundreds of more hours of work defending themselves, rather than focusing on the program."

Hinds disagrees. "I can certainly dispute that we have an extremely reputable nursing program."

He says the 20-year program's pass rate is 97 percent, above the state national average. A claim that's also disputed by the group.

"That's what they want you to think. That's fabricated," the students say.

Now either side seems to be awaiting action.

"I would like an investigation personally," one student says.

Hinds adds, "We don't have any way to investigate because we don't know who these people are that are even sending this anonymous email."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified NWACC President as Emily Jorgenson.
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