Buzzfeed (David Mack) has the story, quoting the original e-mail from the instructor; students were asked to write a report comparing a social norm in the U.S. with that in another country, the student chose Australia, and the instructor responded:
I will gladly re-examine your week 2 milestone project report.
But before I do I want you to understand that any error in a project can invalidate the entire research project.
Research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall.
Australia is a continent; it is not a country. That error made it nearly impossible for you to accurately complete your week 2 research outline correctly.
As I mentioned above I will look over your week two paper once again and see if you earned more credits than I gave you.
The New Hampshire Union-Leader (Shawne K. Wickham) has more; Southern New Hampshire University has the apology Tweet:
We deeply regret the interaction between our professor & our student. We have apologized to Ashley, replaced the instructor, & are reimbursing her tuition for the course. To our friends in Australia, we know that you are a country & a continent, best of luck in the Olympic games!— SNHU (@SNHU) February 9, 2018