A student who believes that the final grade which has been recorded in a course does not reflect a fair and accurate assessment of the student’s work may appeal the grade. The grade being appealed is the final grade; individual test scores in any course are not subject to this appeal procedure. The following appeal procedure shall not be used to question the professional judgment of an instructor or the content of an examination.
Conditions for Appealing a Final Grade
- Only final grades in a course may be appealed.
In order to avoid any misunderstanding of the reasons that a final grade may be appealed, the following is a list of the only conditions which are grounds for appeal:
- When a student contends that the professor has violated the professor’s own specified grading standards or has imposed criteria different from those used to evaluate the academic work of other students in the class.
- When the student has been charged by the professor with cheating, plagiarism, or collusion resulting in a reduced grade or a grade of “F” in the course. If the student contends that the charges are untrue and the penalty therefore unjust, the appeal procedure will afford him/her due process against such charges.
- When the student has been given either the grade of “F” in a course or a lower grade in a course than s/he earned by his/her academic work because the professor accuses the student in violation of College rules or regulations which should be administered by the Dean of Students and not by the instructor in any given course.
- When the instructor demands as a condition of passing a course any conditions not germane to the subject matter of the course.
Procedure for Appealing Final Grades
A student who contends that s/he has received an unfair final grade under one of the conditions listed as grounds for appeal should follow the procedure outlined below.
- The STUDENT must initiate the appeal procedure within thirty (30) school days of the end of the semester or summer session in which the grade was received. If the grade in question is given during a spring semester and either the student or the instructor of the course is not participating in the succeeding summer session, the thirty (30) day period will begin on the first class day of the next fall semester.
- The appeal procedure is initiated by the student notifying the academic dean of his/her intention to appeal a final grade and providing the academic dean with his/her name and student number, the instructor’s name, the course name and number, the grade received, and the semester in which the grade was received.
- The academic dean should at this time accomplish the following: (a) Insure that the thirty (30) day period for appeal has not lapsed. (b) Insure that the student’s reason for appealing the final grade is consistent with the “conditions which are grounds for appeal” (as listed above), and (c) Explain this procedure to the student so that s/he may be knowledgeable concerning the appeal process.
- The student meets and talks, in turn, with the instructor, the department chair, and/or and the appropriate academic dean in an attempt to resolve the final grade problem. This must be accomplished within fifteen (15) school days from the initiation of the grade appeal.
- If the outlined procedure outlined above does not resolve the problem the student will, within ten (10) school days, furnish the academic dean with a written account of why s/he feels the final grade received was unfair and/or capricious. The academic dean will have a maximum of sixty (60) days to investigate the student’s complaint. Within two weeks after completing this investigation, the academic dean will meet with the student and the instructor to attempt to solve the problem and to insure that both the student and the instructor understand the nature and extent of the grading complaint.
- If the meeting between the student, department chair, and instructor does not result in a solution to the problem, the student’s written complaint against the instructor’s grading policy will be forwarded to the Academics Standards Committee. These copies will be distributed to the instructor of the course, the appropriate academic dean, the Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, the academic dean, and the Chairman of the Academic Standards Committee.
- The chairman of the Academic Standards Committee will establish a Grade Appeals Committee from the membership of the Academic Standards Committee. The Committee as a whole may serve as the Grade Appeals Committee.
- Within fifteen (15) school days after receipt of the student’s written complaint, the Chairman of the Grade Appeals Committee will call a meeting of the Committee to hear the student’s complaint and the instructor’s response. The Committee will determine if the facts of the case warrant a further hearing, insuring that the deliberations of the members are tape recorded and that all evidence is considered. The recording of the Committee’s proceedings are turned over to the Chairman of the Academic Standards Committee.
In the event that the Committee rules that a hearing is warranted, the appeal is sent on to the Academic Standards Committee. In the event that the Committee rules that there is no basis for further action, the appeal normally ends at this point. However, in order to provide total due process for students, the student shall have the opportunity to appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. After this committee holds a hearing on the appeal (at which the tape recording of the hearing and evidence presented to the Grade Appeals Committee is considered), the Committee will render a decision. The decision of this Committee will be binding on all parties.