Grade Appeal Policy
Students who disagree with the assignment of a final grade by an instructor may file
an appeal under these procedures.
Grade Decision Review
This process is available only to review allegedly unfair final course grade decisions, not mere differences of opinion regarding the professional judgment of the instructor who made the grade decision, or to dispute grades on assignments, tests, or other work within a course. A grade decision may be considered unfair if the decision:
- Was based on factors other than performance in the course and/or compliance with course assignments and requirements;
- Involved more exacting or demanding standards than were applied to other students in the same course section;
- Constitutes a substantial departure from the instructor’s standards as articulated
in the course syllabus, catalog descriptions, and/or other written materials.
A student who wishes to appeal a grade decision must proceed as follows:
1. Informal Meeting
The student must attempt to resolve the matter directly with the instructor through a personal conference as soon as possible after the grade decision is known, but no later than the end of the first full week of the following regular academic term. If the student is unable to arrange a conference or is not satisfied with the instructor’s explanation of the grade, the student may request in writing that the Dean of the school which offered the course convene a conference with the student and instructor. If the instructor is unavailable or unwilling to confer with the student, the student may request a formal review by the appropriate Dean.
2. Dean Review
- If the student and the instructor cannot reach a mutually satisfactory resolution to the problem, the student may file a formal appeal. The appeal must be presented in writing, together with relevant documents, to the appropriate Dean no later than the 20th day of college instruction in the following academic term. The student must describe the appeal, identify which of the three (3) reasons the appeal is based on (See Grade Decision Reviewed above), detail the reasons the student believes the decision unfair, and document the student’s attempts to resolve the appeal informally. For purposes of this section, fall semester and spring semester shall each constitute an academic term. The student shall send a copy of the appeal to the instructor. The instructor shall have ten (10) working days to respond after receipt of the appeal. If the instructor does not respond within that time frame, the Dean will consider the appeal and documents formally submitted by the student.
- The Dean shall review the appeal and all of the submitted documentation, interview persons relevant to the appeal when necessary, and render a written decision within ten (10) working days of receipt of the instructor’s response. A copy of the Dean’s decision will be given to the instructor and the student. If the Dean is also the instructor whose grade is the subject of the appeal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall select another Dean to conduct the appeal process.
3. Faculty Senate Review
The student or the instructor may appeal the Dean’s decision. Such appeal must be filed in writing and submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) working days of receipt of the Dean’s decision, with copies to the instructor, the student, and the Dean. The written appeal shall deal only with the part or parts of the Dean’s decision that the appellant disputes. New evidence, information, or supporting documents cannot be included as part of the appeal except when, by clear and convincing evidence, it is established that such information was not available at the time of the original appeal. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will submit the appeal to the Faculty Senate for review. The Faculty Senate may interview the student, the instructor, the Dean and other appropriate persons, but only to discuss the issues in dispute in the appeal. The Faculty Senate will submit a written decision to the student, the instructor, and the Dean. The decision of the Faculty Senate is the final decision of the College.