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  • Student Grade Appeal Process

    Part I

    If a student has reason to believe that a grade he/she has received is incorrect, the student should first try to resolve the issue with the faculty member. If no satisfactory resolution is reached, the student should attempt to resolve the matter by consultation with the appropriate department chair and the faculty member. If no satisfactory resolution has been reached through this consultation and the student still believes that he/she has a basis for a complaint, the student shall then initiate the formal grade appeal procedure, as described in Part II of the Student Grade Appeal Process.

    The only grounds for a student grade appeal shall be as follows:

     1. The grade is allegedly based on an error in calculation.

     2. The grade assigned allegedly did not follow the grading criteria as stated in the course syllabus.

    It shall be the responsibility of the student to prove that the grade is incorrect or unjustified. 

    The Dean of Students (or his/her designee) shall determine whether or not the appeal meets the stated criteria and whether or not the required attempts at resolution described above have taken
    place.

    Part II

    The following shall constitute the conditions and procedures by which a student may formally appeal for a change of grade(s). Any appeal for a change of grade, other than a final grade, must be initiated in the semester during which the student is enrolled in the course. Appeal of a final grade for the semester must be made prior to the end of the fourth week of the subsequent semester, excluding spring and summer sessions. There will be no formal grade appeals during the week of final exams or during semester breaks; however, an attempt will be made to resolve grade appeal issues when the grade is given in a course which serves as a prerequisite and precludes the student's enrollment in a sequential semester. Time lines for grade appeals occurring during the Spring and Summer Sessions will be established by the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) based upon availability of faculty and staff.

    SECTION I: Procedure

     1. A student wishing to file a grade appeal begins by going to the Dean of Students.

     2. Within ten (10) college days of the meeting described in item 1 above, the Dean of Students will confirm that the attempts at resolution required in Part I have taken place. If not, those attempts at resolution shall now take place.

     3. The student shall formally request a grade appeal form within ten (10) college days of number 2 above.

    4. The student returns the completed form, including a written statement of the request for a change of grade, to the Dean of Students.

     a. The written statement shall include the course number, course name, name of the student, name of the faculty member, date the contested grade occurred, grade change desired and rationale to support specific ground(s) upon which the appeal is based.

    b. The grade appeal must be on an official Student Grade Appeal Form which must be filled out, signed and dated, and returned to the Dean of Students within ten (10) college days of the date when the form is requested.

     

    5. Within ten (10) college days of receipt of the returned grade appeal the faculty member shall provide a written response to the student response on the official grade appeal form and return this form to the Dean of Students who shall send the response to the student. (In the event that the faculty member concerned is no longer at the college, the appropriate department chairperson shall substitute for the faculty member.)

    6. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member's response, he/she shall so indicate on the grade appeal form and request that the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) convene a Review Committee. This request must be made within ten (10) college days of the receipt of the faculty member's response.

     7. If the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) determines that the allegations set forth in the grade appeal meet the criteria of Part I,  the Review Committee shall be convened within ten (10) college days of the student's request for such a committee.

    a. The Review Committee shall consist of:

    1. One student randomly selected from students that have been enrolled in the same department as the course in question.

    2. One faculty member selected by the Department Chairperson from the same discipline as the course in question, if possible; if the grade appeal is against the Department Chairperson, the faculty member shall be chosen by the Dean of Students (or his/her designee). 

    3. The appropriate Academic Dean.

    4. The Dean of Students as the facilitator.

    b. The purpose of the Review Committee is to review any written and/or oral materials submitted by the student and the faculty member concerned and to arrive at a decision.

     

    8. The committee's decision shall be rendered within ten (10)  college days of the conclusion of the hearing, and shall be in writing on the Review Committee Action Form, and the committee's decision shall be final.

    9. A letter relating the Review Committee's written decision shall be distributed to all parties concerned within five (5)  College days of the rendering of the decision.

    10. If there is a decision to change a grade, this change shall then be implemented.

    11. Time limitations for any step in the appeal process may be modified by the Dean of Students (or his/her designee). In those instances where the faculty and/or student are not scheduled to be on campus during the semester or if it is Spring/Summer semester  during which the grade appeal is filed, the time lines for the appeal process shall be determined by the Dean of Students (or his/her designee). College days are defined as Monday-Friday. The time deadline for each step of the appeal process shall be 4:30 p.m. of the last day in which the process is to occur. 

    Section II: Guidelines for Implementation of Student Grade Appeal Procedure

    1. The Dean of Students shall be responsible for explaining the procedure to the student and scheduling necessary meetings.

    a. At the time the grade appeal is filed, the Dean of Students will review the time limitations for each step and outline time deadlines for the grade appeal. 

    b. If requested by the student, the Dean of Students will assign a student advisor or college counselor to assist the student with the appeal process. 

    2. If a Review Committee is convened, the following shall apply:

    a. Procedure for the Committee Meeting:

    1) The Dean of Students (or his/her designee) will convene the Committee, serve as the chairperson, review the written grade appeal and related material, and describe the function and procedures of the Committee. 

    2) The hearing will be closed to all but the parties concerned; however, the Review Committee (as well as the student and staff member) may request individuals who may testify as to the specifics of the alleged violation/complaint. Such witnesses shall be limited to persons with actual knowledge of the specific incident under dispute. Also, the student and/or the staff member may request an additional person (legal counsel/attorney not allowed) to be present at the hearing for the purpose of advice and support. Such support persons shall not participate in the proceedings, but are available only for consultation by the party that they are supporting. 

    b. Conduct of the Meeting:

    1) Meeting: Once convened, the Review Committee shall consider the facts and circumstances of the grade appeal. Persons providing validation of the specifics of the appeal will only be present during their own period of testimony.

    2) Student's Case: The student shall present his/her case without interruption, including the presentation of factual evidence and the calling of persons providing validation of the specifics of the appeal.

    3) Faculty Member's Case: The faculty member shall present his/her case without interruption, including the presentation of factual evidence and the calling of persons providing validation of the specifics of the appeal.

    4) Questioning: After both parties have presented their case, the student has the right to question the faculty member and/or his/her witnesses. Following this, the faculty member shall have the right to question the student and/or his/her witnesses.

    5) Committee Questioning: Following this questioning period, members of the Review Committee shall have the right to direct questions to either party or their witnesses or request additional information.

    6) Modifications to the questioning may be requested by the Committee to help in the facilitation of the understanding of the complaint.

    c. When testimony has been completed, the members of the Review Committee, exclusive of the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) shall enter into deliberations which will be conducted in private and shall remain confidential.

    1) The Review Committee shall consider only evidence presented during the hearing when making its decision or additional evidence requested by the Review Committee.

    2) The Review Committee shall then reach a decision on the merits of the student's grade appeal within ten (10)  College days of the conclusion of the hearing.

    3) The decision of the Review Committee must be unanimous; failing a unanimous decision, no action shall be taken. The vote on the decision shall be by secret ballot. 

    4) The Committee's decision shall be to support or change the existing grade. The Committee may provide any recommendation as needed to either the faculty member and/or the student.

    d. The Review Committee shall provide the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) with a written decision on the grade appeal. The Dean of Students (or his/her designee) shall provide a letter relating the Review Committee's decision to all parties concerned within five (5) College days of the conclusion of the hearing.

    e. The decision of the Review Committee shall be implemented with five (5) College days of the conclusion of the hearing.