Academic Affairs

Board of Trustees Policy

SUBJECT:

Grade Appeal

NUMBER:
3.6
DATE:
March 2014
SUPERSEDES:
April 2008

Purpose

In the interest of due process, the College provides an appeal process for a student who believes that a recorded final grade does not accurately reflect his/her academic performance in a course. This policy is applicable for both credit and noncredit offerings. Grades can be appealed in instances where a student believes that an inaccurate final grade has been issued such as arbitrary grade issuance, inconsistent grading practice, or mechanical error. For issues of academic dishonesty, please refer to the College's Student Academic Code of Ethics.

Policy

As the initiator of the process, the burden of proof is on the student to demonstrate the grade is inaccurate. It is incumbent upon the student, while attempting to resolve the issue, to strictly adhere to the established appeal procedure.

Procedure

The following procedures must be completed in consecutive order within the published guidelines and timeframes or the appeal will not be reviewed. In order to support effective resolution, the student should clearly outline how the appeal meets the aforementioned conditions of a grade appeal as well as the intended outcome being sought. Use of the Grade Appeal Form is required. To provide greater context and understanding regarding the grade appeal policy, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section has been developed to support students, faculty and administrators.

  1. The student must first attempt to resolve the grade with the course faculty. Within 10 business* days of grade issuance, the student should complete the Student Information and Step One sections of the Grade Appeal form and send via official College email the completed form as a Word attachment with other supportive materials to the course faculty. Supportive materials should include course syllabus, copies of written exchanges and any other additional pertinent materials (graded documents, feedback, etc). The student-course faculty meeting must occur within 10 business* days of the initial email contact and can occur through a face-to-face, videoconference, or phone exchange.
  2. If unable to resolve the matter with the course faculty or if the course faculty does not reply within 10 business* days, the student must forward the initial email submitted to the course faculty including attachments to the Division Dean/Program Director who oversees the course discipline, and then schedule a meeting with the Division Dean/Program Director within 10 business* days of the student-course faculty meeting.
  3. If unable to resolve the matter at the divisional level, the Division Dean/Program Director will complete Section Two of the Grade Appeal form and email it as a Word attachment along with the supportive materials from both the student and course faculty to the Assistant/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs within 5 business* days of the student-dean/director meeting.
  4. The Assistant/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (ex-officio Chairperson) will convene a Committee on Academic Progress to hear the grade appeal.
    1. Grade appeal hearings will be scheduled once a month and all hearings are to be held on that particular day. An alternative day will be identified in instances of campus closure. Adhering to the established schedule is critical to resolving appeals in a timely fashion.
    2. The Committee will be comprised of a fulltime faculty member, a student representative and an Academic Affairs administrator appointed as to not represent the division involved.
    3. Five (5) business* days prior to the meeting, the Assistant/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will electronically distribute to all involved parties the completed Grade Appeal Form including corresponding attachments for review prior to the hearing via email. All parties involved should review materials prior to the meeting.
    4. At the hearing, the student and course faculty will have opportunity to further present their positions and address posed questions by the Committee and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost. The student is permitted to bring 1 guest to the hearing that will serve in the capacity of observer. The Division Dean will participate as an observer. All materials presented and discussion at the hearing and among the Committee is to be kept confidential. At the request of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, the student or course faculty might be asked to provide additional supporting documentation or evidence after the hearing.
    5. The Committee will have 2 business* days from the conclusion of the hearing to discuss and make a written recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost. The recommendation must include an evidenced-based rationale and be signed by voting Committee members. Electronic and hard documents produced in association with the appeal process should not be held by Committee members beyond the recommendation.
    6. The Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost will review evidence and take the Committee recommendation under advisement. Within 5 business* days of receipt of the Committee recommendation, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost will render to the student in writing with copies to all parties involved in the hearing the grade appeal decision, which is final.
  5. The Assistant/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will destroy electronic and hard document copies associated with the grade appeal. A permanent record of the proceedings including hardcopy of the final written decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost is kept in a confidential file in the Office of Academic Affairs.
* Business is defined as day of College operation with classes in session excluding weekends.
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