Academic Affairs

Board of Trustees Policy

Subject: Grade Appeal

Number: 3.6

Date: May 2020

Supersedes: March 2014, 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 non-credit offerings. Grades can be appealed in instances where a student believes that an inaccurate final grade has been issued due to: a mechanical error, such as miscalculation of final grade or error in recording final grade; inconsistent grading practice, such as grade not based on student’s academic performance in the course and/or grade based on standards different from those applied to other students in that course; or a deviation from the syllabus, such as an unannounced, unreasonable, and/or ungrounded change from the instructor’s previously articulated standards.. 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 below.

Procedure

  1. The student must attempt to seek resolution through discussion with the course faculty within fourteen (14) calendar** days of final grade posting. If the student does not feel that a satisfactory solution has been reached within those 14 days, the student has ten (10) calendar days to submit a Grade Appeal Form to the Division Dean/Program Director.
  2. Division Dean/Program Director will have ten (10) business days to investigate, document evidence, and determine the validity of the claim.
  3. If the Division Dean/Program Director deems that the grade appeal has merit in accordance with the Grade Appeal definition listed above, the Dean/Program Director will fill out the recommendation section of the grade appeal form, which will then be forwarded to Academic Affairs. A representative from Academic Affairs will contact faculty with the Division Dean/Program Director’s decision and will then schedule an Ad Hoc Committee for deliberation as soon as possible.
  4. The Ad Hoc Committee will be comprised of a full-time faculty member, a student representative, and an Academic Affairs administrator appointed as to not represent the division involved.
  5. The Assistant/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (ex-officio Chairperson) will convene a Committee on Academic Progress to hear the grade appeal.
    • Grade appeal hearings will be scheduled as soon as possible. Adherence to a quick timeframe is critical to resolving appeals in a timely fashion.
    • The Committee will be comprised of a full-time faculty member, a student representative and an Academic Affairs administrator appointed as to not represent the division involved.
    • 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.
    • 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 one guest to the hearing who 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.
    • The Committee will have two 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.
    • The Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost will review evidence and take the Committee recommendation under advisement. Within five (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.
  6. 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.
** Calendar day is defined as a day of the week