Students who wish to dispute a grade received on a test, essay, homework, performance, computer program project, etc. may do so informally by discussing the matter with the instructor who issued the grade. However, the instructor's decision, except as outlined below, is final and may not be further appealed. Sanction for Academic Ethics violations that result in a failing course grade can only be appealed through the Academic Ethics Violations appeal process, not this grade dispute process.
When a student believes that the final grade he or she has received in a course is inaccurate or unjustified, the student must be able to provide justification for the appeal and the student must use the following procedures to dispute the grade. If a student receives a failing final grade due solely to attendance reasons, the grade is not appealable. It is the student's responsibility to have an on-going discussion with the instructor about the status of their grade.
- Within 30 calendar days from posting of the final grade, the student shall contact the faculty who issued the final grade and discuss the grade in question. Students must complete a Final Grade Dispute form (available on the Portal) and review it with the Instructor. If the student is unable to contact the faculty member, he or she may seek assistance through the Associate Dean.
- If the student and instructor are not able to resolve the dispute and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he or she shall contact the Associate Dean within 10 calendar days of the date of the faculty member's decision and submit the Grade Dispute form. The Associate Dean, or designee, will work to attempt a resolution.
- If the Associate Dean and the student are not able to resolve the dispute and the student wishes to pursue the matter further the student has 10 calendar days from the date of the Associate Dean's decision to make an appeal and submit the Grade Dispute form to the Dean. The Dean will meet individually with the student and the faculty member, or may choose to meet with them together in an attempt to resolve the grade. The Dean will put in writing to the student his/her decision.
- If the Dean and the student are not able to resolve the dispute and the student wishes to pursue the matter further the student may make a written request to the Student Development Managerfor an Academic Appeals Board hearing within 10 calendar days of the written decision of the Dean. If the request is not filed within the prescribed time, the student forfeits the right to any further appeal. The Grade Dispute form must accompany the request for the Appeal.
- The Academic Appeals Board will be scheduled when appropriate by the Office of Student Development, within 10 calendar days after receiving the written request for hearing. The student, instructor, Associate Dean or the Dean may request that the time may be extended for justifiable reasons (e.g., summer schedules and faculty availability) or extenuating circumstances. The student, the instructor, the Associate Dean and the Dean will be notified in writing in such circumstances. All persons involved in the hearing will be notified in writing by certified mail or personal delivery of hearing time, date, and location. The Student Development Manager is responsible for these notifications.
Academic Appeals Board
- The Academic Appeals Board shall be established to hear appeals initiated by a student to contest a final course grade received by the student.
- The Academic Appeal Board consists of three (3) members. These members will come from a trained pool of five (5) students, five (5) administrators, and five (5) instructors, and there will be one Board member from each of these categories. The Student Development Manager will select three members from this pool for each Board of Review hearing, making efforts to ensure representation of each constituency. The College's attorney may be present to act as an advisor, but will not be a voting member. In order for student peers to sit as members of the Board of Review, all involved students must sign a release to authorize students sitting on the Board. If appropriate authorizations are not obtained, the Board of Review will proceed without student representatives.
- The student and instructor(s) may each have one person of their choosing present during this hearing for support and may consult with the student, but this support person will not be permitted to speak for, or otherwise act as an advocate for, the student or instructor. The Dean and Associate Dean will be present to discuss their role and findings.
- After hearing all information, all participants, except Board members will be asked to leave the room. The Board will then deliberate in private. The Academic Appeals Board shall, by majority vote, make a recommendation to the Vice President of Learning.
- After receipt of the recommendation of the Academic Appeals Board and within ten (10) calendar days, the College Vice President shall render a written decision and furnish copies of the decision to the student, Dean, Associate Dean, faculty and to the Student Development Manager.
- The decision of the Vice President of Learning is final.