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Academic Regulations

Preliminary Informal Phase of the Grade Appeals Process - Initiation of Grade Appeals

3. Preliminary Informal Phase of the Grade Appeals Process: Initiation of Grade Appeals

3.1. Students who believe they have received a final course grade that reflects prejudicial, capricious, or arbitrary grading of their academic performance must make this belief known to the instructor(s), either orally or in writing, before they begin the formal appeal process. In accordance with the Policy on Final Course Grades, Grading Procedures, and Final Assessments, students have a right to be informed of their scores and to review each of their demonstrations of competence with their instructors. If materials submitted for a demonstration of competence are not returned to the student, such materials will be retained for at least two (2) subsequent semesters by the instructor. The materials shall be accessible to the department office. In the absence of the original instructor, an instructor with appropriate qualifications may be appointed by the Chair to review the demonstration of competence with the student.

3.2. In the event an instructor is not available to participate, the department/program chair in the discipline/program may appoint another instructor whose areas of expertise most closely approximates that of the instructor of record to represent the interests of the latter.

3.3. If the student cannot resolve the problem after informal consultation with the instructor and intends to continue the process, the next step is for the student to prepare a grade appeal file.

  • 3.3.1. The file must include:
    • 1. a written statement describing the reasons for the appeal and the recommendation for a new grade;
    • 2. a Grade Appeal Form obtained from the appropriate college office and fully completed; and
    • 3. supporting documents, such as the class syllabus, exams, papers, assignments or other corroborating documents, that show evidence of the alleged improper grading.
  • 3.3.2. The written statement describing the reasons for the appeal shall be addressed to the department/program chair of the discipline in which the course resides. For the purposes of this policy, a program director or coordinator is considered a program chair.
  • 3.3.3. The grade appeal file must be delivered to the department/program chair within the first 40 instructional days of the regular semester immediately following the semester or special session in which the course was completed.

3.4. After receiving the student's grade appeal file (see 3.3.1., above), the department/program chair will consult with both the student and the instructor(s) involved to attempt a resolution to the grade appeal.

  • 3.4.1. If the instructor of record refuses to participate, the department chair shall insert a written statement to that effect in the appeal file.
  • 3.4.2. If a student is appealing a grade assigned by the department chair, the college dean or designee shall perform all functions of the chair in the appeals process.
  • 3.4.3. In the case of courses that do not follow the traditional semester pattern (such as short-term courses given during a regular semester or programs that require year-round enrollment), students must initiate an appeal within 40 regular semester instructional days of the termination of the course.

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