Academic Policies

61 Student Appeal of Course Grade Procedure


The evaluation of student performance reflected in the final course grade becomes a part of the permanent student record and is recorded on the college transcript for the student. This grade is based upon several specified grading factors identified in the course syllabus. If your situation falls into one of the categories, you may have grounds for a grade appeal:

  • Instructor calculation or clerical error not resolved;
  • The grading system was not consistently and fairly applied to all students;
  • Instructor did not follow grading policy in course syllabus;

If a student believes one of the above applies, the following procedures should be used to resolve the issue.

Step 1: 

A.       The student shall within thirty (30) days following the issuance of the grade in question, confer with the instructor who issued the grade and outline the reasons why it is felt the grade has been incorrectly issued. Within ten (10) working days following this conference, the instructor shall advise the student in writing of his/her action. The instructor may leave the grade unchanged or specify the grade change made as a result of the appeal. In either case, the instructor will specify the reasons for the action in writing.

B.       If the student remains dissatisfied following Step 1A, he/she should contact the applicable department chairperson within five (5) working days of receiving the written response from the instructor. The chairperson shall arrange a conference with the student, instructor, and the chairperson. A written record of the meeting and decision is to be kept.


Step 2: 

If the student’s dissatisfaction persists, he/she may request that the case be reviewed at a hearing before a Review Committee by filing a Grade Appeal. The student shall obtain the Grade Appeal Form available in the Academic Affairs Office. Filling out an issue/concern form is not a grade appeal.

The Grade Appeal form must be received no later than ten (10) working days following the conference with the department chair. Submission of the grade appeal should be made to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (Grade Appeal Form), and the Review Committee shall hear the case within twenty (20) working days thereafter.

The Review Committee shall consist of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee) as chairperson, a Department Chair, two faculty, and two students chosen by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

At such review, the student shall be allowed to appear in person and present any evidence, including the testimony of others, which is reasonable and relevant in determining whether or not the grade in question is, in fact, correct. The burden of proof rests with the student. The proof shall be a preponderance of evidence.

The instructor who issued the grade will be given the opportunity for further clarification as to how the grade was determined.

The Vice President for Academic Affairs will communicate the decision of the Review Committee in writing within ten (10) working days after the hearing is closed.


Step 3: 

If the student is dissatisfied with the decision rendered in Step 2, he/she will have an additional five (5) working days after notification of the decision to contact the President of the college in writing the desire to appeal. After receiving the report of the Review Committee, the President will determine if Steps 1 and 2 were followed. If Steps 1 and 2 have been followed, the President may:

  1. Meet with the student to gain further clarification of the problem.
  2. Meet with the faculty member, and Vice President for Academic Affairs to gain additional clarification of the problem.

After careful consideration of all facts, but within ten (10) working days, the President will render a decision in writing to the student. The decision of the President will be to:

  1. Sustain the action of the Review Committee, or
  2. Refer the appeal back to the Review Committee if new information is brought forward in Step 3, or
  3. Refer the appeal back to the Review Committee for additional study and review of procedures followed.

The President shall take any other actions necessary to protect the student’s right to due process and the instructor’s right to academic freedom.  The President’s ruling is final.



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