Policy for Grade Appeals

Policy for Grade Appeals

A. Assignment of Grades

The academic standards for successful completion of a course and assignment of a grade are established by the department or unit under which the course is administered. The faculty bear the responsibility of assuring that written academic standards are provided to each student at the beginning of each course. The course director assigns final grades based upon these published academic standards.

B. Basis for Appeal

1. This appeal mechanism is limited to possible errors in calculating or recording a final grade and to allegations of mistakes or arbitrary or capricious grading. “Arbitrary or capricious” grading means (1) the assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; (2) the assignment of a course grade to a student by unreasonable application of standards different from the standards that were applied to other students in that course; or (3) the assignment of a course grade by a substantial and unreasonable departure from the written academic standards for that course.

2. This appeal mechanism is not to be used to dispute the published academic standards for a course which are the prerogative of the department and the course director under which the course is administered.

3. It is the responsibility of the student to substantiate the assertion that an incorrect final grade has been assigned.

C. Appeals Process

1. The student should first meet with the course director or instructor involved to discuss his or her concerns and to present any evidence that an erroneous or arbitrary or capricious final grade has been assigned. This meeting should occur, when possible, within 10 working days from the time that the student was notified of the grade in question.

2. If the student's concerns are not resolved in meeting with the faculty or course director, the student may submit a written appeal to the appropriate department chairperson. This written appeal must be made, when possible, within five (5) working days of the student's meeting with the faculty or course director and must contain information to substantiate the student’s assertion. The department chairperson will consult with the student and the course director and make a written decision for or against the appeal, when possible, within five (5) working days of receipt of the appeal. If the decision is in favor of the student, the chairperson will change the grade as appropriate.

3. If the matter is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may seek advice from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The student may continue the appeal process by initiating the formal procedure of the Student Grievance Policy within 10 working days of receiving the decision of the department chairperson. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will appoint the Chairperson of the Student Grievance Panel from among the faculty members on the Student Affairs Committee. For consideration of grade appeals, the Panel shall consist of at least five (5) faculty members of the Student Affairs Committee, plus two (2) student members of the Student Affairs Committee. Absent a conflict, the students should be the Class President of the grieving student’s class and the SDA President. The Grievance Panel will request information from the involved department to determine if the grade appeal should be considered further.

4. The formal procedure and appeals process follow the same guidelines for student grievances as described in Sections II and III of the Student Grievance Policy.


Reviewed and revised:  August 1, 2015

Reviewed:  August 1, 2016