Grade Grievance Procedure

The purpose of this process is to resolve grade disputes between students or alumni and faculty in a timely manner that upholds academic integrity.

This process will be used for disputes regarding final grades (except for those involving academic dishonesty as defined in the Student Code of Conduct).

A student who perceives an individual grade received during a course to be unfair must attempt to resolve the matter directly with the course instructor. Only when an individual grade has impacted a student’s final grade, or when a student perceives a final grade to be unfair, may the student invoke the formal grievance process described below.

If, at any time in the process, a grade grievance touches upon policies related to disabilities, discrimination, Title IX or any other policies established to follow federal regulations, the College, at its sole discretion, may decide that the process indicated in the existing policy or policies must be pursued rather than this one.

Informal Process

Step 1

The student is required to contact the course instructor within 15 calendar days after the official posting of the final course grade to try to resolve the grading concern. The student is expected to communicate via email with the faculty member. Any complaint received after the 15-day period will not be considered.

The faculty member will have a reasonable time to respond, not to exceed 10 business days, after receipt of the email. If the student does not receive a response within 10 business days or the grade dispute is not resolved after step 1, the student may move to step 2.

Step 2

A student may proceed to step 2 only after the procedures for step 1 have been followed. In step 2, the student will contact the appropriate department chair, program coordinator or site director with a written description of the situation and request they serve as a mediator for the dispute. The department chair, program coordinator or site director will reach out to the faculty to member for a response and will try to mediate a resolution between both parties that is mutually agreeable.

If there is no department chair, program coordinator or site director, the student may contact the Dean of the school directly, who will assign an individual to facilitate step 2. The chair, coordinator or site director (or designee of the Dean of the school, if applicable) must send an email to formally notify the student of the resolution. The faculty member will be copied.

Formal Process

Step 3

If the issue is not resolved at Step 2, the student has five calendar days (after receiving the email from mediator) to initiate the Formal Grade Grievance Process. This entails the completion of a Grade Appeal Form. The student will deliver the completed form to the Academic Dean of the school responsible for the course. The Dean has 15 business days from receipt of the Grade Appeal Form to discuss the situation with the student and instructor, and, if necessary, the Step 2 facilitator before submitting a written decision. The Dean may convene a faculty panel for advisory purposes. The instructor of the course may suggest one member of the panel to the Dean. The Dean will consider the following factors in rendering a decision:

  1. Whether or to what extent the student and the instructor followed the guidelines and course requirements set forth in the course syllabus as submitted through the Concourse system.
  2. Whether or to what extent college and school policies and procedures that ultimately impacted the student’s grade were followed.
  3. Whether or to what extent the student has shown that he or she was treated in an unfair manner.
  4. Whether the grade was miscalculated.
  5. Other factors relevant to the particular circumstances.

The Dean will inform the student in writing of the decision to deny the request for a change of grade. The Dean’s decision at this stage is final and binding on the student. If the Dean finds in favor of the student, the Dean shall ask the instructor to submit a Change of Grade Form to the Registrar’s Office within 5 business days of the written notification. If the instructor does not agree with the decision of the Dean, the instructor may appeal directly to the Provost within 5 business days of the written notification from the Dean. Pending any appeal to the Provost, the Registrar’s Office will not make any grade changes.

If an appeal is submitted by the faculty member, the Provost will then review the documentation, interview the instructor and render a decision. Student and faculty member will be notified of the decision. The Provost’s decision will be final and binding.

Grade Appeal Form

Revision: June to September 2018

Adopted date: September 4, 2018