Grades are determined by the course instructor and must be based on a fair and consistent system for all students. Students may appeal the final course grade using the following process:
Appeals concerning final grades given for a course must be directed to the faculty member who assigned the grade. The student should contact the faculty member and request an initial conference to discuss the grade. The faculty member assigning the grade and the student appealing the grade shall discuss the issue and attempt to resolve the difference. Every reasonable effort should be made to resolve the issue during the conference. This initial conference should occur within five business days of the end of the term. If the faculty and student fail to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal the grade by following these steps:
- The student shall present a written letter of appeal to the appropriate division dean within five business days after the conference with the instructor.
- The letter of appeal must contain the following components:
- Date, student’s name, student’s signature, student’s SCC email address, and student’s current telephone number.
- Prefix and number of course for the grade being appealed.
- Name of instructor issuing the grade.
- The date of the conference with the instructor.
- The grade the student received and the grade the student believes he or she should have received.
- An explanation, in three pages or less, listing and describing factual and valid reasons why the student thinks the assigned grade is incorrect. The letter must specifically describe the student’s reasoning for appealing the grade. This reasoning must be logical and based on their perception of a discrepancy in how the grading policy in the syllabus was incorrectly applied, or how they believe the grade was not based on a fair and consistent system for all students. In ideal situations, the student will have clear documentation that supports their reasoning. Unsubstantiated information, hearsay, and/or information irrelevant to the grading policy may not be included in the letter of appeal.
- The dean may return the letter to the student and recommend clarification, additional factual information, and/or removal of irrelevant information, hearsay, or unsubstantiated information. If the dean recommends revisions, the student must submit the revised letter to the division dean within 1 business day after being notified of the need for modifications.
- The dean may deny the appeal if the letter of appeal does not conform to the stipulations described above. Should the dean deny the letter of appeal, the student may appeal the decision to the Executive Vice President (See step 2).
- If the dean accepts the letter of appeal, the division dean shall confer with the student and faculty member and attempt to seek a resolution by mutual agreement.
- The division dean will make a decision to uphold the grade or change the grade based on the conversations with the faculty member and the student.
- The letter of appeal must contain the following components:
- If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the division dean, the student must submit the letter of appeal to the Executive Vice President within five business days of the decision of the dean.
- The Executive Vice President may require the student to adjust the letter of appeal in a way that will bring clarification, remove irrelevant information, or add additional factual information. If adjustments to the letter are required, the student must submit changes within 1 business day of receiving the recommendations from the Executive Vice President.
- Upon receipt of a satisfactory letter of appeal, the Executive Vice President will convene the Academic Review Committee. The meeting will be scheduled within seven business days of the receipt of the approved letter of appeal delivered to the Executive Vice President.
- The Academic Review Committee will consist of four faculty members (two technical, two general education), at least one of whom, if possible, shall be qualified to teach the course; a division dean (technical or general education); and a student representative. The division dean will not be the dean who is responsible for the course that is the focus of the grade appeal. The faculty member assigning the grade does not serve on the committee. During the appeal process, the appropriate division dean and/or faculty member will provide all relevant information to the Academic Review Committee. The student’s written letter of appeal will also be provided to the committee.
- The division dean will serve as the chair of the Academic Review Committee. He or she will not vote, but will ensure the meeting is fair, civil, and efficient. Participants must follow the directions from the dean.
- The committee may reject the appeal if the procedures described herein have not been followed by the student.
- The faculty member and the student shall be afforded the opportunity to personally appear and provide pertinent information to the committee and to ask questions of anyone providing documentation to the committee. Upon receipt of all relevant information, the committee shall determine whether the grade assigned by the instructor shall be upheld or overturned.
- Should the committee find that the grade received by the student is appropriate, the committee chair will communicate the decision to the Executive Vice President, and upon approval by the Executive Vice President, draft a response to the student within five business days.
- If the grade is not upheld, the committee shall make a decision as to how the grade shall be assigned to the student and will communicate the decision to the Executive Vice President. If the Executive Vice President approves the committee’s decision, the Vice President shall notify, in writing, the faculty member; the student; and the appropriate division dean of the committee’s decision within five business days. The grade change must be submitted using the established college process.
- If the Executive Vice President does not approve the committee’s decision, the Vice President will respond to the student, the division member, the appropriate faculty chair, and the committee members, with his/her decision within five business days of the committee meeting.
- Failure of a student to pursue a grade appeal in accordance with the provisions of this process or any publications derived therefrom shall be deemed unacceptable and the grade assigned will be the grade of record.
- The decision of the Executive Vice President is final.
This process shall apply to all credit courses offered by the college regardless of length, credit awarded, method of delivery, time of delivery or other factors.