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 instructor who assigned the grade. The student should contact the instructor and request an initial conference to discuss the grade. The instructor 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 instructor 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 or director 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 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 chair or director 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 chair or director recommends revisions, the student must submit the revised letter to the division dean or director within one business day after being notified of the need for modifications.
- The chair or director may deny the appeal if the letter of appeal does not conform to the stipulations described above. Should the chair or director deny the letter of appeal, the student may appeal the decision to the Executive Vice President. (See step 2).
- If the chair or director accepts the letter of appeal, the division dean or director shall confer with the student and instructor and attempt to seek resolution by mutual agreement.
- The division dean or director will make a decision to uphold the grade or change the grade based on the conversations with the instructor and the student.
- The letter of appeal must contain the following components:
- If the student wishes to appeal the decision of the division dean or director, the student must submit the letter of appeal to the Executive Vice President within five business days of the decision of the chair or director.
- 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 one 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 a Workforce & Continuing Education Grade Appeal 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 Workforce & Continuing Education Grade Appeal Committee will consist of two faculty members at least one of whom, if possible, shall be qualified to teach the course, three directors, and a student representative. The division dean or director will not be the chair or director who is responsible for the course that is the focus of the grade appeal. The instructor assigning the grade does not serve on the committee. During the appeal process, the appropriate division dean or director and/or instructor will provide all relevant information to the Workforce & Continuing Education Grade Appeal Committee. The student’s written letter of appeal will also be provided to the committee. The committee shall elect a committee chair, who will write the committee’s recommendation letter to the Executive Vice President.
- The committee may reject the appeal if the procedures described herein have not been followed by the student.
- The instructor and 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 or director 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 Executive Vice President shall notify, in writing, the faculty member; the student; and the appropriate faculty division dean or director 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 faculty member, the appropriate division dean or director, 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 noncredit courses offered by the college regardless of length, method of delivery, time of delivery or other factors.