Grade Appeal and Change Procedures

Appeal Expectations and Conditions

A grade appeal only applies to the final course grade. The assignment of a grade is the sole right and responsibility of the instructor, reflecting his or her careful and deliberate judgment. Assigned grades are presumed to be correct. Students have the right to appeal a grade assigned in error or perceived as prejudiced, arbitrary, or capricious.  In a grade appeal, the appropriate instructional division dean will meet only with the student and the instructor. No other advocate may be present. The student is responsible for knowing and initiating the grade appeal process; the burden of proof rests on the student. The student must file grade appeal with the appropriate division dean as indicated below within the academic quarter following the quarter for which the grade was received. Documented extenuating circumstances (such as medical complications or recall to military duty) may extend this timeline. Students needing assistance with the appeal process due to a disability or language barrier should contact the Director of Student Development before beginning the process.

Grade Appeal Process

Students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic progress and following course procedures established by their instructors. The purpose of the grade appeal is to recognize faculty authority in the grading process while protecting students from possibly erroneous, prejudiced, arbitrary, or capricious academic evaluation. All attempts to resolve grade disputes must originate between the student and the instructor.

  1. The student must first meet with the instructor who assigned the grade. The instructor will explain the rationale for awarding the grade. The student is responsible for demonstrating grade error or that arbitrary or capricious assignment of the final course grade occurred.

    a. If the student can provide evidence of multiple attempts to contact the instructor without a response, the student may bring that evidence to the Dean and request to skip step one.

  2. If the result of the student’s meeting with the instructor does not produce a satisfactory resolution of the student request, the student may appeal in writing (including a rationale for the appeal, date of meeting with faculty member, and all supporting documentation) to the appropriate division dean. The dean will:

    a. Send the written student appeal to the faculty member requesting the faculty member’s written response and documentation supporting grade decision

    b. Send the faculty written response and documentation to the student and inquire if this now resolves the situation:

    i. If yes, the process ends
    ii. If no, the dean follows steps c-f below

    c. Meet with the student

    d. Meet with the instructor

    e. Review the course materials, any supporting documentation provided by the instructor and/or the student, and the grade assigned

    f. Render a written decision (including a brief rationale) to deny, approve, or modify the appeal within 15 business days of the initial request for a grade appeal (this timeline may be extended if all parties are informed in writing).

    The decision of the dean is final.
  1. In the case of a grade appeal when the college no longer employs the course instructor or the instructor is unavailable for an extended period of time, the student may appeal in writing (including a rationale for the appeal) to the appropriate division dean. The dean will first attempt to contact and work with the instructor who is no longer employed or unavailable and follow the process in part two above. If the dean is unsuccessful, the dean will:

    a. Convene a two-person faculty reading committee to consider the appeal. To the extent possible, committee members will be members of the original instructor’s program or department, or have expertise in the appropriate field of study or a closely related field. The reading committee will:

    i. Review course materials, including evaluation criteria, and the student’s work
    ii. Make a recommendation to the dean to deny, approve, or modify the appeal.
    iii. Complete its work within 15 business days of being appointed.

    b. Review the reading committee’s work and render a written decision (including a brief rationale) to deny, approve, or modify the appeal within five business days (this timeline may be extended if all parties are informed in writing).

    The decision of the dean is final.

Grade Change

After grades have been posted to the student transcript, they can only be changed for the following reasons: a) to correct an error in the calculation of the grade: b) to take into account additional work done to remove an Incomplete grade; or c) as the result of a student grade appeal.

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate a request for a change of grade with the instructor. A grade change form must be completed and submitted to the Enrollment Services before a grade change becomes official. Grade changes, not including grades under appeal, must be completed within one quarter following the end of the quarter that the class was officially scheduled. Incomplete grades must be made up not later than one quarter after the quarter in which the grade was given excluding summer. If the grade is not made up within this time period, the grade shall be a 0.0 (F) or a grade assigned by the instructor.