Overview of Grade Appeal Procedure – Exhibit B

Criteria for Grade Appeal

The only grounds for a student grade appeal are either one or both of the following:

  1. The grade is allegedly based on an error in calculation.
  2. The grade assigned allegedly did not follow the grading criteria in the course syllabus.

Procedure

Step 1: Informal procedure

If a student has reason to believe that a grade, he/she has received is incorrect based on college criteria, the student should first try to resolve the issue with the instructor. If no satisfactory resolution is reached, the student should then attempt to resolve the matter by consultation with the appropriate Program Lead, Program Director or Division Administrator. The student needs to complete the Informal Student Grade Appeal form and submit this to the instructor first which must be initiated prior to the last day of classes in that semester subsequent to receipt of the grade. The timeframe for appeals is as follows: Fall semester appeals must be made in the subsequent Winter semester; Winter semester appeals must be made by the subsequent Fall semester; Spring/Summer semester appeals must be made by the subsequent Fall semester as well. The initiation date of the Informal Procedure for a final course grade must be documented on the form as noted which can be found on the SC4 student portal. The instructor has five (5) college working days to respond to the student by providing the Informal Student Grade Appeal Instructor Response form and provide this to the student. College working days are defined as Monday through Friday when the college is in session. The time deadline for each step of the appeal procedure shall be 4:30 p.m. of the last day in which the process is to occur.

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, he/she may submit the Informal Student Grade Appeal form to the Program Lead, Program Director, Division Administrator, or designee within five (5) college working days of the instructor response. The Informal Student Grade Appeal Program Lead, Program Director, Division Administrator, or Designee Response form shall be provided to the student by the Program Lead, Program Director, Division Administrator, or designee along with a copy to the instructor within five (5) college working days to the student. If no satisfactory resolution has been reached through this informal procedure and the student still believes that he/she has a basis for a complaint, then the student shall initiate the Formal Grade Appeal Request procedure through the Director of Behavioral Intervention.

Step 2: Formal procedure

The formal appeal stage begins with the student’s completion of the Formal Grade Appeal Request form that is submitted to the Director of Behavioral Intervention. Within ten (10) college working days, the Director of Behavioral Intervention schedules a Grade Appeal Hearing. The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee shall consist of three members as follows: one student peer, one instructor, and one program lead, program director or division administrator who each have anonymous voting privileges. These shall all be selected by the Director of Behavioral Intervention (or designee).

The Director of Behavioral Intervention shall preside at the hearing as facilitator but will not have voting privileges.

Further, the Director of Behavioral Intervention (or designee) shall be responsible for explaining the hearing procedure to the student and scheduling necessary meetings. The student, faculty and staff will be responsible for adhering to requests related to the process. 

Those to be in attendance for the hearing shall include the following:

  1. The student making the grade appeal (one support person(s), if desired, who cannot be an attorney.
  2. The instructor (and/or the Program Lead, Program Director, Division Administrator, or Designee if desired)
  3. Grade Appeal Hearing Committee members (three total)
  4. Director of Behavioral Intervention facilitator
  5. Witnesses (if any)
  • Note: Legal counsel or attorneys are not allowed

Grade Appeal Hearing

The purpose of the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee is to review any written and/or oral information provided by the student, the instructor and witnesses (if any) and to arrive at a decision concerning the requested grade change.

1.0 Conducting the Hearing

Convene Hearing Committee

The Director of Behavioral Intervention (or designee) will convene the committee, serve as the chairperson, review and provide the written grade appeal and related material, and describe the function and procedures of the committee and hearing.

The hearing will be closed to all, but the parties concerned. The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee, Director of Behavioral Intervention, student or instructor may request individual witnesses who may testify as to the specifics of the alleged violation/complaint. Such witnesses shall be limited to persons with actual knowledge of the specific matter under dispute. Also, the student and/or the instructor may each request an additional person (excluding legal counsel/attorney) to be present at the hearing for the purpose of advice and support. Such support persons shall not participate in the proceedings but are available only for consultation with the party that they are supporting.

Conduct of the Hearing:

  1. Meeting: Once convened, the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee shall consider the facts and circumstances of the grade appeal. Witnesses providing validation of the specifics of the appeal will only be present during their own period of testimony.
  2. Student’s case: The student shall present his/her case without interruption, including the presentation of factual evidence and the calling of person(s) providing validation of the specifics of the appeal. The student has up to 15 minutes to present his/her case.
  3. Instructor’s case: The faculty member shall present his/her case without interruption, including the presentation of factual evidence and the calling of persons providing validation of the specifics of the appeal. The faculty member has up to 15 minutes to present his/her case.
  4. Questioning by student and instructor: After both parties have presented their case, the student has the right to question the instructor and/or his/her witnesses. Following this, the instructor shall have the right to question the student and/or his/her witnesses.
  5. Committee questioning: Following this questioning period, members of Grade Appeal Hearing Committee shall have the right to direct questions to either party or their witnesses or request additional information.
  6. Modifications to the questioning may be requested by the Committee to help in the facilitation of the understanding of the complaint.

1.1 Deliberations and Decision

When testimony has been completed, the members of the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee, exclusive of the Director of Behavioral Intervention (or designee) shall enter into deliberations, which will be conducted in private and shall remain confidential.

 The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee’s decision shall be rendered within five (5) college working days of the conclusion of the hearing and shall be in writing on the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee Report form. The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee’s decision shall be final. There shall be no further appeals.

The decision of The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee must be unanimous. Failing a unanimous decision, no grade change action shall be taken. The vote on the decision shall be by secret ballot.

The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee’s decision shall be to support or change the existing grade. The Grade Appeal Hearing Committee may provide any recommendation as needed to either the instructor and/or the student.

2.0 Notification of Hearing Outcome

The Director of Behavioral Intervention (or designee) shall provide a letter relating the Grade Appeal Hearing Committee’s decision to all parties concerned (student and instructor) within five (5) college working days of the conclusion of the hearing.

3.0 Decision Implementation

If there is a decision to change a grade, this change shall then be implemented by the Director of Behavioral Intervention and the Registrar within five (5) college days of the conclusion of the hearing with entry into the data system as soon as possible.

Revised: July 22, 2004
Revised: March 6, 2006
Revised: Sept 28, 2007
WI/2008 – MAHE Approved
Revised: March 26, 2013
Revised: June 30, 2015
Revised: August 15, 2016
Revised: May 2, 2019
Revised: July 21, 2020

updated July 2020 by dpg