Academic Advising

If a student believes they have been assigned an inaccurate or unfair grade, they may formally appeal through the following process. Any appeal must have the grade appeal form submitted and be initiated by the student with the instructor before the conclusion of the next semester (including summer). Students should be advised that in most instances a grade may be changed only by the instructor. Only in the case of obvious computational error or blatant abuse of the grading prerogative* can the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, the only other individual on campus empowered to change a grade, alter a student’s grade. 

Please follow this process to formally appeal a grade: 

Submit the Grade Appeal Form and Meet with the instructor: The student shall submit the Grade Appeal Form to serve as documentation of the start of the appeal process.  The student shall then contact the faculty member and schedule a meeting to discuss the grade appeal and attempt to resolve the conflict. The faculty member and student shall meet within the next five (5) workdays.**

If no resolution is reached, proceed to Step 2 below. 

Meet with the Program Director or Department Chair: If the issue was not resolved in Step 1, the student has three (3) workdays from the date of the faculty member’s decision to file a written appeal with the faculty member’s Program Director or Department Chair, or with the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs if the faculty member is also the Program Director or Department Chair (PD/DC). The letter of appeal, which may be in the form of a formal email, must include student's name, contact information, semester the course was taken, course name and number, instructor's name, rationale for the appeal, and students understanding of the reasoning from the instructor to deny the appeal. Within three (3) workdays, the Program Director, Department Chair, or VPASA, will mediate the dispute either through discussion with the instructor, or with the student in the company of the faculty member.

If no resolution is reached, proceed to Step 3 below. 

File an appeal with the Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs (VPASA): If the issue is not resolved in Step 2, the student has three (3) working days to file a written appeal with the VPASA. The letter of appeal, which may be in the form of a formal email, must include student's name, contact information, semester the course was taken, course name and number, instructor's name, rationale for the appeal, name of faculty and PD/DC the student has met with, and students understanding of the reasoning from the instructor and PD/DC denying the request to appeal. The VPASA will meet with all parties concerned within the next three (3) workdays to attempt to resolve the dispute. The VPASA will have three (3) workdays from the last meeting to render a decision on the grade appeal.

The decision of the VPASA is final. 

  *Note that “blatant abuse of the grading prerogative” refers to situations in which an instructor has willfully ignored published grading and assessment criteria and/or has exhibited bad faith by acting in violation of published performance/behavior standards for faculty.  

  **There are times, especially during the summer, that the schedules of the faculty member, the Program Director, the Department Head, and/or the Vice President are not compatible with the timeframes specified above. Students who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to reach the faculty member may contact the Office of Academic & Student Affairs directly. A representative of the Office of Academic & Student Affairs will then make every attempt to arrange the required meeting with the course instructor as indicated in Step 1 and Program Director or Department Chair as indicated in Step 2. Students are advised, however, that it may not be possible in all cases to do so.