Grade Appeal Process

 

1. Informal Appeal Process

If a student wishes to discuss a grade that he/she has received for a test or an assignment or the final grade in a course, this step is for the student to meet with the instructor to resolve the concern in an informal manner.

2. Formal Appeal Process

Introduction: It is the responsibility of Dutchess Community College faculty members to establish clear grading policies and standards for academic performance in their courses. These policies must be stated in writing. Individual approaches to grading are valid, and as long as faculty members evaluate student work fairly and consistently. There should be no need for students to challenge their grading.

Grounds for Formal Appeal: Students may appeal grades in DCC courses on the following grounds, provided that they have evidence, or believe that evidence exists, to support their claims: 

A.    Failure by the instructor to explain clearly the method by which grades in the course would be determined.

B.    Assignment of a course grade by substantial departure from the announced method.

C.    Capricious or prejudiced grading.

Step 1

To initiate a formal appeal, the student must obtain a Grade Appeal Form from the academic department secretary, the Office of Student Services, or the Office of Academic Affairs. Complete the first portion of the Grade Appeal Form and submit it to the instructor and request a meeting. This meeting should normally take place within fourteen days of the instructor’s receipt of the Grade Appeal Form. If the student goes first to the Dean, Academic Department Head, or Departmental Supervisor, that person should refer the student to the instructor as the first step in this process. Under extraordinary circumstances, the Department Head may choose to waive the first step and proceed to set up a meeting with the student and the instructor as outlined in Step Two.

The formal appeal of a grade for a test or assignment must begin within thirty calendar days of the receipt of the grade. If the appeal is related to the grade for a course, the process is similar to that for an assignment or test grade, except that the student has until the end of the second week of the following semester to begin the process.

Step 2

If the meeting with the instructor does not result in a solution satisfactory to the student, the student has fourteen calendar days to appeal to the Department Head.

The Department Head will review the Grade Appeal Form and attached materials, and meet with the student and the instructor to discuss the matter. The Department Head will report his/her decision and rationale in writing both the student and the instructor within fourteen calendar days of meeting with the student and the instructor.

Step 3

If the decision of the Department Head does not result in a satisfactory resolution, the student or instructor may submit, within fourteen days of receiving the decision of the Department Head, the Grade Appeal Form to the Dean of Academic Affairs, as an appeal to an Academic Review Committee. The Committee, consisting of three members, will be chaired by an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, appointed by the Dean of Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean will choose the two additional members of the committee from the faculty on the Academic Standards Committee. The faculty selected for the committee will be from outside the academic department with which the appeal is concerned.

The Academic Review Committee will meet and consider all the documentation provided by the Department Head, the student and the instructor. Both the student and the instructor will be given an opportunity to appear before the Academic Review Committee. The Committee will report its decision and rationale in writing to the student, the Department Head, and the instructor normally within fourteen calendar days of the Committee meeting. A copy of the Academic Review Committee’s decision and rationale will also be sent to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Step 4

If the student or instructor does not accept the decision of the Committee, that decision may be appealed to the Dean of Academic Affairs within fourteen days for final review. The Dean of Academic Affairs, with full access to all documentation from previous levels of appeal, and any additional conferences with involved parties, will be the final College arbiter of the appeal. The Dean’s decision will normally be made within fourteen calendar days of the date on which the appeal was received from the student or instructor.

The Dean will report his/her decision and rationale in writing to the student, the Department Head, the instructor, and the members of the Academic Review Committee.

NOTE: The timetable noted above assumes no interruptions in the regu lar college calendar, such as semester or spring breaks, which would al ter the timetable. For an appeal of a grade for a spring semester course,  the “following semester” is defined as the following fall semester.