LU Policy Number: AS.022
Effective Date: 5/2/2016
Approval Date: 5/2/2016
Revised Date: N/A
Purpose: Establishment of a clear and fair process for resolution of course grade dispute resolution for students
Additional Authority: N/A
Scope: All Students(COC&CGUS) of Life University
Approval Authority: Provost/EVPAA
Responsible Authority: Academics Affairs-Student
Grade Appeal Policy
The purpose of the Grade Appeal Policy is to establish a clear, fair process by which students can dispute a course grade. Grade appeals must be based on problems of process and not on differences in judgment or opinion concerning academic performance. The burden of proof rests on the student to demonstrate that one or more of the following criteria exist:
- Administrative error in the calculation and/or assignment of the grade
- The grading decision was determined on basis other than academic performance and other than as a penalty for academic misconduct
- The grading decision was based on standards different from those established in written department/division, college, or university policies (if specific policies exist)
- The instructor of record departed substantially from his/her previously articulated, written standards, without notifying students, in determining the grade
- The grade assignment was due to the student being held to more demanding standards than other students in the same course.
Only the final course grade may be appealed.
The student will be required to discuss their grade concern with the instructor of record. If the instructor of record is not available within a reasonable time frame (e.g. posting of grades to permit student’s registration in subsequent courses), the department/division chair or their designee may act on behalf of the instructor on record. If the instructor of record and student cannot resolve the grade concern, the student may initiate the grade appeal process.
The Grade Appeal Policy shall constitute the sole internal administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when the grade being disputed resulted from an alleged academic integrity violation. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, the process for resolution that has been established for appealing academic integrity violations must be followed. The process for resolution that the Office of Student Conduct has established must be completed prior to the use of the University’s grade appeal process.
Grade Appeal Process
The student will be required to present to the department/division chair or designee in which the course is offered, a written appeal that includes the following:
- A statement addressing how the appeal meets one or more of the grade appeal policy criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
- A description of the outcome of the informal discussion process.
- Any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the grade appeal process
- A copy of the course syllabus and assignment descriptions
The department/division chair or designee may request additional materials from the student. After receiving a copy of the grade appeal materials, the department/division chair will review the grade appeal and discuss the appeal with both the instructor of record and the student and render a resolution. If the resolution rendered is not mutually agreeable between the student and the instructor of record and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, then the student can file a formal grade appeal for the final course grade no later than 10 calendar days from the date that the final grades are posted by the Registrar, to the college dean. Once the student provides the formal grade appeal to the college dean, then a Grade Appeal Review Committee shall be formed by the College Associate Dean within 5 calendar days.
The function of the Grade Appeal Review Committee shall be to evaluate the appeal in terms of the stated grounds for appeal and make a recommendation to the college dean.
The Grade Appeal Review Committee shall include five members (4 faculty members and one student):
- One selected by the college associate dean to serve as the chair
- One selected by the student (if the student forfeits their selection ability, then a faculty member will be appointed for them by the College Dean)
- One selected by the instructor of record
- One selected by the department/division chair
- President of Student Council or his/her designee
* Of the 4 faculty members, one must be outside of the college
A majority vote shall prevail in the committee. The Committee’s recommendation may be to keep the assigned grade or to change the assigned grade. The committee shall provide their recommendation and a written justification to the college dean no later than 10 calendar days after the Committee’s formation.
The college dean shall render a decision within 5 calendar days and inform the student, the instructor of record, and the Registrar of the decision.
If the results of the case warrant a grade change and the instructor of record does not implement the required change of grade within 5 calendar days after learning of the college dean’s decision, the college dean shall implement the change of grade on the students’ official transcript through the grade change process. This will be the last step of the formal grade appeal.
The college dean shall forward a written record of the results of all grade appeals to the VPAA within 30 days of the student’s formal grade appeal.