Nov 28, 2022
2017-2018 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]
Grade Appeal Procedures
VI. Grade Appeal Procedures
- Step I: Scheduling a Faculty-Student Conference.
- A student wishing to appeal a grade shall first confer face-to-face with the instructor of record (hereafter referred to as instructor) who assigned that grade.
- The instructor-student conference shall take place within the first 10 class days of the regular semester immediately following the semester in which the disputed grade was assigned (summer sessions are not considered to be regular semesters).
- At the request of the student or instructor, the Program Coordinator shall assign another division faculty member to witness the conference.
- The reasons for questioning the grade shall be explained by the student, and the reasons for assigning the grade shall be explained by the instructor.
- In a case where the instructor is not available for this conference (non-reappointment, retirement, death, extended absence from the area, or other debilitating circumstances), the instructor’s Program Coordinator shall act as the instructor of record.
- An outcome of the conference between instructor and student is determined.
- If the instructor finds that no grade change is justified, the student shall be so notified at the end of the conference.
- If the instructor does decide to change the grade, the instructor shall complete a Change of Grade form and file it with the Registrar Office within five class days of the time that the conference occurs.
- Step 2: The Student Appeals to the Program Coordinator
- Following the instructor-student conference, a student receiving an unfavorable decision may file an appeal with the instructor’s Program Coordinator.
- The appeal to the Program Coordinator must be in writing and filed within five class days of the instructor-student conference, or within the first 15 class days of the semester that the grade is eligible for appeal.
- If the student fails to contact the Program Coordinator within 15 class days of the beginning of the appropriate semester, the instructor’s grade award shall be considered final.
- The student’s grade appeal to the Program Coordinator must be in the form of a written memo or letter.
- The appeal memo or letter must be copied to the instructor.
- The student’s written statement must include justification that should conform to at least one of the criteria listed above for making a grade appeal.
- The appeal must include all completed assignments that have been returned to the student.
- The instructor shall submit a written justification for the assigned grade with supporting documentation that includes any assignments that have not been returned to the student.
- In order to make an equitable decision, the Program Coordinator may hold a hearing between the instructor and the student desiring a grade change.
- If the instructor is the Program Coordinator, the appeal will proceed directly to Step 3.
- Within 10 class days of receiving the student’s appeal, the Program Coordinator shall provide both the student and the instructor with a written notice of the decision.
- The written notice should give the reasons for the decision and may be given to the parties directly or mailed by certified mail.
- Following notification of the Program Coordinator’s decision to all parties, the Program Coordinator shall forward the original grade appeal file to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee.
- The file should include a copy of the decision and all written materials including notes from oral investigations that were used for reaching the decision.
- The Program Coordinator shall retain a copy of these files for five years.
- Both the student and the instructor have the right to appeal the Program Coordinator’s decision to the Academic Appeal Committee.
- Step 3: Appeal to the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee.
- The final step in the grade appeal process is the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee. A student or an instructor may appeal the decision of a Program Coordinator to the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee by filing a written statement to the Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee within five days of receiving the Program Coordinator report.
- Within five class days of receiving the written appeal, the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum and Instruction Committee shall notify the Program Coordinator and the non-appealing party (instructor or student) that an appeal has been filed.
- Within five class days of receiving an appeal, the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall provide the student with a list of five Blue Ridge faculty chosen from “the faculty pool” as described previously.
- The student shall be instructed to strike one name within three class days.
- The Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall submit the four names to the instructor asking that the instructor strike one name within three class days.
- The three remaining names shall constitute the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee for the current grade appeal.
- The Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall appoint one of these three faculty members as chair for this appeal process.
- The Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee may consider all materials in the appeal file constructed by the Program Coordinator, i.e., the student’s original appeal, the faculty member’s written justification, the Program Coordinator’s written report, the student’s written work for the course, and all other items the Program Coordinator may have used in reaching the decision. (In the event that the appeal relates to a Program Coordinator’s grade, the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee should compile the appeal file.)
- The student and the instructor shall each be entitled to submit additional written statements for consideration by the Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee.
- The Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee shall hold a formal hearing including all parties having standing (see above), and should address the following:
- Questions from members of the Academic Appeal Committee.
- Cross examination of witnesses by both parties
- Additional inquires that the Academic Appeal Committee feels are necessary or beneficial to determine a successful outcome.
- The Blue Ridge Academic Appeal Committee shall reach a decision no later than the last day of regular classes before the final exam period of the semester in which the appeal has been filed.
- Within three days following the decision, the student, the instructor, the Program Coordinator and the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall be given written notice of the Committee’s decision.
- If the Academic Appeal Committee decides that a grade change is justified, and with the instructor’s agreement, the instructor shall complete and submit a Change of Grade form to the Enrollment Management Office within five class (or business) days following the decision.
- If the Academic Appeal Committee decides that a change in grade is warranted, but the instructor does not consent to the change, the Academic Appeal Committee will meet in discussion with the instructor with regard to its decision. If the instructor, again, will not consent to the grade change, the Academic Appeal Committee will instruct the Registrar’s Office to make the appropriate grade change.
- A decision of the Academic Appeal Committee may be appealed to the President of Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, whose decision will be regarded as final.
- Unusual Circumstance in Processing Grade Appeals
- Some grade appeal cases may present practical obstacles for pursuing the procedures precisely as outlined above.
- An instructor may be absent from campus during the applicable appeal period or the student may have an overwhelmingly compelling reason for a rapid decision.
- Qualification for graduation may depend upon the outcome of a currently received grade.
- In such circumstances, the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee has the discretion to modify the procedures as little as possible, to accommodate the special requirements of the situation.
- In exercising this discretion, however, the Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee should attempt to adhere to the spirit of the regular procedures.
- The Chair of the Blue Ridge Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall commit to writing and distributing these exceptional rules to parties having standing.