Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Student Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Grade Appeal Procedures


VI.  Grade Appeal Procedures

Step 1:  Faculty-Student Conference
  1. A student wishing to appeal a grade shall first confer face-to-face with the instructor of record who assigned that grade.
  2. The instructor-student conference shall take place within the first 10 class days of the fall or spring semester immediately following the semester in which the disputed grade was assigned.  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.
    1. At the request of the student or instructor, the Program Coordinator shall assign another division faculty member to witness the conference.
    2. 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.
    3. An outcome of the conference between instructor and student is determined.
  3. If the instructor finds that no grade change is justified, the student shall be notified at the end of the conference.
  4. If the instructor does find that a grade change is justified, the instructor shall complete a Change of Grade Form and file it with the Registrar’s Office within five days after the instructor-student conference.
Step 2:  The Student Appeals to the Program Coordinator
  1. Following the instructor-student conference, a student receiving an unfavorable decision may file an appeal with the instructor’s Program Coordinator.  If the instructor is the Program Coordinator, the appeal will proceed directly to Step 3.
    1. The appeal 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 not filed within 15 days, the instructor’s grade award shall be considered final.

    2. The appeal to the Program Coordinator must be in the form of a written memo, letter or email.

    3. The appeal must be copied to the instructor.

    4. The written statement must include justification that conforms to at least one of the criteria listed for making a grade appeal.

    5. The appeal must include all completed assignments that have been returned to the student.

  2. 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.

  3. In order to make an equitable decision, the Program Coordinator may hold a hearing between the instructor and the student desiring a grade change.

  4. 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.

    1. Written notice must give reasons for the decision.

    2. Written notice may be given directly to the parties involved or mailed by certified mail.

  5. If the decision results in a grade change, the Program Coordinator must turn in a Change of Grade Form to the Registrar’s Office within five days of receiving the Program Coordinator’s decision.

  6. Following notification of the Program Coordinator’s decision to all involved parties, the Program Coordinator shall forward the original grade appeal file to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee.

  7. 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 CTC Academic Appeal Committee
  1. The final step in the grade appeal process is to the Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee.  A student or instructor may appeal the decision of a Program Coordinator to this committee by filing a written statement to the Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee within five days of receiving the Program Coordinator’s report.
  2. The Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee has five class days from receiving the appeal to:
    1. Notify the Program Coordinator and the non-appealing party that an appeal has been filed. 
    2. 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 from this list within three class days.
  3. The Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction committee shall submit the remaining four names to the instructor and ask the instructor to strike one name within three class days.  The three remaining names shall constitute the Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee for the current grade appeal.
  4. The Chair of the Blue Ridge CTC Curriculum and Instruction Committee shall appoint one of the three faculty members remaining as Chair for this appeal process.
  5. The Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee may consider all materials listed below in the appeal file constructed by the Program Coordinator.  In the event that the appeal relates to a Program Coordinator’s grade, the Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee should compile the appeal file. 
    1. The student’s original appeal
    2. The faculty member’s written justification
    3. The Program Coordinator’s written report
    4. The student’s written work for the course
    5. All other items the Program Coordinator may have used in reaching the decision
    6. The student and the instructor shall each be entitled to submit additional written statements for consideration by the Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee.
  6. The Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee shall hold a formal hearing including all parties having a standing and should address the following:
    1. Questions from members of the Academic Appeal Committee
    2. Cross-examination of witnesses by both parties
    3. Additional inquiries that the Academic Appeal Committee deems are necessary or beneficial to determine a successful outcome.
  7. The Blue Ridge CTC Academic Appeal Committee shall reach a decision the semester in which the appeal has been filed no later than the last day of classes prior to final exams.
  8. Within three days following the decision, the student, the instructor, the Program Coordinator and the Chair of the Blue Ridge CTC Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall be given written notice of the Committee’s decision.
  9. If the Academic Appeal Committee decides that a grade change is justified, the Chair of the Academic Appeal Committee will submit a Grade Change Form to the Registrar’s Office within five class days following the decision.
  10. A decision of the Academic Appeal Committee may be appealed to the President of Blue Ridge CTC, whose decision will be regarded as final. 
Unusual Circumstance in Processing Grade Appeals
  1. Some grade appeals may present practical obstacles for pursuing the procedures precisely as outlined.
  2. 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, such as whether the candidate qualifies for graduation or not, etc.  In such cases, 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, the Chair of the Blue Ridge CTC Curriculum & Instruction Committee should attempt to adhere to the spirit of the regular procedures.  The Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Committee shall commit to writing and distributing these exceptional rules to parties having standing.