Academic Appeals Policy
What is an Academic Appeal?
A petition by a student to the school to change a decision rendered through evaluation about an academic matter that has a significant level of academic consequence. This applies to final course grades and grades by jury, but not individual assignments unless the student can establish that such assignment(s) would have resulted in a different final course grade.
Basis for an Appeal
A final course grade or jury grade is deemed to have been assigned in an arbitrary or capricious manner if, through sufficient evidence, the student establishes one or more of the following:
The student believes the school's academic policies were not followed or were applied incorrectly.
The student believes the decision rendered was based on a miscalculation or a mis-recording of grades.
The student believes the decision rendered does not comply with the standards and procedures in the course syllabus or other stated requirements of the course.
I. Informal Resolution
Before invoking appeal procedures, students are encouraged to speak either face to face or in writing with their instructor or member of the evaluating jury concerning any decision or grade about which they have questions. This should be done no more than five teaching days after the grade or decision was made known to the student. Faculty members are responsible for making themselves available or responding within five teaching days.
If the conversation with the faculty member fails to resolve the student’s concerns, the student should contact their appropriate Chair no later than five teaching days after the meeting or correspondence with the faculty member. A meeting will be arranged between the instructor, student and Chair to discuss and attempt to resolve the issue in a mutually acceptable manner. In the event that the appeal is in regard to a decision made by the Chair, an alternate Chair will mediate the process. This should also be done no more than five teaching days after the request from the student to the Chair was made. In the event that the appeal deals with a final course grade, the Chair may schedule the meeting to take place within the first 14 teaching days of the following semester.
II. Appeals Statement to Appeals Officer
If the issue is not informally resolved, the student is to prepare a written appeal by filling out an Academic Appeals Form and send it to the Appeals Officer, instructor, and Chair within 14 teaching days of the last attempt at informal resolution. The Appeals Officer is the Director of Academic Excellence Center. For final grades, it must be within one month from the start of the following semester. This statement should include:
The context and impact of the issue being appealed
Evidence the student is using as the basis of the claim
A copy of the course syllabus
Grounds for the appeal
The resolution sought by the student
Any relevant supporting materials
Both the instructor and Chair are expected to respond to the student’s written appeal in writing within two teaching days of its receipt and include all involved parties, including the Appeals Officer in the correspondence.
III. Formal Resolution
The Appeals Officer will disseminate the written appeal, along with all correspondence from the instructor and Chair to the Academic Council no later than 2 teaching days after the written appeal is received.
The Academic Council will form a subcommittee to investigate the appeal through a hearing process and make a final decision.
This committee will be composed of a Chair, who will be the Vice President of Academic Affairs, a faculty member, and a student.
The panel will review the written appeal and any supporting evidence prior to holding a hearing during the next regularly scheduled Academic Council meeting.
During the hearing, both the student and the instructor will each be given a maximum of 10 minutes to present their case. This will then be followed by a maximum of 20 minutes of questioning by the panel. The Appeals Officer will also be present to provide any necessary information pertaining to the appeal as requested, but will not have voting privileges.
After the hearing, the panel will make a decision by majority vote and notify all involved parties in writing within one week of the hearing.
The decision of the panel is final and may not be appealed.
Should the panel conclude that the instructor’s grading was arbitrary and/or capricious, they will recommend steps to redress the issue with the instructor.
Since the burden of proof rests with the student, failure to adhere to the procedures above according to the timeline described will result in the dismissal of the appeal.
The Appeals Officer has the authority to extend timelines or delay the formal hearing if circumstances require.
Derell Jones - Director of Academic Excellence Center