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Grade Appeal Procedure [Handbook Excerpt]

Grade Appeal Procedure

Grade appeals may not be made simply because a student wants a better grade or because of a disagreement over a subjective evaluation of submitted work. In addition, once posted, grades may not be lowered. Grounds for grade appeals are:

  • Clerical error by the instructor (e.g., misplacing an assignment that had been submitted properly by the student, mistyping a grade in a spreadsheet, or "clicking" on the wrong grade in BannerWeb); and
  • Computational error by the instructor (e.g., combining individual grades incorrectly); and
  • Deviation from the grading scheme provided in the syllabus so significant as to affect a student's grade (e.g., assigning a different weight to an assignment than stated in the syllabus so as to change the final grade).

The following procedures are followed by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs in cases of student appeals of final course grades.

Step 1. In all cases, the appeal of a final grade must first be made to the instructor within 10 business days* after the official due date for final grades at the close of any given grading period. In the event that the instructor is unavailable, the student must contact the department chair or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs within the 10 business day period. Either the student or the professor may contact the Conflict Resolution Resource Center to request assistance in their communication, or each may invite one individual from within the Guilford Community to attend the discussion. If the student and/or the professor is uncomfortable with meeting face-to-face, even with the assistance of others, it is possible to have this discussion in writing.

Note: Because transcripts are sealed and may not be changed for any reason after a student graduates, graduating seniors have only until 5pm two days before the graduation date to appeal final regular, intensive, half semester, and Saturday course grades and have them corrected.

* A "business day" is a weekday that the College is open for business regardless of whether classes are in session.

Step 2. If the student remains unsatisfied, they must then discuss the situation with the chairperson of the academic department involved, unless the faculty member is the chairperson. The student shall bring all relevant materials and information to this meeting, including papers, tests, syllabi, etc. The student must contact the department chair within five (5) business days of having finished discussing the matter with the faculty member.

Step 3. If still unresolved, the case may be appealed to the Office of Academic Affairs, where the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will continue to try to achieve an appropriate resolution. The student must contact the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs within five (5) business days of having discussed the matter with the department chair and present to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs a complete, written account of the facts and an argument that explains the justification for a grade change.

Step 4. If the student wishes to appeal the decision made by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, they must submit this appeal in wring to the Provost within five (5) business days of the date of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs’ decision. This appeal must include a discussion of the grounds upon which the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs’ decision should be reviewed; such grounds could include the discovery of additional information or a procedural irregularity so substantial as to have compromised the student's right to a fair hearing. The Provost will review the matter and make a determination whether or not the appeal warrants calling together a special hearing board. If the Provost decides there are no grounds on which to proceed further with the appeal, the decision of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will be considered final. If the Provost decides otherwise, a special hearing board will be constituted.

Step 5. At the discretion of the Provost, a special hearing board will be instituted, composed of Guilford faculty and professional staff. The student and the instructor will each be asked to submit a list of requested faculty the Provost might appoint to such a committee. Utilizing each list, the Provost will appoint a group, drawing one individual from the student list, one from that of the faculty member, and nominating a third. Both the student and the faculty member will have the opportunity to reject up to three proposed members of the projected hearing board, until a group of three individuals satisfactory to the Provost, the faculty member, and the student have been chosen and have agreed to serve.

Step 6. The hearing board may meet with the student, the faculty member, and anyone else appropriate and examine all relevant documentation. It will then make a final recommendation to the Provost.

Step 7. After receiving the recommendation of the hearing board, the Provost will make the final decision regarding the student's grade.

Excerpted from Guilford College Student Handbook 2018-19, Page 22.