Grade Appeal Process [Excerpt from Guilford College Catalog 2018-19]

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 Provost’s Office in cases of student appeals of final course grades. 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 an associate academic dean within the 10-business-day period.

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

     1. 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.

     2. If the student remains unsatisfied, she or he 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 business days of having finished discussing the matter with the faculty member.

     3. If still unresolved, the case may be appealed to the Provost’s Office, where an associate academic dean will continue to try to achieve an appropriate resolution. The student must contact an associate academic dean within five business days of having discussed the matter with the department chair and present to the assistant dean for student academic affairs a complete, written account of the facts and an argument that explains the justification for a grade change.

     4. If the student wishes to appeal the decision made by an associate academic dean, he or she must submit this appeal in writing to the provost within five business days of the date of an associate academic dean’s decision. This appeal must include a discussion of the grounds upon which an associate academic dean’s 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 an associate academic dean will be considered final. If the provost decides otherwise, a special hearing board will be constituted.

     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.

     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.

     7. After receiving the recommendation of the hearing board, the provost will make the final decision regarding the student’s grade.


Excerpt from Guilford College Catalog 2018-19 pages 205 - 206

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