Appeals of Grades
It is recognized that instructors must have the primary responsibility of assessing the quality of academic performance, advancement, and achievement of students in their classes. However, instructors are subject to human frailties; these frailties can cause errors in calculation or judgment that may affect assessment of a student’s performance. Instructors may appear to be capricious or inconsistent in their grading of a particular student. Consequently, students may feel rightly or wrongly, a need to appeal that assessment. Except in the most unusual circumstances, grades will be changed only upon the recommendation of the faculty member involved and then only with the consent of the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee. The following procedures, designed to protect both the student and the faculty member, are to be followed such that the issue is resolved fairly and expeditiously:
- Within 30 days of the start of the next regular term after assignment of the grade, the student must make a formal written appeal to the instructor involved explaining why he or she believes the grade should be changed. If the instructor finds an error has been made, he or she will request that the SAAS Committee approve a grade change and notify the student in writing of the request. If the instructor finds the grade to be correct, he or she will notify the student in writing of the decision not to change the grade, specifically addressing the student’s stated reason for the appeal. The instructor’s response must take place within 30 days of receipt of the appeal or for reasons of travel, sabbatical or other extenuating circumstances such as sick leave, within 30 days of the start of the next regular term when the faculty member returns.
- If the student is not satisfied with the written response of the instructor, the student has the right to appeal in writing to the chair of the division in which the course is taught within 30 days of the date of the instructor’s written response. The student’s written notice of appeal should be accompanied by all relevant materials; a copy of the original written appeal to the instructor and a copy of the instructor’s written response must be forwarded to the Division Chair. Within 30 days of the date of the student’s written appeal to the division, the Division Chair will convene a subcommittee from the division. This committee will consist of the Division Chair, and at least four other divisional faculty representing a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. The student and faculty member may be present for the hearing. If the Division Chair is the faculty member whose grade is being appealed, he or she will appoint another member of the division to chair the appeal hearing. For GST and GSTR courses, the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning serves as the Division Chair and members of the Committee on General Education serve as the division committee. The decision of the designated division committee shall be communicated in writing to the student, the faculty member, and the Director of Academic Services within 14 days of the date of the hearing. The letter should address the division committee’s reason for supporting or denying the student’s appeal.
- If either the student or the faculty member does not agree with the decision of the designated division committee, either may appeal to the SAAS Committee. Within 30 days of the date of the division committee’s written decision on the appeal, the student/faculty member must submit a letter contesting the division committee’s decision to the Chairperson of the SAAS Committee. The SAAS Committee will base its decision on the following materials forwarded by the division: the original written appeal by the student to the instructor, the instructor’s written response, the student’s written appeal to the division and all supporting materials, and the designated division committee’s response to the student. Both the student and the faculty member may be present when the appeal is heard. The decision of the Committee will be final.
|Student submits written appeal to faculty member||Within 30 days after start of next regular term|
Instructor finds error was made, requests that SAAS Committee approve a grade change and notifies student in writing of request for grade change
Instructor finds the grade to be correct, notifies student in writing, specifically addressing the student’s stated reason for the appeal
|Within 30 days of receipt of written appeal or for reasons of travel, sabbatical or other extenuating circumstances such as sick leave, within 30 days of the start of the next regular term when the instructor returns|
|Student is not satisfied with the written response of the instructor and submits written appeal to Division Chair (or the Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning for GST and GSTR courses)||Within 30 days of date of instructor’s written response|
|Division subcommittee holds appeal hearing||Within 30 days of date of student’s written appeal|
|Division committee’s decision communicated in writing to the student, instructor, and the Director of Academic Services||Within 14 days of the division committee’s decision|
|Either the student or instructor does not agree with the decision of the division’s committee and appeals to the SAAS Committee||Within 30 days of the date of the division committee’s written notification of its decision|
Notice and Disclaimer
This online publication is the official text of the Berea College Catalog & Student Handbook. Berea College reserves the right to amend, revise, or modify content within this publication at any time.Posted: 9-17-2012
Updated by Wanda Burch