John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences

Grade Appeal Procedure

College of Health and Human Sciences Grade Appeal Procedure

1601 East Market Street
Bluford Library – Suite 100
Greensboro, NC 27411
336-256-0350 (Fax)

A. Purpose

The Grade Appeal Committee for the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS) will review cases involving challenges to a grade received by a student in a course and will recommend action to resolve the matter to the Dean of the College. The committee shall consist of a minimum of 6 members which include the chairperson of the committee, three (3) faculty members, and two (2) student representatives. An assigned Associate Dean of Health and Human Sciences will serve as ex-officio member.

Student representatives are on this committee to provide a balanced perspective during both the hearing and deliberations afterwards. However, the student presenting the appeal has the right to decline having student representatives present. When applicable, see form titled “Hearing Information and Expectations.”

B. Determining Merit of the Grade Appeal – Student Guidelines

Given that the Grade Appeal process is used to specifically address grade-related questions, the following may be applicable to pursue a grade appeal if contained in allegation and supporting documentation.

• Grades in the course were miscalculated and/or not clearly derived.
• The instructor violated the grading policies outlined on the syllabus.
• The instructor demonstrated bias in grading practices.

The following are examples of conditions do not merit an appeal for a course grade change.

• The grade distribution of the course in question is lower than all other sections of the course taught at that time.
• The student’s grade earned in this course is significantly lower than that earned in other courses.
• The grade in question will lead to either poor academic standing or loss of financial aid.
• Disagreements that the student may have regarding what constitutes “fair” grading.
• The grading practices of the instructor were not equally applied across sections of the course.
• The student’s grade does not compare well with grades of other students in the course.

C. Procedure

A student appealing a final grade in a course is encouraged to take immediate action after final grades are posted during the given semester; and must take action no later than three days after the next semester begins, as identified on the relevant academic calendar. Please note that a separate appeal must be filed for each disputed course grade.

1. The first step in the process includes communicating, in writing, with the instructor of the course and clearly stating that the grade received is believed to be incorrect. Additionally, the student must state why they believe that the final grade is not reflective of her/his perceived performance in the course. The student must present adequate documentation to the professor in question to support their claim that the final grade was incorrect.

2. The instructor will be given four (4) school days to respond to the student. However, if the matter is resolved and if, indeed, there is evidence to support a change in grade, then the instructor must submit a change of grade request by the deadline stated on the given Academic Calendar.

Also, Form 2, Section I, must be completed, clearly stating that the dispute is resolved. All documents must be submitted to the Chair’s office for confidential filing.

3. If no resolution takes place at this point, the student must communicate, in writing, a request to have a grade changed to the Department Chairperson within the next two (2) school days. The student is expected to provide documentation to support their request.

4. The Department Chairperson will schedule a meeting with the student four (4) school days of receiving both the student’s written request and supporting documents. This must be verified on Form 2, Section II. If, however, there is no response from the department Chairperson within the stated time frame (4 days), the student may proceed to Step 6, if the student so chooses.

5. If the student meets with the Department Chairperson, and a decision is made to change the student’s grade, based on substantial documented evidence of the student’s performance, then the Department Chairperson will then communicate the finding to the instructor of record.

6. The Department Chairperson will forward a formal letter of resolution to both the student and instructor in writing within two (2) days of the decision. The Department Chairperson must submit the grade change by the deadline as identified on the given Academic Calendar.

7. If the grade dispute is not resolved after talking with the chairperson, the student will have one (1) day to proceed with a formal grade appeal. The student will submit Grade Appeal Forms 1, 2 and 3, with the required documentation. The completed checklist must accompany the packet as the first page. The student will forward these documents, in the order identified on the checklist, to the College Dean.

8. Within two (2) days of receiving the appeal application, with its supporting evidence (as stated in Steps 1 through 5), the Dean of the College and/or the Associate Dean will review the application to determine if it should be forwarded to the Grade Appeal Committee for a formal hearing. A request will not go forward if it either does not satisfy the conditions listed in Item B of the procedure (page 1), Determining Merit of the Grade Appeal, or is incomplete.

9. Should it be determined that the appeal will be reviewed by the Grade Appeal Committee, the Dean will forward the appeal application with it supporting evidence to the Chairperson of the Grade Appeal Committee. The Chairperson of the committee will forward copies of the completed forms, and supporting documentation including signed steps taken toward dispute resolution, to the members of the committee. It is anticipated that the hearing will occur within a five school-day period.

10. The Chairperson of the Grade Appeal Committee will contact the student and the instructor of record by e-mail and via phone, to schedule the date and time of the hearing. The student and instructor of record are required to confirm their attendance within a two (2) school day period. If there is a time conflict, the hearing will be rescheduled during the general five (5) school day hearing period. Upon having agreed on a time to meet, the instructor of record will send copies of any supporting materials, including the course syllabus, to the Grade Appeal Chairperson within two (2) school days of notification. The Grade Appeal Chairperson will provide copies of the documentation from both the student and instructor of record to all committee members two (2) school days prior to the scheduled hearing.

11. The official hearing will occur. Both the student and the instructor of record are required to attend the hearing. Neither the student nor the instructor may bring other persons to the hearing. The goal is to resolve the issue upon hearing evidence provided only by the two parties involved.

12. The general protocol of the hearing is as follows:

A. Introductions are made;
B. The Chairperson for the Grade Appeal reads the letter from the student requesting the appeal;
C. The student presents their case;
D. The course instructor presents their case;
E. All members of the appeal committee may ask questions of both parties to gather further information or clarification about what has been presented by both parties;
F. Both the student and the instructor of record will be allowed to deliver a 5-minute closing statement.

13. The formal hearing is officially concluded after the closing statements have been made. Both parties will be asked to leave so that the committee will deliberate in closed session. NO FINAL RECOMMENDATION will be made by the committee at this time. Both parties will be informed that the committee’s recommendation will be delivered to the Dean of the College within three (3) school days of the hearing.

14. The Committee Chairperson will deliver the Grade Appeal Committee’s recommendation, with all the documentation outlined in Steps 1 through 9 of this procedure, and adding to that the notes of the hearing, to the Dean of the College.

15. Upon receiving the recommendation of the committee, the Dean will forward a written decision within three (3) school days to both the student and the instructor. Copies of the letter will be sent to the Department Chairperson, the Associate Dean, and the Chairperson of the Grade Appeal Committee. Grade appeals are final at the level of the College Dean.

Please fill out, save and print the College of Health and Human Sciences Grade Appeal Application.