For questions or assistance with the grade appeal process, please contact Mona.Peaks@BridgeValley.edu.
The Student Grade Appeal Process provides a fair, orderly and unbiased process for students who wish to pursue a formal appeal of their final course grade. In taking such action, students shall assume the burden of proof concerning any perceived error in the grade assigned. Further, they shall follow the sequence of steps outlined in this policy with the presumption that, as a matter of rule, instructors do not assign arbitrary, capricious, prejudicial, or discriminatory grades. The grade appeal process must be started within 15 working days of the posting of the final grade, within 2 working days for part-of-term courses.
Before starting a formal grade appeal process, the student must discuss the final course grade, including grading practices and assignments, with the instructor who gave the final grade. The instructor and the student should make every effort to eliminate any misunderstandings over the assignment of the grade as it relates to the course syllabus. It is expected that most grade issues will be resolved at this level. This discussion must occur before the student may file a formal appeal.
If the faculty member finds in the student’s favor, a grade change is submitted with signatures and the appeal process is resolved.
If a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade dispute through informal means the student may request a formal grade appeal process by initiating a formal student grade appeal.
Step 1: The student must notify the course faculty member in writing immediately (within 2 working days for part-of-term courses, no later than 15 working days for full-term courses) of the posting of the final grade stating that s/he wishes to discuss his/her final grade. If the course faculty member does not respond to the student’s email within the specified time or if there is no resolution and the student intends to pursue a grade appeal, the student must obtain a Student Grade Appeal Form from the BridgeValley website, his or her counselor, or any division office. The Student Grade Appeal Form must include all facts and supporting documentation from the student prior to presenting the form to the course faculty. The Student Grade Appeal containing the decision and the rationale must be completed, dated and signed by the course faculty member.
Step 2: If the issue is not resolved to the student’s or the instructor’s satisfaction at Step 1, the decision may be appealed to the department chairperson* within 10 working days of the student submission of the Student Grade Appeal Form to the faculty to arrange a meeting. The faculty member may be invited to this meeting if the department chairperson deems it appropriate. The student must attend the scheduled meeting and discuss the issue of the grade appeal with the department chairperson. Should a student fail to attend any scheduled meeting, the appeal will be nullified and no further action will be considered. The Student Grade Appeal Form, containing the decision and the rationale, must be completed, dated and signed by the department chairperson.
*If the faculty member is also the department chair, proceed to the next step.
Step 3: If the issue is not resolved to the student’s or the instructor’s satisfaction at Step 2, the student must contact the Academic Division Dean* within 10 working days to schedule a meeting. The student must attend the scheduled meeting and discuss the issue of the grade appeal. Should a student fail to attend any scheduled meeting, the appeal will be nullified and no further action will be considered. The Academic Division Dean will conduct an investigation of the situation. The Student Grade Appeal Form, containing the decision and the rationale must be completed, dated and signed by the Academic Division Dean.
*If the faculty member is also the Academic Division Dean, proceed to the next step.
Step 4: If the issue is not resolved to the student’s or the instructor’s satisfaction at Step 3, the student must send a copy of the Student Grade Appeal Form to the Office of the Registrar (Registrar) within 10 working days to schedule a meeting. After meeting with the student and discussion with faculty, the Registrar will review the appeal to determine if the student has appropriate grounds for appeal based on the statements in the syllabus and other instructor documents. If warranted, the Registrar will convene the Grade Appeals Committee, which is a recommending body and a subcommittee of the Academic Board, to convene a hearing. If not, the Chief Academic Officer makes the determination that the grade stands. The student will be notified in writing of the Chief Academic Officer’s decision.
Grade Appeals Committee: The Grade Appeals Committee is convened by the Registrar after Step 4 when the grade is still in dispute and the Registrar determines that the student has grounds for an appeal. The Grade Appeal Committee will be made up of five (5) faculty members, one (1) student, and the Registrar (or designee), who will be a nonvoting member, except in the event of a tie. Both the faculty member and student involved in the appeal will have an opportunity to be heard before the Grade Appeals Committee, and any employee involved in Steps 1-3 may be asked to comment before the Committee. The participants will be informed, in writing, of the Committee’s recommendation within two (2) working days after the hearing. The faculty member must abide by the recommendation of the Committee and will submit any grade change deemed necessary to the Office of the Registrar.