Policies

Policies

Right of Appeal Procedures (Grade Appeal)

Effective Date Jul 8, 2016

The following grade appeal procedure represents official university policy. These procedures recognize the right:

  1. of each student to receive a grade assigned by a fair and unprejudiced evaluation based on a method that is neither arbitrary nor capricious;
  2. of each student to review all work used in the evaluation with the instructor;
  3. of each student to seek redress, when evidence is available that a mistake has been made in calculating or recording his or her grade or that his or her grade has been assigned based on arbitrary or capricious deviation from the instructor’s stated grading policy; and
  4. of each instructor to assign a grade based on a professionally accepted method that is submitted in writing to everyone in the class and applied equally to all members of the class.

The burden of proof rests with the student for all grade appeals and all relevant documents are filed in the department involved in the appeal. Failure by the student to complete any step of the procedure within the specified time period results in the termination of the appeal with no further recourse. All correspondence with the student will be through the student’s assigned fit.edu email address unless another form of written communication is agreed.

Grade appeals progress as follows:

Step One: The student consults with the course instructor by the end of the third week of the succeeding term in an attempt to understand the instructor’s justification for the grade and to resolve the disagreement in an informal, cooperative atmosphere. The student may eliminate this step only when the instructor is on leave or no longer employed by the university.

Note: All references to instructor apply unless the instructor is on leave or is no longer employed by the university. All parties may agree to discontinue or delay the grade appeal process until all interested parties are available on campus.

Step Two: If a resolution is not reached in Step One, the student presents the written complaint to the head of the department in which the grade was assigned within five business days after consulting with the instructor. Supporting evidence (course syllabus and copies of graded assignments, when available) should be included with the written appeal.

The department head verifies the requirements of Step One have been satisfied before acting on the appeal and within seven business days after receiving the appeal and supporting evidence, meets jointly or separately with the student and the instructor in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

 If, in the opinion of the department head,

  1. the student’s appeal lacks merit, the student and the instructor will be notified in writing within five business days after the department head’s consultation with the student and the instructor; or
  2. the instructor assigned the grade in a manner not in accordance with the rights outlined above, the department head provides written recommendation to the instructor to change the grade within five business days after consultation with the student and the instructor.

Within five business days after receiving the department head’s recommendation the instructor shall provide a written response to the department head.

Within five business days after receiving the instructor’s written response, the department head communicates the status of the appeal to the student and the instructor.

Step Three: If the appeal is not resolved in Step Two within five business days after receiving the notification from the department head, the student may appeal to the dean of the college in which the course is taught. The dean gives written notification to the department head and the instructor that an appeal has been made.

All previously submitted documents together with additional written statements from all parties concerned are sent to the dean, who, within seven business days after receiving the appeal and supporting evidence shall meet in joint or separate consultation with the parties.

If the department head and the dean concur the student’s request lacks merit, the appeal ends and the student has no further recourse. The dean informs all parties in writing within five business days after consultation with them.

If, in the opinion of the dean, the instructor assigned the grade in a manner not in accordance with the rights outlined above, the dean provides written recommendation within five business days after consultation with the parties concerned to the instructor to change the grade.

Within five business days after receiving the dean’s recommendation the instructor provides a written response to the dean. If the dean’s recommendation is that the student’s grade should be changed and the instructor agrees to change the grade, the instructor completes a Change of Grade form and once it is signed, submits it to the Office of the Registrar. The dean communicates the status of the appeal to all parties concerned within five business days after receiving the instructor’s decision.

If the instructor disagrees with the dean’s decision and/or declines to change the grade, the dean communicates the instructor’s response to the chief academic officer. If the chief academic officer concurs with the dean’s decision, notification is sent to the registrar’s office to change the grade. The dean communicates the status of the appeal to all parties concerned within five business days after receiving the chief academic officer’s decision. The decision of the chief academic officer is final.