Academic Grievance Procedures

Any registered student may appeal a decision that s/he thinks has unfairly discriminated against her/him. If the student's concerns are actions within the grading policy, the student should first discuss her/his concerns with the instructor(s) of the relevant course(s) or practicum. This needs to be done no later than the quarter after the course is completed. If the matter is not resolved with the instructor(s), or if the student's concern is other than a grading decision, it should be discussed with the Dean of Students. This discussion is confidential.

Grade Appeal Procedure

Informal Appeal

A student who believes that s/he has an error in the grading on any graded material (i.e., assignment, paper, project, examination) in a course should follow the guidelines provided by the instructor for a grade appeal. If the instructor does not provide specific guidelines, the student should use the following process:

  1. Discuss the potential grading error with the instructor.
  2. Submit a written request for a review of the graded material to the instructor.
  3. In both the discussion and the written appeal the student should state clearly and in detail which part of the graded material has a potential grading error, why the student believes there is an error, and what the correct grade would be. The instructor will review and re-grade all of the material and decide whether or not the grade should be changed. If the instructor decides that a grading error was made, it is the obligation of the faculty to correct that error and increase or decrease the grade accordingly. The final decision rests with the faculty member and only s/he can change the grade.
  4. If the matter is not resolved with the instructor or if the instructor does not respond within ten school days, the student can pursue the appeal further by submitting a written request along with copies of correspondence with the instructor to the Dean of Students. If the Dean of Students concludes that the instructor did not fully review the student's request, the Dean will contact the instructor to discuss the re-grade and ensure that the student's request received a fair review. Appeals are limited to a review of the re-grade process and do not include a review of the instructor's evaluation of the re-grade.

Formal Appeal Procedure

If the student has completed filing an informal appeal and is not satisfied with the outcome, the student file a formal written appeal with the Dean of Students. The written appeal should specify the nature and particulars of the student's concerns and the reasons s/he thinks s/he has been treated unfairly.

Upon receipt of a formal appeal, the Dean of Students will discuss the matter with the Dean of the School. The Dean of Students may take one of several actions:

  1. The appeal may be upheld. The Dean of Students will notify the student in writing.
  2. The Dean of Students may appoint an advisory appeal committee comprised of:
    1. a faculty chairperson,
    2. three faculty members,
    3. three students (optional at the discretion of the student filing the appeal), and
    4. the Dean of Students serves ex-officio.

The student will have the opportunity to object to the appointment of any committee member. The Dean of Students may or may not accept such objection.

The Appeal Committee will determine the testimony and evidence that may be presented. Written documentation and testimony will be secured. A hearing may be held at the Committee's discretion or at the student's request. If a hearing is arranged, the student may appear accompanied by a representative of her/his choice.

The Committee reports its findings and recommendations to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students makes a determination and the student is notified in writing.

3. The appeal may be denied. The Dean of Students will notify the student of the decision in writing.

Reference: Student Rights and Grievances, Title IX. Education Amendments of 1972; Education Code Section 76224(a)