A grade appeal may be initiated by any student who believes that he or she has been evaluated inaccurately or unfairly in the determination of the final course grade. This is a serious charge and it is recommended that conversation with the faculty member take place prior to initiating the appeal. The student must bear in mind that the faculty member has both the right and responsibility to render a fair and critical judgment regarding the quality of the academic work performed according to the grading criteria stated in the course syllabus. The student has the burden of proof to show otherwise, and must be able to provide some evidence of the lack of a fair evaluation in order to file an appeal. The following procedure must be followed in filing an appeal.
- Whether the recommended conference with the instructor has occurred or not, within 10 days of the course grade being posted on the web, the student must notify the instructor and the School Dean through which the course is offered in writing (preferably via email) that he/she is beginning the appeal process. This communication should summarize how the grade was determined inaccurately or unfairly according to the grading criteria in the course syllabus. This written summary becomes the basis of the grade appeal and will be forwarded to other parties as they become involved in the appeal process. As part of the notification process, the student will request a conference with the Dean and the instructor.
- The conference must take place within 10 business days of the request. The instructor will provide documentation to the Dean prior to the conference explaining the basis for the grade. If the instructor is a School Dean, a senior faculty member in the department, appointed by the Provost or an administrator designated by the Provost will serve in place of the Dean. The student may only be accompanied to this conference by either his/her academic advisor or a member of the full-time Mount faculty to serve in an advisory role to clarify issues, not as an advocate. The School Dean will convene the group to discuss the issues related to the appeal. The Dean will render a decision regarding the appeal to the instructor and the student in writing within 5 business days of the conference.
- Should the resolution be unsatisfactory to the student or the instructor within 5 business days of the decision in Step 2, either party may submit a letter to the Provost describing the basis for continuing the appeal process.
- The Provost or an administrator designated by the Provost will collect relevant information and correspond with the instructor and student together or separately within 10 business days before making a final decision.
- Within 2 business days after conferring as outlined in step 4 a final decision will be made by the Provost or the designated administrator. The decision will be based on a review of the Step 1, 2, and 3 materials that have been submitted and the process that has been followed. There is no further appeal.
- If the course under appeal is a prerequisite, permission to enroll in the next course in the sequence must be granted by the Provost or designee.
- Any exceptions to the timelines or other procedures in this policy must be approved by the Provost.
- No legal counsel will be present during the grade appeal process. The student may withdraw the appeal at any juncture by a written request to the School Dean who will notify the Provost.