Operating Procedure: Student Grade Review and Appeals - 314.08

Johnson County Community College
Series 300: Students
Section 314: Academic Policies
Board Policy: Student Grade Review and Appeals - 314.08


The following procedures are established in accordance with the Student Grade Review and Appeals Policy 314.08.

Purpose

It is the intent of the college to provide students with a fair and efficient process to present and resolve complaints relating to the final grade issued to a student for a credit course.

Grade Review and Appeal Definitions

  • Informal Grade Review is the initial procedure a student follows in an attempt to resolve a final grade issue for a credit course with the faculty member of record. 
  • Formal Student Grade Review Petition is a secondary phase of the grade review process if a student is not satisfied with the outcome of the Informal Grade Review or is unable to contact the faculty member because of the faculty member’s absence. Download the form.
  • Grade Review Appeal is a written request to the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs (“EVPAA”) to review and determine if the student’s petition for a grade review meets the criteria for a grade review hearing before members of the Grade Appeals Committee.  
  • Faculty member of record is the faculty member in charge of the credit course in which a student is enrolled.
  • Administrator of record is the college administrator(s) to whom the faculty member of record reports.

 
Grade Review and Appeal Procedure Deadlines

A student must request an Informal Grade Review with the faculty member of record prior to initiating a Formal Student Grade Review Petition.
If a student is not satisfied with the results of the Informal Grade Review, he/she may initiate a Formal Student Grade Review Petition within forty-five (45) calendar days of the college’s release of a final credit course grade to the student. 
If a student is not satisfied with the results of the Formal Student Grade Review Petition process, he/she may initiate a Grade Review Appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the administrator(s) of record written response to the student through the Formal Student Grade Review Petition Process.
 
The intent of this procedure is to provide for the prompt review of a student’s request for review of a final grade for a credit course.  Due dates specified under this procedure may be extended for either party by approval of the EVPAA, if an acceptable reason is provided for the delay.  The request for an extension must be made prior to the expiration of the specified deadline(s).

Grounds for a Grade Review Petition and Appeal

A grade review, informal or formal, will not be considered if the reason for the request is that a student is generally dissatisfied with a grade or disagrees with a faculty member’s professional judgment of a student’s performance.

The grounds for a grade review must include corroborating evidence of at least one of the following.

  1. The faculty member of record inaccurately calculated the student grade.
  2. The faculty member of record determined a grade using a process different from that identified in the original course syllabus or in a syllabus that the faculty member has modified and communicated the modification to students. The faculty member determines the means of such communication.
  3. The faculty member of record applied an inconsistent grading standard within the course.
  4. The faculty member of record violated a written agreement with the student.
  5. The faculty member of record violated an institutional policy in assigning course work, administering exams and/or in assigning grades.

Grade Review Petition Process

A.     Informal Grade Review
A student must pursue an Informal Grade Review with the faculty member of record prior to filing a Formal Student Grade Review Petition.  If unable to contact the faculty member of record, a student should proceed to Formal Student Grade Review Petition below.

Step 1:  Student meeting with the faculty member of record.

The student must request a meeting with the faculty member of record to discuss his/her concerns regarding a final grade.  A grade concern is best resolved if addressed early; therefore the student should communicate with the faculty member of record as soon as possible after the college’s release of the final course grade to the student. If unable to contact the faculty member of record, a student should proceed to Formal Student Grade Review Petition below.

At the meeting with the faculty member of record, the student must present verbal or written information to the faculty member specifying the grounds that the student believes would support a grade change (see Grounds for Grade Review Petition and Appeal above. The student may consult with and/or include a counselor in this meeting.

Step 2:  Review of petition by faculty member of record

The faculty member will consider the information the student has presented and within seven (7) calendar days provide a written response to the student’s JCCC-provided student email account.

If the faculty member of record determines that a grade change is appropriate, he/she must file a change of grade form with the college registrar in a timely manner.

If the faculty member believes the grounds for a student’s grade appeal are not appropriate or that student’s grade should not be changed, the student may file a Formal Student Grade Review Petition with appropriate documentation, as set forth below.

B. Formal Student Grade Review Petition Process

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the faculty member of record or if the student is unable to contact the faculty member because of the faculty member’s absence, the student may file a Formal Student Grade Review Petition. 

Step 1:  Student submission of completed Formal Student Grade Review Petition Form and written documentation.

The student must submit a completed Formal Student Grade Review Petition Form and written documentation substantiating the grounds for a grade review within forty-five (45) calendar days of the college’s release of the final credit course grade to the student. This petition must be submitted to the dean of the division through which the course is offered. This may be delivered in person, email or U.S. Mail. (See Academic Affairs to determine the division through which the course is offered and the location of that division office.  It may be necessary to click on a division link at this site to determine which departments fall under each division.)

In addition to the Formal Student Grade Review Petition Form, the student must attach written documentation substantiating the grounds for grade review, including:

Explanation of circumstances and how the grade petition meets the grounds for review

The course syllabus Communication (papers, emails, texts) with the faculty member of record (if applicable)

Assignment/exam/project in question (if applicable)

Relevant institutional policy (if applicable)

Other supporting documentation with an explanation of the relevance and importance of the material to the grade issue.

Step 2:  Administrator of Record Review

Upon receipt of a Formal Student Grade Review Petition and written documentation in the appropriate dean’s office, the administrator(s) of record will communicate and/or meet with the student to review the matter.
 
Following review of the petition, the administrator(s) of record will send a written response to the student at his/her JCCC-provided email address and to the faculty member of record. This written response will typically be provided within fourteen (14) calendar days following the division dean’s receipt of the student’s Formal Student Grade Review Petition and written documentation.  At this step, only the faculty member of record or the administrator(s) of record may file a written change of grade with the college registrar, if deemed appropriate.

C.     Grade Review Appeal Process

If a student is not satisfied with the response of the administrator(s) of record to the Formal Student Grade Review Petition, the student may send a written request to the EVPAA for a Grade Review Appeal.  This request must be sent to the EVPAA within fourteen (14) calendar days of the date of the administrator(s) of record written response to the student’s Formal Student Grade Review Petition.

Step 1:  Resubmission of Formal Student Grade Review Petition and attachments
If a student submits a written request to the EVPAA for evaluation of his/her Formal Student Grade Review Petition and written documentation, the EVPAA will request a complete copy of the petition and documentation from the appropriate division dean.  The student may supply a copy of this material and any additional documentation if desired.

The written appeal to the EVPAA may be delivered in person to the office of the EVPAA, by email or via U.S. Mail to the campus address of the EVPAA.

Step 2:  Review of Appeal by Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Upon receipt of the student’s petition and documentation, the EVPAA or designee will review the information submitted to determine if the Grade Review Appeal meets the criteria for a Grade Appeals Committee hearing. These criteria are met if it is determined that the grounds for appeal are appropriate and that the student has properly followed the grade review petition process.
 
If the EVPAA or designee concludes that the request for a grade review appeal does not meet the criteria for an appeal as described in these procedures, the EVPAA or designee will advise the student in an email to the student’s JCCC-provided student email account within fourteen (14) calendar days of receipt of the student’s written appeal to the EVPAA. The student’s grade appeal rights end at this point.
 
If the EVPAA or designee determines that the request for a Grade Review Appeal meets the criteria for a grade appeal as stated in these procedures, he/she will confer with the chair of the college’s Grade Appeals Committee and make arrangements with the student and the chair for a hearing date before the Committee.  The EVPAA will send a written notice to the faculty member of record, administrator(s) of record and the student at his/her JCCC-provided email address officially informing them of the hearing date, the faculty member’s and the student’s rights in the hearing and the procedure for the Committee Appeal Hearing Process.

D.    Grade Review Appeal Hearing Process
The Grade Appeals Committee is a standing college committee with members appointed annually each August by the EVPAA. 
The Committee members will include:

Five (5) full-time faculty members
One (1) adjunct faculty member
Two (2) student representatives

The EVPAA will consult with the president of the JCCC Faculty Association and the Vice President of Student Success & Engagement regarding the selection of potential Committee members. A faculty member will be designated by the EVPAA as chair.

The EVPAA will maintain a list of alternates for the Committee should a Committee member need to be replaced on a temporary basis.  This need could arise if unique expertise is required, there is a potential conflict of interest in an appeal hearing, a Committee member is unable to attend a scheduled meeting or a Committee member is unable to continue service on the Committee during the academic year.

Step 1:  Calling the Appeal Hearing
The Grade Appeals Committee chair will call a meeting of the Committee members when notified by the EVPAA of the need for a Grade Review Appeal hearing.  Each Committee member or an assigned alternate must be present for the Committee to review the appeal and to render a decision.
 
Step 2:  Conducting the Appeal Hearing
The appeal hearing will be a closed meeting.  The student making the appeal and the faculty member of record may address the Committee individually and introduce relevant documentation.   The Committee will not be bound by rules of evidence and will conduct its hearing in an informal manner.
 
Step 3:  Appeal Committee Deliberations
Following the student’s and the faculty member’s presentations, the Committee will meet in private to discuss and vote on the appeal.  A minimum of six (6) members of the Committee must vote in favor of changing a grade for a student’s grade to be changed.
 
Step 4:  Notification of Appeal Hearing Outcome
At the conclusion of the Committee’s deliberations, the Committee chair will send written notification to the EVPAA of the Committee’s findings and determination.

The EVPAA will send written notification of the results of the Committee’s deliberations to the JCCC-provided email accounts of the faculty member of record, the administrator(s) of record and the student within seven (7) calendar days of the end of the Committee deliberations. 

If the Committee vote supports changing a grade, the EVPAA will coordinate with the faculty member of record and the administrator(s) of record the filing of a written change of grade with the college registrar.

Appeal Determination

The decision of the Grade Appeals Committee shall be final.