Students are responsible for meeting the standards for academic performance established for the course/s in which they are enrolled. The establishment of the criteria for grades and the evaluation of student academic performance are the responsibilities of the instructor. The grade appeal procedure is available for the review of allegedly capricious grading or clerical error by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility and burden to show that the instructor’s grading was capricious and/or there was a clerical error. Students are advised that the professional judgment of instructors cannot be challenged and appeals made solely on that basis will not be considered.
Capricious grading consists of any of the following:
- The assignment of a final grade to a particular student on some basis other than the performance in the course;
- The assignment of a final grade to a particular student by resorting to more demanding standards than were applied to other students in the course;
- The assignment of a final grade representing a substantial departure from the instructor’s previously announced standards as stated on the course syllabus.
Student Grade Appeal Procedure
The student must discuss the course grade fully with the instructor of the course. This must be done no later than ten (10) business days* after the final grades for the class are posted. This meeting, communication (or interaction) is a prerequisite to filing a formal grade appeal. The instructor is required to make a good faith attempt to meet or communicate with a student who has contacted him/her to discuss a concern within a grade within the ten day timeframe. Reasons for any delay should be explained and documented. The instructor should also document the meeting when it occurs.
If the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction after meeting with the instructor, the student may then discuss the matter with the relevant academic division chairperson/dean/graduate program director no later than ten (10) business days after meeting with the instructor. This meeting is also a prerequisite to filing a formal grade appeal. The department chairperson/school dean will review any information provided by the student and also consult with the instructor. The department chairperson/ dean/graduate program director shall notify the student and course instructor, in writing, of the decision no more than one week from receiving the letter and documentation..
If the situation is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction at the division/program level, the student may then file a formal written appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. This appeal must be filed no later than ten (10) business days after receipt of the departmental decision. The written appeal should include the reason for the appeal, a summary of the previous meetings with the instructor and department chairperson/school dean/graduate program director, and any relevant documentation. Examples of relevant documents include, but are not limited to: 1) course syllabi, 2) course assignments, 3) the graded work of the student, and 4) samples of the graded work of other students who were in the same course as the appellant.
Upon receipt of a written grade appeal, the Vice President of Academic Affairs will determine if the appeal is appropriate under this process (i.e., timely filed and alleges capricious grading and/or a clerical error). If the appeal is not appropriate, the student will be so notified and the process will end.
If the appeal is appropriate, the Vice President of Academic Affairs will contact the department chairperson/school dean/graduate program director so that he/she can obtain a written response and all relevant documents from the course instructor and forward them to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The written response and relevant documentation should be provided to the Vice President of Academic Affairs within five (5) business days of the request for such information. The course instructor is expected to comply with all requests for a written response and relevant documentation from his/her department chairperson/dean.
Upon review of the written appeal and the documentation provided by the student and the instructor, the Vice President of Academic Affairs may request any additional information deemed necessary from the student and the course instructor. The student and the instructor must provide the additional materials within five (5) business days of the Vice President of Academic Affairs request.
The Vice President of Academic Affairs will make a final decision on the matter. If deemed necessary, the Vice President of Academic Affairs may convene a committee to review the materials. The student will be notified of the decision in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt of the additional materials. This notification will be delivered by regular mail to the postal address on file for the student and by email to the student’s MVC email address. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will also notify the course instructor, the department chairperson/dean, and Registrar of the decision. This notification will be transmitted to these individuals by campus email. If it is determined that the student’s grade will be changed, the Vice President of Academic Affairs must submit a Revised Grade Report Form to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will modify the student’s transcript within ten (10) business days after receipt of the form. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs is final.
*A business day is defined as one in which the campus is open for business.