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Complaint - Academic

Office of Origin: Academic & Student Services
Date Adopted:
Date Reviewed:
Last Date Modified & Approved: 02-04-09

Students having concerns, problems or complaints of a general instructional nature (e.g., faculty, course offerings, procedures) should immediately confer with the appropriate instructor involved in an effort to resolve the issues informally.

If, after working with the appropriate faculty member, the student’s concerns or problems are not resolved, the student should then confer with the appropriate department chair in an effort to find a resolution.

If, after working with the appropriate department chair, the student’s concerns are not resolved, the student should discuss the issue with the appropriate instructional dean, whose decision is final.

Disclosure to accreditation agencies
All complaints submitted in writing, signed by a student and addressed to or submitted to an institutional officer may be shared with any of the several agencies that accredit the College or its programs. Individual names will not be shared without the express permission of the complainant.

Procedure for formal grade appeals
Students who desire to appeal a grade are to follow this procedure in this sequence:

(1) Instructor –
A student concerned about a grade should immediately discuss the issue with the instructor who awarded the grade. This appeal to the instructor is to occur just as soon as possible and certainly within ten days of learning of the grade. The instructor will meet with the student, consider all of the issues, and then render a decision.

(2) Department Chair –
If, after discussion with the appropriate instructor, the dispute is not resolved, the student may appeal to the appropriate department chair within ten days of notification of the instructors’ decision. The department chair will meet with the persons involved, attempt to resolve the issue, and then render a decision which will be communicated to the student in writing. 

(3) Instructional Dean –
If, after discussion with the department chair, the dispute is not resolved, the student or faculty member may, within ten days of notification of the department chair’s decision, appeal to the appropriate instructional dean. The Dean will meet with the persons involved in an attempt to resolve the issue and then render a decision which will be communicated in writing. The decision of the Dean is final.

If a student appeals the final grade for a course, the formal appeal is to be completed within the semester immediately following the one in which the course grade was received. Grades older than one calendar year may not be appealed.

Grade appeal decision guidelines –
When appealing a grade, the student is responsible for providing factual information and documentation to support the need to alter or modify the grade. If appealed beyond step (1) above, the department chair, and Dean shall carefully consider whether or not the grade and the decisions leading up to it (a) were within the scope of the authority of the individual making the decision, (b) were done in accordance with established policies or procedures, and (c) were neither arbitrary nor capricious.

Other Issues – The above procedures exclude issues related to sexual harassment, civil rights, Title IX, and disability concerns. Problems in these areas should be discussed with the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Diversity, Room A-305, (269) 927-8102.

Responsibility: Executive Dean, Arts & Sciences and Accreditation

References: