College Grades: When the Informal Appeal Process Doesn’t Work!

Sometimes instructors can be stubborn and you need to take further action. In such cases, pulling out the big guns becomes necessary. If you have written agreement that you prepared in advance, now it is time to file it. With that carefully prepared document in hand, you should now approach the Area Chair and ask him or her for assistance in filing it. They may recommend that you pursue mediation or that they mediate the case between you and your instructor. Alternatively, they may inform you about the College Grievance Process.

If they inform you about the College Grievance Process then this is what you must do. When following this process, you will likely turn in your formal written grievance and submit it within 30-45 days of course completion. Your statement will likely include a description of the complaint and what remedy you’re seeking (a higher grade, of course).

If, after reviewing your paperwork, the Chair determines that you have a case then you will likely move to the next step. Step two in this process entails meeting with the instructor, the Assistant Chair and likely the Dean. At this point, they will all go over the file with you. During such a meeting, you will have 15 minutes to present your case and your instructor will have the same allotted time to present his/her case. Together, the Chair and Dean will then decide who has presented the best evidence and will make a final ruling.

With the formalities of this process in mind, it is very important that you dress appropriately, bring relevant evidence to support your stance and state your case as clearly as you possibly can.

The good news is that if you win the case, you will receive the higher grade. In the event that you lose, however, I still have some good news for you. You can feel proud that you gave it your best shot and that you didn’t give up. For that, in itself, is an accomplishment

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