Graduate Student Grade Appeal Procedure
The Graduate School
East Carolina University
Approved at the 1/11/2010 GSAB Meeting
Overview and Purpose
The goal of this grade appeal policy is to establish a clear, fair process by which graduate students can contest a course grade that they believe has been awarded in a manner inconsistent with university policies or that has resulted from calculation errors on the part of the instructor. Recognizing, however, that the evaluation of student performance is based upon the professional judgment of instructors, and not withstanding the exceptions noted at the end of this policy, appeals will not be considered unless based upon one or more of the following factors:
- An error was made in grade computation.
- Standards different from those established in written department, school or college policies, if specific policies exist, were used in assigning the grade.
- The instructor departed substantially from his or her previously articulated, written standards, without notifying students, in determining the grade.
Only the final course grade may be appealed. The grade assigned by the instructor is assumed to be correct and the student appealing the grade must justify the need for a change of the grade assigned.
- Formal grade appeals must be initiated by the student by the end of the twenty-first calendar day of the semester (not including summer sessions) following the award of the grade.
- The first step to resolve differences between an instructor and student concerning a grade should be a discussion with the instructor. If the instructor of record will not be available within one semester (not including summer sessions), the department chair or designee may act in lieu of the instructor of record for the purpose of grade appeals.
- If the instructor and student cannot resolve the appeal, and the student wishes to pursue the matter further, he or she must present to the chair of the department or designee in which the course is offered, a written appeal that includes the following:
- A statement addressing how the appeal meets one or more of the three criteria necessary for a formal appeal.
- A description of the outcome of the informal discussion process.
- Any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the appeal process.
- A copy of the course syllabus and assignment descriptions.
The department chair or designee may request additional materials from the student. After receiving a copy of the appeal materials from the department chair or designee, the instructor has fourteen calendar days to respond in writing to the appeal. The department chair or designee will discuss this response with the faculty member and will provide the student with written notification of the outcome of this step within seven calendar days after receiving the instructor’s response.
Exceptions to the Grade Appeal Policy
The Grade Appeal Policy shall constitute the sole internal administrative remedy for a change in grade, except when the grade being disputed resulted from an alleged academic integrity violation or when a grade dispute involves an Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity discrimination complaint. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, the process for resolution that has been established for appealing academic integrity violations must be followed. If a grade dispute arises from an issue that is covered under the university’s Equal Opportunity and Equity policies, the process for resolution that the Office of Equal Opportunity and Equity has established must be completed prior to the use of the University’s grade appeal process.”