Grade Appeal Procedure

Purpose:The Grade Appeal Procedure provides the student with a process for appealing a final course grade when he or she believes that an improper evaluation has occurred. "Improper evaluation" is defined as 1) the evaluation standards and grading criteria contained in the course syllabus were not followed by the instructor, or 2) the final grade was imposed in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

If a student believes that the final grade they received for a course is inaccurate based on their work in the class and the grading criteria as outlined in the course syllabus, they should communicate directly with their instructor in an attempt to resolve the concern. Below is the official Grade Appeal Procedure.

Scope:The Grade Appeal Procedure only applies to disputes about posted final course grades. Concerns about grades given for assignments or examinations during the term, or concerns or complaints about instructional quality should be addressed through an appointment with the instructor's supervisor.

The Grade Appeal Procedure does not invalidate the requirements mandated by any department, program, and/or the curriculum of any particular course. Specific course assignments, instructor- specific policies, or other formal course-related materials cannot be challenged or appealed through this process. This process applies only to assertions of improper final evaluation as described above.

Step 1: Attempt to Resolve the Final Grade Concern with the Instructor
1. If the student believes his or her grade was a mistake, he or she must first directly communicate with the instructor about the final grade by sending a written inquiry to the instructor requesting an explanation of how the grade was determined and stating his/her questions and concerns about the grade assigned. The communication should include specific reasons why the student believes he or she was graded improperly, and supporting evidence, such as statements in the course syllabus, alleged discrepancies in points or grades received, emails to and from the instructor, etc. This written inquiry must be received by the instructor within 14 calendar days of the final course grades being posted, or the student forfeits the right to appeal the grade.

2. Upon receiving a written inquiry regarding a final course grade, the instructor is expected to respond to the student's inquiry in writing within 14 calendar days of the documented date of the student's inquiry. If the instructor is unable to respond within 14 days of the documented inquiry, the Dean of Academics and Workforce may initiate an appropriate response if the inquiry is made known to them by the student. For instructor contact information, the student should see their course syllabus.

3. If questions remain after the student receives explanation from the instructor, the student is encouraged to discuss those concerns in person with the instructor.

Step 2: Submit a Grade Appeal Form to Dean of Students
1. If the student's concern is not resolved through Step 1, the student may submit a Grade Appeal Form, with supporting evidence, to the Dean of Students within 30 calendar days of the student's documented inquiry to the instructor. Students can obtain a Grade Appeal Form by calling Student Services at 541-867-8501. OCCC students should return the completed Grade Appeal Form to Oregon Coast Community College’s Dean of Students at 400 SE College Way, Newport, OR 97366. OCCC Students may also submit this form by fax to 541-867-8559. The Dean of Students or their designee will review the Grade Appeal Form and determine the next steps, which may include, but are not limited to: (1) referral of the appeal to the instructor’s immediate supervisor for review, investigation, and response; (2) request for additional information and supporting documentation from the student, or (3) a decision not to proceed with the appeal if the academic evaluation being contested does not fall within the scope of this policy. 2. Once sufficient information and documentation has been received from the student and the appeal has been deemed appropriate, the Dean of Students will investigate the final course grade in question, make a decision about the appropriateness of that grade under the standards described above, and communicate the decision in writing to the student. A copy of the written decision will also be sent to the Dean of Academics and Workforce.

Step 3: Appeal Decision to Dean of Academics and Workforce
1. The student may appeal the decision in Step 2 only on the grounds that (1) the procedures outlined in this policy were not followed; or (2) relevant evidence concerning the final course grade becomes available that was not available during Step 2. An appeal must be made within 14 calendar days of receipt of the Dean of Students or their designee's written decision. The student must submit written justification for further review and provide evidence that there are grounds for the appeal to the Dean of Academics and Workforce.

2. The Dean of Academics and Workforce will objectively investigate how the grade appeal process was conducted in Step 2, and/or consider relevant evidence that was not available or not considered during Step 2, make a final decision on the appeal, and communicate it in writing to the student, with a copy to the Dean of Students.