Grade Review and Appeal Procedure (Board Policy 20-165)

College of DuPage recognizes that the responsibility for grading rests solely with faculty. This grade review procedure is available for a student to review a final course grade alleged to be arbitrary and capricious. Before requesting a formal review, a student is urged to make every effort to resolve the grievance informally with the instructor who issued the final grade. The student may terminate the formal procedure at any point, but when the procedure reaches full closure, the student must abide by the final disposition of the appeal and will be precluded from seeking review of the matter under any other college procedure. The Grade Review Procedure is fully outlined in Administrative Procedure 20-165.

A student may initiate a formal grade review if it is felt an arbitrary or capricious grade has been given, which means:

  1. The assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; or
  2. The assignment of a course grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards different from those which were applied to other students in the class; or
  3. The assignment of a course grade by a substantial, unreasonable and unannounced departure from the instructor's previously articulated standards. Factual and computational errors are included in this definition.

Step 1. Student Consultation with Instructor and/or Associate Dean/Supervisor

  1. The student contacts the instructor to discuss the grade and to work toward a mutual understanding of the basis and procedure used to determine the final grade. This request must be initiated by the student within forty-five (45) calendar days of the last day of the academic term for which the grade was assigned. If the instructor is not available, the student must register the request for the review with the instructor's associate dean/supervisor.
  2. If the problem is not resolved between the student and the instructor at Step 1, Step 2 must be initiated by the student within ten (10) days following the meeting with the instructor or associate dean/supervisor.

Step 2. Calling of Grade Review Committee

  1. A student requests that the associate dean/supervisor initiate a formal grade review by the Division's standing Grade Review Committee. Each Division will determine its unit process for establishing its committee, but all committees will consist of three voting faculty members from within the Division and will exclude the instructor who issued the grade under review.
  2. The student receives a Grade Review Form from the associate dean/supervisor and completes it in writing.
  3. The student submits the completed Grade Review Form to the associate dean/supervisor within ten (10) days of receiving the form.
  4. The associate dean/supervisor sends the instructor a copy of the student's completed Grade Review Form within five (5) days, to be returned with a written response from the instructor within ten (10) days after receiving the form from the associate dean/supervisor.
  5. The associate dean/supervisor will call the Grade Review Committee and the committee will meet within ten (10) days of receipt of the completed Grade Review Form from the instructor to determine whether to dismiss or hear the case.
  6. The Grade Review Committee will dismiss the appeal if:
    1. The student has submitted the same, or substantially the same, complaint to any other formal grievance procedure; or
    2. The allegations, even if true, would not constitute arbitrary and capricious grading; or
    3. The appeal was not timely; or
    4. The student has not conferred with the instructor or with the instructor's associate dean/supervisor in accordance with Step 1 of these procedural steps.
  7. If the request for review is not dismissed, Step 3 follows.

Step 3. Actions of the Grade Review Committee

  1. The Grade Review Committee will submit a copy of the student's written statement to the instructor with a request for a written reply within ten (10) working days if this step has not been taken prior to the convening of the committee. (See Step 2, d. above.) If it then appears that the dispute may be resolved without recourse to the procedures specified in Step 3: b., which follows, the committee will attempt to arrange a mutually agreeable solution between the student and instructor.
  2. If a mutually agreeable solution is not achieved, the Grade Review Committee will proceed to hold an informal, non-adversarial, fact-finding meeting concerning the allegations. Both the student and the instructor will be entitled to be present throughout this meeting and to present any relevant evidence. Neither the student nor the instructor will be accompanied by an advocate or representative. This meeting will not be recorded by any parties and will not be open to the public.
  3. The Grade Review Committee will deliberate privately at the close of the fact-finding meeting. If a majority of the committee members finds the allegation supported by any clear and convincing evidence, the committee members will take any action which they feel would bring about substantial justice and includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Directing the instructor to re-evaluate the student's work.
    2. Directing the instructor to administer a new final examination or paper in the course.
    3. Directing the cancellation of the student's registration in the course.
    4. Directing the award of a grade of "pass" in the course, except that such a remedy should be used only if no other reasonable alternative is available.
  4. The Grade Review Committee is not authorized to award a letter grade or to reprimand or otherwise take disciplinary action against the instructor. The decision of the committee will be final and will be promptly reported in writing to the parties. The associate dean/supervisor will be responsible for implementing the decision of the Grade Review Committee.