Final grade appeal process revisited

The Instructional Administrative Procedures Committee is considering a draft proposal that would bring changes to the final grade appeal process.

The biggest change would be that professors would no longer have the last say about a final grade a student disagrees with.

According to a draft revision of Procedure 4030: Student Appeal of a Grade, there are four steps to the proposed process. In a nutshell, those are:

• The student would be required to meet with the instructor who assigned the grade within 90 days and “attempt to resolve the matter.”

• If that failed to resolve the matter, the student would have two weeks to submit a “Student Appeal of a Grade,” and a meeting would be called with the student and the division dean who oversees the area the class falls under.

• The student would be notified of the decision from that meeting within one week. If the student disagrees with the decision that comes out of that meeting, he or she can request a hearing before a Grade Appeal Committee.

The commitee that would evaluate the appeal “will be composed of six (6) faculty, one each from the academic divisions, and not to include the instructor involved in the case. [It] will also include three (3) students selected by the Vice President for Student Services.”

• At the end of the hearing, the committee would meet privately and discuss the case. If a unanimous vote is reached, the grade would be changed.

If the vote is not unanimous, the committee would provide its recommendation to the associate vice president, who would then notify the instructor and student of the committee’s decision.

Sara Mathew, computer science professor and IAPC chairwoman, declined to comment on the specifics of the proposal, saying the changes have only been discussed within the committee and have not been made available at the faculty level or to the deans for discussion yet.

Under the current policy, instructors alone have the power to change a final grade after it has been posted to a student’s permanent record.

As it stands now, the Grade Appeal Committee is composed of three faculty members instead of the proposed six and two students instead of the proposed three.

• Currently, both the instructor and the student have the opportunity to present their positions on the issue, and the committee submits its recommendations to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

• The Associate Vice President then reviews the committee’s findings and makes a recommendation to the instructor.

• The instructor is encouraged to carefully consider the associate vice president’s recommendation, but is under no obligation to do so.

Changes in the policy are not likely to come before the end of this academic year.

For more on OCCC’s Academic appeal process, pick up a copy of the Student Handbook at the Welcome Desk on the first floor of the Main Building or visit the college’s website at

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