Georgia Perimeter College shall provide students with a timely process of appealing grades that they believe were incorrectly determined. In cases where a student is appealing a grade on the basis of alleged discrimination, the student must elect between the College Grade Appeal procedure and the Student Discrimination Grievance Procedures, but cannot use both for the same grade appeal. (See Student Discrimination Grievance, Georgia Perimeter College Policy Manual, Section 401.02 )
Grade Appeal Procedure
The Grade Appeal Procedure is the method by which a student may challenge a grade issued by an instructor at Georgia Perimeter College. The following procedure is required:
- The student must contact the instructor after the grade is issued to discuss a change in the grade. This contact should occur as soon as possible, but no later than the second week of the term following receipt of the disputed grade. If a student is unable to contact the instructor, the appropriate department chair should be asked for assistance. Under extenuating circumstances and with supporting documentation, exceptions may be made by the Academic Dean.
- If the student disputes the instructor's decision, the student may then initiate the appeal process by obtaining a Student Grade Appeal Statement Form from the appropriate department chair. The student must complete this form according to the directions and provide the necessary documentation and pertinent information. The student should return the complete packet to the department chair within one week.
- Upon receipt of the student's request for a Grade Appeal Form, the department chair will have the instructor complete the Instructor Grade Appeal Statement Form. This form must be returned to the department chair within one week of notification.
- The department chair will render a decision regarding the grade appeal. Prior to making a decision, the department chair may schedule a meeting with the student and/or the instructor. After making a decision, the department chair will notify in writing both the instructor and the student.
- Either the instructor or the student may appeal the decision of the department chair. This appeal must be made in writing, directed to the Academic Dean and delivered within five working days from the receipt of the department chair's decision.
- The Academic Dean will determine the validity of the grade appeal. If the Academic Dean rules that the issue is not a valid grade appeal issue, the appeal goes no further. If the Academic Dean rules that the issue is valid, then the grade appeal procedure will continue according to the following steps. The decision of the Academic Dean regarding continuation of the grade appeal procedure is final.
- The Academic Dean shall appoint a Grade Appeal Committee comprised of:
Voting Members (five members)
- A committee chairperson appointed by the Academic Dean.
- The Campus Dean of Student Services or his/her designee.
- A faculty member appointed by the department chair to represent the department/discipline involved in the appeal.
- A faculty member appointed by the Academic Dean.
This person should be from an academic division/discipline other than the division/discipline in which the appeal is made. The selection will be from a pool of faculty, each member elected by and representing a department on campus.
- A student representative from the Campus Student Government Association. (Note: If the appealing party holds an SGA office, then the committee member will be from a campus other than the one on which the appealing party holds office.)
Non-Voting Members (two members)
- The student making or involved in the appeal may choose someone (faculty/staff) from the college to represent him or her on the Grade Appeal Committee.
- The faculty making or involved in the appeal may choose someone (faculty/staff) from the college to represent him or her on the Grade Appeal Committee.
- Recognizing that the Grade Appeal Committee is an in-house procedure, and not a court of law, no legal counsel or any other person may be present besides the student, the instructor, and appointed members of the committee. Exceptions to this would be granted by the Academic Dean and only for the following reasons: (1) students with disabilities requiring some highly extraordinary assistance that could not be routinely provided by the chair or another member of the committee and (2) a student whose first language is not English and whose English is not sufficiently fluent so as to allow him/her to represent himself/herself adequately at a committee hearing. In these cases, the appointment will be left to the discretion of the Academic Dean.
- After receiving the student's or the instructor's written appeal, the Academic Dean will schedule a meeting of the Grade Appeal Committee. It is the intent of the college to process all grade appeals in a timely manner. Grade appeals will be processed no later than the end of the term in which the appeal was filed.
- The committee examines written materials presented by both the student and the instructor. The voting committee members will also discuss the case with both the instructor and the student. During this discussion, the non-voting committee members will advise and consult with the individual they represent. The committee may call other witnesses. The student and instructor have the right to be present at all meetings where evidence is presented. The committee chair will be responsible for recording the session.
- The voting committee members will meet privately to confer and arrive at a decision. Every effort should be made to reach a consensus finding. If not, then a private ballot shall be taken with the chair of the committee voting only in the event of a tie vote. This decision is reported to the Academic Dean who presents the findings and the decision to the student, instructor and department chair. The Academic Dean will implement the decision of the Grade Appeal Committee unless one of the parties wishes to appeal the grade appeal procedure.
- The committee maintains and forwards informal minutes of all proceedings to the Academic Dean. These shall be available to the Academic Discipline Dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President.
- If the parties are not satisfied with the procedure followed by the Grade Appeal Committee, they may appeal, in writing, within 5 working days to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will determine if the grade appeal procedure was followed appropriately. The Vice President for Academic Affairs may at his/her discretion return the grade appeal to the committee for further consideration. The decision of the Vice President is final.