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Grade Appeal Procedures

Students have a right to appeal Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work grades which they feel reflect a biased or inaccurate assessment of their work. Students should keep in mind, however, that once a grade is called into question, it can be adjusted in any direction. It is possible that an appeal may result in a lower grade.

Any student who wishes to appeal a grade should do so after the final grade for the course has been submitted and within 4 months of receiving a grade for the class. The department does not guarantee consideration to appeals submitted more than 4 months after the original grade was issued. The first step a student should take to initiate an appeal would be to meet with the instructor who issued the grade. The instructor should review the work in question and make a determination as to the accuracy of the original grade. If it is warranted, the instructor may submit a change of grade form. If the grade is found to be correct, the instructor should explain to the student how it was calculated.

If the student is dissatisfied with the instructor’s explanation and still feels that the grade is improper, with appropriate documentation, the next step in the appeal process would be to turn to the department chair. The student must make available to the chair any disputed assignments and present in writing a detailed explanation of the alleged inaccuracies or improprieties in grading. The chair or an appointed department committee will review these materials carefully. If the chair feels it necessary, other faculty members with relevant expertise may be called upon to provide an alternative assessment of the disputed materials. At the same time, the chair must inform the instructor about the appeal and provide the instructor with an opportunity to present a full explanation as to how the disputed grade was calculated. After conducting this review, the chair or the appointed committee will make a final determination on whether to confirm or invalidate the original grade. If a grade is invalidated, the instructor must determine and submit a revised grade taking into consideration the ruling of the chair.

The decision of the department chair with regard to the substance of the disputed grade is final. If a student feels, however, that proper procedures have not been followed, the matter may be taken up with the Office of the Dean of Students for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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