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Grade Appeals

This campus implementation of Executive Order (EO 1038) governs the assignment of grades by faculty and requires an appeal procedure to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected. Under the provisions of Executive Order 1038, “Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals”, and the University’s “Statement of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Grievance Procedures,” students may appeal grades that they consider to be unfair.

Advice for Students (PDF)

Grade Appeal Policy (PDF)

Grade Appeal Petition (PDF)

2017-2018 Petition Deadlines (PDF)

GRADE APPEALS POLICY AND PROCEDURE

Under the provisions of Executive Order 792, “Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals,” and the University’s “Statement of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Grievance Procedures,” students may appeal grades that they consider to be unfair.

The Executive Order governs the assignment of grades by faculty and requires an appeal procedure to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected.  Occasionally, a circumstance will prevent assignment of an earned grade or will cause an assigned grade to be questioned by a student.

The following policy has been adopted by Cal Poly Pomona to provide the mechanism to deal with such unusual occurrences:

  • Course grades assigned by instructors are presumed to be correct.  It is the responsibility of the student who appeals an assigned grade to demonstrate clerical error, prejudice, or capriciousness in the assignment of the grade, or that a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability was requested and not appropriately provided; otherwise, the judgment of the instructor is final.
  • A student who believes that a course grade has been assigned inappropriately must follow the proper steps in the appeal process, observing the time limits for completion of various steps in the process as follows:
  • Step 1:  The student should speak face-to-face with the instructor during the first three weeks of the quarter following the assignment of the grade.  Note:  If the grade is assigned in the spring quarter, the student should follow these procedures in the following fall quarter.  If the instructor is on leave, on sabbatical, or is not currently on the faculty including FERP faculty at the time of the appeal, the University shall attempt to contact the instructor on behalf of the student.*
  • If an appointment cannot be arranged, the student should attempt to communicate with the instructor by phone, e-mail or fax.  If a grade has been assigned in error, the instructor can quickly correct the error by submitting a change of grade form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Step 2:  If the grade dispute is not resolved with the instructor and the student intends to appeal the grade, the student must appeal to the next level as soon as possible, but no later than the sixth week of the following quarter.  In most cases, the student will appeal to the chair of the academic department that offered the class.  If the instructor is a department chair, the student should appeal to the dean of the college that offered the class.  If the instructor is a dean, the student should appeal to the Provost.  The person to whom the student appealed will discuss the issue with the instructor and respond to the student, usually within two weeks.

*Note:  The grade appeal process is suspended during the summer quarter when fewer students and faculty members are expected to be on campus.  The grade appeal process is also suspended if the faculty member is on leave or on sabbatical.  Thus, for spring quarter, “the following quarter” will be the following fall quarter.  For appeals of summer quarter grades, the following quarter is the following fall quarter.  For appeals when the faculty member is either on leave or on sabbatical “the following quarter” is the quarter the faculty member returns to CPP.

  • Step 3:  If the student is still not satisfied after receiving the response from this second level of appeal, the student may submit a written statement within ten working days to the University Course Grade Appeal Committee through the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Success.  The formal  grade appeal should be submitted prior to the end of the regular quarter following the quarter for which the grade was assigned.
  • Step 4:  The Chair of the University Course Grade Appeal Committee will forward the student’s statement to the instructor.  The instructor will be asked to respond in writing by a specified date (normally within two weeks).  The student’s statement and the instructor’s response will then be reviewed by the entire committee, normally within two weeks of receipt of the instructor’s response.
  • The Committee will take one of the following actions:
    1.  Request additional information from the student and/or the instructor.
    2. If the University Course Grade Appeal Committee finds that the student has grounds for complaint based on discrimination, caprice, or clerical error, then the instructor of record will be asked to reevaluate the grade.  If the instructor refuses to reevaluate the grade or the instructor’s reevaluation results in the same grade, then the chair of the academic department that offered the class shall be asked to find a qualified faculty member with academic training comparable to the instructor of record to evaluate the student’s work and assign a grade.  If the instructor is a department chair, the dean of the college that offered the class shall be asked to find a qualified faculty member with academic training comparable to the instructor of record to evaluate the student’s work and assign a grade.  If the instructor is a dean, the provost shall be asked to find a qualified faculty member with academic training comparable to the instructor of record to evaluate the student’s work and assign a grade.
    3. Recommend to the instructor that the grade be maintained as given.
    4. Call for a formal hearing.
  • Step 5:  When the Committee has made its recommendation, the student will be notified of it in writing, and be given a copy of the instructor’s written response to the student’s statement.  This grade appeal procedure may take six to eight weeks to complete.  The outcome of the formal grade appeal procedure is final; there is no higher level of appeal.

The Office of Academic Programs shall ensure that the university website, catalog and other publications reflect this policy.  Additional information on preparing a written grade appeal is available from the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Success or the website at http://www.cpp.edu/officeofstudentsuccess.

Revised:  7/20/09