Problem Solving Procedures
Students and Curriculum
Students having questions or suggestions with regard to curriculum policy or programs should discuss them with the appropriate departmental curriculum or faculty-student committee.
Students and Instruction
Student problems and needs arising in the areas of instruction, student-instructor relationships, course content, procedures or methodology should be discussed with the instructor. If the problem is not resolved at this point, the next step is to consult with the department chairperson. If the problem is not resolved, the next step is to consult with the college dean.
Students and Grades
Instructors alone are responsible for determination of grades of students in their classes. Student problems arising in the area of grades should be referred immediately to the instructor. If they are not resolved, the next step is to consult with the department chairperson.
If a student believes that he or she has not been graded fairly in a course, it is the student’s right to initiate a grade grievance. A formal process exists for the resolution of such problems. The overall guidelines for the grade grievance process are basically uniform from department to department, with each department free to develop specific procedures within these guidelines. Requests for reconsideration of a grade must be brought to the faculty member as soon as possible after the conclusion of the course and no later than the end of the eighth week of the fall or spring semester. The steps in the process are outlined below; it is understood that if a satisfactory resolution is reached at any level, the process ends. If at a given step either party is dissatisfied with the proposed resolution, the dissatisfied party may request reconsideration at the next level. Decisions by the college dean are final, with no provision for further appeal beyond that point.
- The student meets with the faculty member to request information about the faculty member’s grading decision or evaluative judgment. If after receiving an explanation from the faculty member, the student remains dissatisfied, he or she may request reconsideration of the grade by the department chairperson.
- The student meets with the department chairperson to discuss the assigned grade. The chairperson may choose to intervene directly at this point and attempt to seek a resolution or may decide to refer the question to the departmental grievance committee and convene the committee in accordance with departmental policies and procedures.
- The departmental grievance committee, comprising faculty members and at least one student, hears the grievance. The committee determines (in accordance with prevailing departmental practices and the specifics of the particular grievance) a procedure to follow. Both the student and faculty member might be asked to submit materials in writing, or both might be invited or required to appear before the committee. The committee may schedule these meetings so that the parties appear separately or together. Additional information may be requested by the committee as needed.
- The grievance committee makes a determination and notifies the student and faculty member in writing of its decision.
- If the decision of the grievance committee is not acceptable to either of the parties involved or if implementation of the decision requires the attention of the college dean, the grievance is brought to the dean for resolution and all relevant materials are forwarded to the dean’s office.
- The final grade must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar before the baccalaureate degree is posted. Once the degree has been posted, the academic record is frozen and no changes are permitted.