Student Complaint Process: Academic Matter: Grade & File Review

Informal Grade & File Review Petition Process

  1. Meeting with the Instructor and/or the Department Chair. Students wishing to challenge a grade should discuss the issue with the instructor in an office-hour conference or by appointment. If, for any reason, a student is unwilling or unable to confer with the instructor, they must then consult with the instructor’s department chair. Every effort should be made to resolve the issue at this level.
  2. Meeting with the School Dean. If the department chair and instructor are unable to resolve the grade dispute, the students shall bring the matter to the attention of the school dean (i.e., the department chair’s supervisor), who will confer with all parties to resolve the dispute.

All parties are expected to make every effort to address the grade dispute in a timely manner. If the grade dispute remains unresolved, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Ethnic Studies and Social Justice. The informal process must be completed within ten (10) working days after receipt of a midterm grade, and for final grades, within forty-five (45) calendar days from the start of instruction in the immediately following Fall or Spring semester.

Deadline Notice: A Petition for Grade Review must be filed within fourteen (14) calendar days following the end of the informal process. The 14-day period will begin at the time a student is informed by the school dean that the informal process has concluded.

Formal Grade & File Review Petition Process

If the grade dispute is unresolved after the informal process, the students may initiate a formal review process by submitting a Petition for Grade & File Review Form to the Dean of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Ethnic Studies and Social Justice. The Dean shall discuss the merits of the student’s claims and advise the students of the grade review policies and procedures. The Dean shall verify that the petition has been submitted in a complete and timely manner, review the petition with regards to content and advise students on the appropriateness of further appeal to the Grade and File Review Committee.

  1. The student shall complete and submit the Petition for Grade & File Review form, with a typed, double spaced written statement documenting the reason(s) for the grade dispute.
  2. The student should include copies of graded assignments, exams, emails, etc. which may be deemed pertinent to the grade review.
  3. The student shall provide a copy of the petition with their written statement to the instructor and Dean of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Ethnic Studies and Social Justice. Students should keep a copy for their own records.
  4. Once notified a petition has been filed, the instructor shall within two (2) weeks provide the Dean of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Ethnic Studies and Social Justice a copy of the course syllabus, attendance and grade records, grade assignment, relevant emails for any additional information deemed relevant to the dispute.
  5. The Dean will forward the file in its entirety to the Committee Chair of the Student Grade and File Review Committee.

Grade Review Hearing, if applicable

  1. Upon receipt of a Petition for Grade Review, the Student Grade and File Review Committee shall meet to determine if a formal hearing is warranted. Should the Committee deem a hearing is not warranted, the Committee Chair shall advise all parties of the basis for the decision by email. The grade shall stand and the grade review process shall conclude.
  2. If the Committee determines that a hearing is warranted, the petition will be assigned to a subcommittee composed of a student, a faculty member and an administrator. The subcommittee shall convene to review the petition, request any additional information deemed relevant from the student/instructor, hear testimony, question witnesses and consider all available evidence relevant to the case.
  3. The student and instructor shall have the right to present written or oral statements concerning the grievance. Each party may bring a representative; however, the representative may not ask or answer questions, offer evidence or address the subcommittee on behalf of the petitioner or faculty member.
  4. The subcommittee shall weigh the relevance and merit of all written and oral information obtained, limiting its investigation to the specific case under review and make its recommendations to the full Committee.
  5. The Committee shall make a final recommendation and submit that recommendation in a written report to the Chancellor. The Committee shall provide a copy of the final recommendations to the student, instructor, department chair, school Dean and Dean of Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Ethnic Studies and Social Justice.
  6. The Chancellor may concur with or overrule the recommendation of the Committee. Only the Chancellor has the authority to change a student’s grade. The Chancellor’s decision shall be final. California Education Code 76224 (a) When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college district, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student’s grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetency, shall be final.