Overview and Procedure
The college recognizes that disputes about academic matters do arise. In order to resolve issues as efficiently as possible, the College recommends the parties involved try to resolve the conflict informally whenever possible. Students should first address the issue with the relevant faculty member. If a student feels uncomfortable addressing the relevant faculty member, for whatever reason, students may choose to address the issue with another faculty member in the same department. If this does not resolve the issue, students should attempt to resolve the matter with the department chair and, if necessary, the school dean. If all of these fail to bring a conclusion to the matter, the student may submit a formal academic appeal to the Academic Standards Committee, providing evidence that they followed the informal process and could not come to an agreement.
Academic appeals are formal petitions to change a decision rendered about an academic matter. Grounds for appeal of an academic decision include that an action by a faculty member was unfair, arbitrary, or capricious, or that the College's academic policies were applied incorrectly.
Grounds for AppealIn order for an appeal to be heard by the Academic Standards Committee, there must be either (a) clear evidence of extenuating circumstance that prevented you from completing the college requirement you are appealing, or (b) clear evidence of arbitrary or capricious action on the part of a faculty member or academic staff member. Petitions will only be accepted if official documentation of extenuating circumstances (i.e., strong evidence) is attached to the petition at the time of submission. You can also seek the written support of your instructor, adviser, and/or department chair prior to submitting your appeal, and attach that documentation to the appeal when you submit it.
What is an extenuating circumstance?
It is something that was beyond your control, such as a (severe) personal illness, the death or illness of an immediate family member, extreme personal emotional stress, and serious personal circumstances. You should document the extenuating circumstance you are listing on your petition by submitting a note (on official letterhead) from a doctor, counselor, or legal system representative.
Note: Not liking your final grade is not an extenuating circumstance. You must be able to provide documentation proving that the faculty member's grade was calculated incorrectly, you turned in work on time that was ungraded, you had a documented medical issue that was not taken into account, etc.
What is an "arbitrary and/or capricious action"?Arbitrary and capricious actions are those that are (a) not supported by an official college document such as a course syllabus, program handbook, or catalog and (b) outside of normal and reasonable actions or expectations.
To file an appeal, log in to the Appeals Portal to choose which form you need.
- To file an academic appeal, click on the Academic Appeals Form and complete the necessary information.
- To file a financial appeal (i.e. TAP Waiver, Federal Waiver), click on the Financial Aid Waiver Request Form and complete the necessary information.
- If your appeal is related to Core Requirements (i.e., Associates degree applied to core requirement, Core exemptions, Core Credit, General Education Requirements), please contact Professor Terri Provost, Director of Core, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you need to request a waiver for the Residency Requirement for the last 30 credit hours, or obtain permission to study at another institution, please email the Registrar's Office at email@example.com, or visit the office, which is located in 123 Addison Miller White Hall.
If you need help writing your appeal, please contact your Success Coach in the Center for Student Success. If you do not know who your success coach is, you can find that out by logging in to Banner Web. You can also contact the Center for Student Success at (315) 792-3179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appeal turnaround time varies based on the type of appeal and the amount of information provided. Making sure your appeal is completely filled out and your extenuating circumstance documentation has been submitted will help the committee review it expeditiously. The committee will seek input from relevant faculty or staff and can reach out to these people in advance. You can also seek the written support of your instructor, adviser, and/or department chair prior to submitting your appeal, and attach that documentation to the appeal when you submit it.
The Academic Standards Committee meets bi-weekly during the fall and spring semesters. Your appeal will be reviewed in the committee meeting following your submission once all referrals and supporting documentation have been received.