Filing a Failing Course Grade Appeal

A student may file a failing course grade appeal for a failing final course grade. A student wishing to make a failing course grade appeal must submit an “Intent to Appeal Failing Course Grade” to the Course Coordinator and Program Director no later than two (2) college working days* after final course grades are due as posted on the Academic Calendar. The “Intent to Appeal Failing Course Grade” form can be obtained from the Program Director via email. After submitting the “Intent to Appeal Failing Course Grade” form, the student then has three (3) college working days* to submit a formal letter of appeal to the Chair of the Academic Board. The formal letter of appeal should be a typed statement and must include the following:

  1. why the appeal is being filed;
  2. specific steps that have already been taken to resolve the issue with the Course Coordinator;
  3. evidence supporting why the decision made was
    1. inconsistent with existing College policy,
    2. inconsistent with course policy, or
    3. arbitrary.

In preparing the appeal, it is the student's responsibility and burden to show that the action taken by the faculty member was inconsistent with existing College policy or course policy or was arbitrary. An appeal that is not timely filed and/or does not adequately cover the points above will not be reviewed by the Academic Board. Also, students are advised that the professional judgment of faculty members cannot be challenged and appeals made solely on that basis will not be considered.

An appealing student may continue in course work until the appeal is resolved. Pre-requisite requirements will be waived during this period.

Faculty/Staff Assistance

The student may seek assistance from a College faculty or staff member in preparing the statement for an appeal. The role of the faculty or staff member is to assist the student in understanding this policy and procedure and attend the Failing Course Grade Appeal meeting with the student as a support person, if the student desires and the faculty member is available. The role of the faculty or staff member providing assistance does not include gathering information, presenting evidence, or advocating for or speaking on the student’s behalf.

Composition of the Academic Board and Conflicts of Interest

The Academic Board is composed of six (6) individuals consisting of a representative of the Student Success and Well-Being Council at the rank of Associate Professor or higher, who will serve as the chair of the Academic Board; Program Directors (BSN, both ABSN and TBSN tracks, and MSN); and two faculty appointed by the Dean. In cases when a Nurse Practitioner student has filed the appeal, the Dean will appoint a Nurse Practitioner faculty. The composition of the Academic Board will avoid a conflict of interest. This may result in the Dean appointing other representatives in lieu of the aforementioned Board composition.

Failing Course Grade Appeal Meeting Procedures

Upon receipt, the Chair of the Academic Board will forward the student’s appeal documents to the involved faculty member. The faculty member will submit their response and supporting documentation to the Chair within three (3) college working days*. The Chair will forward the faculty member's response to the student.

The Academic Board will meet within three (3) college working days* of receiving all (student and faculty) written appeal documents. The student and the involved faculty member are invited to attend in person or via speakerphone/web conferencing system, although it is not mandatory. The student and the faculty member will be notified of the scheduled date, time, and location of the Academic Board meeting at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance. Upon good cause shown, the student may request one rescheduling of the Appeal meeting, not to exceed one (1) week. The meeting is confidential and restricted to those persons listed, and attorneys will not be permitted to attend for either the student or involved faculty member.

Prior to the Appeal meeting, the Academic Board members are expected to review and become familiar with the written appeal documents. At the Appeal meeting, the student and the faculty member will be given the opportunity to individually provide an oral statement regarding the appeal to the Academic Board. The Board members may ask questions of the parties as deemed appropriate.

Following the oral statements and questions, the Academic Board members will meet in private to discuss the appeal. The Board will make a decision within two (2) college working days* after the meeting, unless circumstances require a lengthier time frame. If the time frame is to be extended, the student and the involved faculty member will be notified in writing.

The Academic Board can come to either of the following conclusions:

  1. uphold the assigned grade, or
  2. return the grade to the involved faculty member for reconsideration.

If the faculty is asked to reconsider a grade by the Academic Board, the faculty can uphold the assigned grade or change the grade. The faculty member will notify the Board of their decision within three (3) college working days*. The faculty member’s decision is final.

The Chair of the Academic Board will notify the student, Dean, and Registrar of the Board’s decision and, if applicable, the subsequent decision made by the involved faculty member as to whether the final grade will be changed. The Board’s written decision, and subsequent faculty member decision, if applicable, will be sent by College email and certified mail within three (3) college working days* after the decision has been made.

Final Appeal in Cases Resulting in Dismissal

If a student’s failing grade remains in place following a grade appeal and the failing grade will result in dismissal from the program, the student may make a final appeal to the Dean. This appeal should include a short written statement explaining the appeal and attaching all previous appeal documents. This appeal must be filed with the Dean within three (3) college working days* after the date of the Academic Board’s written decision. The Dean may take any action they deem is appropriate under the circumstances of the case and will make a decision within five (5) college working days* of receiving the appeal, unless circumstances require a lengthier time frame. If the time frame is to be extended, the student and the involved faculty member will be notified in writing. The decision of the Dean is final. Appropriate parties, including the student, will be notified by College email and certified mail within three (3) college working days* of the decision being made.

*College working days are those days that faculty are contracted to work and does not include weekends or holiday/vacation days. The following is a list of holidays/vacation days: Martin Luther King Day, Spring Break (5 days), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Fall Break (3 days), Thanksgiving Break (2 days), and Winter Break (10 days).