Grade Grievance Policy
Students who believe that there has been a violation of a specific policy or procedure
as stated in either the NCC Catalog or the grieved instructor's course syllabus that
adversely affected their grade in a particular course may appeal their grade, if they
do so before the appropriate deadline (see the section on deadlines below).
At each step of the process described below, a student must submit a detailed written
argument explaining why his/her grade grievance should be upheld.
Grievances must be pursued in the following manner until satisfaction is obtained,
a grievance is dismissed, or a decision is reached. The grieved instructor may initiate
a grade change at any point in the procedure.
Step 1: With the grieved instructor who issued the grade.
Step 2: With the grieved instructor’s department chairperson (and with any members
of Department Personnel and
Budget [P&B] Committee that the chair wishes to include).
Step 3: With the grieved instructor’s department chairperson and Academic Standing
If the grieved instructor's department chair (or his/her designee in the case of recusal)
and the Academic Standing Committee Chair (or the next ranking member of the Committee
in the case of recusal), unanimously conclude that there is no evidence of a possible
violation of a specific policy or procedure as stated in either the NCC Catalog or
in the grieved instructor's course syllabus that adversely affected the student's
grade in a particular course, then the grievance will be dismissed without a further
hearing. The student will be informed of the final decision to dismiss the grade grievance.
In all other cases, the department chair and the Academic Standing Committee Chair
will form an Ad Hoc Committee to hear the student's grievance.
The Ad Hoc Committee will be a joint committee consisting of three (3) members from
the concerned department's P&B Committee, three (3) faculty members from the Academic
Standing Committee, and one (1) student representative from the Student Government
Association. There will be co-chairs of the Ad Hoc Committee, one (1) member of the
P&B Committee and one (1) member of the Academic Standing Committee. After a hearing,
the Ad Hoc Committee will deliberate and vote on the student's grade grievance. A
student's grade grievance will be upheld if two-thirds (2/3) of the P&B Committee
members and two-thirds (2/3) faculty members from the Academic Standing Committee
find in favor of the student. The Ad Hoc Committee will not re-evaluate a student's
work in deciding a grade grievance. The student's grade can be adjusted only if there
has been a violation of a specific policy or procedure as stated in either the NCC
Catalog or the grieved instructor's own course syllabus that adversely affected a
student's grade. In cases where the student's grade grievance has been upheld, then
the P&B members of the Ad Hoc Committee (in consultation with the other members of
the Ad Hoc Committee) will decide what grade to award the student, using the grieved
faculty member's grading policy for that specific class, if at all possible.
The Ad Hoc Committee's decision will be binding.
Civil Rights Violations
It is not the function of the Ad Hoc Committee to evaluate claims of civil rights
violations. If the basis of a student's grade grievance is that their civil rights
have been violated, the Ad Hoc Committee will not hear the grade grievance until the
appropriate officials at NCC have investigated the student's allegation(s) and a finding
has been offered through the College's official civil rights policy.
For a grade received during the Fall semester or Winter Intersession, the student
must file the grievance (Step 1) before the end of the fifth week of the following
Spring semester. For a grade received during the Spring semester or Summer sessions,
the student must file the grievance before the end of the fifth week of the following
Fall semester. Grade grievance forms may be obtained in the Office of Academic Affairs,
361 Rice Circle, or at the various academic department main offices. The grieved instructor
and/or chair must hold the appropriate discussion or hearing within two (2) weeks
after his/her receipt of such a grievance or the grievant is permitted to proceed
to the next step in the policy. Failure by students to appeal a decision to the next
step of the process within one (1) week of their receipt of the grade grievance shall
terminate the grievance.
The Academic Standing Committee has established procedures for the conduct of a grade
grievance in situations where the grieved instructor of record is unavailable or unreachable.
Students are advised to consult the department chairperson for appropriate procedures
in the event of such a circumstance.