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Official Grade Appeal Policy and Process

Instructions

Please read through this information prior to completing the Official Grade Appeal form.

Purpose

The purpose of TMCC's Grade Appeal Policy is to provide students with a safeguard against receiving an unfair final grade, while respecting the academic responsibility of the instructor. Thus, this procedure recognizes that:

  • Every student has a right to receive a grade assigned upon a fair and unprejudiced evaluation based on a method that is neither arbitrary nor capricious; and,
  • Instructors have the right to assign a grade based on any method that is professionally acceptable, submitted in writing to all students, and applied equally.

Instructors have the responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely assignment of appropriate grades. Course and project grading methods should be explained to students at the beginning of the term. The judgment of the instructor of record is authoritative, and the final grades assigned are correct.

Definitions

A grade appeal shall be confined to charges of unfair action toward an individual student or a personal hardship and may not involve a challenge of an instructor's grading standard. A student has a right to expect thoughtful and clearly defined approaches to course and project grading, but it must be recognized that varied standards and individual approaches to grading are valid.

The grade appeal considers whether a grade was determined in a fair and appropriate manner; it does not attempt to grade or re-grade individual assignments or projects. It is incumbent on the student to substantiate the claim that his or her final grade represents unfair treatment, compared to the standard applied to other students, or to present a case of personal hardship. Only the final grade in a course or project may be appealed. In the absence of compelling reasons, such as clerical error, prejudice, or capriciousness, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is to be considered final.

In a grade appeal, the presence of one or more of the following will be considered as the only legitimate grounds for an appeal:

  • Arbitrariness: The grade awarded represents such a substantial departure from accepted academic norms as to demonstrate that the instructor did not actually exercise professional judgment.
  • Prejudice: The grade awarded was motivated by ill will, and is not indicative of the student's academic performance.
  • Error: The instructor made a mistake in fact or the instructor refused to correct a clerical or administrative error made in the process of transmitting a grade to the Admissions and Records Office.
  • Personal Hardship:
    • Verifiable incapacity, illness, or injury which prevents the student from returning to school for the remainder of the semester (attach a copy of your medical documentation from your doctor) or
    • Death of student, spouse, child, parent or legal guardian (attach a copy of the death certificate) or
    • Induction into the U.S. Armed Forces (attach a copy of your military orders)

It is important for students to understand that it is the student’s responsibility to prove that the final course grade is improper based on one of the criteria listed above.