A student who questions a grade received in a College of Science and Engineering course should first speak with the instructor who assigned the grade to determine if the two may arrive at a mutual understanding without going through the formal appeal process.
If a student’s concerns are not satisfied after this discussion, he or she may elect to initiate procedures to appeal the grade. This is a brief overview of the steps in this process. A more detailed explanation (including timelines for various steps) can be found in Appendix I of the College of Science and Engineering Faculty Handbook. Parties contemplating or involved in an appeal should also consult the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Handbook of Rules and Procedures, Procedure 13.02.99.C2.01. These procedures apply to all of the College of Science and Engineering’s programs.
In reviewing a student’s appeal, all individuals and committees will consider whether the instructor adhered to guidelines for equitable treatment and to evaluation procedures identified on the course syllabus. Dissatisfaction with a grade is not sufficient grounds for a successful appeal; the appeal request must focus on specific departures from guidelines listed on the syllabus.
Instructors, department chairs, school directors, associate deans and college grade appeal committees will only review an appeal that is made in writing. To simplify this, forms have been developed for each step in the process. To facilitate communication, these forms are provided in a “packet” as a single document which can be routed (electronically) among the parties until the appeal is resolved and the final signatures are needed. Click here to access this “Forms” packet (in MS Word). Click here to access the following instructions for the "Forms" packet in a pdf file.
|Student: A student must put the appeal to change a grade into writing using the “Student’s Request” Form (Form 1). The student states clearly the specific action or change being requested and includes a brief statement of the reason(s) for the proposed action or change. The student must submit the packet with this written appeal form to the instructor who assigned the grade in question. If the instructor is not available for an extended period, the student may appeal directly to the department chair. The deadline for initiating a grade appeal is the 15th business day of the “long” semester (spring or fall) following the semester in which the grade was recorded.|
|A.||Instructor: After reviewing the student’s written appeal and making a decision, the instructor will use the “Instructor’s Response” Section of Form 2 to document it, explain the basis for the decision, and report it to the student. If the instructor approves the appeal, he or she will take appropriate action. This may include, but is not limited to, re-grading or recalculating points, allowing the student to “make up” an assignment, or submitting a grade change form.|
|B.||Student: The student accepts or rejects the instructor’s decision using the “Student Acknowledgment” Section of Form 2. If the student is satisfied and accepts the decision of the instructor, both the student and instructor sign the “Signatures” Section of Form 5. Completed Forms 1 and 2 and Form 5 with a completed “Signature” Section (and copies of any other documents submitted in the appeal) are then sent to the Dean’s Office for filing, and the appeal is concluded.|
|A.||Chair/Director: If the student rejects the instructor’s decision, then the department chair or school director will review the appeal. After reviewing the student’s written appeal, consulting with the instructor, and requesting other documents or information (if necessary), the department chair or school director will make a decision regarding the appeal or try to find a resolution that is acceptable to both the instructor and the student. The chair or director will use the “Response of the Department Chair or School Director” Section of Form 3 to document and report the decision or resolution to the student and instructor, and to explain the rationale for the decision.|
|B.||Student and Instructor: The instructor and the student accept or reject the chair’s/director’s resolution or decision using the “Student Acknowledgment” or “Instructor Acknowledgment” Section of Form 3. If both the student and instructor are satisfied and accept the decision of the chair/director, each will take the recommended action; and the student, instructor and chair/director sign the “Signatures” Section of Form 5. Completed, signed forms are sent to the Dean’s Office for filing, and the appeal is concluded.|
|A.||Dean’s Office—College Grade Appeal Committee: If either the student or instructor rejects the chair’s/director’s resolution or decision, then the appeal will go to the associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering. The associate dean convenes the College Grade Appeal Committee (CGAC) to arrive at a final, binding decision. The student and instructor will be given the names of the three faculty members and two student members of the CGAC. With appropriate justification, review and approval, members of the CGAC can be replaced if either party challenges them. The CGAC will set a date to hear the appeal (usually in the presence of both the student and instructor), deliberate and render a decision. The CGAC’s decision will be reported to the associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering (in the “College Grade Appeal Committee’s Report” Section of Form 4).|
|A.||Dean’s Office—Final Report by the Associate Dean: The associate dean will summarize and record the decision on the “College Response by the Dean’s Office” Section of Form 5. This decision is final and not subject to further appeal.|
|B.||Signatures: To conclude the formal appeal at whichever level it is resolved, a hard copy of the packet will be printed and all relevant parties will sign the “Signatures” Section of Form 5. The completed, signed forms (and copies of any other documents submitted in the appeal) are then filed in the Dean’s Office.|