Grade Appeals: General Information
Before invoking the Student Grievance Procedure (Grade Appeal), a reasonable effort shall be made by those directly involved to resolve the grade dispute. A grade dispute is most effectively handled and resolved by those closest to the problem, and who have the best understanding and ability to formulate a mutually acceptable resolution. Only when such efforts are unsuccessful shall the grade appeal procedure be invoked.
Students must attempt informal resolution with the faculty and make an appointment with the Student Grade Appeal Officer to review the procedure within 30 calendar days of the posting of final grades. The Grade Appeal Officer is the Academic Dean for the course in which you were enrolled.
For the purpose of Grade Appeals, substantial evidence of error or injustice is defined as:
- The assignment of a course grade to a student on some basis other than performance in the course; or,
- The assignment of a course grade to a student by resorting to unreasonable standards, different from those which were applied by the same instructor to other students in the course; or,
- The assignment of a course grade by a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced departure from the instructor’s previously articulated standards.
Grade Appeal: Process
Grade Appeal Form →
The Grade Appeal Process has two Levels:
Level One — Informal Procedure
- The student initiates the Grade Appeal by contacting the faculty member who awarded the course grade in an attempt to resolve the issue. A written request using MassBay email address is required, copying the Grade Appeal Officer. This must occur within 30 calendar days from the posting of final grade for the course. The request must include a statement of all known facts and evidence of the error or injustice, as well as the specific resolution sought.
- The faculty member has 10 calendar days to respond to the student complaint.
- If resolved, the process ends. If not resolved, the student may request a Level Two — Formal Appeal.
Level Two — Formal Procedure (This Level has Two Steps)
- When a complaint is not resolved informally, the student may, within 10 calendar days, file a formal written grievance via the Grade Appeal Form →. This must be submitted by email, by mail, or in person to the Grade Appeal Officer (The Division Academic Dean). All supporting documentation and evidence must be attached.
- The Grade Appeal Officer will deliver the grade appeal and all supporting documentation to the faculty member within 5 calendar days, and ask for a response within 10 days.
- The faculty member will provide a written response to the Grade Appeal Officer within 10 calendar days of receipt of the grade appeal.
- The Grade Appeal Officer will deliver the response to the student within 5 calendar days of receipt. If resolved, the process ends. If not resolved, the student may appeal for Level Two —Step Two (Final Review).
Level Two — Formal Procedure
- If unresolved, within 10 calendar days of the delivery of the response at Level Two – Step One, the student may request that the Grade Appeal Officer forward the Grade Appeal for Level Two — Step Two (final review).
- All supporting documentation is forwarded to the Office of the Assistant Provost for consideration by the Grade Appeals Sub-Committee. This committee meets for the sole purpose of reviewing grade appeals at the final step. The Grade Appeals Sub-Committee reviews the appeal and all supporting documentation. The committee will then forward a written decision to the Grade Appeal Officer within 10 calendar days.
- The Grade Appeal Officer will deliver the response to the student and the faculty member within 5 calendar days of receipt. This is the final decision.
For more detailed information, please consult with the MassBay Student Handbook.