University Policy 410.1, Request for Review of a Final Course Grade: Guidelines for Students
See: University Policy 410, Policy and Procedures for Student Appeals of Final Course Grades
Students at UNC Charlotte have the right to appeal a final course grade under certain conditions. A final course grade will be deemed to have been assigned impermissibly or arbitrarily if a student can establish, with a preponderance of evidence, that:
- The course grade was based upon the student's race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or for some other arbitrary or personal reason unrelated to the instructor's exercise of his or her professional academic judgment in the evaluation of the academic performance of the student; or
- The course grade was assigned in a manner not consistent with the standards and procedures for evaluation established by the instructor, usually at the beginning of the course in the course syllabus but supplemented on occasion during the semester in other written or oral communications directed to the class as a whole; or
- The course grade assigned by the instructor was the result of a clear and material mistake in calculating or recording grades. Individual elements (e.g., assignments, tests, activities, projects) which contribute to a course grade are generally NOT subject to appeal or subsequent review during a grade appeals procedure. However, individual elements may be appealed under these procedures providing all of the following conditions are met:
- The student presents compelling evidence that one or more individual elements were graded on arbitrary or impermissible grounds (defined in 1-3 above in this section);
- Grounds can be established for determining a professionally sound grade for the appealed element(s); and
- The ensuing grade for each appealed element would have resulted in a different course grade than that assigned by the faculty member.
Allegations that sexual harassment was the reason a final course grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned by the instructor must be addressed according to procedures set forth in University Policy 502 rather than from the following procedures.
As soon as possible after the student receives the formal grade report of a final grade that the student believes is incorrect, the student shall first discuss it with the instructor who assigned the grade. If the student is unable to resolve the grievance over a final course grade through consultation with the instructor, a written request for review of the course grade shall be submitted to the Chair of the Department or the Director of the interdisciplinary degree program in which the course was taught.
Written requests for review of a final course grade by a department chair or program director must be submitted within the first four weeks of the next regular academic semester. Requests for review submitted after the deadline will be heard only in exceptional cases as determined by the Dean of the college in which the appealed course grade occurred.
Students requesting a grade review assume the burden of proof. Therefore, the "Request for Review" must include:
- A statement of the reasons the student believes the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned;
- The steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the assigned course grade; and
- The resolution sought.
The "Request for Review" shall be accompanied by any evidence the student believes supports the conclusion that the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned. Evidence might include papers, tests, syllabi, or written documentation from witnesses. The student must demonstrate that the instructor applied irrelevant or impermissible criteria in evaluating the student's academic performance, that the instructor failed to follow his or her course evaluation standards, or that the course grade was assigned as the result of a clear and material mistake in calculating or recording grades. That the student simply disagrees with the assigned grade does not constitute a basis for a review. Students can obtain advice and assistance from the Dean of Students on how to request a grade review.
A student alleging that the course grade assigned was impermissible or arbitrary due to sexual harassment by the instructor should follow the procedures set forth in University Policy 502 rather than those set forth here.
CAUTION: Falsification or fabrication of information by the student in support of a final course grade appeal can cause the student to be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Student Academic Integrity.
Office of Academic Affairs
(Policy approved by the Faculty Council, April 16, 1998)