STUDENT ACADEMIC APPEALS

Purpose
This procedure establishes Hillsborough Community College’s (HCC) guidelines by which a student can dispute the process in which a) the awarding of transfer (including online) academic credit has occurred or b) a grade was determined, if the student believes that the grade has been awarded in error or if the student believes that the grade was prejudicially or capriciously awarded.

Procedure
The College acknowledges that grade policies are the purview of the faculty and that faculty members who have graded objectively and subjectively based on their professional expertise and who have followed the grade policies published in their syllabi have not awarded grades in a capricious or discriminatory manner.

1. Appeals for the award of transfer academic credit

Students may appeal decisions to not accept transfer (including online) credits to satisfy general education requirements. Pursuant to State Board of Education Rule 6A-14.0304

Online Courses, students may also appeal an HCC decision to not accept online credits to satisfy program requirements. To appeal the decision, the student must complete the Academic Appeals Form:Award of College Credit and submit it to the academic division per the instructions on the form.Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal, notification will be made to the student of the result of the appeal, which is final and not subject to further appeal.

Notification of grade changes must be provided to the Vice President of Academic

Affairs, who will maintain a database of changes of grade by campus and division.

2. Appeals for the award of grades

A. Contact with faculty

Day One through Day Ten

Within ten (10) working days after the grade in question has been posted, the student should attempt to contact the faculty member first to discuss the awarding of the grade and his or her assertion that the grade awarded by the faculty member was incorrect.

1. If the faculty member decides to change the grade, he/she must promptly initiate the change of grade in accordance with college policy.

2. If the faculty member decides not to change the grade, and the student wishes to appeal, the student should contact the supervising dean to initiate the appeals process.

3. If the student is unable to contact the faculty member within the timeline, the student should provide the supervising dean with supporting information on attempts to contact the faculty member.

4. The dean will contact the faculty member. If the dean is unable to contact the faculty member, the dean will work with the student to initiate the appeals process. The time period may be extended by the dean or designee in the event of extenuating circumstances.

B. Contact with the dean (AA or AS programs) or director (psav programs))

In the following sections,“dean” refers to an academic dean supervising AA or AS program faculty;“director” refers to the Director of PSAV Programs.

1. Pre-Appeal

a. By Day Ten (10)

In the event that the student’s grade issue is not resolved, the student should schedule an appointment with the faculty member’s academic dean/director (or designee) by day ten (10). The time period may be extended by the dean/director or designee.

b. Within Five (5) Days Following the Meeting with the Dean/ Director

The dean/director will assign a tenured counselor to inform the student about the appeals process within five (5) working days. The time period may be extended by the dean/director or designee.

c. Within Five (5) Days Following the Assignment of the Counselor

The student must meet with the counselor within the next five (5) working days if the student wishes to pursue the appeal.The counselor will provide the student with the Academic Appeals Form: Grade Dispute (reproduced here as Appendix B).The student is responsible for showing that the grade was awarded in a capricious or discriminatory manner.

d. Within Three (3) Days Following the Meeting with the Counselor

The student must file the Academic Appeals Form: Grade Dispute within three (3) days after meeting with the counselor with the aggrieved faculty member’s dean’s/director’s office.

Identification:

2. Appeal

a. Within Ten (10) Days Following Receipt of Appeal

The dean/director will review the appeal, talk with the faculty member, read the syllabus, review the grades earned during the course, and determine whether or not the grade has been awarded based on the instructor’s syllabus criteria within ten (10) working days following received of the Academic Appeals Form: Grade Dispute.The dean/director will either notify the student and the faculty member in writing of the decision that the grade stands as awarded or request in writing that the faculty member re-evaluate the grade, using the criteria as outlined in the faculty member’s own syllabus, and submit a change of grade form.

For an adjunct instructor who cannot be contacted, the dean will assign a tenured program manager or a tenured full-time faculty member in the discipline to assist in the grade process review for AA/AS programs. In the case of PSAV programs, the director will assign a faculty member in the program to assist in the grade process review. For AA or AS programs, the change- of-grade form will be submitted to the campus president with an accompanying memo of explanation. For PSAV programs, the change-of-grade form will be submitted to the Vice President of Workforce Training with an accompanying memo of explanation. Once approved, the campus president or Vice President of

Workforce Training will send the form to Admissions and Records for processing. Both the form and the memo of explanation will be kept in the student’s file.

The dean’s/director’s decision is final unless the faculty member disagrees.

3. Within Five (5) Days Following Receipt of Dean’s/Director’s Decision

The faculty member may appeal the dean’s decision to the campus president within five (5) working days after receiving the written notification from the dean for AA/AS Programs. For PSAV programs, the faculty member may appeal the director’s decision to the Vice President of Workforce Training within five (5) working days after receiving written notification from the director.

C. Contact with the campus president/vice president of workforce training

1. Within Ten (10) Days Following Receipt of Appeal

Within ten (10) working days after receiving a written request from the faculty member to appeal the dean’s/director’s decision, the campus president (AA or AS programs) or Vice President of Workforce Training (PSAV programs) will review the appeal, talk with the faculty member, read the syllabus, review the grades earned during the course, and determine whether or not the grade has been awarded based

on the instructor’s syllabus criteria.The campus president (AA or AS programs) or Vice President of Workforce Training (PSAV programs) will either notify the faculty member in writing of the decision or request in writing that the faculty member re-evaluate the grade, using the criteria as outlined in the faculty member’s syllabus, and submit a change of grade form. The campus president’s or Vice President’s decision is final and not subject to further appeal.

Notification of changes of grade for AA or AS programs must be provided to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will maintain a database of changes of grade by campus and division.The Vice President of Workforce Programs or designee will maintain a database of changes of grade for PSAV programs.