Academic Operational Policies

Subject: Academic Appeal Process Number:  AOP 231
Issued by: Vice-President Academic Date Issued:  November 26, 2013
Supersedes: ACAD 210 – 2002 02 14 Page:  1 of 4
Links:

Evaluation of Student Performance – AOP 224

Academic Appeal Form

Academic Appeal Form – Stage 1 Outcome

Academic Appeal Form – Stage 2 Outcome

Academic Appeal Form – Stage 3 Appeal Board Request

Revision
Date:
 December 20, 2013

Academic Appeal Process

Policy

During their experience at Loyalist, issues of concern to students may arise from time to time.  These issues can either relate directly to their grades and academic progress, or to other matters.

The intent of this policy and procedure is to ensure that, in the event of disagreements between students and the College or its staff, the College follows processes which are effective, fair, timely and respectful of students while maintaining academic integrity.

The college faculty and staff are strongly committed to resolving student concerns at the informal level.  However, in the event that it is not possible to resolve the concern through the informal process, students may choose to pursue a formal Academic Appeal. 

The following procedures provide details of the formal Academic Appeal process at Loyalist and relate to appeals in response to: 

  1. A penalty for academic dishonesty;
  2. A penalty for breach of confidentiality;
  3. Actions taken by the College as a result of a student’s failure to meet minimum program performance standards;
  4. A failing grade in a specific course; and,
  5. Actions taken by the College as a result of student behaviour at any College approved activity or function, whether organized, informal, on campus, off campus, or online, including inappropriate use of computer facilities or other College property.
  6. Other issues which may impede a student’s academic progress during his/her experience with the College.

Procedure

A student can discuss a grade with faculty at any time during the semester with the intent of clarifying the reasons for the grade. A student can also appeal a grade at any time during the semester as per the process below. Any appeal related to marks or grades must be initiated within ten (10) working days from the issuance of final grades (grades submission deadline) to initiate an academic grade appeal. This policy/procedure works in collaboration with Academic Operating Policy AOP 224: Evaluation of Student Performance.

In cases of disciplinary action or other penalties assessed by the College, the student may proceed directly to Stage III – Academic Appeal Board.

1.0 Stage I: Student – Faculty

1.1.  A student completes the Academic Appeal Form and submits to the faculty who taught the course.

1.2.  In the case of final grades appeal, the form must be submitted within ten (10) working days from the issuance of that final grade.

1.3.  Faculty will respond to the student in writing within five (5) working days.

1.4.  If unresolved, the student may take the concern to the School Dean.

2.0 Stage II: Student – Dean

2.1 The student must submit the signed completed Academic Appeal Form and the faculty written response to the relevant Dean within five (5) working days.

2.2 The Dean’s office will contact the student to make an appointment. The student discusses the concern with the Dean.

2.3 The Dean provides a written response to the student and faculty involved on the academic appeal form within five (5) working days.

2.4 If the student disagrees with the Dean’s decision, the student may proceed to Stage III of the appeal process.

3.0 Stage III: Student – Academic Appeal Board

Please refer to AOP 224 – Evaluation of Student Performance for full details

3.1  If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the academic appeal process (Stages I and II), the College provides a more formal process for having concerns heard. The student forwards the Academic Appeal Form to the Registrar’s office date stamped within five (5) working days of receiving written response from the Dean, disciplinary action or other penalties assessed by the College.

3.2  The Registrar, in consultation with the Academic Appeal Board Chair, will either confirm that the matter is appropriate for consideration by the Board, or refer the appeal to the appropriate individual or group. If appropriate, the appeal will then be reviewed by the Academic Appeal Board.

3.3 The Chair establishes a hearing date within ten (10) working days of receiving the request.

3.4 The Registrar collects documentation from the student, faculty and Dean in order to distribute to the Academic Appeal Board at least two (2) working days prior to the hearing.

3.5  Each party to the appeal is heard separately. The Board reserves the right to audio tape any interview conducted during the appeal process, to assist in the clarification of the facts as provided by the parties concerned. Tapes are the property of the Board and will be destroyed, by the Registrar, immediately following the Board deliberation and appeal decision.

3.6  The student will make a presentation to the Academic Appeal Board outlining the basis for the appeal. If the student wishes, s/he may be accompanied by a person of his or her choice. Any person accompanying the student is not permitted to participate directly in the proceedings. Board members may question the student in matters related to the appeal.

3.7  The faculty member or dean whose decision is being appealed will make a presentation to the Academic Appeal Board outlining the basis for the decision. Board members may question the faculty member, program coordinator and/or the dean in matters related to the appeal.

3.8  If any additional information is required, it will be requested by the Chair of the Academic Appeal Board from the appropriate sources.

3.9  After all information has been heard and submissions received, the Academic Appeal Board will make its decision without the presence of any other parties. The goal of the Board is to reach a consensus decision based on the evidence presented.  In the event that consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be held. In the event of a tied vote, the appeal will automatically be decided in the student’s favour.

3.10  The Chair of the Academic Appeal Board will notify the student and other parties involved of the decision in writing, within three (3) working days of the hearing, with a copy to the Vice-President, Academic and the President.

3.11   The decision of the Academic Appeal Board is final and must be implemented in a timely manner by the responsible parties, unless there is a formal written request to review the decision based on procedural issues within five (5) working days.

3.12   In the case of an appeal based on process or procedures of the Board, the appeal would be reviewed by the Vice-President, Academic and a decision will be made within five (5) working days. Appeals based on issues other than process or procedures will not be considered and the decision of the Academic Appeal Board will stand. 

3.13  The Academic Appeal Board will prepare an Annual Report for the President and Vice-President, Academic by June 30th each year. The report will include a summary of the cases heard, excluding the names of the parties involved, the decisions made in these cases, and any other recommendations as the Board determines to be relevant or helpful to the review process.

4.0 Composition of Academic Appeal Board

4.1 Members of the Academic Appeal Board are appointed annually by the Vice-President Academic, effective June 1. Appointments may be renewed to a maximum of three years. Membership includes: a student representative appointed by Student Government; two faculty members from different areas of the College, one of whom will be appointed by the Vice-President, Academic to chair the Board; an academic Dean; an additional administrator who is not a Dean, a support staff representative, and the College Registrar (ex-officio). 

4.2 The Registrar acts as Executive Officer to the Board and provides liaison for the student and faculty involved in the appeal. The Chair facilitates the hearings and assists the Board in reaching a decision. The Chair may request the services of a recorder for the hearings.

4.3  An academic alternate may take the place of a regular member of the Board when that member is unavailable or a potential or stated conflict of interest exists. Under no circumstances shall the representatives on the Board for a particular hearing be from the same school from which the complaint has originated. The Chair of the Academic Appeal Board shall designate academic alternates at the beginning of an appeal process when necessary, based on recommendations from the Registrar.  If, for any reason, the Chair is unable to participate in the hearings, an alternate (faculty) will be appointed by the Vice-President, Academic.

5.0  Recruitment and Orientation

5.1  The Vice-President, Academic is responsible for implementing a formal recruitment process for Board members.

5.2  Training and/or Orientation sessions will be organized and implemented for all Board members prior to the commencement of the academic year and will address topics such as the role of the Board and particularly the scope of the Board’s decision-making and consequences as an evidence-based process.

6.0  Confidentiality

6.1 The rights of all individuals with regard to confidentiality and release of information will be respected by all members of the Academic Appeal Board and those members of the College community involved in the appeal.

6.2 The detailed deliberations of the Academic Appeal Board are confidential and, as such, any record of those deliberations will be used exclusively by the Board to facilitate its operation. However, the Board has an important responsibility, and the circumstances, outcome and rationale for the decision will be documented by the Registrar for the records of the Board, and for the information of the President, the Vice-President Academic and any appropriate members of their staff.

7.0 Jurisdiction

The Board may uphold any decision of the College, or may decide on one of a number of alternative actions, such as review of a final grade by: referral back to the appropriate Dean for review; re-evaluation of materials by another faculty member with content expertise; direction to the Dean to provide additional opportunities for the student to demonstrate competency in course objectives, and referral of the issue to other College policies. The Board’s jurisdiction does not include the authority to change or assign a final grade or to overrule College policies or published program requirements.