Final Grade Appeals

Procedure Number: 
001
Policy Number: 
3303
Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Vice President, Academic
Effective: 
April 24, 2014
Review: 
April 24, 2017
Procedure Statement: 

Scope

  1. These procedures apply to appeals of final grades in JIBC courses including courses with practicums or field placements.
  2. The essential requirements of a course (the “curriculum” and/or competency frameworks) are not appealable. Where a student believes the curriculum is biased or discriminatory on the basis of prohibited grounds, they may make their complaint known through the Access Policy.
  3. Appeals of admission, fee or tuition refunds, transfer credits, course exemptions, Prior Learning Assessment evaluations, quality of instruction, and/or other concerns or complaints are covered by other policies or practices.

General Considerations

  1. It is the intention of JIBC that Final Grade Appeals are resolved expeditiously and within the times periods set out in these procedures. However, if the Registrar determines that additional time is required for any step in the process, the Registrar may extend the time period.
  2. Grades will not be adjusted for reasons other than the academic merit of submitted work (e.g., test, assignment, essay etc.) or the meeting of established requirements in practicum placements.
  3. The outcome of the appeal may be a grade that is lower, stays the same or is higher.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students are expected to be aware of all relevant course requirements and seek out information in a timely manner when they become aware of any concerns or discrepancies regarding their grades.
  2. Students are expected to take action and provide notice to their course instructor of any situation or circumstance that may be affecting their academics (e.g., illness, life situation) in a timely and reasonable manner. Failure to do may limit the instructor’s ability to provide informal course alternatives or resolution. 
  3. Where an illness is claimed, students are expected to provide documentation of illness to support their request or appeal.
  4. Students submitting an appeal on medical grounds may be denied when there has not been reasonable notification to the instructor.
  5. Students are expected to maintain current contact information with the Institute to ensure the timely receipt of academic information, grades, and appeal status.
  6. Students who do not receive their final grades due to outstanding debt to the Institute risk missing the appeal deadline.
  7. Students are expected to have planned sufficient time in and outside of class to fully participate in their studies. Employment demands will not be considered grounds for an appeal.
  8. Students are responsible for retaining exams and assignments that are returned to them as part of their course grade if the student wishes to appeal a final grade.

JIBC Responsibilities

  1. Instructors are expected to allow students to view submitted work and tests, including final exams, under supervision (as appropriate) and be available to discuss any concerns the student has with marking or grading of that exam and/or how the final grade was calculated. This does not include the right of the student to copy tests or exams where doing so would jeopardize the academic integrity of the evaluation process.
  2. Instructors are expected to exercise discretion and treat information confidentially regarding the appeal process or any documentation received (e.g., illness) as part of an appeal process.

Informal Resolution

  1. Students are to discuss their concerns first with the instructor, then relevant program manager, and/or academic Program Director/Director in an attempt to resolve their concerns informally within the program area and by agreement before commencing a formal appeal.

First Stage Appeal Process

The following describes an appeal process regarding final grade.  If students do not feel comfortable engaging in the appeal process on their own, they are welcome to engage an advocate or support network they deem helpful.  In keeping with our strategic vision and indigenization commitment, aboriginal learners are welcome to engage the support of an elder or a cultural advocate.

  1. To initiate a first stage formal appeal, a student must submit their appeal within ten (10) business days from the time the student could access their official course grades.
  2. A formal appeal may be initiated by using a Notice of Appeal Form to Registration (Student Affairs) by email, mail, fax, or in person.  Regardless of the format, the Notice of Appeal must include:
    a.  A copy of the final grade in a course and any paper or written examinations, or other documents related to the final grade appeal;
    b.  The reason(s) the student is seeking an appeal of the final grade;
    c.  The resolution sought;
    d.  Any information and supporting documentation that is relevant to the appeal; and
    e.  Contact information for the student
  3. The Registrar will determine if the application is complete. If the application is incomplete, the appeal may be rejected. Extensions to time lines are at the sole discretion of the Registrar and upon written request of the student.
  4. A fee of $25 must accompany the formal appeal.  The fee is returned to the student should the appeal be successful. 
  5. The Registrar will refer the matter to the appropriate Dean responsible for the course.
  6. The Dean, who will act as chair of the appeal hearing,  will convene an Appeal  Committee consisting of some or all of  the following  members:
    a.  Two instructors who are familiar with the  course material being appealed but are not also the instructor in courses in which the student is currently enrolled;
    b.  One instructor or Program Manager/Director within the School and outside of the program associated with the course for which the final grade appeal is linked;
  7. No committee member on the Appeal Committee may be involved with the appeal at the informal stage.
  8. The structure, timing, and format of the Appeal Committee will be determined by the Dean and in accordance with principles of procedural fairness and due process including, but not limited to, providing the student the opportunity to present their concern in person to the Committee.
  9. Where the course being appealed is a practicum or has a component of evaluation that involves competency based assessment the Appeal Committee may solicit information and feedback from any relevant JIBC parties or relevant external sources of information (e.g., log books) in making their determination.
  10.  While engaging in an appeal of a final grade in a practicum course/course with an associated practicum, the student may continue in portions of the program that are theoretical in nature but may be prevented from engaging in additional practicum courses until the outcome of the appeal. 
  11. After reviewing  the appeal the Appeal Committee may:
    a.  Grant the appeal
    b.  Deny the appeal
    c.  Grant or deny the appeal in part and/or subject to conditions. If the student does not accept the conditions the appeal will be considered to have been denied.
  12. The Appeal Committee will issue a decision within ten (10) business days of receipt or hearing of the last submission presented on the appeal, and will state the reasons for their decision.

Second Stage Appeal Process

  1. To initiate a second stage appeal, a student must submit their appeal within ten (10) business days from the time the original decision was made.  The second stage appeal is a review of the process of the first stage appeal.
  2. A second stage appeal may be initiated by using a Notice of Appeal to the Registrar by email, mail, fax, or in person. Regardless of the format, the Notice of Appeal must include:
    a.  A copy of the decision reached at stage one.
    b.  The reason(s) the student believes the procedure or process of the first stage appeal is wrong;
    c.  The resolution sought;
    d.  Any relevant information and supporting documentation that is relevant to the appeal; and
    e.  Contact information for the student
  3. The Registrar will determine if the application is complete. If the application is incomplete, the appeal may be rejected. Extensions to time lines are at the sole discretion of the Registrar and upon written request of the student.
  4. The Registrar will convene an Appeals Committee consisting of
    a.  VP Academic (or designate) who will chair the Committee;
    b.  Three instructors  who are members of Program Council and have not been part of either the informal or first stage  appeal;
    c.  One student representative (normally from Program Council) and not associated with the course/program of the appeal; and
    d.  The Registrar as non-voting member
  5. The structure, timing, and format of the Appeal Committee will be determined by the Vice President Academic and in accordance with principles of procedural fairness and due process which includes, but is not limited to, giving the student the opportunity to present their concern in person to the Committee.
  6. The Committee may request submissions from any parties or others as appropriate including all materials provided at the first stage appeal.
  7. After  reviewing the appeal, the Appeal Committee may:
    a.  Grant the appeal
    b.  Deny the appeal
    c.  Grant or deny the appeal in part and/or subject to conditions. If the student does not accept the conditions the appeal will be considered to have been denied.
  8. The Appeal Committee will issue a decision with within ten (10) business days of receipt or hearing of the last submission presented on the appeal, and will state the reasons for their decision.

Documentation

  1. All documentation related to an Academic Appeal will be stored in the student’s educational file (Registration) and be stored in accordance with the Student Records Policy. 

Last updated June 24, 2015