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Academic Concerns/Grievances

It is the intent of TSTC to maintain the academic integrity of all instructional programs while affording students a fair process for appealing grades and/or other elements of instruction. An academic concern/grievance can consist of any of the following:

• A contention of an arbitrary or capricious action taken by an instructor against a student;

• A dispute over an accusation of cheating or dishonesty;

• A dispute over a grade, or;

• Any other dispute over a matter which has impacted the final course grade.

These procedures are for academic grievances only and apply to credit and non-credit, on-campus students and off-campus online learning students. For online learning students, available and appropriate technology will be utilized to facilitate the procedures.

At the start of each term, faculty members will provide their students with a written statement about the course objectives, required assignments, and grading policy. If the faculty member deems it necessary to modify the assignments or grading policy within the term, students will be provided with information about those modifications; ideally, written information regarding the changes will be provided to the affected students. Faculty members will appraise students of their classroom performance in a timely fashion.

If, during a term, a student has an academic concern (a dispute about a test or assignment grade or the nature of an assignment/activity), he or she should first discuss the matter with the faculty member. This discussion should take place within five working days of the occurrence of the disputed matter. If the matter cannot be resolved between the student and the instructor, the student should put the concern in writing and schedule a meeting with the Department Chair within five working days. (In the event that the instructor is the Department Chair, the student would bring an academic concern to the Division Director.) The Department Chair should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the grievance and should apprise the faculty member and the student, in writing, as to the ruling. The Department Chair will make his or her ruling within five working days of hearing the student’s grievance. If the grievance cannot be resolved at the department level, the following Academic Appeal Process is followed:

Academic Appeal Process

1. If, after the Department Chair has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may appeal in writing to the Division Director. The student’s written statement should be filed within five working days of receiving the Department Chair’s ruling and should include a clear description of the original problem and why the actions taken by the college are not satisfactory. The Division Director should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the academic appeal and should appraise the Department Chair, the faculty member, and the student, in writing, as to the ruling. The Division Director will respond in writing to these parties within 10 working days of receiving the student’s written appeal.

2. If, after the Division Director has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may appeal in writing to an Associate Vice President for Student Learning (AVPSL). The student’s written statement should be filed within five working days of receiving the Division Director’s ruling and should include a clear description of the original problem and why the actions taken by the college are not satisfactory. The AVPSL should gather as much information as is needed to make a fair ruling regarding the academic appeal and should apprise the Division Director, the Department Chair, the faculty member, and the student, in writing, as to the ruling. The AVPSL will respond in writing to these parties within 10 working days of receiving the student’s written appeal.

3. If, after the AVPSL has made his or her ruling, the student still feels that a fair resolution has not been achieved, the student may file a written request for a committee hearing with the Vice President for Student Learning (VPSL). This written request must be submitted within five working days of receiving the ruling from the AVPSL. Within three working days of the receipt of the written request, the VPSL will appoint a three-person appeal committee. Committee will be comprised of standing members of the Appeal Hearing Committee for Student Services. (If necessary, the VPSL will appoint additional members outside of the Student Services Appeal Hearing Committee). The committee will review all relevant documentation and schedule a meeting with the student.  The committee’s recommendation will be submitted, in writing, to the VPSL. The VPSL will review the committee’s recommendation and notify the student of the decision in writing. The VPSL’s decision is final and ends the appeal process.











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