South Suburban College
South Suburban College

Grade Appeal Information Frequently Asked Questions

Often students have a grade concern in a course and they are looking for information and the process for a formal grade appeal. This sheet supplies some facts and helpful information relative to grades, the grading process, and grade appeals.

Who can help me if I have a question in regards to the grade I received on a test or paper in my class?
Questions on grades which you receive during the semester on assignments, quizzes, tests, papers, etc. must be brought to the attention of your course instructor. Only the course instructor can re-grade a paper or review points on a test; no other personnel at the college are authorized to make modifications to the grade or assignments.
When is my grade a part of my permanent college transcript?
Only the final grade for a course is officially recorded on your transcript. Although you receive a midterm grade, that grade does not become your final grade should you decide to suddenly stop coming to a class or withdraw from a course. Midterm grades do not remain on your record and are not your permanent grade. Your final grade in the course is the grade which is part of your permanent college transcript.
Who can help me if I have a question in regards to the final grade I received in my class?
All final grades are determined and established by the instructor of record for a course. Grading policies and calculations for a course are presented to students in the course syllabus. You should always present your grade concern first to the instructor for clarification and analysis.
What if I am not satisfied with the answer my instructor gives me for my grade complaint?
You should follow the official final grade appeal process which is outlined in the SSC catalog. Please remember that the grade you receive should be a record of your performance in the course. You may attend a class in its entirety and still receive a poor grade if your level of work in the course did not reach minimum competencies for that course. The final grade appeal process reviews how your grade was determined. It should be noted that it is not a reason for a final grade appeal if you do not agree with the teaching methods of an instructor.
Who can change my final grade in a course?
No administrator, faculty, or staff member can change your final grade. Only the instructor of record can change a student’s final grade by processing an official grade change. The third step of the final grade appeal process is the only other manner in which a grade may officially be changed if the Academic Appeals Committee determines that a change is warranted. Students should follow step one of the final grade appeal process and have the grade reviewed by the instructor of record. If you do not believe that your grade was correctly determined and you have already discussed your concerns with your instructor, then you should follow steps two and three of the final grade appeal process in the catalog for a further review of your grade.
If the instructor is the only one who can change my grade, why go through a final grade appeal process?
The instructor’s determination of your grade may only be reviewed through this process. If it is determined in the third step of the process by the Academic Appeals Committee that your grade was incorrectly established, that committee can recommend that your official grade be changed to reflect the accurate grade. This process is the only means for reviewing the instructor’s determination of the grade. The Academic Appeals Committee will review how your grade was determined and make a decision to have the grade changed if the documentation presented by you, the student, warrants such a change.
What if I am unable to contact my instructor or academic administrator?
You should make several attempts to contact the individual before you seek out other assistance. The departmental secretaries can assist you in determining who you should speak to about your grade concern.
What information must I present in order for a final grade appeal to be valid?
You are responsible for showing the grade inaccuracy or discrepancy if you believe that there is one. To make a final grade appeal based upon a “feeling” that the grade does not reflect your work is not sufficient. The student must present any information which validates the grade problem. If the instructor did not return materials to students, then the instructor will need to provide that information in the final grade appeal process.
How long do I have to appeal a grade?
You have until October 15 of the current year (for spring and summer grades) and March 15 of the subsequent year for fall grades. (In the event the day falls on a weekend, the deadline is extended to the following Monday. You must initiate the paperwork for a final grade appeal with the appropriate academic administrator within that timeframe. After that point in time, the grade becomes permanent on your transcript.
How long does the grade appeal process take?
I need this grade changed quickly! No grade can be changed on the same day in which someone brings in their grade concern. Good record keeping practices and grade integrity dictate that we need to follow a well-documented route for any grade change that occurs. Please realize that a transcript grade is an official college record, and you should not expect that it can be changed within minutes. Since the final grade appeal process exists so that students may initiate a thorough review of their grades when there are questions, the process does require time to make the grade review meaningful. We will do our best to keep the grade appeal process moving within a reasonable timeframe, but it is your responsibility to comply with the necessary paperwork and documentation involved in the process.
Is a late withdrawal (W) a grade change?
Yes. We have deadlines printed and published each semester for all students to know the exact dates for withdrawing from classes. Your instructor issues a grade to all students who remain on the class roster after the last day to withdraw from courses. Therefore, any requests to withdraw beyond the posted deadline date are considered grade changes. There is a separate process – not the grade appeal process - for requesting a late withdrawal.
Should I pursue a grade appeal if I am requesting a late withdrawal?
No. Should an unusual situation arise (for example you were in the hospital during the timeframe when the last day to withdraw occurred) and you are unable to complete your withdrawal by the deadline date, you may utilize the “request for a late withdrawal” process rather than the grade appeal process.

 

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