There are two types of resolutions possible if a student wishes to contest the official final grade they were assigned for a course. The student may request a Change of Grade directly from an instructor. If the instructor does not agree that a change of grade is warranted, the student may appeal to the Committee on Academic Appeals (CAA) within thirty (30) days of receipt of the disputed grade. The CAA also reviews and decides other types of appeals, including readmission to the College.
Changes of Grade and Academic Appeals
Change of Grade
A student should contact the instructor who assigned the official final grade they wish to dispute at the first opportunity after the grade is posted on CUNYfirst. The student may request a change of grade when they believe it was assigned as the result of:
- a recording error;
- a miscalculation of the grade based on the criteria provided in the course syllabus;
- failure to include all work submitted in the calculation of the grade; or
- an incorrect determination of the grade value of a particular assignment.
If the instructor agrees that the grade was assigned in error, they will submit a change of grade request to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). OAA will review the request for conformity to College policy. Upon approval by the OAA, the change of grade will be forwarded to the Registrar for recording. The corrected grade will then appear in the student’s transcript.
Prior to filing an Academic Appeal for a change of grade, the student must first attempt to resolve the grade dispute through the Change of Grade process described above. If no resolution is reached, the student should speak with their Career Strategist or SSA, who will help to navigate the Academic Appeal process. All formal appeals must be in writing.
Academic Appeals are decided by the Committee on Academic Appeals (CAA), a body of Guttman faculty, staff, and leadership that meets monthly year-round, with additional meetings held if needed. The Committee reviews each case thoroughly, considering all of the information and supporting documentation provided. If more information or clarification is needed, the CAA will contact the student. All decisions made by the CAA regarding an Academic Appeal are final and must be communicated in writing.
The CAA is charged with reviewing appeals of the following types:
- Academic probation, dismissal, and readmission to the College based on failure to make satisfactory academic progress, but exclusive of related matters involving academic integrity or alleged student misconduct;
- Course substitutions and course waivers;
- Withdrawal from courses, including retroactive withdrawals;
- The honors list and graduation honors;
- Courses on permit at other colleges;
- Extensions to a deadline to complete an INC grade; and
- Grade appeals.
To submit an Academic Appeal for a grade, the student should:
- Make sure that their Academic Appeal form is completed fully and accurately;
- Include a statement that is written clearly and is grammatically correct. The statement should:
- Outline the rationale for the request and include all pertinent information that could help the committee to understand the student’s viewpoint,
- Avoid making disparaging remarks about the instructor or the course, and
- Describe any extenuating circumstances/obstacles or hardships that may have negatively impacted the student’s performance in the course;
- Attach supporting documentation to strengthen their case. Failure to provide adequate documentation may result in the delay or denial of an appeal. Providing the following materials is strongly recommended:
- Course syllabus,
- Any assignments that were turned in (with grades),
- Any assignments that are in dispute, or that are the focus of the appeal,
- Any records of grades (Blackboard, quizzes, tests, etc.),
- Any correspondence between the student and the instructor, especially those regarding grades or assignments,
- Any supporting evidence for why work was not completed or turned in late, and
- Any supporting evidence for absences and/or missed tests/quizzes.
For further information on the formal grade appeal process, please see Article I of Guttman Community College’s Student Grievance Procedures.