Academic Appeal Procedures for Students
There are three processes for academic appeals depending on what is being appealed and when the appeal is occurring:
I. Academic Grievance—
This kind of appeal involves matters internal to a course, to include perceptions of unfair or inaccurate grades, failure of the teacher to follow policy, and so on. Matters possibly involving discrimination against protected classes will be promptly forwarded to the university's Affirmative Action Officer for handling.
II. Medical Withdrawal (if the semester affected is still in session)—
Appeals for medical withdrawals—if the semester affected is still in session—are made directly to the Dean of Students in the Schuster Center.
III. Academic Standards—
The Academic Standards Committee (ASC) reviews four types of appeals, all of which involve factors external to the contents of a particular course.
- Grade Appeals of WF or W
- Grade Appeals of F to a Productive Grade (A, B, C, etc.)
- Medical Withdrawal (if the semester affected has ended and final grades have been posted)
- Exception Petitions
For assistance with any of these appeals, the student should see his/her advisor or department chair.
The Academic Standards Committee does not review appeals regarding the fairness or accuracy of the grade itself. For those kinds of appeals, see Academic Grievance.
Appeals must be made within two years of the original grade unless there are extremely extenuating circumstances (military duty, lengthy hospitalization) to justify an appeal older than two years.
The Academic Standards Committee meets monthly, or as necessary, to review cases. After the Committee meeting, the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee will notify the Registrar, the initiating advisor or department chair, the student, and (in cases such as medical appeals) the Dean of Students. When the term of the ASC chair ends, the chair will turn over all records to Academic Affairs. Records will be kept for seven years.
A student is allowed to appeal a particular case one time only to the ASC so it is imperative for him/her to supply all appropriate documentation relevant to the case. The case will not be reheard just because a student did not include information that should have been included the first time.
The student may appeal the decision of the ASC to the Provost only if the student can present additional, compelling documentation that was unavailable or unknown at the time of the appeal to the ASC or if the student can document that the ASC decision somehow fails to comply with university policy. The student cannot appeal the decision of the ASC if the matter involves documentation that could have and should have been included in the original appeal but was not. To appeal the ASC's decision, the student should write a letter to the Provost, providing the additional, compelling documentation and explaining why this documentation was previously unavailable or unknown. The Provost may request the original case information from the ASC Chair.
Columbus State University, and the University System of Georgia, endorses the American Council on Education's Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities which reiterates the campus community's role in intellectual pluralism and academic freedom.
1. Grade Appeals of WF or W
A student may request a change of grade from WF to W due to special circumstances. Students can also appeal a W, requesting removal of the grade from record. Removal of a W from the student's record does not imply that any money will be refunded to the student.
An F grade must first be changed to a WF before it can be changed to a W.
2. Grade Appeals of F to a Productive Grade (A, B, C, etc.)
Usually, when a student receives an “I,” the student has one year to complete the “I” before it turns into an F. A student may appeal this kind of F, requesting that it be changed to a productive grade (A, B, C, etc.) if there are extenuating circumstances (such as hospitalization or delayed grading of work by instructor) that affected the student's ability to complete the course in time. The Committee will not approve appeals of this kind of F if the student simply took longer than a year to complete the work, even if the instructor approves such a grade change.
The student may also appeal productive grade changes (for example, C to B) more than a year old. Faculty can change a course grade electronically within one year. After such time, students (with the faculty member's approval) can appeal a productive grade change. If the faculty member is no longer employed at the university, the chair's approval is necessary for the grade appeal to be successful.
3. Medical Withdrawal (if the semester affected has ended and final grades have been posted)—
Appeals for medical withdrawals—if the semester has ended and final grades have been posted—are made to the Academic Standards Committee via the Registrar.
4. Exception Petitions—
This appeal deals with issues associated with program and course requirements for degree completion. Specifically, this appeal process covers the following:
- Exception to, or substitutions for, courses required in Areas A through E of the Core Curriculum. Refer to the listing of courses approved in the core in the Core Course Menus section and to the Course Requirements section of the appropriate catalog.
- Exemption from or exceptions to the academic requirements as outlined under General University Requirements in the University Catalog.
Transferred courses that have subject designators (such as ENGL, MATH, ANTH, etc.) can be substituted for core courses using a DER Adjustment form. However, if a transferred course has a designation of ***1*** or ***2*** (no discipline identified, such as ENGL, MATH, ANTH, etc.) and if the student wants this course to substitute for a class in Areas A-E, the student (with the help of the advisor) must file an Exception Petition.