Final Grade Appeals

Procedure Number: 
001
Policy Number: 
3303
Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Approved: 
Program Council
Effective: 
April 24, 2014
Last Amended: 
January 10, 2019
Procedure Statement: 

Scope

This procedure forms part of JIBC’s Final Grade Appeals Policy (the “Policy”) and should be followed and applied in relation to all final grade appeals under the Policy. They apply to appeals of final grades in all JIBC courses (other than those that are subject to third party regulations), including those with practicums or field placements.

Procedural Guiding Principles

JIBC will ensure timely feedback to students on their academic performance and provide opportunities for students to view submitted work and ask questions about grading. Final grade appeals will be resolved expeditiously and within the time periods set out in this procedure whenever possible. Course grades will not be adjusted for reasons other than the academic merit of submitted work (e.g., test, assignment, essay, practical exam, etc.) or the meeting of established requirements in practicum placements. The outcome of the grade appeal process may be a grade that is lower, stays the same, or is higher than the original grade.

Student Responsibilities

1. Students are expected to be aware of all relevant course requirements and to seek out information in a timely manner if 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 in a timely manner of any situation or circumstance that may be affecting their education (e.g., illness, life situation). Failure to do so may limit the Instructor’s ability to provide informal course alternatives or resolution. Students may have their appeal denied when prior notification to the Instructor has not been provided.

3. Where temporary illness is claimed, an Instructor may require a student to provide medical documentation to support their request.  A student who submits an appeal on medical grounds must provide medical documentation to support the appeal.

4. If a student has a physical or mental disability that may be affecting their education, the student is expected to register with Disability Services, and seek accommodation under the JIBC Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

5. Students are expected to plan sufficient time in and outside of class to enable them to participate fully in their JIBC studies. Employment demands will not be considered grounds for a grade appeal.

6. Students are responsible for retaining returned marked course materials should they wish 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 to be available to discuss any student concerns regarding marking or grading, including how the final grade was calculated. A student does not have the right 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.

Resolution Process

Informal Resolution

1. If a Student has a concern with the Student’s final grade in a course or program, the Student is expected to begin by discussing the concern informally with their Instructor. 

2. If the concern is not resolved to the Student’s satisfaction, the Student should discuss the matter with the relevant Manager. At this informal resolution stage, no change may be made to the Student’s final grade without the Instructor’s agreement. 

3. If informal resolution is not achieved, the Student may appeal their final grade using the Formal Appeal Process.

Formal Appeal Process

Stage One Appeal

1. To begin a Stage One Appeal, the Student must deliver a Notice of Appeal that includes all of the information indicated below, to the Registrar by email, mail, fax, or in person, within ten (10) business days after the date when the Student was given access to their official final course grade.

2. The Notice of Appeal must include all of the following:

a. the final grade the Student received in the course;

b. any paper or written examinations, assignments or other documents that are relevant to the appeal;

c. the reason(s) the Student is seeking an appeal of the final grade;

d. the resolution sought;

e. any other information the Student believes is relevant to the appeal;

f. contact information for the Student; and

g. a $25 processing fee for each final grade being appealed, which will be returned to the Student if the appeal is granted.

3. Should the Student require accommodation for a disability in the appeal process, the Student must notify the Registrar at the same time as filing the Notice of Appeal and provide medical documentation setting out the Student’s medical restrictions or limitations that are relevant to the appeal process.

4. The Registrar will determine if the Notice of Appeal contains the required elements. Where the Notice of Appeal is incomplete, it will be returned to the Student with identified gaps. Where the Student submitted an incomplete Notice of Appeal within the required deadline for filing a Notice of Appeal, the Registrar may, at the Registrar’s discretion, allow the Student additional time to revise and resubmit the Notice of Appeal.

5. Where the Registrar receives a completed Notice of Appeal within the required timeframe, the Registrar will refer the completed Notice of Appeal to the Dean responsible for the course. In the absence of the Dean responsible for the course, the appeal will be referred to another Dean.

6. The Dean will convene an Appeals Committee consisting of the Dean and three members, seeking a balance of subject matter experts, Managers, and Instructors. No Appeals Committee member may have been involved with the appeal at the informal stage. The Dean will serve as Chair of the Appeals Committee.

7. The Dean will determine the procedure that will be followed at the Stage One Appeal, in accordance with principles of procedural fairness.  This will include providing the Student the opportunity to present their concerns in person to the Appeals Committee. The Dean may request submissions from other parties as the Dean considers appropriate. The Dean will notify the Student and any person who may be required to participate in the Stage One Appeal of the procedure that will be followed.

8. Where the final grade under appeal results from a practicum or has an evaluative component involving competency based assessment, the Appeals Committee may solicit information from any relevant JIBC parties or from external sources.

9. The Student will be informed of any submissions or information that are collected by the Appeals Committee, and will be given an opportunity to provide comments before the Appeals Committee makes a decision.

10. While appealing a final grade in a practicum course or 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. The Appeals Committee may:

a. grant the appeal;

b. deny the appeal; or

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 Dean will prepare a written record containing the reasons for the Appeals Committee’s decision (the “Stage One Appeal Decision”). The Dean will endeavour to deliver the Stage One Appeal Decision in a timely manner. The Dean will deliver the Stage One Appeal Decision to the Student, the Manager and the Registrar.

Stage Two Appeal

13. A Student who is dissatisfied with a Stage One Appeal Decision may submit a Stage Two Appeal to the Vice President Academic (“VPA”), on one or more of the following grounds (the “Stage Two Appeal Grounds”):

a. breach of procedural fairness in the Stage One Appeal process; or

b. new material evidence that was not reasonably available during the Stage One Appeal process has become available, and casts substantial doubt on the accuracy of the Stage One Appeal Decision.

14. To commence a Stage Two Appeal, the Student must submit a Notice of Appeal to the Registrar by email, mail, fax, or in person within ten (10) business days from the date of the Stage One Appeal Decision.  Failure to do so within that timeframe will result in the Student forfeiting any right to a Stage Two Appeal.

15. The Notice of Appeal must include all of the following:

a. a copy of the Stage One Appeal Decision;

b. the Stage Two Appeal Grounds upon which the Stage Two Appeal is based;

c. a detailed submission explaining the basis for the Stage Two Appeal, and attaching any relevant supporting evidence or other information;

d. the resolution sought;

e. contact information for the Student; and

f. a $25 fee for each final grade being appealed, which will be refunded to the Student if the appeal is granted.

16. Should the Student require accommodation for a disability in the appeal process, the Student must notify the Registrar at the same time as filing the Notice of Appeal and provide medical documentation setting out the Student’s medical restrictions or limitations that are relevant to the appeal process.

17. The Registrar will determine if the Notice of Appeal contains the required elements. Where the Notice of Appeal is incomplete, it will be returned to the Student with identified gaps. Where the Student submitted an incomplete Notice of Appeal within the required deadline for filing a Notice of Appeal, the Registrar may, at the Registrar’s discretion, allow the Student additional time to revise and resubmit the Notice of Appeal.

18. Where the Registrar receives a completed Notice of Appeal within the required timeframe, the Registrar will forward the completed Notice of Appeal to the VPA. 

19. The VPA will determine the procedure to follow during the Stage Two Appeal in accordance with principles of procedural fairness. This will include providing the Student the opportunity to present their concerns in person to the VPA. The VPA may also request submissions or information from other parties as the VPA considers appropriate. The VPA will notify the Student and any person who may be required to participate in the Stage Two Appeal of the procedure that will be followed.

20. The Student will be informed of any submissions or information that are collected by the VPA, and will be given an opportunity to provide comments before the VPA makes a decision.

21. The VPA will deliver a written decision on the appeal (the “Stage Two Appeal Decision”) to the Student and the Dean. The VPA will endeavour to deliver the Stage Two Appeal Decision in a timely manner.

22. The Stage Two Appeal Decision may:

a. uphold the Stage One Appeal Decision;

b. reverse the Stage One Appeal Decision and remit the matter to the Stage One Appeals Committee for reconsideration, with directions; or

c. reverse the Stage One Appeal Decision and order that the matter be referred to a different Stage One Appeals Committee for decision, with or without directions.

23. The Stage Two Appeal Decision may not be appealed.

Last updated August 1, 2019