Dec 12, 2019  
2019-2020 College Catalog 
    
2019-2020 College Catalog

Academic Policies & Procedures



General Information

SLCC views education as critical to improving quality of life and is committed to providing learning opportunities that are accessible, affordable and of the highest caliber. It seeks to achieve its goals through an open, welcoming environment that supports student achievement and also encourages independence and maturity. Upon enrolling at SLCC, students are expected to become acquainted with College policies, requirements, procedures, and regulations, and to remain cognizant of them while enrolled.

Academic Advisors, Counselors, Divisional Deans, Department Chairs, Program Coordinators, Instructors, Administrators, and others assist all students in becoming acquainted with College regulations, but students must assume final responsibility for understanding all College procedures. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception be granted because a student pleads ignorance of the regulation.

When changes are made between catalog publications, students are informed through the normal channels of communication. These include, but are not limited to, announcements made to students by Instructors, College publications such as bulletin board posters, and general College mail, and email. Changes become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine.

Class Attendance Policy

The College recognizes the correlation between attendance and both student retention and achievement. Any class session or activity missed, regardless of cause, reduces the opportunity for learning and may adversely affect a student’s achievement in the course. Class attendance is regarded as an obligation as well as a privilege, and all students are expected to attend regularly and punctually all classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to do so may result in missed content and coursework, possibly jeopardizing a student’s scholastic standing.

Attendance Records and Individual Class Policy

Instructors are required to monitor student attendance and report students who are not attending class during designated reporting periods.  Instructors are also required, in the majority of courses within the College, to state in writing and explain to their students their expectations in regard to both class performance and makeup work due to all absences prior to the close of the first week of classes during a regular semester and the third day of classes during a summer session. Recording and/or monitoring of absences is not to be used directly for grade assessment in the class (in either direct penalty of points, percentages or part of participation), but is to be used to track students’ presence in the classroom for ability to provide accurate information on institutional participation and financial aid status reports.

Instructors engaged in educating students in specialist programs involving specialist experiences (i.e. Health and Clinical experiences, Internships or Practicums) will be required to set attendance requirements that conform to the relevant programmatic accreditation and/or state & federal requirements.

Justification for Absences

Absences are considered unexcused unless the absences are due to jury duty, court appointments, military leave, religious observances, sanctioned school activities, or medical reasons. Students should provide documented evidence, whenever possible, prior to the event or incident leading to the absence. Absences for sanctioned school activities will be excused when the student presents a confirmation signed by an appropriate College official.

Requests for excused absences must be submitted to each instructor within three days after the student returns to classes for classes meeting on a three (3) day-a-week or two (2) day-a-week schedule. For classes meeting on a one (1) day-a-week schedule, documentation must be submitted at the next class meeting following the absence. However, if the student has prior knowledge that s/he will miss certain classes, justification should be submitted to these Instructors in advance of the absences.

Effects of Excessive Absences

Whenever an absence is excused by the instructor, the student can be permitted to make up the work without penalty according to the makeup policies provided by the instructor in the course syllabus.

A student may not be penalized directly for unexcused absences.  However, the content and work missed during unexcused absences may affect a student’s course performance and lower their course grade. While the direct absence cannot be taken into account in class grades, assignments and in-class graded tests, quizzes and exercises that are missed due to the absence are included in appropriate grade assessments of the student.

A student who encounters course consequences due to excused absences may seek a conference with the instructor, if not resolved then to the Department Chair, and if necessary to the appropriate Division Dean. Should these actions not be satisfactory to the student, the student should complete the course and upon receiving the final grade follow the Academic Grade Review and Appeal procedure detailed elsewhere in this catalog. The final decision of this process will be considered binding.

 Additional E-learning Component

Students are expected to participate in all required instructional activities in their online courses. Student attendance in online courses is defined as active participation in the course as described in the course syllabus. Online courses will, at a minimum, have weekly mechanisms for student participation, which can be documented by any or all of the following methods:

  • Completion of tests or quizzes
  • Discussion forums
  • Submission/completion of assignments
  • Communication with the instructor
  • Or other course participation

Students are required to log in to each online course by the second day during the week in which the course officially begins, or the day enrolled during late registration to complete the initial introductory postings required in the course. The student is solely responsible for checking updates related to the course.  Note: nonattendance may affect financial aid.  In the case of an anticipated absence, such as military deployment, the student should contact the instructor in advance and make arrangements to complete the required assignments. In case of an emergency (illness/accident or death in family), a student should contact the instructor as soon as possible providing documentation supporting the need for any late submission of a graded event.

Instructors are required to monitor student attendance and report students who are not attending class during designated reporting periods.  Instructors are also required, in the majority of courses within the College, to state in writing and explain to their students their expectations in regard to both class performance and makeup work due to all absences prior to the close of the first week of classes during a regular semester and the third day of classes during a summer session. To be counted as actively participating, it is not sufficient to log in and view the course.  The student must be submitting work as described in the course syllabus. 

Academic Integrity

An essential rule in every class of the College is that all work for which a student will receive a grade or credit be entirely their own or be properly documented to indicate sources. When a student does not follow this rule, this is dishonest and undermines the goals of the College. Cheating in any form, therefore, cannot be tolerated, and the responsibility rests with the student to know the acceptable methods and techniques for proper documentation of sources and to avoid cheating and/or plagiarism in all work submitted for credit, whether prepared in or out of class. Definitions of cheating and plagiarism:

Cheating

Cheating in the context of academic matters is the term broadly used to describe all acts of dishonesty committed in the taking of tests or examinations and the preparation of assignments. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, such practices as:

  • unauthorized gaining of help from another person
  • using unauthorized notes or other resources when taking a graded assessment
  • distributing/previewing copies of the test/quiz
  • having someone else pose as you to complete work
  • relying on unauthorized devices or tools if such aid has been forbidden
  • preparing an assignment in consultation with another person when the instructor expects the work to be done independently
  • turning in an assignment already written/submitted for another course without instructor permission

 

In other words, cheating occurs when a student makes use of any unauthorized aids or materials or falsely represents themselves or their work, in all class formats - whether face-to-face, video-conference, online or hybrid. Furthermore, any student who provides unauthorized assistance in academic work is also guilty of cheating.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a specific type of cheating.

Plagiarism occurs when a student passes off as their work the ideas, concepts, words or products of another person.  This includes, but is not limited to, such practices as:

  • presenting as a new and original idea or product anything which in fact is derived from an existing work
  • making use of any work or production already created by someone else without giving credit to the source
  • purchasing or obtaining an essay or any written material from any source that is presented as one’s own work
  • making use of or copying work completed by another student currently or previously taking the class
  • turning in work directly copied from a website
  • copying or paraphrasing ideas from a work of literary criticism or study aid when outside sources are not permitted
  • appropriating the writing style of an author
  • students reusing assignments from a previously taken course in the same course being repeated (e.g. resubmitting an essay assignment with exact language from a previously taken and failed/withdrawn ENGL course for the same assignment in the retake course)

In short, plagiarism is the use of unacknowledged materials in the preparation of assignments. Thus, the student must take care to avoid plagiarism in research or term papers, art projects, science reports, laboratory experiments, and the like.

Penalties

SLCC considers both cheating and plagiarism serious offenses. Penalties are at the discretion of the Faculty member and are stated in the course syllabus. Penalties may include a grade of “zero” for the assignment in question, a reduction of the grade in the course, or an “F” in the course. Course instructors may also refer the student for more severe sanction as an Academic Conduct Violation, which could result in a range of actions including (but not exclusive to): probationary status due to the offense, dismissal from the student’s current program of study, to potential suspension or expulsion from South Louisiana Community College.  The request for further sanction will be handled in consultation with Program Coordinator and/or Department Chair (when applicable) and the appropriate Academic Dean of the Division, with final authority on all matters relating to Academic Integrity residing with the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs. Faculty are to report Academic Integrity Violations via the Academic Integrity Sanction Form   

Students sanctioned for an academic integrity violation with an F in the course before the add/drop or withdrawal period will not be permitted to drop or withdraw from the course; the grade of F will stand. 

Students who receive Academic Sanctions for violating Academic Integrity may appeal the sanction using the Challenge to Academic Integrity Sanction procedures as set forth here. 

There are 2 paths for sanctions challenges:

  1. Path 1: Where the sanctions administered are solely involving the specific class (i.e. from zero points on an assignment up to and including an F in the course). For circumstances where only these type of sanctions have been administered, the levels of review for challenging Academic Sanction(s) are:

Level 1: Chair/Assistant Dean  

Level 2: Academic Dean

Level 3: Academic Standards Committee(or designated sub-committee)  

(** Note: If the Chair is the Instructor of the class the challenge would move to the 2ndLevel and go to the Academic Dean)

  1. Path 2: Where more serious or severe sanction(s) have been applied by SLCC (removal from an academic program, suspension or expulsion), the levels for review for challenging Academic Sanction(s) are:

Level 1: Academic Standards Committee (or designated sub-committee)

Level 2: Chancellor of SLCC  

Level 3: LCTCS system office

(**Note: Removal from Program, Suspensions or Expulsions under Academic Misconduct fall within the rights of students to appeal, under the Student Code of Conduct, to the higher levels of the Office of the Chancellor or the LCTCS system)

Academic Integrity - Student Challenge to Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

A student who believes that a Sanction applied by either an Instructor or SLCC for Academic Misconduct (plagiarism, cheating, etc.) may, within 10 days of receiving notification of the sanction, appeal a Challenge to the Academic Integrity Sanction.

The purpose of the Challenge process is to:
  • provide an initial informal opportunity for a student to understand the reasons Academic Misconduct was determined to have occurred
  • allow an Instructor, at an initial stage, to consult with Department/Divisional peers to ensure that the Sanction has been appropriately assigned according to the circumstances of the Academic Misconduct
  • in the case of a Student wishing to Challenge the Sanction, provide a clear formal procedure for the student and Instructor to follow to a written decision. In this process, the student has the burden of proof to objectively demonstrate that the Sanction for Academic Misconduct assigned is inappropriate.
  • provide an appeal process that is accessible to both student and Instructor that results in a final college-level written decision.
Conditions for Challenging the Academic Integrity Sanction
  • The course did not provide clear understanding through either syllabus or assignments as to what constitutes Academic misconduct in the course or on an individual assignment.
  • The potential consequences and sanctions for Academic Misconduct were not made clear to the students in the course.
  • The student has evidence that different standards and processes were applied between themselves and other students in the course.
  • The student can demonstrate through documented evidence that the misconduct did not occur as was determined by the course Instructor.
Advice to students concerning formal Challenges to Academic Integrity Sanctions

The Academic Integrity Sanction process is only able to review the actions of an academic/instruction nature in applying a Sanction for Academic Misconduct. This process should not be utilized in a case in which a student feels s/he has experienced discrimination. If the student feels that s/he has experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), gender, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or sexual orientation, the student should refer to the Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Students as administered by the Vice Chancellor of Student Services. Should the reasons in the written petition explain or allege that the Sanction received was a result of an alleged discriminatory action, the materials will be immediately forwarded to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services or the designated Title IX officer for SLCC and this formal process will be terminated.

Process for a Challenge to the Academic Integrity Sanction
  • Informal Resolution Process

Should a student believe that the Sanction applied for Academic Misconduct was unwarranted they should make an appointment to meet with the Instructor (Path 1) or Academic Dean (Path 2) . This meeting is to be scheduled as soon as possible following the notification by the instructor or SLCC of the Sanction imposed. In this initial, informal conference, the Instructor or Dean will explain how the Academic Misconduct was determined and why the specific Sanction was assigned.

In the event, the Instructor is not available, or will not meet with the student, or the meeting cannot be reasonably scheduled, or the outcome of the scheduled and completed informal meeting has not resolved the issue the student may choose to immediately follow the formal process described following. The formal process must also be initiated by no more than ten (10) business days following the initial notification of the Academic Misconduct Sanction.

Formal Resolution Process

If the case cannot be resolved through the informal process, the student has the option to follow the formal Challenge to Sanction process. The formal challenge may proceed after the student has received from either the Instructor alone (Path 1) or the Instructor and/or higher SLCC officers in the chain of Academic Affairs (Academic Deans and Office of Academic Affairs) (Path 2) notification of the Sanctions imposed.  

The written Challenge to Sanction must include:

  • a formal Academic Sanction Challenge Form  form with student identification (including Banner ID) and specific course information (Course name and number, CRN number, Instructor)
  • a typewritten formal letter detailing the reasons why the student believes the Sanction for Academic Misconduct was unwarranted, with clear supporting rationale tied to and stating the appropriate condition for appeal as listed above
  • a copy of the syllabus of the course
  • a copy of the disputed assessment materials or relevant assessment documentation. optionally, any other materials as relevant, to the issue

The materials submitted must be complete. Incomplete materials cannot be supplemented later in this process. The Challenge process will consider only the reasons provided in the written letter along with supporting documents. It is incumbent on the student to provide all materials required for appeal and to follow the formal Challenge process.

Submission:

Submit Academic Sanction Challenge Form  form, written letter of appeal and all documentation either in person to the Dean’s Administrative Assistant for the appropriate division under which the academic Sanction being challenged resides, or electronically from an SLCC email account only (not personal or other non-SLCC email accounts - these will not be accepted for review) to the appropriate Dean’s Administrative Assistant within ten (10) business days of the sanction notification. 

Appeal Levels and Process:

Formal Challenges to Academic Sanctions may proceed through several steps at SLCC if the student desires. If a challenge is denied, the student may take the challenge to the next-level review within the chain of Academic Affairs at SLCC, with the appropriate path of the challenge depending upon the level of sanction(s) being challenged. At each stage, the SLCC officer at that level will determine to grant or deny the challenge, and it is the student’s choice to continue the process to the next appropriate level.  

 

Sanction Applied by  Instructor (Path 1)
 
Sanction Applied by Academic Dean or VCAA (Path 2)
Time* 
(Student Requests Informal Challenge of Sanction) Meeting with Instructor   (Student Requests Informal Challenge of Sanction) Meeting with Dean  

Formal Challenge of Sanction Submitted for Reviewed by Chair/Assistant Dean-

(Submitted by Student)

up to10 days Formal Challenge of Sanction Submitted for Review by Academic Standards or designated Sub-Committee up to 10 days
Department Chair/Assistant Dean Meeting with Student up to10 days Academic Standards/Sub-Committee Review up to 20 days
Department Chair/Assistant Dean Response to Formal Challenge of Sanction up to 3 days Academic Standards/Sub-Committee Response to Formal Challenge of Sanction up to 3 days
Formal Challenge Request for Review by Divisional Dean - (Submitted by Student) up to 5 days Formal Challenge Request for Review by SLCC Chancellor (Submitted by Student) up to 5 days
Dean Meeting with Student up to10 days Chancellor Meeting with Student up to10 days
Dean Response to Formal Challenge of Sanction up to 3 days Chancellor Response to Formal Challenge of Sanction up to 3 days
Formal Challenge Request for Review by Academic Standards/Sub-Committee - (Submitted by Student) up to 5 days Formal Challenge Request for Review by LCTCS - (Submitted by Student) up to 5 days
Academic Standards/Sub-Committee Review  up to 20 days LCTCS Review  up to 20 days
Academic Standards/ Sub-Committee Response to Formal Challenge up to 3 days LCTCS Response to Formal Challenge  
Formal Challenge Response filed in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) up to 3 days Formal Challenge Response filed in the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA)  
       
Formal Challenge Process Complete   Formal Challenge Process Complete  

* A Business day is defined as Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding Federal Holidays and official SLCC closure days.   Note: When SLCC is open but classes are not in session will be considered a business day.

  • Students undertaking the Formal Challenge Process must be willing to schedule and meet with the varying levels of the process (Instructor, Department Chair/Assistant Dean, Division Dean) in person to discuss their Challenge, unless documented circumstances are provided by the student that they are incapable of meeting in person (e.g. student has left the area following completion of term for justifiable reasons, is deployed under military orders, is an online student taking SLCC courses from a distance, etc.). Students should request in their written petition to have their meetings waived and replaced with email communications and provide the documentation justifying this waiver. The appropriate Division Dean will have responsibility for approval of such waivers. The Challenge process will be ended for students who do not show approved reasons for this waiver and fail to schedule or show for the review process meetings.
  •  
  • Students need to complete each step and reasonably submit all the required materials. Should the student not complete each step or submit all required materials within the appropriate time frame, the review and Challenge process will be concluded. This includes submitting appeals to SLCC administrators or offices not included in the formal appeal process chain: Office of the Chancellor, Offices of the Vice-Chancellors, Office of Student Engagement, Student Affairs, Registrar’s, SLCC Foundation, etc.  Challenges sent to individuals other than the Instructor, Department Chair/Assistant Dean or Office of appropriate Division Dean will NOT be accepted, forwarded or treated in any way as an accepted formal Challenge. All other areas of SLCC should refer any student query about Academic Integrity Sanction Challenges to the steps and processes listed herein in this document. 
  • Students engaged in the formal Challenge process will be able to register and enroll and commence studies in courses as if the Sanction had not been imposed until the completion of the Challenge process. This is to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the Challenge process if it extends into the next semester. If the challenge process results in the clearing of the sanction they can continue enrollments in these courses. If not, the student will be immediately administratively withdrawn with a full refund. This withdrawal will be applied irrespective of their performance level. If the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, subsequent to the completion of the Challenge process, applies either Suspension or Expulsion as additional Sanctions by SLCC, the student will likewise be immediately administratively withdrawn.
  • All formal Challenges must be lodged within ten (10) business days of initial notification of the Academic Misconduct Sanction to the student. Please note that while an informal meeting is desirable to resolve an academic sanction issue, students can move directly to the formal process. Formal Academic Integrity Challenges lodged after this time period must demonstrate extenuating circumstances that precluded preparation and submission. Approval of the appropriate Divisional Dean will be required to submit the written petition materials after the ten (10) business days, and evidence of the extenuating circumstances must be provided along with the written petition. No Challenge to a Sanction for Academic Misconduct will be considered, under any circumstances, more than two (2) months after the notification of Sanction has been delivered to the student.

** Note: If the course involved in a Challenge to Sanction for Academic Misconduct is a fully Online SLCC course, the SLCC Distance Education Officer will be included in both Informal Resolution Process and in the formal resolution process step with Department Chair/Assistant Dean. 

 Integrity Sanction and Sanction Challenge Forms 

Academic Renewal

SLCC provides for undergraduate students who, after dropping out or being suspended because of academic deficiencies, have demonstrated sufficient maturation to be afforded an opportunity to begin college study again. 

To be eligible to apply for Academic Renewal, a student must have:

  • No less than one semester must elapse between the end of the semester in which the student was last registered for credit at any postsecondary institution and the re-enrollment under Academic Renewal. 
  • A cumulative grade point average (g.p.a.) of less than 2.00.
  • Completed at least three credit hours or more toward a new program of study and have maintained a 2.00 g.p.a. or higher since beginning the new program.

Once eligible, the student must submit a written application for academic renewal to the appropriate Division Dean.

  • The appeal shall include evidence that conditions have changed and that there is a reasonable expectation of satisfactory performance.
  • The student is responsible for submitting documents for renewal consideration, at the end of the semester of matriculating into a program. 

The Division Dean will evaluate each application. A completed application does not ensure approval.

If granted, Academic Renewal will be noted upon the transcript.

  • Courses taken before the enrollment absence will count toward the degree or certificate and be included in the cumulative GPA if the grade earned was “C” or better.
  • Courses taken before the one-semester enrollment absence for which the student earned a grade lower than “C” will not count toward a degree or certificate and will not be included in the cumulative GPA.
  • Courses and grades will still be listed on the transcript and included in the student completion rate, but will be excluded from the cumulative GPA.

If the application is denied, the student does have the right to appeal that decision to the Academic Standards Committee. 

South Louisiana Community College will accept, in transfer, academic renewal granted at another institution. However, academic renewal may be granted to a person only once, regardless of the institutions attended.

Academic Renewal granted at/by an institution within LCTCS shall be accepted and honored system-wide.  However,  a non-LCTCS institution may choose to not accept, in transfer, Academic Renewal granted by another institution. Students are encouraged to investigate the impact of the Academic Renewal policy if they plan to transfer to another institution outside of LCTCS.

Note:  Academic Renewal does not apply to financial aid. All courses are calculated as attempted hours. Students must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) according to Financial Aid.

Auditing Classes

Students who do not want to earn college credit may enroll for no credit under audit status during the registration period. These students must go through the admission procedure appropriate to the category under which they are seeking admission. A student ineligible to enter a previous college because of academic suspension is, with the permission of the suspending institution and South Louisiana Community College, eligible to attend SLCC as an audit student. Audit status students are assessed tuition and fees using the same schedule as students enrolled for credit.

A regularly-enrolled student may audit courses. Auditing students will not receive college credit, nor will they be permitted to take advanced standing examinations or credit examinations on work audited. However, courses previously audited may be taken for credit by enrolling in the courses. Students registered as auditors who exceed the instructor’s absence policy or who do not participate in all course activities may be given a grade of “W” instead of “AU”.

A student’s enrollment status for most forms of financial assistance will be based on the semester hours scheduled for credit only, not the hours taken under the audit status.

Grade Review & Appeals

A student who believes that the final grade, which has been recorded in a course does not reflect a fair and accurate assessment of the student’s work may appeal the grade. The grade being appealed is the final grade; individual test scores in any course are not subject to this appeal procedure. The following appeal procedure shall not be used to question the professional judgment of an Instructor or the content of an examination.

Conditions for Appealing a Final Grade

  • Only final grades in a course may be appealed.
  • In order to avoid any misunderstanding of the reasons that a final grade may be appealed, the following is a list of the only conditions which are grounds for appeal:
    1. When a student contends that the professor has violated the professor’s own specified grading standards or has imposed criteria different from those used to evaluate the academic work of other students in the class.
    2. When the student has been charged by the professor with violating Academic Integrity (e.g. cheating, plagiarism, or collusion) resulting in a reduced grade or a grade of “F” in the course. If the student contends that the charges are untrue and the penalty therefore unjust, this appeal procedure will afford him/her due process against such charges.
    3. When the student has been given either the grade of “F” in a course or a lower grade in a course than s/he earned by his/her academic work because the professor accuses the student in violation of College rules or regulations which should be administered by the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and not by the instructor in any given course.
    4. When the instructor demands as a condition of passing a course any conditions not germane to the subject matter of the course.

Grade Review and Appeal Process

The responsibility for evaluating student work, and assigning grades, reside with the Instructor of the course.  As the grade review and appeal process concerns itself only with the allocation of the final grade, after the semester has ended, individual scores for assessment items cannot be individually appealed during a semester using the formal process.  Students are encouraged, at all times, to meet with a faculty member to discuss and understand individual assessment outcomes. However, if this interaction does not resolve an understanding of a student’s performance and resultant assessment outcome, the student is required to wait until the final grade is awarded. At that time, the student can seek an overall review of the grade awarded following the review and appeal process.

The purpose of the grade review and appeal process is to:

  • provide an initial informal opportunity for a student to understand the reasons a final grade was assigned by a particular Instructor
  • allow an Instructor, at an initial stage, to become aware of and correct possible errors and an opportunity to informally consult with Department/Divisional peers to ensure that the grade has been appropriately assigned according to academic performance.
  • in the case of the grade remaining disputed, provide a clear formal procedure for the student and Instructor to follow to a written decision. In this process, the student has the burden of proof to objectively demonstrate that the final grade assigned is inappropriate.
  • provide an appeal process that is accessible to both student and Instructor that results in a final college-level written decision.

The grade review/appeal policy is only able to review the actions of an academic/instruction nature in awarding the final grade. This process should not be utilized in a case in which a student feels s/he has experienced discrimination. If the student feels that s/he has experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), gender, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or sexual orientation, the student should refer to the Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Students as administered by the Vice-Chancellor of Student Services. Should the reasons in the written petition explain or allege that the grade was received as a result of an alleged discriminatory action, the materials will be immediately forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor of Student Services and this formal process will be terminated.

Informal Resolution Process

Before filling the formal Appeal of Final Grade, the student should contact and informally ask the Instructor of the course to discuss and review the discrepancy in grading.  The informal appeal of grade between student and instructor must occur before a formal challenge to the grade will be considered. In such cases where the Instructor is unable to meet or communicate informally on the student’s appeal, the formal process may proceed, but the student is expected to document attempts made to discuss the grade with the Instructor.

Formal Resolution Process

If the case cannot be resolved through the informal process, the student has the option to follow the formal grade review and appeal process. To proceed, a student within twenty business (20) days, of the posting of the final grade must submit:

  • Final Grade Appeal Form  
  • Typed, Written Letter detailing the nature of the appeal of the final grade.
  • Attach any documentation that supports the appeal of the grade.
  • A copy of the syllabus of the course

*Note - grade appeals MUST be based on evidence of miscalculation of grade, error in reporting, discrepancies in grading on canvas, evidence that grades were not administered equitably between students in the class (i.e. different standards applied), etc. The appeal must address issues of a grade being incorrectly awarded, not issues concerning the perceived quality of instruction. The responsibility is for the student to clearly show that s/he actually earned the grade, according to all standards set out in syllabi, but was incorrectly assigned a lower grade.

Submit Grade Appeal Form , written letter of appeal and all documentation either in person to the Dean’s Administrative Assistant for the appropriate division under which the course grade being appealed resides, or electronically from an SLCC email account only (not personal or other non-SLCC email accounts - these will not be accepted for review) with email addressed to the appropriate Academic Dean. 

The materials submitted must be complete.  It must be written with a rational, clear argument and related evidence to support that position. Incomplete materials cannot be supplemented later in this process. The review and appeal will consider only the reasons provided in the written letter along with supporting documents.

The Grade Appeal Form, a completed written letter of appeal, copy of course syllabus and all supporting materials are submitted appropriately within twenty (20) business days following the posting of the final grade to the applicable Division Dean (Dean’s Administrative Assistant).

  • 1st Level Appeal Review(Chair of Department/Assistant Dean)Within Ten (10) business days of receipt of the Final Grade Appeal, the Chair of the appropriate department (or Assistant Dean) will review the appeal (including investigating the conditions cited as reason for the appeal, obtaining documentation from Instructor, and meeting with student as appropriate on Grade Appeal). After the 10 day review period, the Chair will have Three (3) business days to grant or deny the Grade Appeal, sign form appropriately and notify (through Dean’s administrative assistant) the student of the outcome. (Note - If the Chair is the instructor of the class involved in the appeal proceed to 2ndLevel Review) Note: In the case of Online Courses, The Distance Education Officer will consult on the 1st Level Review
  • 2ndLevel Appeal Review (Academic Dean): If the student is unsatisfied with the outcome from the 1stLevel Review (or if Chair is the instructor of the class involved in the appeal), the student may request to continue the appeal to the Academic Dean of the appropriate Division over the class in which the grade was received. The student, upon receipt from Dean’s administrative assistant of a denial of appeal, would return to the Dean’s administrative assistant a request (by phone, in person, or by email from an solacc account) to move the appeal forward to this 2ndLevel Review within Five (5) business days of receiving notice on the 1stLevel outcome. The appropriate Academic Dean will then have Ten (10) business days from receipt of that request to review the appeal (including investigating the conditions cited as the reason for the appeal, obtaining documentation from Instructor and Chair/Assistant Dean, and meeting with the student as appropriate on Grade Appeal). After this 10 day review period, the Chair will have Three (3) business days to grant or deny the Grade Appeal, sign form appropriately and notify (through Dean’s administrative assistant) the student of the outcome.

·      Note: The student has the right to accept the decision and stop the appeal process at any stage of the above steps, thus ending the formal process. If the student is denied at all stages of the process (i.e. all levels thus far uphold the grade received) they may choose to avail themselves of the following steps in the formal Challenge process:

  • 3rdLevel Appeal Review (Academic Standards or Appeals Sub-Committee of Standards)If the student is unsatisfied with the outcome from the 2ndLevel Review the student may request to continue the appeal to the SLCC Academic Standards Committee (or its designated Appeals sub-committee). The student, upon receipt from Dean’s administrative assistant of a denial of appeal from the 2ndLevel Review, would return to the Dean’s administrative assistant a request (by phone, in person, or by email from a solacc account) to move the appeal forward to this 3rdLevel Review within Five (5) business days of receiving notice on the 2ndLevel outcome. The Dean’s administrative assistant will then route the Grade Appeal to the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee. The committee, or its designated sub-committee, will then have Twenty (20) business days from receipt of that request to meet and review the appeal and determine to grant or deny the appeal. The Chair of the Committee will have Three (3) business days to sign form appropriately and notify (through Dean’s administrative assistant) the student of the outcome.

The 3rdLevel (Academic Standards) is the final level to which a Final Grade may be appealed.  All completed Grade Appeals Form, with all the required signatures, will be forwarded to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs for recording.

No Grade Appeal will be considered, under any circumstances, more than 1 year after the posting of final grades

Process
Time *
Grade Posts (Student Requests Informal Meeting with Instructor)  
Formal Appeal Submitted to Appropriate Division Dean- Submitted by Student up to 20 days
Department Chair/Assistant Dean Meeting with Student up to 10 days
Department Chair/Assistant Dean Response to Appeal up to 3 days
Formal Appeal for Review by Divisional Dean - Submitted by Student up to 5 days
Dean Meeting with Student up to 10 days
Dean Response to Appeal up to 3 days
Formal Appeal for Review by Academic Standards or designated subcommittee - Submitted by Student up to 5 days
Academic Standards Review  up to 20 days
Academic Standards Response to Appeal up to 3 days
Formal Appeal Process Complete - Appeal Filed with Office of OAA 3 days from students last appeal level

* A Business day is defined as Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding Federal Holidays and official SLCC closure days.   Note:  When SLCC is open but classes are not in session will be considered a business day.

 Students undertaking the Formal Appeal process must be willing to schedule and meet with the varying levels of the process (Instructor, Department Chair/Assistant Dean, Division Dean) in-person to discuss their Appeal, unless documented circumstances are provided by the student that they are incapable of meeting in person (e.g. student has left the area following completion of term for justifiable reasons, is deployed under military orders, is an online student taking SLCC courses from a distance, etc.). Students should request in their written petition to have their meetings waived and replaced with email communications and provide the documentation justifying this waiver. The appropriate Division Dean will have responsibility for approval of such waivers. The Appeal process will be ended for students who do not show approved reasons for this waiver and fail to schedule or show for the review process meetings.

·      Students need to complete each step and reasonably submit all the required materials. Should the student not complete each step or submit all required materials within the appropriate time frame, the review and appeal process will be concluded. This includes submitting appeals to SLCC administrators or offices not included in the formal appeal process chain: Office of the Chancellor, Offices of the Vice-Chancellors, Office of Student Engagement, Student Affairs, Registrar’s, SLCC Foundation, etc.  Challenges sent to individuals other than the Instructor, Department Chair/Assistant Dean or Office of appropriate Division Dean will NOT be accepted, forwarded or treated in any way as an accepted formal Challenge. All other areas of SLCC should refer any student query about Grade Appeal to the steps and processes listed herein in this document. 

Students engaged in the formal grade review and appeal process will be able to register and enroll and commence studies in courses as if the disputed grade was at least satisfactory for a continuance. This is to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the appeal process if it extends into the proceeding semester. However, when the final appeal outcome is confirmed and if the grade confirmed allows the student to be enrolled in the classes being taken, they can continue. If not, the student will be immediately administratively withdrawn. This withdrawal will be applied irrespective of their performance level. If the appeal process is prolonged, any final grade in course subsequent to the appealed grade course will be withheld until the appeal grade decision is finalized. If the finalized appeal grade is not an appropriate prerequisite for the class completed, the completed course grade will remain withheld, until such time the student attains the appropriate prerequisite entry grade. There is no appeal process for these actions, as the administrative withdrawal of a course or holding of the grade is based on not attaining the appropriate grade prerequisite requirement. This is no different to a student who doesn’t have the required entry grade who also cannot receive any access to, or grading, in the course.

Grade Review Appeals Form