Pursuant to the policies established by the University and published in the UWF Student Handbook (see Appendix A), the College of Education and Professional Studies will use the following system for addressing student grievances.
Student grievances handled under this system can include the following:
- Problems with student or academic services;
- Contested grades for courses;
- Being placed on academic probation or suspension;
- Readmission actions; or
- Other academic matters.
The following steps in the process must be adhered to by the Student and the University:
Step 1: Faculty Level
A student wishing to contest a final course grade must first contact the course instructor to initiate a verbal or written appeal. The student must initiate contact within 30 calendar days of the grade being available for the student to view online. The student must present a rationale for the appeal and a preferred resolution.
The course instructor receiving the verbal or written appeal shall respond in writing to the appeal within 10 calendar days. Should the course instructor agree with the appeal he or she will process an appropriate grade change in a timely fashion.
In the event that the course instructor is not available (e.g., no longer employed, on sabbatical, or other long term absence from the workplace) to receive and respond to the grade appeal the student shall move directly to Step 2.
Step 2: Chair Level
Students not satisfied with the course instructor's response at Step 1 may appeal to the Step 2 representative who will be the department chair or school director. This second level appeal must be submitted by the student in writing to the appropriate Dean's Office within 10 calendar days of receiving the Step 1 response and must include the following:
- Date of the appeal
- The student's name, local address, UWF e-mail address and phone number
- The course instructor name and course information
- A concise statement of the rationale for the grade change appeal
- A statement of any action previously taken to resolve the issue and the results of these actions
- The disposition desired by the student
The department chair, school director or the individual to whom the Step 2 review is designated ("designee") shall review the appeal, discuss it with the course instructor and/or other pertinent individuals and respond within 10 calendar days of receiving the appeal. The response may include requests for more information or requests to meet with the student bringing the appeal. The time needed for the response may be extended by the Step 2 representative. It will be the responsibility of the Step 2 representative to inform the student and the course instructor of any such extensions in response time.
The Step 2 representative will provide the student and course instructor with a written response with his or her findings and decision. If the Step 2 representative finds in favor of the student, the course instructor will be provided with an opportunity to submit a written rebuttal within 10 calendar days of the Step 2 decision. If the course instructor does not file a rebuttal, the Department Chair will process an appropriate grade change in a timely fashion. If the Step 2 representative does not find in favor of the student, the student may accept the decision or may appeal to the next level.
Step 3: Final Appeal by Student or by Course Instructor
- Student Appeal:If the student wishes to file an appeal of the Step 2 decision, it must be filed within 10 calendar days of the date of the Step 2 decision with the Office of the Dean of the College in which the course is taught. The student's appeal must be in writing and state the grounds for the appeal. Grounds for the student's appeal are limited to the following:
- The student's rights, as outlined in this policy, were violated in the appeal process
- New information is discovered that was not available at the time of the previous reviews, or
- The information presented does not support the decision
- Course Instructor Rebuttal: If the course instructor wishes to file a rebuttal to the Step 2 decision, it must be filed within 10 calendar days of the date of the Step 2 decision with the Office of the Dean of the College in which the course is taught. The course instructor's rebuttal must be in writing and state the reasons why the Step 2 decision is believed to be incorrect or requiring clarification.
The Dean (or designee) shall review the student's appeal and the course instructor's rebuttal, where applicable, and respond within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the latest filed document. The Dean or designee's response may include any of the following:
- A request for more information
- A request to meet with the course instructor, chair or student involved
- Referral of the appeal to the College Academic Standards Committee for recommendation
The time needed for the response may be extended by the need to gather information, scheduling needs, etc. It will be the responsibility of the responding Dean (or designee) to inform the course instructor, chair, and student of any such extensions in response time. The Dean (or designee) will provide the course instructor, chair and student with a written response with his or her findings and decision. This decision shall be the final decision of the University.
NOTE: Semester break (the days between the last day of final examinations and the first day of class of the next term) shall not be counted as calendar days for the purposes of this appeal process.