Grade Adjudication
For Current Faculty and Staff Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
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Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

Grade Adjudication

Grade Adjudication

 

The basis for grades, as stated in Senate Policy 47-20, is "...the instructor's judgment of the student's scholastic achievement..." Occasionally, a disagreement arises in the assignment of a grade. A student who wishes to question or challenge the grade assigned in a course must first discuss grading practices and assignments with the instructor. It is expected that the student and instructor will try to eliminate any misunderstandings and will attempt to work out any disagreements over grades.

Some examples of the basis for a legitimate disagreement could include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The instructor did not inform the student of the basis for calculation of grades as required in 47-20.
  2. The instructor did not calculate the student's grade in accordance with the instructor's stated policy for calculating grades.
  3. There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
  4. The student, through no fault of his or her own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to materials, or access to the instructor as the other students.

 

On the rare occasion that a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade dispute through informal means, the student may request that the head of the academic program offering the course review the issue and take appropriate action to mediate and seek resolution. If this does not resolve the dispute, the student who is an undergraduate may seek further review from the associate dean for undergraduate education, or the director of academic affairs for the college offering the course. The student who is a graduate student may request the same of the associate dean for graduate studies of the college/school offering the course.

If resolution does not occur, the student may request a formal grade adjudication process by completing a Grade Adjudication Petition Form and returning it to the associate dean or director of academic affairs responsible for undergraduate education, or the associate dean for graduate studies. The request form must be submitted within five weeks of the beginning of the semester immediately following the semester in which the grade was received. The basis for a grade adjudication petition is limited to cases in which a grade assignment does not conform to Senate Policy 47-20 and therefore, the petition must present clear evidence that the assignment of the grade was based upon factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor. The associate dean or director of academic affairs will review the petition to determine if the student's complaint provides evidence that the instructor's assignment of the grade is in violation of Senate Policy 47-20.

Students in the College of Education who wish to request a formal grade adjudication process may do so by contacting Dr. Stephanie Knight (slk44@psu.edu).