Procedure For Appeal Of Final Course Grades
The purpose of this procedure is to give specific guidance to assist the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) with implementation of, and ensure institutional compliance with, Institutional Policy ST-01: Academic and Professional Standards, in regards to grade appeals.
This procedure applies to any situation whereby a student wishes to appeal a course grade. Only the final grade of a course in Years 1 & 2 may be appealed. Only a failing course grade may be appealed in Years 3 & 4.
WVSOM reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate.
3. Notification Of Appeal
To appeal a final course grade, students must file a written notification to the appropriate Associate Dean within ten (10) business days of the final grade being posted by the Registrar.
Year 1 and 2 students shall notify the Associate Dean for Preclinical Education.
Year 3 and 4 students shall notify the Associate Dean for Predoctoral Clinical Education.
The Associate Dean shall provide the student with a copy of this Procedure and Institutional Policy ST-01.
4. Associate Dean - Student Meeting
The student will meet with the appropriate Associate Dean to discuss the course grade. The meeting shall take place within five (5) business days of the written notification to the Associate Dean.
If the appropriate Associate Dean is unavailable, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean (“Dean”) may grant an extension of up to thirty (30) days for this meeting. Any variance shall be in writing with appropriate copy distribution.
The student and Associate Dean may each invite a third party to this meeting. In this case, “third party” is defined as “a faculty member, faculty advisor, or Preceptor.” The third party(ies) may attend but may not participate directly in the meeting.
The student shall explain her/his reasons for appealing the grade, and the Associate Dean shall explain her/his reasons for assigning the grade.
While serving an off-campus clinical rotation, the meeting between the student and Associate Dean may be conducted by phone, conference call, or Skype and involve a third party(ies) as described in Section 4.3.
The student must offer convincing evidence that “good cause” exists for the appeal. “Good cause” for the purposes of a grade appeal is defined in Institutional Policy ST-01: Academic and Professional Standards, Section 15.
The Associate Dean will use the criteria as defined in Institutional Policy ST-01: Academic and Professional Standards, Section 15, in consideration of a student’s request for a change of a final course grade. Only if supported by sufficient evidence, shall there be "good cause” for the change of a final course grade.
The Associate Dean shall notify the student and the Dean, in writing, of her/his decision within a reasonable time after the meeting has occurred (usually five (5) business days) stating the rationale for the decision.
5. Appeal To The Dean
If the decision of the Associate Dean is adverse to the student, he/she may appeal to the Dean.
An appeal to the Dean must be made within five (5) business days after the student receives the denial of the first appeal by the Associate Dean.
An appeal to the Dean must be in writing and shall contain the student’s reasons and any supporting documentation for appealing the grade. The student must offer convincing evidence that “good cause” exists for the appeal. (See Institutional Policy ST-01: Academic and Professional Standards, Section 15, for what does and does not constitute “good cause”)
The Dean shall investigate the matter (usually within ten (10) business days) to determine if the case can be decided administratively or if the facts of the case are in dispute.
Good faith on the faculty member's part shall be assumed unless the student can offer convincing evidence to the contrary.
If the facts of the matter meet the criteria for an appeal and warrant a grade change, the Dean may grant the grade appeal. The Dean will notify the Associate Dean to make appropriate grade changes. If not done, the Dean can administratively make the change.
If the facts of the matter do not meet the criteria for an appeal or do not warrant a grade change, the Dean will deny the grade appeal and the original grade shall stand. The Dean will notify the student and Associate Dean that the grade appeal has been denied stating the rationale for the decision.
The decision of the Dean on a grade appeal is final and cannot be appealed further by the student.
6. Referral Of An Appeal To The Fact Finding Committee
If the facts of the case are in dispute, the Dean will refer the case to the Fact Finding Committee (FFC) for independent findings of fact.
The FFC shall investigate the matter, conduct hearings as appropriate, review the case and forward its findings and conclusions to the Dean.
The student and appropriate Associate Dean shall have the opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the issues which led to the decision of the failing grade.
The FFC may consider all materials in the appeal file, including but not limited to, the student’s written appeal, the Associate Dean’s written justification, the student’s written work for the course, and any additional academic records. Following completion of the appeal, all files shall be remanded to the Dean.
The Dean will make a final determination in the matter as outlined in Section 5.4.