Academic Dishonesty and Grade Appeals
Faculty members are expected to follow practices of fairness and objectivity in matters relating both to the issuance of grades and charges of dishonesty. A student who feels that he or she has been wrongly treated in this area has the right of appeal to the Academic Appeals Board.
The Academic Appeals Board is a judiciary body that investigates, holds hearings, and renders decisions on student appeals referred to it by the chief academic officer in which students challenge the academic policies or actions of an instructor. The membership of the Academic Appeals Board includes five faculty members and five students.
A student has the right to initiate an appeal to an instructor’s grade which the student regards as unjustified within one week of the beginning of the following fall or spring semester. If the student is in the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP), the student may initiate an appeal up to twelve weeks following the issuance of the grade or sanction. Students with documented disabilities may request relevant accommodations if they participate in the appeals process. All requests for accommodations for an appeals hearing will be considered on a case by case basis and should be submitted in writing, accompanied by qualifying documentation, to the relevant academic dean.
Upon receipt of a complaint from a student alleging that an instructor has not followed practices of fairness and objectivity in matters relating to the issuance of grades and/or charges of dishonesty, the chief academic officer shall attempt a resolution of the problem through consultation with the student, instructor, and the instructor’s department chair. In these discussions, the chief academic officer shall articulate her or his judgment of the strength of the case and her or his opinion concerning the decision likely to be rendered by the Academic Appeals Board. The chief academic officer shall also make the student aware that the ultimate responsibility for the determination of a course grade lies with the instructor. If the chief academic officer is unable to achieve a resolution to the matter, she or he is expected to refer such cases to the Board, if the student desires.
The Academic Appeals Board shall hold closed hearings in which the student and the instructor shall be asked to discuss the complaint and present relevant data. The board shall provide a copy of its decision to the instructor, the student and the chief academic officer. A copy of this report shall be made available to the registrar for attachment to the transcripts, if the student requests this.
The instructor has the right to accept or reject the recommendation of the board and make whatever adjustments she or he deems judicious in light of the board’s decision. However, if the instructor does not follow the board’s decision, then the student will have a choice as to whether the original transcript notation will be removed or whether another notation shall be added to the student’s transcript stating that the grade and/ or charge was successfully challenged.
Academic Standing Appeals
A student who has been academically dismissed may appeal the decision to the Enrollment Development Committee. This committee includes three to five faculty members who are voting members and the chief academic officer, dean of students, vice president for enrollment management and the registrar, who are nonvoting members.
An appeal of an academic dismissal must document the student’s extenuating circumstances and must include specific actions that the student will take to improve his or her academic performance. The appeal must be in writing and must be filed in a timely manner (generally within one week of the official notification of dismissal).
A dismissed student may apply for reinstatement after one semester. In general, a student must demonstrate substantial improvement in his or her academic performance to be reinstated. To do this, a student usually must take courses at another college or university. A written petition for reinstatement must be submitted to the Enrollment Development Committee by August 1 for fall semester re-entry and by January 10 for spring semester re-entry. The petition must include the student’s personal assessment of the factors that led to dismissal and what specific actions the student will take to improve his or her academic performance. An academic transcript from any other institutions the student attended while dismissed should be included with the petition. The Enrollment Development Committee determines whether to grant or deny requests for reinstatement and determines the conditions of reinstatement.
A student, in attending Albright College, recognizes the right of the College to dismiss for academic reasons. In all matters pertaining to academic standing, the decisions of the Enrollment Development Committee are final.
Graduation Requirements Appeals
The Enrollment Development Committee is responsible for making decisions regarding student requests for exceptions to graduation requirements. To file such a request, a student should contact the registrar or the academic dean who will submit the student’s request to the Committee. Students should be aware that requests for exceptions to graduation requirements are rarely approved.