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Grade Grievance Policy

The District's Grade Grievance policy (Board Policy 5505) outlines the procedures for challenging grades given in any course of instruction offered in the District.

By law, the instructor is solely responsible for the grades assigned; no instructor may be directed to change a grade except in certain narrow circumstances authorized by the California Education Code, Section 76224 (a).

When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college district, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student's grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.

Definition of Terms
Mistake: an unintentional act, omission or error by the instructor or the college.
Fraud: a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
Bad Faith: an intent to deceive or to act in a manner contrary to law and/or a grade assigned in violation of the protections described in California Education Code and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, guaranteeing students' rights to participate in college programs free from discrimination and harassment. If it is determined that a grade was the result of discrimination or harassment, the grade may be changed as a remedy for the discrimination or harassment.
Incompetence: a lack of ability, legal qualification, or fitness to discharge a required duty.

Informal Resolution

Any student who believes he or she has a grade grievance should make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis with the faculty member who assigned the grade or that person’s dean or designee prior to requesting a grievance hearing. If informal resolution of the problem is not possible, the student may elect to pursue a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance Process

The formal grievance process is outlined in the SOCCCD Grade Grievance policy (Board Policy 5505) . The first stage of the formal grievance process is completing and filing a written, signed Statement of Grievance form (PDF format) stating the basis for the grade grievance. The student must file the form with the appropriate dean or designee no later than 45 business days after the student knew or should have known of the grade in the course. The form must be filed whether or not the student has initiated efforts at informal resolution, if the student wishes the grievance to become official.

acrobat document Grade Grievance Form (pdf)

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