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Grade Grievance

By law, an 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 Education Code, section 76224(a), which reads as follows: “When grades are given for any courses of instruction taught in a community college, the grade given to each student shall be that determined by the instructor of the course and its determination, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.”

When a student believes that the District grading policy has not been followed, and that the grade received in class was the result of “mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency,” the student MUST discuss this concern with the course instructor by the end of the fourth week of the following semester (excluding summer). Any student who is not satisfied after meeting with the instructor, may choose to pursue a grievance.

If a student files a grade grievance in accordance with the definitions and procedures described herein, and if, following the grievance procedures, it is found that the grade assigned has in fact been the result of “mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency,” then a new grade will be assigned, and that grade will become the final grade.

Terms

Fraud

A deliberate misrepresentation of the truth or a fact used to take money, rights, or other privilege or property away from a person or persons may be found to be fraud.

Bad Faith

Bad faith may be found in an instance of intent to deceive, in an act of dishonesty.

Incompetency

Incompetency may be found in a lack of ability, qualifications, fitness, or performance.

What happens if you have a grade dispute with your professor?

(proceed with the next step in the process only if the issue is not resolved)

  1. Talk to your instructor about your concern and try to resolve the grade grievance directly.
    *Must be completed by end of the fourth week of the following semester*

  2. If the issue is not solved, email the Instructor and Department Chair/Dean and explain perceived grade grievance to schedule a meeting. (Open COD Faculty/Staff Directory)

  3. If the issue is not resolved after meeting with the Department Chair/Dean and Instructor, then the student will file a Student Statement of Grievance and indicate on the form that it is a Grade Grievance. The form details will be forwarded to the dean and instructor for their review.

For more detailed information, please reference AP5530.​