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.



May include, but is not limited to errors made by an instructor in calculating a student’s grade and clerical errors


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 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. The student needs to discuss the grade change directly with the instructor to resolve the issue.*Must be completed by end of the fourth week of the following semester*
  2. If an agreement can't be made, the student must meet with the Department Chair to discuss the grade grievance informally. The student shall email the Instructor and Department Chair/Dean and explain perceived grade grievance to schedule a meeting. (Open COD Faculty/Staff Directory
  3. If the grade change is not granted, the student may move forward with the formal process and file a Student Statement of Grievance online and choose "Grade Grievance" from the drop-down options.
  4. The form will be forwarded to the Dean of the Area and a student meeting will be scheduled to discuss the grade grievance.
  5. If the grade change is not granted at that level, the student can proceed with meeting with the Vice President of Instruction. The Vice President will review the Student Grievance Form and make a final decision on the grade grievance.

For more detailed information, please reference AP5530.​