Academic Complaint and Appeal Process
An academic appeal is a formal request brought by a student to change a grade or to challenge a penalty imposed for violation of standards of academic integrity such as plagiarism or cheating. A request to change a grade or to challenge a penalty must be made within twelve months of the action. A grade may only be changed by the instructor of record (or by a full-time instructor in the absence of the instructor of record) or by the Academic Appeals Committee. An academic appeal will be considered if there is evidence that one or more of the following conditions exist:
- error in calculation of grade
- deviation from the syllabus or district policy manual
- academic disparate treatment of student that is not addressed by EEO processes
- inappropriate penalties imposed for an academic honesty violation.
An appeal will not be considered because of general dissatisfaction with a grade, penalty, or outcome of a course. Disagreement with the instructor’s professional judgment of the quality of the student’s work and performance is also not an admissible basis for an academic appeal.
- Appeal Procedure
Students have a right to a clear explanation (from the instructor or dean, as appropriate) of actions taken by the instructor, such as how a grade was calculated or how their actions violated the academic honesty policy.
Before a student may bring an academic appeal, he or she should first meet with the instructor to request that a change be made. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome or cannot consult with the instructor, he or she must meet with the appropriate Dean to determine if a resolution can be reached. If the student is not satisfied with the action taken at the informal level, the student may file a formal complaint in accordance with the following procedures:
If a resolution is not reached and the student desires to pursue the appeal, the student will state specifically the basis of the appeal in writing to the Chief Academic Officer. If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal does not meet the requirements of this policy, he/she shall communicate this in writing to the student. If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal is appropriate under this policy, he/she will convene the Academic Appeals Committee to consider the complaint. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student regarding the Academic Appeals Committee meeting date, his/her rights, and next steps in the process.
- Hearing Procedure
The Committee will be convened by the Chairperson in a timely manner, and will conduct its activities in private. The student and the faculty member will be permitted to present witnesses and evidence relevant to the appeal. The Committee will not be bound by rules of evidence, and will conduct its hearing in an informal manner. The student or faculty member may have a representative present but that person is not allowed to participate during the hearing. A two-thirds majority vote of the full committee shall be required to change the grade, penalty or academic action at issue. The Committee will inform the Chief Academic Officer of its decision in writing. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student, faculty member, and dean in writing of the Committee’s decison.
- Appeal Verdict
The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee is final
After exhausting the institution's grievance/complaint process, current, former, and prospective students may initiate a complaint with THECB by sending the required forms either by electronic mail to StudentComplaints@thecb.state.tx.us or by mail to:
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
College Readiness and Success Division
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, Texas 78711-2788
Facsimile transmissions of the forms are not accepted.