Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-08-015.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Final course grade appeal process.
Hearing Location(s): Tacoma Community College, Gig Harbor Campus, 3993 Hunt Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335, on November 15, 2012, at 4:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: November 15, 2012.
Submit Written Comments to: Dr. Tim Stokes, Tacoma Community College, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (253) 566-5022, by November 1, 2012.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cathie Bitz by November 8, 2012, email@example.com or (253) 566-5101.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: To provide a structured, equitable process for students to appeal final course grades that may have been assigned in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 28B.50.140(13).
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Tacoma Community College, public.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Dr. Tim Stokes, Tacoma Community College, (253) 566-5022.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Policy is relevant to Tacoma Community College students only.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Policy is relevant to Tacoma Community College students only.
August 8, 2012
Mary A. Chikwinya
for Student Services
FINAL COURSE GRADE APPEAL PROCESS
Appropriate dean or manager means the administrator responsible for the respective department offering the course which is under appeal.
Arbitrary or capricious manner means in a manner deemed to be inappropriately subjective or otherwise inconsistent with the learning assessment process stated on the syllabus.
Documentation means all materials relevant to the grade determination and to the grade appeal process. Examples include grade reports, graded work, syllabus, student/faculty correspondence, etc.
Final grade means the grade received in the course and reported to enrollment services.
Hearing committee means a group consisting of:
(a) Two students selected by the president of the associated student body.
(b) Two faculty members selected from four faculty elected each fall in instructional council to serve for the year.
(c) One instructional administrator, appointed by the executive vice-president for academic and student affairs.
Written appeal means a document that includes:
(a) A clear statement of why the student believes his or her final grade was not properly awarded.
(b) What the student has done to resolve the issue.
(c) What remedy the student is seeking.
Written communication means either electronic (TCC e-mail) or traditional correspondence.
(1) Step 1.
(a) The student shall contact the instructor to discuss the student's concerns. This contact shall occur prior to the fifth instructional day of the next quarter. For a spring quarter grade this step may occur prior to the fifth instructional day in either of the following summer or fall quarters.
(b) This contact shall include:
(i) Discussing reasons the student believes there is a discrepancy;
(ii) Presenting other documentation that may have been overlooked in the determination of the final course grade.
(c) If the student believes his/her concern has not been adequately resolved in step 1, he/she may proceed to step 2.
(2) Step 2.
(a) The student shall contact the program/department chair or designated faculty member to discuss the student's concerns. This contact shall occur prior to the tenth instructional day of the next quarter.
(b) This contact shall include:
(i) Reasons the student believes there is a discrepancy;
(iii) The results of the meeting with the faculty member.
(c) The chair or designated faculty member will discuss the situation with the faculty member before giving the student his or her recommendation.
(d) The chair or designated faculty member will inform the student of his or her recommendation. This shall occur prior to the 15th instructional day of the next quarter. The chair or designated faculty member's recommendation is not binding.
(e) The chair or designated faculty member will inform the student of the formal appeal process if the chair's recommendation is not satisfactory to the student.
(1) Step 1. The student must contact the appropriate dean or manager and present documentation and a written grade appeal. This contact shall occur prior to the 20th instructional day of the next quarter.
(2) Step 2. The dean or manager will investigate the grade appeal and provide written communication of the findings and decision to the faculty member and the student. The findings and decision shall be provided to the student within ten instructional days after receiving the written appeal. The investigation will include:
(a) Reviewing the faculty member's documentation;
(b) Reviewing the student's written appeal and documentation;
(c) Discussion with the student and faculty member individually or together.
(1) Step 1. The applicable party will present the executive vice-president for academic and student affairs with a written appeal of the first level decision and documentation. This appeal and documentation must be presented to the executive assistant for the executive vice-president within five instructional days of receiving the first level decision from the dean or manager.
(2) Step 2. The executive vice-president or his or her designee will investigate the appeal. This investigation shall be completed within ten instructional days of receiving the appeal. The investigation will consist of a review of all student and faculty member documentation and the findings of the dean or manager.
(3) Step 3. The executive vice-president shall within ten instructional days of receiving the appeal:
(a) Make a final decision; or
(i) The final decision will be conveyed in writing to the student, faculty member, and dean.
(ii) Any decision made by the executive vice-president and pursuant to this section is a final agency decision.
(b) Convene a hearing committee pursuant to WAC 132V-123-010.
(i) The committee will hear testimony from the student and from the faculty member.
(ii) The committee will examine documentation.
(iii) A decision shall be made by majority vote in deliberations.
(iv) The decision shall be communicated to the student and the faculty member within five instructional days of the hearing after all testimony and documentation have been presented.
(v) Any decision made by the committee is a final agency decision.