At Purdue, grade appeals may not be as easy as one might think.
Every once in a while there are students who feel they were wrongly given a grade due to miscalculation or grading by the professor. If the student chooses to protest, they will have to go through a rigorous process of grade appeals committees and hearings.
According to University Records, a student who feels that he or she has received an inappropriate grade in a course may appeal the grade to the instructor, department head or the Grade Appeals Committee of the college in which the contested grade was awarded.
Alexandra Snyder, a graduate student committee member for the College of Engineering, said the possibility of a grade appeal case going to the hearing phase is minimal.
“These are rare events and in the several years I’ve been on the committee I’ve only been involved with two appeals, only one went to the hearing phase,” Snyder said. “I can’t really make any estimates on the success of the appeals and both of the requests have been pretty reasonable.”
Jessica Smith, a junior in the College of Agriculture, said she has never heard of the grade appeal process.
“I’ve never had trouble talking to my professors about grades or exams,” Smith said. “But I really like the idea of having the dean listen to you if there was a problem or you can’t get the professor to change your grade.”
Requesting the grade appeals committee to a hearing because the student thinks the course is poorly designed or the instruction was lacking from the professor, is considered inappropriate. The grade appeals committee will be there to help if a grade was assigned due to prejudice, caprice, or improper conditions such as mechanical error. This includes assignment of a grade being inconsistent to those assigned to other students.
“In my opinion, it is a fair process. The college gives both the students and professors a chance to present their written arguments with any evidence, if it goes to hearing they can present their arguments in person or via phone,” Snyder said.
With all members of the committee deciding the fate of a student’s course grade, Snyders said it might seem daunting. But she added that the process is a smooth and welcoming process in which professors and students get a say in the hearing.
“The deciding committee is a mix of the dean, professors, and the student’s peers,” Snyder said. “In the hearing I was part of, the professors were very welcoming of my opinion and it was a very collaborative process with everyone agreeing to the final decision.”