Final Grade Appeal Policy and Procedures

Trevecca Nazarene University recognizes a student’s right to appeal decisions and practices that affect his or her academic status without fear of punishment or unfair treatment. A student can expect the University to deal with a final course grade appeal sincerely, objectively, within a reasonable time frame, and as appropriate, in confidence. Appeals will be heard when the student alleges that an arbitrary, capricious, or prejudiced evaluation or a mechanical error has occurred. The purpose of the appeal process is to treat all parties fairly and to alert all parties to the appeal procedure. Every student will have the right to have his/her appeal heard by the professor and two other academic administrators. During the appeal, the burden of proof is on the student, except in the case of alleged academic dishonesty, in which case the professor must support the accusation. The student may have an advisor or friend present during all meetings with faculty, administrators, and/or committees; he or she may counsel the student but may not speak for the student during the meetings. The student may elect to discontinue the appeal process at any level. The grade appealed shall remain in effect until the appeal process is completed, or the problem is resolved.

Order of Appeal

Should a student feel there is concrete reason to appeal a course grade, these procedures should be followed sequentially:

  1. The University supports and encourages responsive and respectful dialogue between faculty and students when there is a disagreement about a final course grade. Whatever the nature of the grade appeal, the student must make an effort to first discuss the matter with the faculty member. In order to begin the appeal process, students must initiate a complaint to the faculty member in writing or via e-mail within 15 calendar days of the posting of a final grade. The faculty member will provide a written response within 15 calendar days of receiving the letter or e-mail from the student. (See “For the Graduate Physician Assistant and Graduate Counseling Programs only” below for steps 2-3 for those programs.)
  2. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s response or lack of response, the student will submit a grade appeal form to his or her academic advisor within 30 days of the final grade posting.
  3. The Grade Appeal Committee will review the grade appeal form and all supporting documents and render a decision within 15 days of receipt.
  4. The decision of the Grade Appeal Committee is final and cannot be appealed.

For the Graduate Physician Assistant and Graduate Counseling Programs only:

  1. If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s response or lack of response, the student shall contact the program director within 30 calendar days of the posting of a final grade. The contact needs to be in writing. Upon receipt of the written appeal, the program director will communicate with the student within 30 calendar days to attempt to resolve the issue.
  2. If after communicating with the program director the student is still not satisfied with the decision, the student may choose to file an appeal to the University Provost. This appeal must be in writing within 15 calendar days of the previous contact with the program director. The Provost will contact the student within 15 calendar days of receiving the appeal in an attempt to resolve the issue. The Provost may elect to include or consult with others in evaluating the appeal. The decision of the Provost is final.

The failure of the student to proceed from one level of the appeal procedure to the next level within the prescribed time limits shall be deemed to be an acceptance of the decision previously rendered. All further considerations and proceedings regarding that particular appeal will cease at that point. Under unusual circumstances, deadlines may be extended.

The following table illustrates the specific person or entity to whom an appeal is directed. The levels of appeal must be followed sequentially.

Graduate Counseling

Professor  Director of Graduate Counseling Program  University Provost 

Graduate Education

Professor  Grade Appeal Committee 

Graduate Leadership

Professor  Grade Appeal Committee 

Graduate MSM/MBA/MSIT/MSHCLI

Professor  Grade Appeal Committee 

Graduate Physician Assistant

Professor  Director of Physician Assistant Program  University Provost 

Graduate Religion

Professor  Grade Appeal Committee