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Administrative Policy: Academic

Grade Dispute Policy – College of Pharmacy

Policy Number: 3349-AC-500
Effective Date: 08/01/2018
Updated:
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: College of Pharmacy
Applies To: Pharmacy students
Approval Authority: College of Pharmacy Executive Curriculum Committee

A. Purpose

The College of Pharmacy has established this Policy by which a pharmacy student can dispute a Final Grade.  This policy applies only to module and course grades and does not apply to individual exams, which cannot be disputed once the Final Grade is posted.

B. Scope

This Policy applies to all students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy taking a course for credit and for which a grade is assigned.  This Policy applies to courses exclusive to the College of Pharmacy or those designed for interprofessional and/or interdisciplinary education.

C. Definitions

  1. “Credit-Bearing Course” refers to a course offered by the College of Pharmacy in which a student is enrolled, the course appears on the student’s official transcript with either contact hours or credit-bearing acknowledgment, and a grade is assigned.
  2. “Final Grade” refers to the cumulative assessment of a student’s performance in a single module or course.
  3. “Grade Posting” refers to when the final grade itself appears for the student to view in Banner Self-Service.
  4. “Grade Dispute” refers to a formal request being made to a course director to change a Final Grade.

D. Policy Statement

  1. Assignment of a Final Grade. The assignment of a final module or course grade is the responsibility of the course director or advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) preceptor in accordance with the guidelines approved by the College of Pharmacy Curriculum Committee. For APPEs, the experiential director reviews the grade submissions from the preceptors to assure consistency. During academic year 2018-19, introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) grades are a component of the Pharmacist Patient Care Experience (PPCE) course grade, therefore the final course grade is assigned by the PPCE course director.  Beginning in 2019-20, IPPEs will be a part of the Experiential Education course and the experiential director will also be the course director.
  2. Grade Disputes
    1. A Grade Dispute should only be made when a student contends that a Final Grade assigned by the course director or APPE faculty preceptor is “arbitrary” or “capricious”, which implies:
      1. The student has been assigned a grade on the basis of something other than his or her performance in the course; or,
      2. The grade calculation process and/or criteria was not included in the syllabus, was not followed, or was calculated in error; or,
      3. Standards used in the determination of the student’s grade are more exacting or demanding than those applied to other students in the course; or,
      4. The Final Grade is based upon standards that are significant, unannounced and unreasonable departures from those articulated in the course description/ syllabus distributed at the beginning of the course.
    2. A Grade Dispute must be for legitimate disagreement and is not appropriate for use simply because a student disagrees with the course director’s or faculty preceptor’s judgement about the quality of the student’s work.  Examples of legitimate disagreement could include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Students are not informed of the basis for grade calculations in the syllabus, on the Learning Management System or prior to the assignment.
      2. The student’s grade was not calculated in accordance with the stated policy in the syllabus, on Learning Management System or as provide prior to an assignment.
      3. There is significant and unwarranted deviation from grading procedures and course syllabi established at the beginning of the course.
      4. The Final Grade was assigned arbitrarily and capriciously; based on whim or impulse.
      5. There was an error in the computation of the Final Grade that was not corrected.
    3. If a student disputes his or her final module or course grade, the student must submit a completed Grade Dispute form and required attachments to the course or module director within 10 working days of Grade Posting.  If a student disputes his or her final APPE grade, the student must submit a completed Grade Dispute form to the preceptor assigning the grade and the experiential director within ten (10) working days of Grade Posting.  The preceptor and experiential director will make a joint decision about the Grade Dispute.
      1. Grade Dispute – Supported. If the student’s request for a change of grade is supported, the course or experiential director must submit Grade Change Form to Enrollment Services. The decision of the course or preceptor and experiential director is the final, binding resolution.
      2. Grade Dispute – Not Supported. If the student’s request for a change of grade is not supported, the student may bring the Grade Dispute issue forward to the Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee. The Grade Dispute form and required attachments must be submitted to the Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee, within ten (10) working days of the course or preceptor and experiential director’s decision. The Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee, will evaluate the grade dispute within ten (10) working days.
    4. In the event that the course or experiential director was the person assigning the grade that is the subject of dispute, the Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee, will evaluate the dispute from the student regarding the assignment of the grade within ten (10) working days of receiving the dispute. In this case, the decision of the Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee, is the final, binding resolution.
    5. If the experiential director assigned the original grade (e.g., for an IPPE), any Grade Dispute would be evaluated by the vice chair of Pharmacy Practice in consultation with the Vice Dean of Pharmacy, or designee, and the decision is the final, binding resolution.

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