Grade Grievance

Golden West College Grade Grievance

All grade grievances will be handled through the student grievance process outlined in the sections below. However, in general and by law, the instructor is solely responsible for the grades he/she assigns. No instructor may be directed to change a grade except in certain narrow circumstances authorized by Education Code Section 76224(a), “When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student’s grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.

For the purposes of this Article, grades may only be reviewed within the following narrow context, subject to ratification by student government organizations:

  1. Mistake: an unintentional act, omission or error by the instructor or the college. May include, but is not limited to, errors made by an instructor in calculating a student’s grade and clerical errors.
  2. Fraud: a deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain. Fraud may exist when a grade is based upon some sort of dishonest activity, for example, selling grades.
  3. Bad Faith: an intent to deceive or to act in a manner contrary to law and/or a grade assigned because of a student’s protected characteristics as defined in Education Code Section 66270. If, pursuant to the discrimination and harassment complaint procedure, as delineated in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 59300, it is determined that a grade was the result of discrimination or harassment, the grade may be changed as a remedy for the discrimination or harassment.
  4. Incompetence: a lack of ability, legal qualification, or fitness to discharge a required duty. A student may claim incompetency when he or she has evidence that the instructor has an impaired ability or fitness (due to accident or illness) to adequately judge the student’s performance.

The Federation and the District understand that the applicability and enforcement of the Student Grade Grievance Process, as outlined herein, may be subject to challenge or modification by students pursuant to state or federal law.

Stage One – Informal Problem Resolution

When a student has a complaint about a Faculty Member, the student should be encouraged to make every effort to meet with the Faculty Member to resolve the complaint. If the student is unable to meet with the Faculty Member, the student is encouraged to use the services of a campus advisor for this meeting or at any point during the informal resolution level or the formal grievance stage of the process.

If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved with the Faculty Member, the student may proceed to the Faculty Member’s immediate supervisor to resolve the issue. The immediate supervisor is usually the Division Dean.

The supervisor will discuss the issue with the student(s) and the Faculty Member involved, either individually or collectively, in an effort to resolve the issue. The supervisor may proceed with any investigatory meeting with the Faculty Member if there is a basis for a legitimate complaint, as mentioned in Section 3 of this article. Where the information gathered could lead to disciplinary action or letter of reprimand being issued, the supervisor will proceed in any investigatory meeting with the Faculty Member only after he/she follows the Expanded Weingarten Rights Procedure set forth in Section 2 of this article.

If the complaint cannot be mutually resolved at the informal problem resolution level, then the student may complete this formal grievance.

To begin the formal grievance process, please click here