Grade Appeal Policy and Procedure


Failing Grade or Narrative

If a student is dissatisfied with a failing grade or the clinical narrative summary assessment assigned by a course/clerkship director, the student must contact the course/clerkship director to discuss the grade within two weeks of the grade posting. 

The course/clerkship director must review the student’s appeal within two weeks of the date of first contact; otherwise, the student may consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness regarding the process to proceed with an appeal submitted to the Grade Appeal Committee (GAC). The course/clerkship director will review the student’s performance in the course, decide if a grade or narrative revision is warranted, and notify the student of their determination. 

It should be noted that the narrative will be what is included in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), and this is the opportunity for narrative changes related to the clinical paragraph. 

If the grade or narrative is not changed and the student wishes to pursue the issue further, the student must immediately consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness regarding the process to proceed with an appeal submitted to GAC. This initiation of the GAC appeal process must be made by the student within two weeks of their appeal denial by the course/clerkship director.

 

Pass to High Pass or High Pass to Honors

If a student is dissatisfied with a Pass or High Pass grade (not including the narrative) assigned by a course/clerkship director, the student must contact the course/clerkship director to discuss the grade within two weeks of the grade posting. 

The course/clerkship director must review the student’s appeal within two weeks of the date of first contact; otherwise, the student may consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness regarding the process to proceed with an appeal submitted to GAC. The course/clerkship director will review the student’s performance in the course, decide if a grade revision is warranted, and notify the student of their determination. 

If the grade is not changed by the course/clerkship director and the student wishes to pursue the issue further, the student must consult with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness regarding the process to proceed with an appeal submitted to GAC. This initiation of the GAC appeal process must be made by the student within two weeks of their appeal denial by the course/clerkship director.

Student appeals submitted to GAC for changing the grade (not the narrative) of clinical rotations from Pass to High Pass or changing High Pass to Honors will be addressed two times per year, generally in March and September. More details regarding GAC and the process of submission are below.

 

*No grade appeals will be considered outside of the prescribed timeframe.

*For Module 4 or 5 courses, students are not permitted to contact the faculty and housestaff for evaluation feedback outside of the standard mechanisms already in place to receive their evaluation and assessment feedback. A student found to have done so will forfeit the right to pursue the appeal process.

*The appeal process will not be available to students who fail to attempt to discuss the grade or narrative of concern with the course/clerkship director.

 

Guide to the Grade Appeal and Details Related to Proceeding Further with the Grade Appeals Committee (GAC)

  1. If a student is unsatisfied with a grade or narrative, as detailed in the sections above, the student must contact the course/clerkship director within two weeks of the grade posting.
     a. The course/clerkship director must review and respond to the student’s appeal within two weeks of the date of first contact.
  2. If the student does not receive a response from the course/clerkship director, or if the grade and/or narrative was not changed, the student may proceed with submission to GAC.

 

General Guide to GAC

  1. Within four weeks of the grade posting, students must submit a written request by emailing the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness for their appeal to be forwarded to GAC. 
     a. The substance of the email must be limited to the facts of the appeal. Facts include:
         i. a very short rationale.
         ii. the original grade or narrative and the desired grade or specified changes to the narrative;
         iii. the timeline of their appeal including the date they first contacted the course/clerkship director, the date they met with the course/clerkship to discuss their appeal, the date they received a final decision from the course/clerkship director regarding their appeal; 
         iv. the course/clerkship director(s) names with whom the student communicated about their appeal;
         v. the course/clerkship number and title (i.e. MED200, Internal Medicine Clerkship);
  2. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness will meet with the student to discuss the student’s supplied facts of the appeal and the process for moving forward. 
  3. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness will alert the course/clerkship director that the student wishes to pursue a formal appeal, and confirm that due diligence was done to review the situation prior to proceeding with the appeal.
     a. Finding due diligence, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness will request the course/clerkship director to send the grading rubric, all submitted student evaluations, and any additional comments from the course’s grading committee.
     b. The student will be asked to provide a written statement of rationale for their appeal.
     c. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness will organize all of the available documentation and provide a written summary of the process for GAC’s consideration.
  4. The student will be asked to join GAC’s meeting for the opportunity to provide a 2-minute verbal statement, and to allow GAC the opportunity to ask any clarifying questions they may have.
  5. The course/clerkship director will be asked to join GAC’s meeting for the opportunity to provide any additional information, and to allow GAC the opportunity to ask any clarifying questions they may have.
  6. Within 48 hours of GAC’s decision, the Chair of GAC will submit a written decision and rationale to the Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, who will notify the student of the committee’s decision.
     a. GAC’s decision will be final.
     b. The student may reach out to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness if they seek further explanation behind GAC’s decision.

Grade Appeal Committee

  • GAC consists of five standing faculty members, appointed by the Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, including the committee Chair.
  • Three faculty will be required at meetings to reach a quorum of voters.
  • A GAC member (including the Chair) may, at their discretion, recuse themselves from the deliberations and voting if the appeal creates a conflict of interest, such as involving their own department or a previous academic relationship with the student.
  • GAC will meet twice a year (generally in March and September), or at the request of the Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, to review submitted grade appeals.
  • GAC members will independently review documents and information submitted on behalf of the student by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness, discuss their findings, and reach a decision whether or not to grant the appeal. 
  • GAC’s decision will be based on a simple majority of the non-recused committee members present (excluding the Chair). If a tie occurs, the Chair will cast the tie-breaking vote.

 Updated October 5, 2021