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Brooks College Guidance on Grade Changes
ACADEMIC POLICIES AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE (APSC)
GUIDELINES FOR GOOD PRACTICE IN GRADING
Instructors may sometimes need to deviate from these guidelines to reasonably accommodate special student circumstances. Such deviations are acceptable so long as they reflect fair and consistent treatment of all students in a section. Instructors unsure of what deviations are appropriate are encouraged to consult with their unit heads.
• A student's grade should be determined only from the student's performance in the course, as described in the course syllabus. Any modifications of the performance evaluation scheme during the term should be reasonable, consistent with the overall goals of the course, and announced clearly to students.
• Opportunities for demonstrating performance should be offered equally to all students in a section; no student should be offered opportunities not available or not known to others.
• Grades should be monotonic: within any pair of students, the student with better performance should not be given a lower grade.
The expectation is that it would be a rare event to change a grade after it has been assigned, and the APSC guidelines on grading also apply to changing a student’s grade. The “Authorization of Grade Change” form must be completed by the course instructor (or departmental designee). The unit head must be informed of the request and may indicate their support by initialing the form next to the instructor’s signature before the form is submitted to the Dean’s Office. If the unit head does not initial the form, the Dean’s Office may contact the unit head to verify that the unit head is aware of the grade change request.
Grade changes may be appropriate for the following reasons:
- Instructor’s error in recording or calculating grades;
- Instructor’s reconsideration of all student grades in a given course;
- Individual student’s extenuating circumstances revealed too late for consideration in the original grade assignment.
The rationale written on the grade change authorization form should be as explicit as possible. When extenuating student circumstances warrant reconsideration of a grade after the original grade assignment, the unit head should ensure that the instructor’s grade change request follows the APSC guidelines. Faculty members wishing to change a student’s grade should provide their unit head a written (e.g., emailed) explanation, noting how the request fits within APSC guidelines, to accompany the grade change request.
In the absence of extenuating circumstances, grades should not be changed for the following reasons:
- Individual student complaint;
- Extra credit work afforded to one student that was not made available to the entire class;
- Reconsideration of an individual student’s grade without reconsideration of all students’ grades in the course/section;
- Work submitted after the semester has ended (except in the case of incomplete grades).
The rationale written on the grade change authorization form should make clear that the reason for the grade change does not fall into the above four categories. Otherwise, the Dean’s Office may contact the unit head and/or course instructor for additional information.