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Academic Appeals

The following procedures shall govern appeals by affected persons of post-admission student academic issues. This procedure shall not apply to decisions of agencies other than Sauk Valley Community College such as National Junior College Athletic Association, clinical facilities, employers of students, and other businesses allowing job site training of students; the College has no authority over those decisions.

Step One: Informal Resolution

  1. Appeals regarding instructional or grade issues will be handled informally insofar as possible. Ordinarily, matters will be decided by the instructor, who is the first point of contact.  The student has the right to have an advisor present during the meeting with the instructor.
  2. Any student may appeal any instructional or grade issues to the appropriate dean/director within ten (10) College business days after receiving the grade. The student has the right to have an advisor present during the meeting with the appropriate academic dean/director.

Step Two: Appeals Board

  1. Should the decision of the appropriate dean/director still not satisfy the student, the student may request an appeal to the Vice-President of Academics and Student Services. Should the decision of the Vice-President of Academics and Student Services not satisfy the student, the student may then request an appeal to the Academic Appeals Board. The student must present his/her appeal in writing stating 1) the specific action being appealed and 2) the remedy sought. The student should present this appeal to the Dean of Student Services, who will act as the ombudsperson throughout this process.
  2. When the written appeal for an Academic Appeals Board has been received, the Dean of Student Services will notify the Vice-President of Academics and Student Services that a request for an Academic Appeals Board has been received and that Academic Appeal Policy procedures were followed prior to this request.
  3. The Academic Appeals Board hearing shall consist of three members from instructional faculty, serving alphabetically-rotating appointments, that are not in the area being appealed (appointed by the Vice-President of Academics and Student Services), one student member and one student services member, who is not the student's primary advisor or was not previously involved in the case (appointed by the Dean of Student Services).  Attendance of five board members shall be required as a quorum.  The selected members of the Academic Appeals Board will be required to attend an organizational/training meeting and shall elect its Chair at the start of the first meeting.

 Hearing(s)

  1. The Dean of Student Services will call a meeting of the Academic Appeals Board at a time arranged in consideration of the schedules of the student and the members, with avoidance of conflict with class schedules. The student will be notified of the scheduled time of the meeting in writing at least five (5) College business days prior to the meeting. The Academic Appeals Board Chair may request other students or College staff members who have information relevant to this case to appear at the meeting of the Board. The student or instructor may also make such a request in writing to the Dean of Student Services, and the Chair shall decide if such person(s) (in addition to their advisor[s]) shall be permitted to appear. All meetings of the Academic Appeals Board are closed.
  2. The student and the instructor involved may each request the removal of any one member of the Academic Appeals Board from the hearing for legitimate reason. Issues of removal shall be decided by the Academic Appeals Board at the first meeting, and the Dean of Student Services shall coordinate any necessary replacement(s).
  3. If the student gives notice and appropriate justification requesting a rescheduling of the meeting, the meeting may be rescheduled once.
  4. The student and the instructor may each have one pre-approved advisor present. (Each party has the right to object to a chosen advisor upon just-cause, i.e., personal conflict issues. The Academic Appeals Board chair makes the final decision.) The advisor is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in the proceeding before the Academic Appeals Board and is not permitted to examine or cross-examine witnesses.
  5. The hearing shall not be public. For all stages of presentation of evidence and argument to the Academic Appeals Board, the Dean of Student Services*, the appellant student's advisor, the student's parents or legal guardian (only if the appellant student is a minor), the involved instructor, and the involved instructor's advisor, shall be present. Admission of any other person shall be at the discretion of the Academic Appeals Board.
  6. The hearing will be recorded utilizing a video camera for possible use during an appeal to the President and/or Board of Trustees. The video will be disposed of immediately following any last appeal.

*The Dean of Student Services shall act as the facilitator/resource person for the elected Board Chair in order to ensure consistency and fairness in the process.

Academic Appeals Board

  1. Only the members of the Academic Appeals Board shall be present during their deliberations. Discussion must remain confidential and only the final decision is to be discussed.
  2. All deliberations of the Academic Appeals Board will remain confidential.

Recommendation(s)

  1. The Academic Appeals Board may choose to reach its recommendation(s) by secret written ballot. All members have a vote, but if the final vote is taken openly, the Chair shall vote last. A majority decision of those present shall constitute the recommendation to the Dean of Student Services.
  2. The Board may recommend upholding the previous academic action, or it may recommend that the previous academic action be overruled in whole or in part. The Chair shall forward the Board's written recommendation and rationale to the Dean of Student Services for action within five (5) College business days. Copies shall also be provided at the same time to the student and the involved instructor.  Decision is binding unless appealed by the student.

 Disposition

  1. The Dean of Student Services shall notify the student, the instructor, and the President in writing of the decision made by the Academic Appeals Board within ten (10) College business days of the date of the Board meeting.  
  2. When the written decision of the Academic Appeals Board is given to the student and the instructor, the student will be provided with options as to follow-up action she/he may pursue.  All evidence and minutes from the appeals process, including the student's written request, reasons, response, and decision will be kept on file by the Dean of Student Services.  All other copies/documents will be destroyed.

Step Three: President

  1. The decision of the Academic Appeals Board may be appealed by the student to the College President within ten (10) College business days after the date of the Academic Appeals Board decision letter.
  2. As the final step in the formal procedure, the President will render his decision within ten (10) College business days.

Step Four: Final Appeal-Board of Trustees

  1. In accordance with Board Policy 601.01 the Board of Trustees serves as the final appeal for grievances in any matter concerning the College, provided that the student shall have first exhausted all relevant procedures and appeals provided by College policy or procedure.