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Student Guide to Appeal Procedures

Academic Advising


(Faculties of Arts, Science, Education, and Business & Economics)

Students have a right of appeal. All appeals must be in writing. Decisions are made by the appropriate body and are based on the information and supporting documentation provided in writing by the student.

All students wishing to appeal must consult an Academic Advisor to discuss their situation, for information on appeal procedures, and to obtain the appropriate appeal form as required. Phone 779-UWIN (8946) to make an appointment.  An Appeals Brochure is available from Student Services and the UWSA Office. Students may also refer to the "Regulations and Policies" section of the Course Calendar

These are the procedures that have been established to deal with the various types of appeals:

All appellants are urged to review Aids to an effective Appeal

Appeals against Grades on individual items of work

An individual item of work includes any single piece of work in a class, including the final test or examination. Appeals of grades on individual items of work are heard by the Departmental Review Committee, which rules on appeals made to the Department. Normally the Department is the highest body of appeal against grades on individual items of work.

Grounds for an Appeal
To make an appeal, a student must have cause to believe that a grade assigned on an individual item of work was unjust.

Procedures
The student should first discuss the matter with the instructor. If, after discussion with the instructor, the student has reason to believe an injustice has been done, the student may then write an appeal to the Chair of the Departmental Review Committee.

For individual items of term work graded during classes, students must discuss the matter with the instructor within seven working days after notification of the grade. The written appeal to the Chair of the DRC must be submitted within two working days after the discussion with the instructor.

For final items of term work graded after the end of classes, or for final term tests or examinations, students must have submitted their written appeal to the Chair of the DRC within six weeks after the last day of exams for the term in which the course is offered.

All appeals submitted to the Chair of the Departmental Review Committee should include:

  • a copy of the work which is the subject of the appeal;
  • grounds for the appeal;
  • a summary of the conversation with the instructor.

Students should expect that the disputed grade will be reviewed in a context other than the one that generated the original grade. Either the Committee or the Department Chair notifies the student in writing of the result of the appeal. The instructor will be fully informed of the student’s submission.

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Appeals against a Final Grade in a Course

The final grade is the official final grade that appears on the student’s statement of marks from the Student Records Office. Appeals of final grades are heard by the Departmental Review Committee, which rules on appeals made to the Department. Normally the Department is the highest body of appeal against final grades.

Grounds for Appeal
There are only three grounds for appeal against a final grade.

  • The assessment of the final grade was made without considering all individual items of work completed and submitted.
  • The final grade does not appear to correspond to the grades awarded to the individual items of course work, indicating an error in calculation in developing the final grade.
  • The overall assessment of the final grade is demonstrably unjust. 

Procedures
Students have up to six weeks after the official notification of final grades from the Student Records Office to submit an appeal. The deadline can be found on the WebAdvisor main menu.

The appeal should include:

  • a copy of all course work which is the subject of the appeal;
  • grounds for the appeal;
  • any other relevant documentation.

To file an appeal, students must see an Academic Advisor for the appropriate form and pay the processing fee at Student Central. (See Fees) The fee is refunded if the appeal is successful. 

The written appeal is submitted to the Departmental Review Committee via the Student Records Office. The Student Records Office notifies the student in writing of the result of the appeal. The instructor is fully informed of the appeal.

Further Appeal
A student who has reason to believe and can demonstrate that the Departmental Review Committee did not give the appeal a fair hearing may appeal the Committee’s decision on procedural grounds in writing to the Senate Appeals Committee through the Academic Advising  Office.

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Appeals for Deferred Exams and Incomplete Coursework

A student may appeal for an incomplete or a deferred final test or exam when medical, compassionate or other circumstances beyond the student’s control create situations in which it is impossible, or causes undue hardship, for the student to write the final test or exam as scheduled, or to complete an item of work by the end of the evaluation period of the course.

Procedures
Students must first consult the instructor of the course. Students who cannot write a final exam as scheduled are expected to contact their instructor immediately on the day of the exam. Departmental policy may permit the instructor to reschedule an exam or final test, or to accept late term work if the proposed completion date falls before the limit for that term and the completed appeal form is submitted to the Student Records Office no later than the deadline for submission of grades in the course.

Term Exam or Final Test by Term Work by
Courses ending in December February 15 April 1
Courses ending in April June 15 August 1
Courses in Spring Term September 15 October 1

Deadlines to Appeal
For a deferred exam, students must contact their instructor immediately, and must normally appeal no later than five working days after the scheduled examination date.

For incomplete term work, students must normally appeal no later than the end of the evaluation period.

Deadlines for Completing Work or Exams
Examinations deferred by the Senate Appeals Committee will normally be scheduled during a special examination period.

Incomplete term work must be submitted within a time period determined by the department or the instructor, or by the Senate Appeals Committee in consultation with the instructor (see above).

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Appeals for Readmission after Academic Suspension

A student who has been given an academic suspension from the University or a “not allowed to continue” status may appeal the ruling in writing to the Senate Appeals Committee through an Academic Advisor.

Waiver of One Year Academic Suspension
Students who are academically suspended for the first time are not permitted to register for one calendar year. If students feel they have grounds to return to the University before the suspension has been served, they must see an Academic Advisor to discuss the appeal.

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Reinstatement After Second Suspension

Students who are academically suspended for a second or subsequent time are not permitted to register at the University for two full calendar years.  Students must appeal for reinstatement if they wish to return after the two years, or if they feel they have grounds to be allowed to return before the two years.  Such an appeal must normally include evidence of success in an academic program completed since the suspension.

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Reinstatement when "Not Allowed to Continue" at the University

Students who receive more than 30 credit hours of failures have exceeded the maximum number of course attempts to get a degree, and are not allowed to continue their studies. They are expected to sit out for three years and may forfeit credit if they wish to return. In extraordinary circumstances, they may appeal for reinstatement prior to the completion of the three year period. Such an appeal must normally include evidence of success in an academic program completed since the student was not allowed to continue.

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Reinstatement when "Not Allowed to Continue" at the University as Mature Status Student

Students on Mature Status are not allowed to continue their studies at the University if they do not meet the Minimum Performance Standard upon completion of 24 credit hours. They must complete Regular Status admission requirements in order to be readmitted.  (Note: The status on readmission will normally be Probation based on university academic performance to date.)  In extraordinary circumstances, students may appeal to be readmitted without having completed Regular Status admission requirements. Such an appeal must normally include evidence of success in an academic program completed since the student was “not allowed to continue”.

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Appeals for Retroactive Withdrawal

Students who stop attending courses without following formal withdrawal procedures by the announced deadline for withdrawal will receive failing grades for those courses. Students may appeal to the Senate Appeals Committee for a retroactive withdrawal, on the basis of medical, compassionate or other reasons beyond their control.

Deadline to Appeal
Normally, the deadline to appeal is the end of the evaluation period for the term in which the course was taken. (Appeals may be considered for up to one calendar year after the end of the course at the discretion of the Senate Appeals Committee, if circumstances warrant.)

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Appeals for Waiver of Graduation Requirements

Students may appeal for a waiver of specific requirements in a degree program if there are compelling extenuating circumstances. Students should consult the Convocation/Academic Program Officer in the Student Records Office.

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Aids to an Effective Appeal

All appeals must state clearly and concisely:

a.) The regulations, deadline, or decision you are appealing
b.) The grounds for your appeal
c.) The remedy you are seeking

A few pointers:

a) Set out your case logically
b) Make sure your appeal is legible
c) Make sure all dates, course numbers etc. are precise and correct
d) Be as specific as possible about the circumstances
e) Give precise details about how the circumstances affected your studies
f) Provide supporting evidence and/or documentation

Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor if you require additional information or assistance.

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