Academic Grievance & Appeal Policy

Policy Statement
Students have the right to appeal their grades and/or evaluation comments in the event that they feel the performance was based on inaccurate information, was not evaluated by faculty or residents with whom they worked, and/or included comments that were inappropriate or insufficient based on feedback received during the course. If the student is not satisfied after the block, course, or clerkship director’s review, the student may appeal to the Grade Appeal Committee for Foundations Phase or Patient Care/Explore and Focus Phase. Faculty are responsible for the final determination of the evaluation of the students’ performance.

Requirements, Procedures and Guidelines

University of Washington Grievance Procedures
The School of Medicine, in accordance with Executive Order #58, follows the University of Washington Grievance Procedures.

Change of Grade
Except in cases of error or appeal, the block/course or clerkship director may not change a grade that was submitted to the Registrar.

Appeal of Grade and/or Evaluation Comments
Students can review their grade at any time, but should carefully review the grade challenge and appeal deadlines.

University of Washington policy stipulates that a request for a grade review must be made prior to the end of the academic term in which the course was taken, and it is expected that the appeal review will be completed within a reasonable period of time, i.e. 3 weeks and preferably prior to the student beginning the next term’s coursework.

Process to Initiate Grade Appeal Process – Foundations Phase
Remediation of fail grade and grade challenges will generally occur concurrently since grade failure may prohibit a student from progressing in the Foundations Phase curriculum.

Grade Review
All students are permitted under Family, Education, Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to review educational records (e.g., exams and evaluations) upon request after grade submission.

To initiate a grade review, a student must set up a meeting with the block or course administrator for a guided review of evaluations (if any), exam scores, and/or final examination score. If after the grade review, students are unsatisfied, they may initiate the grade challenge process.

Grade Challenge
Following an unsatisfactory grade review, a student may submit a written grade challenge request to the block or course director by week four of the following quarter. This allows the block a minimum of three weeks to meet with the student and process the challenge.

The director will review the relevant grading and evaluative materials to determine the uniformity and impartiality of the grade.  After the director completes this review, the student and director will meet to discuss the challenge.  After meeting, the director will contact the student within three weeks in writing with the grade challenge decision, allowing the student one week to decide whether an appeal is necessary.

Grade Appeal
Following an unsatisfactory grade review and grade challenge, students may submit a grade appeal by week eight of the following quarter by completing the form and submitting to foundmed@uw.edu. The Foundations Grade Appeal Committee will meet to review all materials related to the appeal and make the final determination to retain or revise the grade by a minimum of four weeks after receipt. Grade appeal must be completed by the end of the following quarter.

The grade appeal committee will focus on the adequacy of the grade process and will make the final determination to retain or revise the grade (up or down).

If a decision is made to change the grade/comments at either review level, a revised evaluation will be submitted to the School of Medicine’s Registrar for placement in the student’s official academic file.

If the grade/comments are not changed but there are circumstances or information worth documenting, the block director may submit a letter for inclusion in the student’s official academic file. Students may also submit a letter providing their perspective on the grade or comments for inclusion in their academic file.

Process to Initiate Grade Appeal Process – Clinical Phases

Grade Review
All students are permitted under Family, Education, Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to review educational records (e.g., exams and evaluations) upon request after grade submission, however the grade challenge and appeal process must be completed within twelve weeks after the grade is posted.

To initiate a grade review, a student must request to meet with the Clerkship Administrator for a guided review of grade and de-identified evaluations, summative comments and/or final examination score. Student’s should check the department website for information on grading guidelines.

Grade Challenge
Following an unsatisfactory grade review, a student may submit a grade challenge form within four weeks after the grade is posted. This allows the department to connect with the student and process the challenge within seven weeks after the grade is posted. The clerkship director then reviews the relevant grading and evaluative materials and elicits related materials from faculty or department resources to determine the uniformity and impartiality of the grade or summative comments. After the clerkship director completes the fact finding process, the student and director meet to discuss the student’s challenge. After the meeting, the clerkship director will contact the student within seven weeks in writing with the grade challenge decision, allowing the student one week to decide whether an appeal is necessary.

Grade Appeal
Following an unsatisfactory grade review and grade challenge, a student may submit a grade appeal by week eight of the grade’s posting by completing the form and submitting to somchlng@uw.edu. The grade appeal committee will meet to review all materials related to the appeal and make the final determination to retain or revise the grade and/or relevant comments within twelve weeks after the grade is posted. Grade appeal must be completed twelve weeks after the grade is posted.

Department chairs have delegated responsibility for the grade appeal decision to the School of Medicine Grade Appeal Committee for the clinical Patient Care Phase and Explore & Focus Phase, in accordance with UW policy. The Grade Appeal Committee is comprised of faculty and/or student members, who will review deidentified materials. The Grade Appeal Committee considers the adequacy of the grade process and will make the final determination to retain or revise the grade (up or down) and/or relevant comments.

If a decision is made to change the grade/comments at either review level, a revised evaluation will be submitted by the Grade Appeal Committee to the School of Medicine Registrar for placement in the student’s official academic file.

If the grade/comments are not changed but there are circumstances or information worth documenting, the clerkship director may submit a letter for inclusion in the student’s official academic file. Students may also submit a letter providing their perspective on the grade or comments for inclusion in their academic file.

 

Effective: Current
Last updated: August 11, 2020
Policy Contact: UW School of Medicine, Curriculum Office, somgov@uw.edu; Education Quality Improvement Office, eqi@uw.edu