Appeals Process


Program policies within the College of Health Professions are designed to support the highest academic standards and protect the integrity of the program thus they should be adhered to. The College of Health Professions places a high value on maintaining those academic standards. Thus the college supports dealing with academic deficiencies and resolving conflicts at the lowest level and with the least formality possible.
Accordingly:

  1. Each academic program shall establish and communicate routinely to each entering student, a statement of academic performance standards governing both clinical and nonclinical components and its policies and procedures regarding program admission, suspension and dismissal.
  2. Subject to the procedures delineated in this document, programs shall have reasonable latitude in dealing with students not meeting required academic performance standards. Unit options shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following specifically defined actions:
    "SUSPENSION" which shall mean exclusion from an academic course or series of courses and/or exclusion from one or more components of an academic course or courses. Such suspensions may be conditional, stipulating that the suspended student must satisfy a certain prescribed set of requirements or follow a certain prescribed course of action in order to return to full academic status. "DISMISSAL" which shall mean permanent termination from a program, with no possibility of readmission.
  3. An academic program may act to suspend or dismiss any student who is not functioning at an acceptable level of performance in a unit program, including programs with clinical components, provided that:
    • The student be kept fully informed of the specific nature of deficiencies in his or her academic performance and the program's dissatisfaction with that performance; and,
    • The decision to suspend or dismiss be based solely on the program's published academic performance standards.
  4. Guidelines for Departmental/Program Appeals
  5. Appeals to departments in the College of Health Professions may be of the following nature and will follow the appropriate process:

    College Level Appeals

    Resources used in the development of this document include:
    • Admission Appeal
    • A student denied admission to a program may appeal this decision only if the student can demonstrate he or she was denied admission when all requirements for admission were satisfied. For programs indicating competitive admission the student must demonstrate a less qualified student in their applicant pool was admitted to the program.
      Once the student has been notified of his/her admission denial status, the student may request a meeting with the department head to review the students application and the process used by the department for admission.If there is no resolution, then the student may appeal to the Department Committee for a review of his/her admission status by submitting the Interdepartmental Academic Appeal Form (AAF1).
    • Clinical Performance Appeal
    • The supervising faculty member of an academic program may suspend, pending completion of the process indicated below, any student who, while performing in a clinical experience of his or her program, commits any act or omission endangering the life, health, or well-being of or violates any established program ethics, rights or reasonable expectation of confidentiality of a patient, client, or other person. An academic program may further act to dismiss any student who, while performing in a clinical experience of his or her program, commits any act or omission endangering the life, health, or well-being of or violates any established program ethics, rights or reasonable expectation of confidentiality of a patient, client, or other person, provided that:
      • The student is given oral notice of the impending suspension or dismissal decision and the grounds therefore. Such oral notice shall be given, if reasonably possible, no later than 24 hours after the commission of the act or omission; and,
      • The student is sent written notice of the impending suspension or dismissal decision. Such notice shall be given if reasonably possible no later than 2 business days after the commission of the act or omission;
      • The student shall meet with the faculty member(s) supervising the clinical experience at issue, and then, if resolution has not occurred, shall meet with the department head in order to resolve the issue; if resolution still has not occurred, then the student will complete the AAF1 to initiate the departmental hearing.
      • A departmental committee consisting of at least three full-time faculty members or the entire staff of full-time faculty members in programs having three or fewer full-time faculty members shall hear the case. Membership may come from outside small departments. Neither the supervising faculty nor the department head shall be members of the panel hearing the appeal.
      • During the hearing the student will be given the opportunity to answer the charges against him or her, to ask questions and to call witnesses on his or her own behalf. Where reasonably possible, the hearing shall take place within 5 business days after commission of the act or omission.
      • The student may be accompanied by another person, but said person shall not address the proceedings and acts only as an observer; and,
      • A record, in the form of minutes, shall be made of the hearing and the designated recorder of the hearing as determined by membership of the hearing committee will make a tape recording of the proceedings; and
      • The decision shall be rendered no later than 2 business days after the conclusion of the hearing.
      • A written summary of the department's findings shall be forwarded to the student and a copy submitted to the Assistant Dean of the college.The decision of the departmental committee may only be appealed beyond this level if the student can demonstrate the decision made by the committee was inconsistent with departmental policy or resulted in inequitable treatment of the student.
    • Grade Appeal
    • The student must first meet with the course instructor. If resolution has not occurred the student shall then meet with the department head, in order to resolve the issue. If still unresolved then, the student shall request a departmental hearing in writing to the department head using the AAF1. Where reasonably possible, the hearing shall take place within 3 business days after receipt of the AAF1.
      • At least three full-time faculty members or the entire staff of full-time faculty members in programs having three or fewer full-time faculty members shall hear the case. Membership may come from outside small departments. The course instructor shall not serve as a member of the committee to hear the case;
      • The department head shall appoint a member of the faculty as designated in the above item 3.B. i to serve as the hearing officer. The department head having been a part of the process previously may not serve as the hearing officer or serve on the committee hearing the case.
      • The student may be accompanied by another person, but said person shall not address the proceedings; and functions only as an observer,
      • A record, in the form of minutes, shall be made of the hearing and the designated recorder of the hearing as determined by membership of the hearing committee, will make a tape recording of the proceedings; and
      • The decision, which shall be rendered no later than 48 hours after the conclusion of the hearing.
      • A written summary of the department's findings shall be forwarded to the student and a copy submitted to the Assistant Dean of the college. Should the student decide to appeal further the department's decision an appointment must be made with the Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention and a written appeal using GAF 1 must be submitted to the Dean's office by the student within 3 business days of receipt of the department's decision.
    1. Functions
    2. The Dean of the College of Health Professions will activate the College of Health Professions Academic Appeals Committee (CHPAAC). The CHPAAC serves to provide a mechanism for the protection of student and faculty rights in academic matters not resolved at the departmental level.

      The role of the CHPAAC is to hear all parties in an unresolved issue and to make recommendations to the Dean of the College of Health Professions. Thus the committee is advisory and the Dean will make the final decision regarding the appeal (see Part IV, Procedures).

      The scope of the CHPAAC is outlined below.
      • CHPAAC will hear appeals of program decisions related to denial
        of admission, program suspension or dismissal resulting from
        • alleged non-academic and/or clinical reasons
        • alleged inconsistent application of written program policies
      • CHPAAC will hear Academic Appeals of Final Course Grades resulting from a faculty member's
        • Alleged deviation from the course syllabus
        • Alleged errors in application or grading procedures
        • Alleged lowering of grades for non-academic reasons not otherwise stated in the course outline such as attendance
      • The CHPAAC will not hear the following appeals
        • Charges against a student for violations of the University Honor Code.
        • Charges against a student for violations of a legal nature that are in direct conflict with University, College, or Departmental requirements (e.g., problems related to background checks or drug charges).
        • Admission to Internship without first completing designated requirements.
        • Admission to a course without first completing the designated requirements (e.g., courses, tests, or assignments).
        • Acceptance of transfer courses taken outside of the College of Health Professions and/or Armstrong, which is determined by appropriate program coordinators and faculty.
        • Grade change appeals from a student who has already graduated.
        • Individual assignment grades in a course.
        • Departmental, College or University policies.
    3. College Committee Composition
      • The CHPAAC will be made up one member from each academic department, to be appointed by the dean. To render a recommendation to the Dean the committee must have no less than five faculty members from departments in the College of Health Professions. The faculty representative from a department in which an appeal is being heard will be excused from that hearing.
      • Appointments to the committee will be for one academic year. A member may be reappointed for one or more one year term.
      • The Chair of the CHPAAC will be the Assistant Dean of the College of Health Professions and will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.
      • The Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention shall also serve as an ex-officio member of the committee and will serve as the designated recorder for the proceedings.
    4. General Procedures
      • The CHPAAC will convene called meetings when appeals are petitioned to the Assistant Dean of the College of Health Professions.
      • Minutes of each meeting will be recorded and securely maintained in the Office of the Assistant Dean. Minutes will remain confidential to the extent limited by state law.
    5. Hearing Procedures and Responsibilities
    • Although every effort is made to inform a student of his/her rights and responsibilities, it is always incumbent upon the student to refer to the "Armstrong State University undergraduate or graduate Catalog" for complete academic policies in reference to grade appeals. Students should also be knowledgeable of departmental policies relative to program admission, suspension and dismissal.
      • The CHPAAC expects faculty members and students to act in good faith and in accordance with the principle of direct communication in order to resolve misunderstandings, disagreements, and grievances.
      • In accordance with the College of Health Professions policy, an academic appeal must be acted on at the departmental level before coming to the CHPAAC. Should the appeal involve acting on a prerequisite course, please see Part IV, Section C, Exceptions below. The following is the protocol that the student must follow to resolve a grievance prior to filing his or her appeal with the CHPAAC. Failure to comply with this sequence will delay the appeal process.
        • Once the student has received written notification of the department's decision if still unresolved the student will meet with the Coordinator of Recruitment & Retention for the College of Health Professions.
        • The Coordinator of Recruitment & Retention of the College for Health Professions will review with the student the steps taken in attempting to resolve the matter, examine with the student the issues from all perspectives. However, the decision to appeal rests solely with the student. Should the student decide to move the appeal forward, the student must complete the college's appeal form (form CLAF1).
        • The CLAF1 and the student's written letter of appeal is to be submitted by the Coordinator of Recruitment & Retention to the Chair of the CHPAAC. In the written letter of appeal the student must clearly state the action which he or she has already taken to resolve the problem, what he or she feels is the issue causing the problem, and the desired outcome.
        • At this point, the Chair of the CHPAAC will inform the committee members and the course instructor of an impending appeal. Committee members will receive a copy of the departmental committee documents and the faculty member and student will have two (2) business days from the official date of notification to submit, if desired, any additional information related to the case for clarification to the Chair.
        • At the conclusion of second business day the chair of the CHPAAC, will notify the student, course instructor and committee members of the time and location of the appeal hearing. The committee will deliberate in closed session immediately after the hearing to review all presented evidence, the Committee will make its recommendation by majority vote. The recommendation of the Committee will be recorded in the form of a written letter to the Dean of the College of Health Professions no later than one week after the hearing.
        • The Dean of the College of Health Professions will review the recommendation of the CHPAAC and provide written notification to the student, the faculty Member or other interested parties deemed appropriate, of his or her decision.
      • Exceptions to the above cited timeline include registration for a course for which the course grade being appealed is a prerequisite. Part B must be initiated by the student by the first day of the subsequent semester for which a course grade is being appealed. The appeal process will be expedited so as to avoid negatively impacting the student's academic standing or financial aid. ***Note the student will be dropped from a course if prerequisite(s) are not met following the academic appeal.
      • The student and the faculty member or administrator as appropriate will be granted the opportunity to present his or her own documented evidence and perspective. The proceedings of each meeting of the CHPAAC will be recorded to ensure that an adequate record is available in the event of any further proceedings.
      • All documentation for each case shall be available for examination by the members of the CHPAAC a minimum of 24hours in advance of the meeting.
      • The Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention will explain and clarify the student's rights and responsibilities as outlined in this document. However, the decision to appeal rests solely with the student.
      • Although the members of the CHPAAC have access to the records and particulars of all cases which come before them at their meetings, it is the responsibility of those members to keep all information confidential and that this information not be discussed outside of the meeting room.
      • Neither the student nor the course instructor may attempt to influence a case through contact or discussion with any member of the Appeals Committee. Should any member of the Appeals Committee be contacted by a student or faculty member in an effort to influence his or her decision, that member is obligated to report such contact to the CHPAAC Chair immediately.
      • Members of the CHPAAC shall make their decisions and recommendations on the basis of the evidence presented at the meeting only. Any member of the CHPAAC who has a vested interest or involvement in an appeal shall recuse himself or herself from participation in the appeal.
      • All evidentiary materials, records, files etc. related to a case will be collected by the CHPAAC Chair upon conclusion of the case.
    • College of Education Academic and Admissions Appeals Committee Bylaws (2009)
    • College of Health Professions Policy for Academic Standards, Suspensions, and Dismissals (1981, 2002, 2005, and 2008)