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Academic Appeal Policy

Academic Appeal Policy Information

Date Approved: February 24, 2021
Effective Date: April 1, 2021
Date Reviewed: Fall 2020
Replaces: Student Appeal Policy 2018


The purpose of this policy is to provide the processes and grounds by which students at Cambrian College (‘the College’) may appeal Academic Decisions when they feel they have not been treated fairly with respect to academic policy.


Academic Administrator: For the purposes of this Policy, an Academic Administrator is a Dean or Chair (i.e., the person who has the immediate responsibility for the program from which the Academic Appeal has arisen).

Academic Decision: Any decision made that affects a student’s academic record and/or academic standing at the College (e.g. grading, academic dishonesty, promotion and academic standing, etc.).

Academic Appeal (the ‘Review’): The process by which a student may challenge an Academic Decision they received.

Academic Appeal Committee: The group of designated individuals (students, faculty members and administrators) who listen to, analyze and decide the outcome of an Academic Appeal.

Business Day: Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays and any other day that the College has publicly announced that it is not open for business.

Application/ Scope

All full-time and part-time Cambrian College students

Policy Statements

  1. Academic Decisions
    1. Students have the right to appeal Academic Decisions without fear of retaliation or reprisal.
    2. Students may initiate a Review in relation to the following types of Academic Decisions:
        1. A final grade in a course.
        2. A grade within a course, whether something that was denied reassessment or something that could not be reassessed (e.g., oral presentation, performance, practical exam, placement, etc.).
        3. A decision regarding a charge of Academic Integrity (e.g., plagiarism, cheating, etc.)
        4. A program-exit decision.
        5. A decision made in a course that has a negative impact on a student’s academic standing or progress.
  2. Grounds for Grade Review1
    • The grounds for a Review involve one or more of the following:
    • Compassion – Health or extenuating circumstances have occurred that are beyond the control of the student.
    • Policy Violation – An Academic Decision that has been made without due regard to proper policy.
    • New Evidence – Situations where relevant evidence emerges that was not available at the time of the original decision during a student assessment, informal appeal, etc.
    • Bias – Decisions that the student believes were biased.
    • Severity of Sanction – Situations where the student believes the severity of the sanction imposed was not reasonable.
  3. Timelines
    1. Students are to initiate the Review process within 10 Business Days of receiving an Academic Decision.
    2. Timelines may be extended, at the discretion of the College, in cases of illness, injury, or personal extenuating circumstances. In all such cases, the student seeking the extension will provide supporting documentation for the cause and duration of the delay.
  4. Process
    1. The College maintains a multi-stage Appeal process involving the following – Informal Review, Stage 1, and Stage 2 Reviews. The full process is outlined in the College’s Academic Appeal Operating Procedure.
  5. Student Rights
    1. Students who initiate a Review under this Policy have the right to a fair, transparent, and equitable process.
    2. At any stage in the Review process, students may bring a support person (e.g. a student association advisor) to meetings relating to their case.
          1. The role of the support person is not to speak on behalf of the student.
          2. The expectation is that the student will prepare and present their own case and the support person’s role is to observe the proceedings, and to advise and support the student.
          3. Students who require accommodation in the review process should consult with Glen Crombie Center.
    3. Students awaiting Review hearings may enroll in the next semester of their program and register in all regular courses while awaiting the outcome of their appeals.
      • Exception – Where a Review involves academic performance in a clinical or placement, the student may not register in the subsequent clinical or placement course while awaiting the results of their review.
    4. In the case where a student enrolls in the next semester of their program and the Committee denies the Stage 2 Review, they will be required to withdraw from the course or program if they are no longer qualified to attend.
  6. Standard of Proof
    The standard of proof to be met is that it is more likely than not that the original decision was incorrect. The burden of proof rests with the student who requested the Review.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Vice President Academic is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that this Policy and the corresponding Academic Appeal Operating Procedure are communicated and made available to students.

Academic Administrators are responsible for:

  • Being familiar with the requirements of this policy.
  • Ensuring their staff are familiar with the requirements of this Policy
  • Ensuring full compliance with the requirements of this Policy.
  • Participating fully in the Review process.
  • Undertaking their obligations under this policy in a fair, transparent and consistent manner.
  • Documenting the details of the Informal, Stage 1 and Stage 2 Academic Appeals.
  • Communicating the results to the student, the faculty member, and the Registrar.
  • In cases where the Committee approves a re-assessment of grades, ensuring that a qualified individual, who is not the faculty member whose Academic Decision is under review, re-evaluates the student’s work.

The Registrar is responsible for:

  • Ensuring integrity of overall Review process.
  • Coordinating and facilitating Stage 2 Academic Appeal process.
  • Ensuring documentation and reporting of all Stage 2 Academic Appeals.
  • Overseeing the administration of this policy.
  • Maintaining a record of all Stage 2 Academic Appeals.

Faculty Members are responsible for:

  • Being familiar and complying with the requirements of this Policy.
  • Explaining their Academic Decisions to students and, in cases of disagreement, for informing students of their right to launch a Review.
  • Participating fully in the Review process, which may include providing further information and documentation, in-person and in writing, to their Academic Administrator and the Academic Appeal Committee.
  • Undertaking their obligations under this policy in a fair, transparent and consistent manner.

Students are responsible for:

  • Being proactive – i.e., notifying and consulting with the faculty member or program coordinator as soon as situations arise that are likely to affect their academic performance.
  • Knowing their rights and responsibilities under this Policy.
  • Initiating, following and cooperating with the Academic Appeal Operating Procedure.


1 Students with academic issues involving allegations of discrimination or harassment should consult the Code of Conduct.

Students with concerns about the quality of the educational experience, who are not looking to challenge an Academic Decision, but who are seeking a formal review and response to their concerns, should refer to the Student Complaints Policy.