There are cases when students disagree with the academic decision by a faculty member or academic professional, teacher, administrator or committee with regards to their studies or related matters. In such cases ADMI offers an appeals process for the student to request reconsideration of an academic decision.
An appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. The basis for a student’s appeal of an academic decision may be either unfair academic judgment in the view of the student or that the ADMI’s academic policies were applied incorrectly in the view of the student.
Students are responsible for reviewing, understanding and following ADMI’s academic policies and procedures. Students are also responsible for their academic choices and for complying with the standards of academic performance established for each study or course in which they enrol.
Departments are responsible for establishing methods and criteria for assessment and evaluation of a student’s performance in learning, courses, final projects, exams, prior learning assessments, etc. Assessment of students, awards of academic credit and other academic decisions are based upon academic performances and the application of relevant academic policies.
Academic decisions are made by related departments and other academic professionals or decision makers, are recorded in ADMI’s documents, such as:
- Learning agreements and course outcomes and assessments
- Assessment or evaluations of prior learning
- Documented academic decisions by assessment committees, academic review board, centre or program administrators, or other academic staff
- Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices
Procedures for Appeals of Academic Decisions
The administrator or co-ordinator for the centre or program where an academic decision was made is responsible for administering the appeals process.
If the relevant administrator made the original academic decision as a mentor, tutor or evaluator, fills the administrative role in the appeals process.
The appeal is about the centre or program where the original academic decision was made. For example, if a ADMI student appeals process includes an informal resolution procedure as well as a procedure for formal appeal of an academic decision. ADMI strongly encourages the student to attempt an informal resolution before making a formal appeal.
Procedure – Informal Resolution
The informal resolution process has two possible steps:
- The student should discuss the matter directly with the related party who made or represented the academic decision (tutor, mentor, assessment committee representative, assessment professional, etc.) and make a reasonable effort to resolve the problem. The student must begin such an informal resolution process within 28 days of receiving the academic decision.
- If no resolution is reached through the first initiative, or if the student is uncomfortable trying to resolve the issue directly with the appropriate party, the student should request informal resolution by the Director of Studies. This will take 45 days of the student’s receipt of the original academic decision.
The administrator discusses the academic decision with the student and listens to the student’s point of view on the situation, and may gather additional relevant information. The administrator plays a role of a mediator or moderator between the two parties in accordance with the policies and regulation of ADMI with regards to the academic decision (the administrator does not play a decision-making role; rather, he/she facilitates a resolution when possible).
Procedure – Formal Appeal
- A student may initiate a formal appeal of an academic decision within 45 days of receipt of the decision, whether or not he or she has initiated an informal resolution as described before. An academic review committee, mentioned below, deals with appeals of academic decisions.The student submits a documented appeal to the centre or program administrator and includes in it:
- A full description of the academic decision and the reasons for the student’s appeal for reconsideration
- A written statement of solution that student is considering
- Any relevant supporting documents
- Learning contract, and course outcomes and assessments
- Evaluations and assessments of prior learning
- Documented academic decisions made by assessment committees, academic review committees, centre or program administrators, or other academic staff
- The administrator transfers the appeal to the centre or program Academic Review Committee and provides a copy to any other relevant parties. The administrator should take these steps within 7 working days of receiving the appeal. Administrator ensures that the review takes place in a timely manner.
- Academic Review Committee (ARC)
- The ARC is comprised of between 3 to five faculty members. Each centre or program defines procedures and policies in order to form the ARC and for establishing a position. If a member of the ARC is a party to the appeal, a substitute will replace him/her if necessary to bring the membership up to the minimum. The ARC may acquire additional relevant information before or after a hearing. ARC’s consideration of the appeal emphasize only on the student’s claim of unfairness or incorrect application of the institute’s policies.
- Initial Review – ARC
- Based on its initial findings, the ARC may return an appeal to the student for to obtain further information or clarification. If the appeal is returned for further information or clarification, the student must submit the requested information or revision within 30 days for the appeal to be considered b. Upon review of the first step or resubmitted appeal, the ARC may find that there is no reason for a claim of unfairness or incorrect application of the institute policies and refuse to hear the appeal c. The ARC should convey a decision not to hear an appeal within 7 days of receiving the first or resubmitted appeal
- ARC Reviewing and Hearing
- Each party has the right and opportunity to be heard and to respond to the information and documentation presented with regards to the appeal. The position of the ARC will ensure a fair and prompt hearing of the information and produce an accurate hearing archive b. A hearing should be scheduled by ARC within 30 days of receipt of an appeal to consider information relevant to the appeal. A hearing can be a meeting, conference call or videoconference, at the discretion of the ARC c. In case of hearing student can present his or her case and so does the individual or the representative of the committee responsible for the original decision to the ARC. A student may have an advisor at the hearing (however, the advisor may not participate directly in the hearing)
- Following a hearing, the ARC deliberates in a private session and decisions are made by majority vote unless otherwise noted. The ARC may:
- Support the original decision b. Refer the decision back to the committee or individuals who made the original academic decision. This referral is for reconsideration based upon ARC’s findings regarding fairness and/or application of institute’s policy c. Revise or change the original decision, which requires a unanimous vote by the ARC d. The ARC should provide a written decision and reasons for the decision to the student and other relevant parties within 7 working days of the hearing
Reconsideration – Original Decision Maker
If the ARC refers the decision back to committee or individual for reconsideration, the individual or committee making the original decision review the case and may either support the original decision or issue a new decision. The results of the decision made by ARC should convey the result in writing to the student and other relevant parties within 30 days of the referral.
The student may also appeal the decision made by the ARC, including one not to hear an appeal, or a decision by an individual or committee following a reconsideration of the original decision. The written appeal is submitted to the centre or program administrator. The student must submit any further appeal in writing to the centre or program administrator within 30 days of an ARC decision or a reconsideration decision, and must provide an explanation or justification for the appeal. The centre or program administrator should notify the related parties within 7 working days of receiving an appeal. Those parties should provide any written response within 15 days. The centre or program administrator should provide a written decision and reason within 7 working days of receiving responses to the appeal. The written decision is conveyed to the student with copies to the other relevant parties.
Decisions made by the centre or program administrator may be appealed to the Director of Studies. The student must submit any further appeal in writing to the Director of Studies within 30 days of an ARC decision or a reconsideration decision, and must provide an explanation or justification for the appeal. The Director of Studies should notify the other relevant parties within 7 working days of receiving an appeal. Those parties normally provide any written response within 15 days. The Director of Studies should provide a written decision and rationale within seven days of receiving responses to the appeal. The written decision is conveyed to the student with copies to the other relevant parties. The Director of Studies decision is final. A student’s status does not change while an appeal is under consideration. If a student was dismissed, he or she remains dismissed. If he or she is in academic warning, the warning stands.