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How to submit a strong appeal Winter appeals due Fri June 1 @ 4pm

Thispackagewascreatedtohelpyouunderstand Ryersonsappealpoliciesforgradesandstanding,and decideifanappealisrightforyou.

University 201 Seminars:

TheAcademicAppealInformationPackageincludes: GradeandStandingAppealFactSheet AcademicAppealAssessmentChecklist SampleGradeAppealLetter SampleStandingAppealLetter AcademicAppealTaskList Reviewthecontentsofthispackagecarefullyto determineifanappealisrightforyou.Thefirststepis tocontactyourinstructortoattempttoresolvethe situationinformally.Ifyouareunsuccessfulatthis level,thenextstepistocontactthechair/ directoroftheprogramthatofferedthecourseto discussyoursituationandpotentialresolutions.

Student Centre, 55 Gould St. Theseseminarsgivestudentsessentialinformationabout optionsfordealingwithunexpectedgrades.Italsoprovides informationforstudentswhohavebeenWithdrawnasa resultoftheiracademicperformanceintheWinter2011semester.

Wednesday May 23 Friday May 25 Monday May 28

12pm2pm 2pm-4pm 5pm-7pm

Oakham Lounge Oakham Lounge Oakham Lounge

Letter Writing Workshops:

Student Centre, 55 Gould St. Learnhowtowriteastronggradeorstandingappeal letter.Readthispackageandusethetemplateletters includedtogetstartedonyourappealletter.Bringadraftofyour lettertotheseminarforoneononeadvicewithanadvocate.

Friday May 25 Monday May 28 Thursday May 31

10am-12pm 12pm-2pm 10am-12pm

Oakham Lounge Oakham Lounge Oakham Lounge

If you are a full-time student, contact the RSU Advocate Saira Chhibber advocacy@rsuonline.ca 416-979-5255 x. 2322

If you are a Part-Time, or C.E. student, contact the CESAR Advocate studentrights@mycesar.ca 416-979-5000 x. 2333

Academic Appeals Grade and Standing Appeal Fact Sheet


Is a Grade and/or Standing Appeal right for you? All students experience issues during a semester that could impact their grades. Although these issues may be significant to you, they must be considered valid grounds in accordance with Ryersons policies. Before you submit an appeal, you must determine if you have relevant grounds. Before you submit a formal appeal, you must take steps to try to resolve the situation informally. If you have not yet done so, speak to your instructor. If you have not been able to contact your instructor, or otherwise cannot resolve the situation with him or her, contact the chair/director of your program as soon as possible. Generally, academic grade and/or standing appeals are due within the first 2 weeks of the following academic semester. Be sure to know all of the significant dates that apply to appeal deadlines. These dates can be found online here: http://www.ryerson.ca/calendar/2010-2011/pg14.html

Grounds for Course Grade Appeals: A more in depth overview of these grounds can be found by reviewing Ryersons policies on Academic Consideration and Appeals (Policy 134), found here: http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol134.pdf Medical Appeals on medical grounds should include documentation from a physician and a clearly explanation of how the medical condition directly affected a students academic performance during the semester Before submitting an appeal on medical grounds, you should have visited your family doctor, or, if you dont have one, visited the Ryerson Medical Centre located at W181 West Kerr Hall, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B2K3 Submit a fully completed Ryerson Medical Certificate (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/medical.pdf) or a letter from a certified medical professional, on letterhead with the same information as the Ryerson Medical Certificate. Students need to inform the instructor and/or Department/Chair (in writing, if possible) as soon as a medical conditions arises. Failure to do so may jeopardize an appeal Every effort should be made to make alternate arrangements for missed course work on medical grounds before the term ends

Compassionate Appeals can be filed under compassionate grounds when there are events or circumstances beyond the control of and unforeseen by the student that impact the students ability to do well Appeal letters on compassionate grounds should clearly show/explain how these events or circumstances directly impacted a students academic performance Students need to inform the instructor and/or Department/Chair (in writing, if possible) as soon as these events and circumstances arise, failure to do so may jeopardize a students appeal Every effort should be made to make alternate arrangements during the term as they arise

Course Management Appeals may be filed under Course Management grounds if an instructor has violated the Ryerson course management policy: http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol145.pdf Appeal letters on Course Management grounds should clearly show/explain what part of the Course Management Policy was violated and why. This letter should be accompanied with evidence to prove that the policy was violated Students can file an appeal with these grounds if an instructor has demonstrated personal bias or unfair treatment. It is important to keep every piece of evidence related to course interactions with your instructor

Prejudice - To pursue an appeal based on prejudice a student MUST consult with Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services (DHPS). You can reach DHPS at 419.879.5000 ext. 5349 or via email at dhps@ryerson.ca

Appeals based on prejudice only apply to cases where the Ontario Human Rights Code has been violated.

Procedural Error Appeals may be filed under procedural error if the application of the Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals policy and/or any other application of a Ryerson University policy has not been followed. Any procedural error claim must have supporting documentation or witnesses Appeal letters must include exact quotations and citations of policies and procedures and how they were violated

Grounds for Academic Standing Appeal: Like grade appeals, standing appeals must be based on at least one of the five above listed grounds. Students must also show substantive reasons why their current standing is NOT appropriate. To understand why your standing may have changed, it is essential to read and understand The Policy on Promotion, Grading and Academic Standing (The GPA Policy) (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/Pol46a-Effective-May-01-11.pdf) To evaluate whether or not your appeal meets the criteria listed above please use the Appeal Assessment Checklist as a general guide. Please note that standing appeals and grade appeals are different appeals. With grade appeals, you are appealing the grade you got in a specific course. With standing appeals, you are appealing your change in standing (Required to Withdraw, or Permanently Withdrawn) based on your overall experience at Ryerson University. With grade appeals, you submit the course appeal to the department in which the course was taught. With standing appeals, you submit your appeal to your home department. Appeal Forms: All academic appeal forms and other forms related to appeals can be found at http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/index.html#appeals\ Writing an Academic Grade and/or Standing Appeal Letter Once you have looked over relevant policies and have determined you have a case to appeal your Grade and/or Standing you can begin writing an appeal letter. You can find sample template Grade and Standing appeal letters attached to this appeal package. You can also access the RSU and CESARs Academic Appeal Tasklist; this resource will help you ensure you submit fully completed appeal packages. _______________________________________________________ This fact sheet is to be used as an introduction and guide to academic Grade and Standing appeals at Ryerson University, it outlines which policies, forms and procedures you may need to use as student. This is not an exhaustive list of Ryerson University policies. For a list of Ryerson academic policies visit the Senate website: http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/. There is also a more user friendly guide to academics at Ryerson called the STUDENT GUIDE, which can be found at http://www.ryerson.ca/studentguide/Introduction.html

Academic Appeal Assessment Checklist


This check list is meant to be a resource for you to: (a) Decide if you have grounds for a potential grade and/or standing appeal, (b) Follow a reasonably correct path to appealing your grade and/or standing if you in fact have grounds to appeal

*Please Note: Everyones situation is different; this is not an exhaustive list. Depending on your situation you may be able to resolve your issues without having to file an appeal. Before you appeal, speak with your instructor and/or your departmental program director first. It will be to your benefit to resolve the situation informally if possible.
Grounds for Appeal Assessment Checklist This section of the checklist will go through the grounds for Academic Grade and Standing Appeals. Please answer as many questions as possible. Keep in mind that you may qualify for an appeal under multiple grounds, so fill in each section if it applies to you. This checklist is meant to guide you through the appeal policy; it is not a replacement for reading the Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals Policy (Policy 134). Section A

Medical Grounds
Appeals based on medical grounds must be supported by a fully completed Ryerson Medical Certificate (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/medical.pdf) or a letter on letterhead containing all information required by the Ryerson Medical Certificate. It is best to visit your family physician if you have one. If not, the second best option is to visit the Ryerson Medical Centre in Ker Hall West 181 (KHW181) 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B2K3

Question 1: Do you have medical documentation for a medical condition which occurred during your academic semester? Question 2: Did you speak with your instructor, Chair/Director and/or Ryerson University staff person as soon as you realized your medical condition was affecting your academic performance? If no, contact someone immediately to discuss how your medical condition affected your ability to perform academically. Question 3: Do the dates in which you have medical documentation correspond to due dates for assignments, tests or exams? Question 4: If you answered Yes to question 3. Are your grades on these assignments, tests or exams reflective of your overall knowledge in the course? Question 5: Is your medical condition a chronic (long term) or acute (short term) condition?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Chronic

Acute

Question 6: If your medical condition is chronic, have you investigated possibilities to ensure this condition will not affect your academics in the future? Including consulting the Access Centre? Question 7: Can you explain with supporting medical documentation the duration of your medical condition and how it impacted your ability to perform academically during the semester with concrete examples?

Yes

No

Yes

No

If you have answered yes to the majority of the questions listed in section A, you may qualify to appeal your grade and/or standing on medical grounds. Now skip to the Academic Appeal Task List for more information on how to put forward a cohesive appeal package.

Section B

Compassionate Grounds
Appeals may be filed under compassionate grounds when there are circumstances beyond a students control that make it impossible for the student to do well. Eg. Death in the family

Question 8: Did you speak with your instructor as soon as these circumstances arose? If no, speak with your instructor before making an appeal. It is possible that they still may be able to make considerations. Speaking to them will also give you the opportunity to review your work with them and determine what went wrong during the semester. After you speak with them, complete the rest of this checklist.

Yes

No

Question 9: If you answered Yes to question 8; were considerations made that met your needs in the course? Question 10: Do you have documentation that these circumstances affected your academic performance during the semester? Question 11: Does your documentation indicate when and how these circumstances impaired your ability to meet academic obligations?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

If you answered yes to the majority of the questions listed in section B you may qualify to appeal your grade and/or standing on compassionategrounds. It is important to compile every piece of evidence and write a letter which can explain all of these circumstances. Usually employment obligations are not considered in the appeal process under compassionate grounds, however, it is possible to make a good argument if your employment obligations were part of a more complex situation. Skip to the Academic Appeal Task List for more information on how to put together a complete appeal package. Section C

Course Management Grounds


Appeals may be filed under course management grounds if you feel the following course management policy has been violated: http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol145.pdf. The following questions have been developed as a guide to this policy, but they are not an exhaustive list of course management issues that may arise during each course.

Questions 12: at any point in the semester did your instructor deviate significantly from Ryerson University course management policies or course outline? Question 13:Did the deviation from the course management policy or course outline impact your ability to do well in a test or assignment? That is, do you believe the issue resulted in a significant loss of marks? Questions 14: at any point in the semester did your instructor demonstrate personal bias or unfair treatment towards you which you feel adversely affected your grade or standing?

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Question 15: If you answered yes to question 12, 13 or 14, did you speak with the Chair or Director of your program to attempt to resolve the issue? (If no, contact them immediately before you consider an appeal on these grounds)

Yes

No

Question 16: If you answered yes to question 12, 13 or 14 do you have written documentation eg. Email, course outline, or other course related materials which support your claim? (If no, it is important for you to evaluate your case and determine if you can reasonably prove these claims. If not, you may not have grounds to appeal under course management)

Yes

No

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions you may qualify to appeal your grade and/or standing on these grounds. It is important to compile every piece of evidence and write a letter which can explain each course management violation, with a particular focus on explaining which policy was broken. Be sure to read Ryerson Universitys course management policy and any departmental level course management policies thoroughly before you proceed with an appeal on these grounds. Skip to the Academic Appeal Task List for more information on how to put together a complete appeal package. Section D

Procedural Error Grounds


Appeals may be filed under these grounds if it is believed that an error has been made in the application of either the Undergraduate Academic Consideration and Appeals policy or any other applicable policy at Ryerson University, including specific program policies such as course deviations which can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Question 17: Do you have evidence which proves a procedural error occurred in a course?

Yes

No

Questions 18: Can you reference the academic regulation or policy which was improperly applied or not followed?

Yes

No

If you answered yes to both of the questions above you may qualify to appeal your grade and/or standing on these grounds. It is important to compile every piece of evidence and write a letter which can explain and reference each procedural error. Appeals granted on this basis will correct/rectify the procedural error. Proceed to the Academic Appeal Task List for more information on how to put together a complete appeal package. Section E

Prejudice
Appeals based on the grounds of prejudice are limited to the prohibited grounds as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code (eg. race, sex, sexual orientation, disability) Question 1: Do you feel that an instructor has violated the Ontario Human Rights Code and this violation has impacted your academic performance? Question 2: If you have answered Yes to question #1, have you visited the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office? Yes No

Yes

No

Question 3: Once you have visited the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office they will Yes No perform an investigation on your claim and make recommendations for your appeal. Have you received a recommendation from Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office? Once you have received a recommendation from the Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Office and if the recommendation is in your favor precede to the Academic Appeal Task List for more information on how to put together a complete appeal package.

Grade Appeal Template Letter


<<Date>>

<<Name of Chair>> <<Name of Department>> Ryerson University

RE: Grade Appeal Departmental Level COURSE CODE Dear <<NAME OF CHAIR/DIRECTOR>>, <<Introduction>> I am appealing my grade for course <<insert name of course>>, <<insert course code>>, taught by instructor <<insert name of instructor>> taken in the <<insert the term and year>> on the ground(s) of <<insert the relevant ground(s)>>. <<Body Paragraph #1>> This section should address questions outlined in section C of the grade appeal form. Section C on the grade appeal form requests that students outline the grounds for appeal, being as specific as possible. The reason for my appeal is . Suggestions: Clearly stating the grounds upon which you will be appealing (eg. medical grounds.) What happened How it affected your performance as a result

<<Body Paragraph #2>> This section should address questions outlined in section A of the grade appeal form. Section A requests that students outline the steps they took to deal with these grounds for appeal. For example, a student who was ill and missed a midterm might outline that they emailed the professor the day of the midterm to inform the professor that they would be too ill to attend the midterm that day. This would usually be followed by a medical certificate. Be specific and add email correspondence or recount verbal communication from your perspective. The actions I took to resolve this issue before I filed an appeal were Suggestions: Explain who you talked to from your course or department (eg. Professors and/or program director to alert them to the troubles you were experiencing) If you did not raise the issue with anyone, provide reasons why you did not raise the issue throughout the semester Explain the services at Ryerson that you used to help solve your problems (eg. Access Centre, Writing Centre, Counseling Centre, etc)

<<Body Paragraph #3>>

This section should address questions asked in section B of the grade appeal form. Section B requests that students explain what they believe is a fair way to solve this problem. This could include re-grading of an examination paper, a supplemental assignment or exam, or a retro-active drop of the course from the transcript. [Note: for Grade Appeals grades can not be increased without some piece of course work being done/redone] As a result of these difficulties, I am requesting an opportunity to improve my grade by Suggestions: Re-writing the final exam Having your assignments re-graded by a neutral third party Being granted a retroactive course removal

<<Concluding Paragraph>> Finish your letter by re-iterating how and why your grounds for appeal are valid and why the resolution your presented is appropriate. Thank the reader for their time and consideration. Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at <<Insert phone number>> or via email at <<insert email address>>. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, <<Full Name>> <<Student ID>>

Standing Appeal Template Letter


<<Date>>

<<Name of Chair>> <<Name of Department>> Ryerson University

RE: Standing Appeal Departmental Level Dear <<NAME OF CHAIR/DIRECTOR>>, <<Introduction>> I am appealing my standing of <<insert standing>> in the <<insert semester>> on the ground(s) of <<insert the relevant ground(s)>>. <<Body Paragraph #1>> Provide a brief overview of your academic history at Ryerson. If you are in a situation where you are Required to Withdraw or Permanently Withdrawn, it is likely that you had trouble with your grades and standing in the past. Address what happened that lead you to be on probationary standing, in 5 sentences or less. This sets the stage to explain why the incident which affected you in courses this semester has had a domino effect, leading to the standing change you are appealing. I had experienced some trouble with my standing in the past but I had high hopes for this semester to turn things around Suggestions: Address in one or two sentences what initially led to your probationary status Explain the plan you worked out with the person who gave you a probationary contract, and that you were confident that you could meet these terms until the unexpected problem you faced in this semester arose

<<Body Paragraph #2>> This section should address questions outlined in section C of the standing appeal form. Explain your grounds for appeal. What happened that caused your standing to change? I experienced a situation beyond my control that made it affected my ability to meet the terms of my probationary contract Suggestions: Clearly state your grounds for appeal Explain how it impacted your plan as outlined in the probationary contract

<<Body Paragraph #3>> This section addresses Section A of the standing appeal form. Section A requests that you outline the steps you took try to prevent the situation from happening. You should include a discussion of the probationary contract you signed, and what steps you took (if any) to avoid

violating the probationary contract. Be specific and add email correspondence or recount verbal communication from your perspective. I tried to improve my situation by communicating these issues Suggestions: Explain who you talked to from your course or department (eg. Professors and/or program director to alert them to the troubles you were experiencing) If you did not raise the issue with anyone, provide reasons why you did not raise the issue throughout the semester Explain the services at Ryerson that you used to help solve your problems (eg. Access Centre, Writing Centre, Counseling Centre, etc)

<<Body Paragraph #4>> Address the question outlined in section B of the standing appeal form. Section B requests that students outline what actions they would like to be taken with respect to their standing. Normally, you suggest that your standing be returned to probationary status. I am requesting that I be returned to probationary status.

<<Concluding Paragraph>> Explain your passion for the program and why you will not repeat the mistakes of the past if placed back on probationary status. Outline the steps you will take to ensure success. If returned to probationary status, I know the problems I experienced in Winter 2011 will not continue because.

Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at <<Insert phone number>> or via email at <<insert email address>>. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, <<Full Name>> <<Student ID>>

Academic Appeal Task list How to submit a complete academic appeal *Remember: Submitting a grade and/or standing appeal can be very time consuming and the timelines to submit appeals are tight. Generally, academic grade and/or standing appeals are due within the first 2 weeks of the preceding academic semester. Be sure to know all of the significant dates that apply to appeal deadlines, these dates can be found online here: http://www.ryerson.ca/studentguide/Introduction5.html Please use this task list to guide you through the appeal process. Check off each question when you have finished a task and always make sure to hand in complete appeal packages. Incomplete appeals can be delayed or dismissed.

Before you write your Grade and/or Standing Appeal letter:

No matter what your situation, it is important to speak to your specific instructor and/or program Chair/Director before you consider writing an appeal. Check off the yes box once you have completed this task.

Yes

No

Does your appeal fit within at least one of the five possible grounds for appeal? If your situation does not fit within the grounds listed in Policy 134 Undergraduate Academic Appeals and Consideration Policy, your chances for success are very slim. For a brief overview of these grounds you can read the Academic Appeal Assessment Checklist provided to you by the RSU and CESAR.

Yes

No

Students considering a Standing appeal should speak with their instructors to assess whether or not a grade appeal is also relevant. Grade and standing appeals are to be handed in at the same time. Grade appeals will be assessed first. Before you write your appeal letter(s) it is important to determine if you will submit grade and standing appeals or simply a standing appeal. Check off the yes box once you have completed this task. If it does not apply to your situation move to the next section.

Yes

No

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant policies. For most appeals it is only necessary to read the Undergraduate Consideration and Appeals policy (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol134.pdf). If you are appealing a grade under course management grounds, read the course management policy (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol145.pdf.). Some programs, like Nursing, have extensive course variations in addition to the Course Management Policy. It is important to ensure that you have reviewed all course variations that may apply to your specific program of study. If you are appealing your standing, be sure to familiarize yourself with The Policy on Promotion, Grading and Academic Standing (The GPA Policy) (http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol46.pdf). Some programs have different standards for grading and academic standing. Please be sure to visit your departmental website or speak to your Chair/Director if you have specific questions about your program academic standing policies. Check off the yes box once you have completed this task.

Yes

No

Appeal Packages and Letters As a student it is your responsibility to submit complete appeal packages. Every appeal package should include at minimum an appeal form and a written statement explaining what went wrong. Most appeal packages include all documentation (evidence) to support claims as well. It can be difficult to submit evidence at a later date in the appeal, so please make sure all of your evidence is submitted at the first level of your appeal. If you receive new evidence while you are in the process of appealing, contact the department, faculty or Senate to try and get your evidence submitted as soon as reasonably possible.

Write a draft appeal letter using the appeal guidelines listed on the appeal forms and the template letter provided by the RSU and CESAR. Fill out the correct appeal forms. You will need to fill out a separate form for appeals submitted at the Departmental, Faculty and Senate level. Make sure you have filled out the correct form.

Yes

No

Yes All grade and standing appeal forms can be found online: http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/index.html#appeals

No

Assess the completeness of your appeal: Is your grade and/or standing appeal form(s) completed in full? Is your appeal letter complete and does it explain your situation in detail? Yes Do you have all supporting documentation and is the supporting documentation explained in your letter? (Note: if you are submitting multiple grade and standing appeals you must have a letter attached to each appeal form explaining why this grade or standing appeal is valid ) Hand in your appeal package. Make sure to keep a copy of all appeals submitted for you records. Ask the department to datestamp your copy as well. Grade Appeals should be submitted to the department in which the course was taught. For example, if you are in Engineering but the grade you are appealing was taught in the Faculty of Community Services; you must submit your appeal to the Faculty of Community Services. Standing Appeals should be submitted to your department of study. Yes No No