To appeal, or not to appeal. Desperately seeking advice!!

  1. Please let me start by saying, I didn't go well this semester, I am solely responsible for the grades I received, and I have upmost respect and no complaints for any faculty/professors I have encountered. My exam average after taking the final is a 74.6, so I was informed my other grades wouldn't be added and I failed the course.
    Before being admitted into the program, I had to sign acknowledgment of my school's Nursing Student Handbook. It states in there that it is revised yearly, and if there are any changes, students will be notified via email.

    Here is what the handbook states regarding course grading, which is the same throughout every class within the nursing program.

    "Grading:
    The SON adheres to all academic policies and procedures established by XXXX(the name of the school I am attending) including those related to grading. Additionally, the SON employs higher academic standards in order to receive a passing grade in the course. The process of student evaluation is provided through the grading process of required curriculum as posted on course syllabi.
    Grading Scale and Program Standing: All grades to students are reported as letter grades which are usually computed from a point system. The following grading scale was developed by the SON and is used in all program required curriculum. A grade of 'C' (minimum 75.00) or better is required for satisfactory progress in the nursing program.
    Rounding Rule: Students must achieve an average a grade of 75 or higher on course exams in order to pass the course. A course/quiz exam average at or below 74.49 will not be rounded up. Grades from other assignments, when applicable, will only be added if the student has a quiz and exam average at or above 75."

    The course syllabus states:

    "Students must achieve an average grade of 75 or higher on all exams (unit and final) and score a Pass score on the final lab check off in order to pass the course. A course/exam average at or below 74.99 will NOT be rounded up. Grades from other assignments will only be added if the student has an exam average at or above 75. If the student exam average (including the final exam) is < 75%, the students will receive a D in the course."

    To me, I see the Handbook (which we have been told is the bible for school) as saying any exam average below a 74.49 will not be rounded up (meaning everything above a 74.49 is ultimately a 75). If that is not the case, why would the "rounding rule" paragraph be there? Wouldn't it just simply state that there is "absolutely NO rounding pertaining to exam averages anything below 75 results in a failure"?

    I met with my professor and she informed that it is the university's policy that they do not round up, period. But she also told me that the Student Handbook holds more weight than her syllabus and that all classes abide by the University grading system which is listed in the Student Handbook.
    She acknowledged that the Handbook needs clarification and that it is probably a typo or 74.49 is just an example the university is using to show that they do not round.

    Should I appeal on grounds that my grade should be passing according to the student handbook? If I do appeal and they tell me the syllabus was correct and the Handbook is a typo, should I pursue it further?

    And finally, I do know regardless of what happens, I need to get my act together!! I am currently looking at various resources for improving my test taking ability!! Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post!
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  2. Visit Sunnyday1234 profile page

    About Sunnyday1234

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    from CA , US

    12 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    I think your instructor gave you the correct information, and an appeal is not going to give you the result you want. Because in the end- failure is not a matter of a tenth or a percentage point- it is all the OTHER knowledge deficit that got you to the point where a tenth of a percentage point matters.

    That's probably not what you want to hear.

    Also, the word is 'utmost' not upmost.
  4. by   Double-Helix
    The student handbook says an average at or below 74.49 will not be rounded up. It doesn't say that 74.5-74.99 will be rounded up. The handbook doesn't address this situation all. You can certainly inquire to the Dean and ask for policy clarification, but there is still a very good chance they will tell you that rounding graded between 74.49-74.99 is at the discretion of the instructor.

    I'm glad you take ownership for your ooor performance. I suggest you make a concrete plan regarding improving your study habits so you don't end up in this situation again. Best of luck.
  5. by   Sunnyday1234
    Quote from Double-Helix
    The student handbook says an average at or below 74.49 will not be rounded up. It doesn't say that 74.5-74.99 will be rounded up. The handbook doesn't address this situation all. You can certainly inquire to the Dean and ask for policy clarification, but there is still a very good chance they will tell you that rounding graded between 74.49-74.99 is at the discretion of the instructor.

    I'm glad you take ownership for your ooor performance. I suggest you make a concrete plan regarding improving your study habits so you don't end up in this situation again. Best of luck.
    Thank you Double-Helix! I was looking to see how other people interpret the handbook and you're right it doesn't say it does round up.

    When I spoke with my professor, she told me that she has to go by the University's policy which is no rounding. I guess that is all I have then, a sentence in the Handbook that seems unclear to ME. I feel like it should just say no rounding, rather than anything at or below a 74.49 will not be rounded. And I guess I was also confused why it was called "rounding rule", if it's just no rounding. And obviously that is all simply my opinion. My professor ended up telling me that she didn't think my chances at an appeal were good, but she said it might be worth a shot.

    This was the end of my first semester, and I don't want to draw unnecessary negative attention to myself by appealing (I'm not sure if it would). Anyways, repeating this semester is going to be bad for my personal situation, but I understand the need to do it. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. And yes, I do not want to find myself in this situation again, it was VERY stressful being on the verge of failing, especially going into the final!!
    Last edit by Sunnyday1234 on May 12
  6. by   Sunnyday1234
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    I think your instructor gave you the correct information, and an appeal is not going to give you the result you want. Because in the end- failure is not a matter of a tenth or a percentage point- it is all the OTHER knowledge deficit that got you to the point where a tenth of a percentage point matters.

    That's probably not what you want to hear.

    Also, the word is 'utmost' not upmost.
    Hi Meanmaryjean! Thank you for the correction! Yes, my exam average was on the border of failing throughout the semester, so that is enough to make me feel like a failure to MYSELF. But, according to the University it actually is a around a tenth percentage point that determines if I am a success or failure, in THEIR eyes.

    I was just looking for advice about the difference between the syllabus and the handbook and how others interpreted that difference. And because my professor told me her syllabus goes by the University standards, it seemed to me I might have something to look into. These grading scales are new to me, which is why I came here for advice before I looked silly submitting an appeal. Thank you for taking the time to respond!
  7. by   springchick1
    This was actually addressed in my nursing program because it happened to a student who had a 74.49. Our school policy was that they would round up ONCE. So a 74.49 would round to a 74.5. That does NOT get rounded to a 75 so it would still be a failing grade.

    The way your policy read to me is that if you have 75% or higher on your exams, then they will round. That would be benificial if you ended up with a 79.9 test average and it was rounded to an 80. They won't round any grades at 74.49 or below. I'm sorry.
  8. by   lovenotwar14
    Appeal. What do you have to lose? If the dean says no.. go higher and higher. The system is put in place for a reason. Work it. Good luck.
  9. by   thatgirl2478
    I would appeal, though I would not expect it to come out in my favor. The handbook doesn't specifically state NO rounding and it doesn't say what they'll do about the .5 - .99 range. I would ask for clarification in light of my situation.


    ETA: I would also own up to the fact that it's not ONE test that got you here. Identify what factors might change the situation in subsequent years and go from there. Also consider if you have enough knowledge from THIS course to move to the next ones...
  10. by   nalie2
    If you feel you grasped the content then appeal. Some people are just not good test takers, and if you just had a bad semester then learn from it and keep going. You have accepted responsibility and I commend you for that. Many people post on here with excuse after excuse. Good luck to you.
  11. by   KrCmommy522
    I know this is from a little bit ago, but I thought I'd respond anyways.

    OP - I can see where you get the confusion. But here's by two cents!

    You received a 74.6, that could already be rounded. This refers to what springchick1 said, about only rounding up ONCE. You could have received an average of 74.55, and they rounded it to 74.6. They would have to round it again to get you up to a 75. I think that is most likely the case here.

    Like meanmaryjean said, failure is failure, whether it's a tenth or a whole percentage point or more. What got you to the point where you need to worry about a tenth of a point to get you to pass is what you need to focus on. If you feel confident in what you learned and feel that if you appeal and win, you will be okay moving on in the program because you learned enough from the course (maybe you are just a poor test taker), then I would appeal. Of course, don't really expect to win, but it wouldn't hurt to try. However, think really hard about it. Think about whether or not you really feel that you learned what you should have in the course. Think about whether or not you would benefit from re-taking the course and would be a safer and more confident nurse because of it. If you feel that you didn't really grasp the information and that is why you got to the point where a tenth of a point matters, then don't appeal. I know it stinks thinking of having to retake the course and getting behind, but knowing and grasping the information is what is important.
  12. by   Sour Lemon
    At best, their wording is very leading. I think I'd be mad. I'd only fight it hard if I were being kicked out of the program, though.
  13. by   AngelKissed857
    Student handbook is a legal contract between the program/ school and the student. That's why they make you sign an acknowledgement of having read it and agreeing to abide by it. Darn right you appeal! Immediately! And buckle down and do better next semester!
  14. by   sandygfleischmann
    Our program allows only one rounding up for the final grade per course. It is stated in our Handbook.

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