The University expects all students to attend their scheduled classes and laboratory periods regularly. It is recognized that what constitutes satisfactory attendance will vary among disciplines and courses within the same subject ﬁeld. Accordingly, at the beginning of each course, instructors will notify their students in writing via the course syllabus what constitutes satisfactory attendance in that course. Furthermore, attendance records submitted to the Office of the Registrar in the beginning, middle, and end of each semester are necessary for institutional administration and external reporting. For security reasons, only registered students may attend classes.
Instructors may not impose or recommend a penalty for class absences unless they have given their class attendance policy to students and ﬁled a copy with the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Absences from classes are not allowed on the class day immediately preceding or following a University recess or a regularly scheduled holiday.
When students enter a class after attendance has been taken, they have the responsibility of reporting their presence to the instructor after the class. Otherwise, they will be counted absent. Students leaving the classroom without permission from the instructor will be marked absent.
Students are accountable for all work missed because of class absence. Instructors are under no obligation to make special arrangements for students who were absent.
If a student exceeds the allowed number of absences as speciﬁed in the syllabus, the instructor may recommend to the student that the student withdraw from the course; if the student chooses to remain in the course, the instructor will grade the student according to the syllabus and any penalties described in the syllabus.
Attendance at all class sessions of accelerated courses is considered a critical element in the accomplishment of learning outcomes. Class attendance for online courses is defined as an online presence demonstrated by active participation in all threaded discussions and virtual chats as required by the instructor. Failure to fulfill requirements within the parameters of each session will result in the student being marked absent.
It is recognized that class absences are sometimes necessary for extenuating professional or personal reasons. It is for these reasons that policies and procedures are established and published by the departments responsible for each program. Please consult your department’s Web page or posted/printed materials for specific attendance expectations for your program.
On occasion, instructors need to cancel their classes because of illness or some other unusual circumstance. Campuses may close for emergency situations or due to weather.
Should we close or delay classes in the Philadelphia area, a radio announcement will be made on KYW News Radio, 1060 AM; our school closing number is listed in Delaware County and is 1207.
Central PA Area
Should we close or delay classes in the Central PA area, a radio announcement will be made on WARM 103 FM; schools are listed alphabetically, by name, and according to the type of closure (full closing, delay of 2 hours, etc.).
School Closing Information
Go to www.eastern.edu and enter School Closing Info into the Search window to review the current status of facilities and operations at campuses and locations operated by Eastern University.
If you would like to receive text messages alerting you to class cancellation due to weather closure, sign up for text alerts by going to EU Emergency Messaging System. Fees may apply depending on your mobile phone contract, please contact your wireless provider with any questions.
Absence of Instructor
If a professor or instructor does not meet a class at the assigned hour and no formal cancellation notice has been posted, one of the students should notify the Ofﬁce of the Registrar. Instructions for procedure will be given from that ofﬁce.
Convocations and Lectures
Convocations for the entire University community are held throughout the year to mark significant events in the life of the University and to provide cultural and educational enrichment. Full-time students are expected to attend convocations.
University lectures, the Faith Forum, and the Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lectures are also featured.
Withdrawal from the University
A student intending to withdraw from the University, even for one or two semesters, must participate in an exit interview with the advisor. Failure to ofﬁcially withdraw will result in forfeiture of the general expense deposit. Students withdrawing at the end of a semester, or in intervals between regular semesters, should contact their advisor.
A student who has been receiving any type of federal loan prior to withdrawing from the University must also complete a Federal Direct Loan Exit Interview online at StudentAid.gov (contact the Financial Aid Office with questions). Adjustments to the student’s aid may be necessary when the student does not complete a semester for which aid is given. This in turn may leave a balance owed to the University (payable to the Student Accounts Office). In addition, a student who withdraws from the University should also be aware that when satisfactory academic progress for Financial Aid is checked in May, he/she may fall short of the required credits or cumulative GPA (CGPA) to be eligible to receive aid again. The student will be sent a notification of this deficiency even though the student has withdrawn, so that he/she has the opportunity to correct the situation. For more information on this, please check “Measurement of Academic Progress” and “Grade Point Average Requirements” in the Financial Assistance section of the catalog.
For a student withdrawing during a semester, the authorized date of withdrawal will be that used on the student’s permanent record. If the student withdraws before the last day to withdraw from a course (the tenth week of the semester), the student will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) for each course. The grade of W carries neither credit nor penalty. If the student withdraws after the tenth week of a semester, the student will receive a grade of WF for each course. The grade of WF carries the same penalty as the grade of F. Published refund policies apply (See Withdrawal and Refund Policy.)
The University reserves the right to dismiss a student whenever, in the judgment of the University, the conduct of that student warrants dismissal.
In the case of disciplinary dismissal, twenty-four hours will be allowed for the removal of the student after receipt of notiﬁcation of dismissal.
All students are responsible to read, understand, and abide by the Student Handbook (www.eastern.edu/handbook). Students are responsible for these regulations and others announced to the student body.
Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure
Eastern University desires for members of its community to strive for original thought in all pursuits of academic inquiry. We believe that each individual has been made in the image of God and possesses a unique vantage point on aspects of faith, reason and justice. As such, assigned coursework should provide an opportunity for that individualized perspective to be expressed. To that end, the university policy on academic integrity aims to provide clear expectations for faculty and students.
Expectations for Faculty
All Eastern University instructors commit to educating students on the university standards regarding academic integrity. To that end, faculty are required to do the following:
Affirm academic integrity as a core institutional value.
Include the academic integrity policy in their syllabus and link to it in their course’s LMS.
Assess how well their students understand academic integrity policies and expectations.
Define the preferred documentation style for the course (MLA, APA, Chicago Style, etc.)
Provide students with their preferred resource for documentation guidelines, along with any adaptations of those guidelines in written form.
Communicate your role as a guide and mentor, explain how to ask questions regarding academic coursework and academic integrity proactively.
Provide information about Eastern University’s Writing Center Support
Articulate any acceptable use of generative software (e.g. large-language model AI) for each assessment.
Expectations for Students
Eastern University students are expected to complete all academic work as individuals. To that end, students are required to do the following:
Present words, pictures, ideas, data, and artwork that are one’s own in written, audio and/or visual form.
When incorporating words, pictures, ideas, data, and artwork that are not one’s own in written, audio and/or visual form, document those sources appropriately, following the citation guidelines provided.
Direct language taken from an outside source must be enclosed in quotation marks and cited properly. To omit quotation marks for a phrase that is taken word-for-word from a source is plagiarism.
Ideas taken from an outside source must be paraphrased and cited properly. To paraphrase without citing is plagiarism.
Assume that all tests, assignments and in-class work are meant to be completed by the individual unless otherwise specified by the instructor.
To complete an individual test, assignment or in-class work in a group or to have someone else complete the test, assignment or in-class work on the student’s behalf is plagiarism.
To borrow all or part of another individual’s work on the same test, assignment or in-class work is also a form of academic dishonesty.
Submit new work to one’s instructor. Papers and assignments that were completed for another class are not accepted unless explicit knowledge and consent of the instructor is given.
Ensure that one’s own work is not improperly used by others, through not giving past assignments to students enrolled in different sections of the course.
Use technology responsibly. Unless explicitly stated in the assignment guidelines, students are prohibited from using AI or AI-enabled generative tools to replace aspects of academic assessments, including but not limited to full or partial automated text generation, plagiarism detection evasion, or unauthorized data analysis. Students must not submit content generated by AI systems without proper attribution and citation. The use of AI tools to aid in content creation should be within the bounds permitted by the instructor, and must be used only to supplement, and not replace, the student's own knowledge, understanding, and effort.
Tiers of Academic Dishonesty
Eastern University situates incidents of academic dishonesty within three tiers with varying levels of intentionality and corresponding consequences.
TIER ONE OFFENSES may include the following:
misuse of paraphrasing
recycling old work
other non-malicious errors
use of AI or AI-enabled generative tool(s) to replace aspects of an assignment
A Tier One AI offense might be something like:
Using an AI chatbot to generate a paragraph used in an essay or exam.
Using an AI chatbot to produce an anecdote or hypothetical example for use in a presentation.
Using an AI chatbot to generate a short-answer response to a take-home exam.
This tier should be viewed as rehabilitative and educative.
TIER TWO OFFENSES may include the following:
a student’s second minor offense, of the same or differing nature from the first
plagiarism, particularly in one or more small portions of an assignment
cheating on an exam; including utilizing notes, study aids, or another’s work when sitting for online or in-person examinations or quizzes, unless otherwise directed by the instructor
assisting or contributing to academic dishonesty through helping or attempting to help others commit an act of academic dishonesty.
use of AI or AI-enabled generative tool(s) to replace aspects of an assignment
A Tier Two AI offense might be something like:
Using a chatbot to generate or modify >50% of an essay's wordcount.
Using a chatbot to generate an entire essay that the student then paraphrases themselves.
This tier should be viewed as rehabilitative and educative.
TIER THREE OFFENSES may include the following:
paying someone to write a paper
copying the majority of a paper from an outside source with no attribution
submitting a paper that was largely written by someone else
fabricating or falsifying data, evidence, statistics, or material to augment one’s original research or idea.
Academic Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
Academic integrity is vital to any university community. The Eastern University student is expected to live a life of honesty and integrity consistent with the demands of Christian discipleship. Therefore, dishonesty is regarded by Eastern University as an egregious violation of both the academic and spiritual principles of this community.
A student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive disciplinary sanctions, which may include educational initiatives, failure of the assignment, failure of the course, or separation from the University. Given the serious consequences of academic dishonesty, the student is encouraged to discuss any course-related difficulties openly with the appropriate instructor instead of resorting to dishonest conduct.
Process for Adjudicating Academic Dishonesty
All cases of academic dishonesty will be reviewed and adjudicated by the instructor. The instructor will submit the Academic Dishonesty Form. Academic dishonesty constitutes a violation of both the academic and spiritual principles of the University community. This report will be sent to the Academic Deans and/or the Office of the Provost, who will interface with the Office for Student Development as needed. As such, disciplinary action may occur at both the course and University level.
The Provost and Academic Deans have the discretion to modify the following procedures at any time during a specific investigation or adjudication, as circumstances warrant. Nothing contained in these procedures is intended to create, or be interpreted as creating, any contractual rights on the part of any student.
When the academic integrity policy is violated, according to the definition adopted by the faculty and any additional definition(s) the instructor has published to their students, the instructor should follow these steps:
Communicate with the student about the instance of academic dishonesty, particularly if AI usage is suspected. In this communication, faculty may want to inquire about the writing process and/or key content elements of the assignment.
Fill out the Preliminary Academic Integrity Form.
The instructor will receive an automatic email letting them know whether or not this was the student’s first offense, along with a link to the Academic Integrity Report Form.
The instructor will fill out the Academic Integrity Report Form, in which they will choose one of the following penalties according to their assessment of the severity of the infraction and any extenuating circumstances:
Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project or examination but allow resubmission, resulting in a maximum grade of C. (Recommended for TIER ONE OFFENSES)
Required referral to the Director of the Writing Center (or their designee), for additional education on academic integrity (Option for TIER ONE and TIER TWO OFFENSES)
Assign a grade of F or zero on the paper, project or examination without the opportunity for resubmission. (Recommended for TIER TWO OFFENSES)
Required educational academic integrity seminar offered online, the cost of which is passed onto the student. (Option for TIER TWO OFFENSES and TIER THREE OFFENSES)
Assign a grade of F in the course. (Recommended for TIER THREE OFFENSES)
In all cases, the instructor will submit evidence of academic dishonesty through the Academic Integrity Report Form, which should include Turnitin results and/or similar documentation of plagiarism and/or AI usage.
Students may appeal the allegation of academic dishonesty and their grade through the University procedure for resolving grade disputes.
The right to choose whether to respond to faculty communication and/or meeting request(s) regarding the allegation, with the understanding that findings and sanctions may be imposed with or without participation.
The right to notice of the allegation that a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy has taken place.
The right to notification of meeting opportunities with the instructor related to the complaint and of the prompt timeframes anticipated for major stages of the complaint process.
The right to notice of the factual allegations that form the basis of the complaint.
The right to a prompt and impartial response and resolution of complaints.
The right to have the University or the Complainant bear the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
The right to present relevant statements, materials, and witnesses during the conduct review proceedings in communication and/or meeting with the instructor.
The right to review all written statements and materials related to the allegation.
The right to notification of any finding of responsibility.
The right to be free from retaliation for participating in the University’s investigation and fact-finding process.
The right to appeal, consistent with the provisions outlined within this policy and the Student Code of Conduct.
Unacceptable Academic Behavior
The following are recognized as unacceptable forms of academic behavior at Eastern University:
- Plagiarism. Plagiarizing is presenting words or ideas not your own as if they were your own. Three or more words taken directly from another author must be enclosed in quotation marks and footnoted. The source of distinctive ideas must also be acknowledged in a footnote. The words or ideas of another are not made your own by simple paraphrasing. A paraphrase, even if acknowledged by a footnote, is unacceptable unless speciﬁcally permitted by the instructor.
- Submitting a paper written by another student or another person, including material downloaded from electronic media, as if it were your own.
- Submitting your paper written by you for another course or occasion without the explicit knowledge and consent of the instructor.
- Fabricating evidence or statistics which supposedly represent your original research.
- Cheating of any sort on tests, papers, projects, reports, and so forth. Each faculty member is required to send a record, together with all evidence of all suspected cases of academic dishonesty, to the Academic Dean.
Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
In the event academic honesty is violated, according to the deﬁnition adopted by the faculty and whatever additional deﬁnition the instructor has published to his/her students, the instructor may do one of the following things, according to his/her assessment of the severity of the infraction and any extenuating circumstances.
- Assign a grade of F or “0%” on the paper, project or examination but allow resubmission, resulting in a maximum combined grade of C.
- Assign a grade of F or “0%” on the paper, project or examination without the opportunity for resubmission.
- Assign a grade of F in the course.
In all cases the instructor will forward evidence of dishonesty to the Academic Dean and will inform the Dean of the action taken.
All cases of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action. Any disciplinary action will occur in addition to the academic penalty. Disciplinary penalties may include disciplinary probation, suspension or disciplinary dismissal.
Most courses at Eastern are graded on a system of ﬁve grades: A, B, C, D, and F. As noted, some courses are graded on a Pass-Fail (P/F) basis. The following are the principal grades at Eastern and the grade (or quality) points assigned to each:
|Grade||Meaning||Grade Point Average|
The total quality points divided by the total credit hours which the student has attempted yields the grade-point average. The minimum satisfactory grade-point average is 2.00. A 2.00 average is required for graduation.
Note: When the course description speciﬁcally states that a student may choose the option of ABCDF or P/F grading, the grading option cannot be changed after the last day to add a course in any academic session.
The following are the definitions of grades adopted by the faculty.
A grade of A represents:
- Superior understanding of course material and evidence of ability to analyze critically and synthesize creatively;
- Sound techniques of scholarship in all projects;
- Creativity, imagination, sound judgment, and intellectual curiosity in relating the course material to other areas of intellectual investigation.
A grade of B represents:
- Understanding of course material and evidence of ability to produce viable generalizations and insightful implications;
- Understanding of techniques of scholarship in all projects;
- Sustained interest and the ability to communicate ideas and concepts which are part of the subject matter of the course.
A grade of C represents:
- Understanding of course material demonstrated by few errors in fact and judgment when discussing the material;
- Competence in techniques of scholarship;
- Satisfaction of the minimum stated requirements for the course in preparation, outside reading, and class participation.
A grade of D represents:
- A minimal understanding of the course material demonstrated by some errors in fact and judgment when discussing the material;
- Very little competence in techniques of scholarship;
- Satisfaction of somewhat less than the minimum standard of requirements for the course in preparation, outside reading, and class participation. There is no grade of D in graduate school.
A grade of F represents:
- A lack of understanding of the course material demonstrated by many errors in fact and judgment when discussing the material;
- An inability to use sound techniques of scholarship;
- Failure to meet the standard and fulfill the requirements of the course.
Other Grades and Notations
The following other grades are given in special cases. Further explanations follow.
|W||Withdrawn (carries no attempted or earned hours)|
|WF||Withdrawn Failing (carries the same academic penalty as an F)|
|P||Passing (A, B, C or D work)|
|NC||No credit (carries no academic penalty)|
Some courses are given only on Pass-Fail basis and are graded P/F by faculty action (check the course description). No other courses should be graded on this basis. Special Topics courses may be graded P/F if this is stated in the course description.
An earned grade of P will give the student credit for the course, but the P does not calculate in the grade-point average. An earned grade of F allows credits for the course to count as hours attempted; the F affects the student’s grade-point average like any other F.
Pass-No Credit Option
A Pass-No Credit grading option is available to full-time students under the following conditions:
- Any student may elect this option in four courses taken to fulﬁll graduation requirements at Eastern, provided that such courses are not used to meet core curriculum requirements, major, or area of concentration requirements.
- This option may be elected in only one course in a given semester. (This option is not available in summer session.)
- The course will be graded Pass (P) or No Credit (NC), which will be recorded on the student’s permanent record, but will not affect the student’s grade-point average.
- Hours graded P will be counted as hours earned toward total hours required for graduation. Hours graded NC will not count as hours earned, but neither will they count as hours attempted.
- This option may be added or dropped only during the ﬁrst week of the semester.
- Students are expected to do all the work assigned and to take all examinations in courses graded on the P/NC basis.
The purpose of this option is to encourage students to pursue the broadest possible course of studies apart from their major or core curriculum requirements.
A properly qualified student may attend a class as an auditor with the permission of the instructor and Registrar. An auditor is primarily an observer and may not take examinations in the course. No credit is granted for auditing a course. Once a student has audited a course, he/she may not subsequently register for the same course and earn credit. An additional fee may apply for auditing.
The grade “I” is given when a student fails to complete course requirements because of extreme and unforeseen extenuating circumstances that may have affected academic performance. The “I” must be approved by the professor teaching the course. An incomplete grade should only be considered if a student has completed at least 75% of the course. In an effort to provide interim assessment during the incomplete period, the professor will provide a completion outline with a timeline of deliverables during the makeup period. This form must be signed by the professor and student before the end of the semester/session. The incomplete is recorded at the end of the semester/session and must be removed within 60 days. The “I” grade automatically becomes an “F” if the student does not complete course requirements and a change of grade is not submitted within the time frame stipulated above. In the case of persistent or additional extreme and unforeseen extenuating circumstances, an extension of the incomplete or a “W” (Withdrawn) grade may be authorized. An “Exception to Policy” form, available from the Office of the registrar Web page, www.eastern.edu/registrar, should be completed and submitted to the dean, along with documentation of the persistent or additional extreme and unforeseen extenuating circumstances. “W” grades will be awarded only for the course the student was passing at the time he/she became incapacitated. Courses carrying a grade of “W” receive no credit and are not counted as hours attempted.
Students who have been granted an incomplete for a class, or multiple classes, may receive a letter informing them that they have not met the “Minimum Standard for Academic Progress” when grades are checked in May. The student must contact the Office of Financial Aid, informing them of the status of the incomplete class(es). If the student does not make up the deficiency in the required timeframe, he/she may be ineligible to receive any type of aid for the upcoming semester(s). For more information, please read “Measurement of Academic Progress” and “Grade-Point Average Requirements” in the Financial Assistance section of the catalog.
Change of Grade
A request for a change of grade is submitted by the instructor to the Registrar only when an error in the original grade has been determined.
Eastern University is in transition and there is a separate policy for traditional baccalaureate students and for nontraditional accelerated students.
Traditional Baccalaureate Repeated Courses
A student may register for a course a maximum of two times. Grades of “W,” “F,” “WF,” and “D±” and “C-” count toward the maximum of two registrations. Thereafter, a student may only register for the same class after completion and approval of an appeal based upon extenuating circumstances, such as prolonged illness. The appeal is a contract written by the student prior to the term in which he or she seeks re-enrollment. The appeal must detail the extenuating circumstances as well as an action plan to deal with the same or similar situations in the forthcoming term, including, but not limited to, campus based counseling, outside counseling, Student Disability Services, and tutoring. The appeal must be written by the student and signed by the student, Department Chair/Program Director, and Dean.
Nontraditional Accelerated Repeated Courses
Undergraduate students must repeat courses for the major in which they received grades of “C-” or below. A student who has received a grade of “F” in a required course cannot graduate unless this deficiency is corrected. This course must be repeated the next time it is offered in the regular academic year. The course must be repeated at Eastern. When a student repeats a course, only the higher grade is used in calculating the grade-point average, but both grades appear on the transcript. Credit is granted once for a repeated course, unless the course description specifically allows accrued credit. A course may be repeated twice including withdrawn and failed courses.
Credit Hour Policies
Eastern University grants credit for academic work on the basis of the semester credit hour, which typically corresponds to forty-two (42.0) hours of faculty instruction over the course of fifteen weeks, plus a final exam period. Instructional hours in the University’s seven-week “block” term meets the same requirement in an accelerated format. The instructional requirements for a given course may be higher but never lower than this minimum standard, which is established in the federal and state requirements.
Definition of An Instructional Hour
Federal guidelines for an instructional hour are deliberately flexible. Guidance from the Department of Education states that “the regulations are grounded in commonly accepted practice in higher education, do not intrude on core academic decisions made by institutions and their accrediting agencies, and are completely consistent with innovative practices such as online education, competency-based credit, and academic activities that do not rely on ‘seat time.’” (from US Department of Education, Guidance to Institutions, 3/18/2011)
In keeping with these requirements, faculty instructional hours at Eastern University include traditional lectures but are not limited to them because, as the requirements recognize, student learning, curated by the faculty, can be achieved through a broad range of other types of student experiences. These experiences include but are not limited to internships, field trips, group projects, laboratory work, rich-media experiences, student research, and assessment experiences.
Instructional Hours in Online and Blended Courses
Courses offered wholly or partly in online learning environments must meet the instructional requirements outlined above. For the specific online instructional equivalencies, contact the University’s Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at email@example.com.
Alternative Credit Pathways
The University currently offers several pathways to earn credit for student learning. For more on these options, see the course catalog for your academic program.
Academic Appeals and Grievances
Academic Appeals and Grievances
An appeal is defined as a request to a higher authority to change a decision that was made, typically a decision that the student believes adversely affects her/his academic career. A grievance is a complaint or concern of a student regarding a faculty or staff member at the university. For any academic appeal or grievance, if a student is enrolled in class(es) while the case is being heard, the student is responsible for the policies and procedures associated with the class(es). Students wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the process listed under “Grade/Evaluative Action Appeal Process.” The process for redress of grievances is found in the Student Handbook, under “Student Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities.”
If a student wishes to appeal an academic decision other than a grade/ evaluative action, the student shall make written appeal to Dean of the College in which the student is enrolled. The letter of appeal should include the date of the letter, the student’s full name, the Eastern University student identification number, the action requested, and detailed reasons for the request, including all supporting documentation. The appeal should be complete, since once submitted, the student will not be able to submit further evidence or request reconsideration by the Dean. The Dean may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written record provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. Within fifteen (15) business days of receipt during the academic year, the Dean will notify the student in writing of the Dean’s decision with respect to the student’s appeal.
Academic Petitions (Request for Exception to Policy)
If a student wishes to petition for an exception to an academic policy, the student shall petition the Dean of the College in writing using the Exception to Policy form from the Registrar website. For requests to change the time of final exams, the student should consult the information under “Final Examinations” in this catalog. For other petitions, the letter of petition should include the date of the petition, the student’s full name, the Eastern University student identification number, the request (petition) for an exception, and detailed reasons for the request, including all supporting documentation. The petition should be complete, since once submitted, the student will not be able to submit further evidence or request reconsideration by the Dean. The Dean may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written items provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. Within fifteen (15) business days of receipt during the academic year, the Dean will notify the student in writing of the Dean’s decision with respect to the student’s petition.
Procedure for Student Appeals to the Provost
To appeal a decision by an academic dean (including a decision on an academic petition) the student may appeal to the Provost of the University. Within 7 days of the Dean’s transmittal electronically or by mail of his/her decision to the student, the student may appeal the Dean’s decision by sending a letter by certified mail or overnight courier or e-mail with a return receipt requested to the Provost, with a copy to the Dean. In this letter or e-mail of appeal, the student shall state in detail why the decision by the Dean lacks substantial evidence or was capricious or discriminatory. The student shall include the student’s full name, the Eastern University student identification number, the College the student is enrolled in, and an explanation of the grievance and supporting documents.
The Provost may, at his/her discretion, limit his/her review to the written record provided, seek a meeting (in person or telephonically) with the student, and/or draw on a faculty group to review and advise. The Provost shall affirm the decision of the Dean unless the Provost determines that the Dean’s decision is arbitrary and capricious or otherwise lacks substantial evidence, in which case the Provost may remand the matter to the Dean with instructions. The decision of the Provost shall be final.
Grade/Evaluative Action Appeal Procedure
The Grade Appeals Policy applies only to questions of faculty evaluation of student performance. Since evaluation involves issues of judgment, action to revise a grade in the student’s favor will not be recommended unless there is clear evidence that the original grade was based on prejudiced or capricious judgment or that it was inconsistent with official University policy.
The main concern in any grievance or appeal procedure is to bring reconciliation and growth in ways that enhance community. The first approach to any appeal should be non-adversarial and open, undertaken with careful attention to fostering understanding and problem solving. The expectation is that the majority of appeals can be resolved through a flexible process at the first or second steps outlined below. Students shall have protection against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation through the publication of clear course objectives, grading procedures and evaluation methods.
In accordance with Matthew 18, the process of appealing a grade or evaluative action is as follows:
- Step 1: As stated above, the student should communicate with the instructor for an explanation of the grade or evaluative action.1 On rare occasions, a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade or evaluative action appeal through these informal measures, and in these cases, the student may then proceed to Step 2. However, the formal appeal in Step 2 must begin no later than four weeks after the beginning of the following semester.2
- Step 2: A student may initiate a formal appeal by completing the Grade/Evaluative Action Appeals Form (Appeals Form) and submitting it to the course instructor. The Appeals Form must be submitted within four weeks of the semester2 in which the grade/evaluative action was received. The Appeal Form must include all necessary documentation and evidence to support the grade/evaluative action appeal (Note: no additional documentation may be submitted beyond this step). The student should keep a copy of the form and attachments in the event that the student chooses to proceed to Step 3. The instructor will respond to the Appeal Form and accompanying documentation in writing within two weeks of receiving the Appeal Form.3
- Step 3: If the student is still not satisfied with the resolution, the student must make a written1 request to the instructor involved to submit the Appeal Form and accompanying documentation to the departmental chairperson/program director. The instructor will then forward the Appeal Form and all accompanying documentation to the chairperson/program director of the program. This written request must be forwarded to the chairperson/program director within one (1) week following the due date of instructor’s decision. The departmental chairperson/program director will submit a written response to the student within two (2) weeks following the student’s written request for an appeal. A copy of the response will be provided to the student, instructor and program dean.4
- Step 4: If, after receiving a reply from the departmental chairperson/program director, the student is still not satisfied with the resolution, the student must make a written request to the departmental chairperson/ program director to submit the Appeal Form and accompanying documentation to the program dean. The written request must occur within one (1) week of receiving the departmental chairperson’s/program director’s decision. Upon receipt of the written request from the student, the departmental chairperson/program director will inform the program dean that the Appeal Form and accompanying documentation will be forwarded. The student’s written request will be attached as a cover page and then forwarded with the Appeal Form and all accompanying documentation to the program dean. The program dean will submit a written response to the student within two (2) weeks following the student’s written request for an appeal. A copy of the response will be provided to the student, instructor, and program chairperson/program director.
- Step 5: If, after receiving a reply form from the program dean, the student is still not satisfied with the resolution, the student must make a written1 request to the program dean to submit the Appeal Form and accompanying documentation to the Academic Appeals Committee. This written request must occur within one (1) week of receiving the dean’s decision. The dean will then forward the Appeal Form and all accompanying documentation to the Academic Appeals Committee. The student’s written request will be reviewed at the next scheduled Academic Appeals Committee meeting. The Academic Appeals Committee will hear a presentation by the student of his/her case and will consider the recommendations from Steps 2, 3 and 4. The Academic Appeals Committee will then decide the merits of the case. The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee will be final.
May be satisfied by use of the eastern.edu email account and becomes a part of the appeals documentation.
Semester refers to the period of time in which the course is instructed and evaluated.
If the faculty member involved in the appeal is the departmental chair/program director, the student should go immediately to Step 4.
If the faculty member involved in the appeal is the program dean, the student should go immediately to Step 5.
Download the Grade/Evaluative Action Appeals Form from the Registrar’s page of www.eastern.edu/registrar.
Academic Dismissal Appeal Procedure
The student may appeal the dismissal decision by submitting a letter stating any extenuating circumstances which affected his/her academic performance. This letter should:
- explain and document perceived irregularities in the application of the academic dismissal policies and procedures, which had the effect of rendering the dismissal decision arbitrary or capricious,
- present new information which was not available at the time of the dismissal, and/or
- explain extreme and unforeseen extenuating circumstances that may have affected academic performance.
In the letter, the student should propose plans to address previous difficulties to ensure future success. All supporting documentation should be included or attached to the letter. The letter may be sent to the Registrar, who will forward it to the Chairperson of the Academic Appeals Committee. The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee is final.