VIII.  CAST 6000/CDNS 6900 Grade Appeals Policy

1. Appeals of grades for courses other than CDNS 6900/CAST 6000 will be handled through the institutional policies of the home university of the student in question.

2. Prior to the launch of a formal appeal, a student is strongly advised to meet with the course instructors to discuss concerns that s/he has with a piece of graded work and/or the final grade received. Following confirmation that such a discussion has taken place, appeals of grades in CDNS 6900/CAST 6000 will be sent to the Program Director at the student’s home institution. In the case where the Director is one of the instructors in the course, a designate will be identified. The designate will be a faculty member who has experience teaching students in the Canadian Studies Joint program.

Appeals of grades in CDNS 6900/CAST 6000 can be launched only once final grades for the course have been submitted. There will be no appeals outside of this timeframe.

All materials needed for the appeal must be made available to the Director/designate by the student. In addition, the student must provide a statement (maximum 500 words) as to why s/he feels an appeal is warranted. Such justification must speak directly only to what s/he feels was overlooked/unfairly graded in the work in question. Appeals can be made only of written work. No other appeals will be considered.


If the appeal is not to be done ‘in confidence’ the Director/designate will consult with the course instructors from both institutions seeking independent written feedback from each of them about the written work in question. If the appeal is to be done ‘in confidence’ (Carleton only), then the Director/designate will move directly to the second step in the process and strike an appeals committee of two appropriate faculty members, one from each institution. Each member of this appeals committee will submit their own grades independently on the pieces of written work that have been appealed by the student. The student’s identity will not be revealed at any time to members of the appeals committee. The Director/designate will review these assessments and take into consideration, if appropriate the input from the faculty members who taught the course to reach a decision on the student’s assessment.

The Program Director/designate will inform the student in writing of his/her decision on the appeal. Grades can be either raised or lowered as a result of this appeal process.

The appeal process will not take more than four weeks once all the materials have been received from the student. An appeal must be launched by a student within four weeks of the official submission of grades in the year that the course was completed.

3. Following this process internal to the Program (at Trent) the student may take his/her appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies, within 30 days of receiving the decision. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Dean of Graduate Studies will inform the Program Director/designate and will convene the Graduate Studies Appeal Committee. The composition of the Committee will normally be three non-student, voting members of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) who are not members of the graduate program of the student.

Where necessary for reasons of expertise or background, the Dean may appoint a non-member of the GSC as one of the three members and the appointment of Carleton representative will be recommended to this committee. The Committee will review all written documentation and may seek additional relevant evidence at its discretion, including evidence from external experts. The remedy open to the Committee will be limited to a recommendation for reassessment and the conditions under which a reassessment will be made. The decision of the Committee is final, subject to an appeal to the Special Appeals Committee. The committee will attempt to reach a decision within eight weeks.

At Carleton University, following the internal grade review in the SCS, if the student wishes to appeal the result, they will contact the Associate Dean of FGPA and follow these procedures:

The student:

1) Sends a written request outlining his or her rationale for requesting a grade review to the Associate Dean (Student and Postdoctoral Affairs) and attaches a cheque for $50.00 made out to FGPA. (If the grade is raised or remains the same the cheque will be returned but, if it is lowered, the cheque will be cashed.)

2) Sends the Associate Dean the original assignment(s) for review and two unmarked copies of the original paper(s)/assignment(s).

3) Sends the Associate Dean a breakdown of all the grades received in the course – including grades received for material not under review

4) Sends any other relevant material including a copy of the course outline, assignment directions, and assignment marking/grading scheme.

The Associate Dean of FGPA:

1) Creates a student file of the case including the original assignment(s) and copies of all pertaining documents.

2) Asks the Department Chair or the Graduate Program Supervisor for the names of two potential re-readers judged to be appropriate to assess this work.

3) Contacts the two re-readers.

4) Averages the grades submitted by these two re-readers to create a final review grade.

5) Sends a final report to the student with the re-readers comments attached (all identifying information concerning the re-readers is removed) and a final averaged grade.

4. Senate Appeals:

For Trent University students:

Students who have exhausted all other appeal processes may appeal to the Special

Appeals Committee of Senate on the grounds that a policy or practice has caused the student undue hardship. Special appeals must be filed with the University Secretariat within four (4) weeks of the receipt of the previous ruling.

More information is found at the Special Appeals website -

For Carleton University students:

Students may appeal to “The Senate Graduate Student Appeal Committee (GSAC)”. that is authorized to make a final decision in all cases of appeals by graduate students against decisions of the Dean in respect of academic petitions based on misapplication of an academic regulation or the inappropriateness of the application of a regulation in the particular circumstances of the student.

 All decisions of the Special Appeals Committee are final within the university and take effect when issued.