Statement of Policy
The College's Student Appeals Policy provides students with a fair process to address their grievances on academic issues or their complaints alleging biased, arbitrary or capricious decisions and/or unprofessional actions by Excelsior College faculty or staff.
The nature of the appeal determines which office or committee handles the appeal. All appeal decisions are documented in the student's record.
The Office of the Provost
The Office of the Provost reviews appeals regarding:
- Administrative withdrawal from the College for violation of College policies (not to be confused with administrative withdrawal from a course)
- Petition for reenrollment after administrative withdrawal for violations of Excelsior College policy
- Loss of financial aid eligibility
- Unlawful discrimination
- Cases in which an appeal has been denied by the Ombudsperson Office
Appeals for administrative withdrawal from the College for violation of College policies must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the disciplinary action. Appeals and petitions for reenrollment after an administrative withdrawal from the College for violations of Excelsior College policies are directed to the Office of the Provost and reviewed by the Student Appeals Committee (STAC) *. STAC makes its recommendations to the provost within 30 calendar days of receipt of the case from the Office of the Provost.
Excelsior College has a zero tolerance policy for cases of identity fraud and falsifying records/official documents since it threatens the academic integrity of the institution. Students who are found to have committed identity fraud or have falsified records or official documents in any way will be administratively withdrawn from the College and will not be allowed to appeal a petition for reenrollment.
The Office of the Provost responds in writing to appeals within 45 calendar days, and documents all appeal decisions in Student Information System (SIS) - the appeal documentation is submitted to the Office of Registration and Records for secure scanning.
*Members and the chair of the Student Appeals Committee (except for the current Excelsior College student member) are appointed by the provost or the provost's designee for up to a two-year term. The current Excelsior College student member will serve for up to a two-year term and they will be appointed by the other members of the Committee. Membership in the STAC will consist of:
- Current Excelsior College student
- Director of evaluation and advisement
- Faculty representative
- Ombudsperson representative
- Program director/associate dean
How to file an appeal for consideration by the Office of the Provost:
A student appeal should be sent to the Office of the Provost. An appeal submitted to the provost must be in writing. It should include a rationale for the appeal and supporting documentation if appropriate. The provost or his/her designee will determine if the appeal needs to be reviewed by STAC or if it will be decided by the provost or the provost's designee.
If the appeal is sent to STAC:
- STAC reviews the appeal and makes a recommendation for action to the provost. Quorum and majority votes are necessary for all decisions made by the committee.
- If the committee determines that additional information is needed from the student in order to review the appeal, the chair contacts the student and allows him/her 14 calendar days to submit the additional information submitted. If the additional information is not received within 14 calendar days, STAC reviews the appeal and makes a decision based on the information that was initially provided.
- STAC makes its recommendations to the provost within 30 calendar days of receipt of the case from the Office of the Provost. Once a recommendation is made to the provost, the provost (or designee) responds in writing to the student to inform him/her of the decision within seven calendar days.
If the appeal is reviewed by the provost:
The provost (or designee) will review the appeal and makes a decision within 30 calendar days of receipt of the case. The provost (or designee) will provide the decision in writing to the student.
The Ombudsperson Office
The Ombudsperson office is responsible for serving students and staff who have questions or concerns related to fee matters, College policies, and customer service issues. The Ombudsperson is not an advocate for students, or the College, but rather an impartial party who makes independent decisions. The Ombudsperson office works with all schools and departments within Excelsior College to collect information in order to resolve student issues and discrepancies.
The Ombudsperson office does not review academic appeals, Excelsior College® Examination or UExcel® exam issues, nursing performance examination appeals, or financial aid award issues.
Types of Appeals Reviewed by the Ombudsperson:
- Requests for fee and tuition refunds beyond the normal refund policy
- Waivers of late, reactivation, degree change fees, grad fees, Student Service Annual Fee
- Fee extensions
- Medical/Personal Leaves of Absence
- Student Service Annual Fee applied to Graduation Fee
- Military active duty deployment extensions
- Course extensions due to military deployment
- Military Withdrawals (MW) from courses due to military deployment
- INL 102 appeals
How to file an appeal for consideration by the Ombudsperson office:
- Appeals to the Ombudsperson must be made in writing, describe the student request, and the rationale for the appeal.
- Appeals are reviewed and the decision communicated to the student within 14 calendar days from the date the appeal was received by the College.
- Appeals for a medical leave of absence must include a letter from the treating physician, on official letterhead, stating the diagnosis and estimated recovery time.
- Appeals due to an extenuating personal circumstance must include supporting documentation.
- Appeals due to military deployment must include a copy of the student's deployment orders, or a letter from their Commanding Officer, on official letterhead, indicating that they were deployed and the time frame of their deployment.
All appeals regarding academic issues are handled by the deans of the appropriate schools or their designees. The dean (or designee) may consult with the appropriate instructor when pertinent. Academic issues include:
- End of Course Grade Appeals.
- Petition for reenrollment after administrative withdrawal due to academic dismissal.
- Administrative withdrawal from Excelsior College courses (excessive absenteeism).
- Academic Clean Slate.
- General student satisfaction issues.
- Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination (CPNE®) issues. (These are handled directly by the School of Nursing's associate degree in nursing program office. Refer to the CPNE study guide for further details.)
- Exceptions to the wait time to repeat an Excelsior College exam.
How to file an appeal for consideration by a School:
All appeals regarding academic issues must be made in writing, describe the student request, and include the rationale for the appeal. Refer to specific academic policies for further details.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Review Board
The ADA Review Board (Board) is composed of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, the Ombudsperson, and the Online Ombudsperson. The Board is responsible for review of appeals of ADA/reasonable accommodations decisions.
How to file an appeal for consideration by the ADA Review Board:
In the event a student's accommodation request is denied or the student finds the accommodation offered unacceptable, such student may submit a written appeal to the Board for consideration and determination.
Such written appeal should be made within 45 days of notice of denial of the accommodation request and the student may request a conference with the Board, or the Board's designee, to discuss the appeal. The student may be assisted during such conference by an attorney; other appropriate professional with knowledge of the student's disability, functional limitation(s) and/or the availability of appropriate accommodations; and/or a family member or caregiver of the student.
The ADA Review Board shall provide the student with a written copy of its determination within 45 calendar days of the date of receipt of the written appeal.