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Student Services

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal may be made in accordance with university policy when a student believes that an academic decision (e.g., a course grade, admission to a program or major, etc.) involving that student is unfair or erroneous. The Office of the Associate Provost is the last step in the appeal process for undergraduate students. For instructions about the entire process, see Academic Appeals in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. For graduate students, the dean is the last step in the appeal process. Instructions can be found in Academic Appeals in the Graduate Student Handbook.

If an undergraduate student has already made the earlier steps in the process (e.g., appeal to the faculty member and department chair; or appeal to the Registrar’s Office) and is not satisfied that the situation has been dealt with appropriately, appeal to the associate provost is the last step. In other words, the associate provost will make the final decision for the University.

Guidelines for Writing an Appeal to the Associate Provost

  1. A letter of appeal should be written in a professional letter format and submitted by email to the Associate Provost office at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu.
  2. Address the appeal to Dr. Pike.
  3. In the opening paragraph, provide your contact information, include your full name and ID#. Also list any pertinent details connected to the appeal such as course number and name, semester, professor of record, etc.
  4. Avoid common errors (typographical, grammatical, spelling) and avoid the use of slang.
  5. Be factual, detailed, and succinct.
  6. Explain that you are writing to appeal a particular decision, be specific.
  7. Summarize the events that took place.
    1. Describe the circumstances that led up to your request (e.g., family or life hardships, health, disability, etc.). Explain how these circumstances had a direct impact on your academic performance and/or why you think the decision made by faculty or by the department was incorrect; why it should be changed.
    2. Describe any action you took to address your situation (sought medical treatment, support on or off campus, academic advising, etc.). If you are appealing a Registrar decision, a faculty member’s decision, or a department decision, describe what appeal steps you have already tried.
    3. Include documentation if available (e.g., doctor’s note, documentation from Health Center, Campus Safety; copies of appeals already attempted with Registrar, faculty, or academic department).
  8. State your desired outcome and how this outcome will help with your continued success at Biola.

Dr. Pike will give you the opportunity to discuss your petition with her in person. Please contact Ruth Rorem to schedule an appointment at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu. Please note, Dr. Pike should have your written appeal before you come in for your meeting. If you are out of the area, or coming to campus for a meeting is difficult, you may hold your appointment with Dr. Pike by phone.

Grade Changes

Students should review the web transcript of their grades after each semester. If the grade in a course is unexpected, it is appropriate for the student to ask the instructor of that course for information on how the grade was derived. If a calculation error was made (e.g., a submitted assignment was not included in the calculation), the professor may request a change of grade using the appropriate process.

For undergraduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the Office of the Associate Provost. For graduate students, the instructor must submit the change of grade form to the dean of the school. The student cannot submit the form. If the student believes the grade is unfair or in some other way inappropriate, and the instructor will not submit a change of grade, the student may engage the academic appeals process indicated above.

According to the catalog, grade changes should be made within 90 days following the date grades were due for the relevant term.


Requesting an Incomplete (IN) Grade

The purpose of the Incomplete (IN) Grade process is to meet the needs of a student facing unforeseeable emergencies beyond his/her control and are serious enough to prevent completion of course assignments before the semester ends (e.g., extended illness, mental health crisis, significant injury, critical family emergency).

More information about policies related to Incomplete (IN) Grade may be found in the Student Handbook.

Graduate students should see their dean’s office to process an Incomplete (IN) Grade.

Undergraduate students should work with the Office of the Associate Provost. Undergraduate students seeking an Incomplete (IN) Grade should fill out an initial IN request form, then schedule a follow up appointment with the Office of the Associate Provost. During the course of the follow up appointment, students can expect go over the IN Policy, Request Form and any questions they may have.  

Incomplete (IN) Grade Procedure

The online process will take you through the following steps.

  1. Fill out the Incomplete (IN) Grade Request form and return it electronically to the Office of the Associate Provost at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu. Submit one form even if requesting an IN for more than one class. Please return the form in its original format to allow for editing (do not save as a PDF).
  2. Schedule a follow up appointment. View available office hour times.  If you need help scheduling an appointment, please contact the Associate Provost office.
  3. The request must be approved by the professor of record. Once you meet with the Associate Provost office, the system will automatically send a request for approval to the professor. However, it is the student's responsibility to follow up with the professor to obtain approval for the IN request.
  4. Final approval is issued by the Associate Provost. If the request is approved, a confirmation email will be sent to the student. 

Additional Information

Extensions

Incomplete (IN) Grades must be approved by the professor of record and the associate provost. If approved, a student will receive a 5-week extension beyond the Friday of finals week. Incomplete (IN) Grades may be requested throughout the academic year.

Impact on transcripts

When a student is approved for a Incomplete (IN) Grade, an ‘IN’ will appear on the student’s transcript and the grade deferred. When the professor submits a grade, it will immediately replace the IN. If a student does not complete the coursework by the established deadline date, the grade defaults to the grade earned at the end of term.

Withdrawal Requests

Do not request a Incomplete (IN) Grade in order to withdraw from a course or to withdraw from all courses for the semester. During the first half of the term, students may withdraw from courses via their registration page in MyAccount. After that deadline, students are expected to finish the semester courses for which they registered. However, the student may petition the associate provost for course withdrawal under unusual and unexpected circumstances.

For withdrawal from all courses during a particular semester, see the relevant section of the Registrar’s webpage: Withdrawals.

Impact on Financial Aid

Receiving a withdrawal from class(es) could possibly drop a student’s enrollment status below full-time (12 credits for undergraduate students).

Dropping below full-time status may impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. Please meet with a financial aid counselor if you have any questions.

Impact on Graduating Seniors

Students who have pending Incomplete (IN) Grade(s) in their final semester should make an advising appointment with the Office of the Associate Provost at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu to determine if they can participate in the graduation ceremony.

Impact on Degree Conferral

Degrees cannot be posted with IN(s) in place. All coursework must be completed and IN(s) removed before a degree can be posted. Conferral date will correspond with the term for which the IN was granted.

Epsilon Kappa Epsilon

The Epsilon Kappa Epsilon (EKE) Honor Society is Biola’s honor society acknowledging extremely high performing undergraduate students in the semester in which they complete their baccalaureate degree. Only 5 percent of the graduating students are selected for induction to EKE. Students apply for induction into EKE by invitation only. Selection of inductees is made by a faculty committee based on the students’ academic achievements, evidence of Christian character, as well as leadership and service to the Kingdom of God as indicated in the application materials.

The Office of the Associate Provost manages the application invitation and induction process. Questions about the policies, application procedures, or plans for the ceremony in the current semester may be directed to Ruth Rorem in the Office of the Associate Provost at associateprovostacademicadmin@biola.edu.


Submit a Prayer Request

The Office of the Associate Provost regularly prays for Biola students. We know that we cannot provide resolution for all difficulties faced by our many students. However, we are also confident that God brought each of our students to Biola for this time. We therefore desire to bring the students before God’s throne in gratitude, prayer, and supplication.

If you would like to submit a specific prayer request, please send your message to our Prayer Request Dropbox. Every morning starting at 9:00 am, prayers will be lifted on your behalf by the Office of the Associate Provost staff. All prayer requests will be kept confidential.