Prairie View A&M University maintains multiple complaint procedures based on the nature of the dispute. The website of various offices as well as the Faculty Handbook and the Student Conduct Code and Planner contains an exhaustive listing of procedures to address each particular case. In accordance with the Texas A&M University at College Station, the following procedure addresses ADA grade disputes.
08.01 TAMUS Policy Statement
The Texas A&M University System (System) will strictly comply with all applicable legal requirements prohibiting discrimination against employees, students, applicants for employment, or the public.
08.01 Authority and Scope of the Equal Opportunity Program
1.2 No individual will, on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any system program or activity.
The student’s semester grade shall be based upon the grading rule statement included in the course information distributed at the first class meeting. The rule shall include the calculation of grades, including weights as applicable for tests, laboratory assignments, field study work, projects, papers, homework, class attendance and participation and other graded activities. No such rule should be in contradiction of other provisions of University or System Rules.
Procedure – Grade Disputes based on Denial of Reasonable Classroom Accommodations
- The instructor of the class is the primary authority with respect to a student’s proficiency and final grade in that course. Eligible students should self-identify with the Office of Disability Services by providing documentation of a disability. Eligible students are issued a letter of accommodations to notify faculty of reasonable accommodations for which the student qualifies. A student who believes that his or her final grade reflects a capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced academic evaluation (after official notice of a disability and letter of accommodations have been issued to the instructor at the beginning of the grading period) should first discuss the matter with the instructor of the class within 90 days of the grade being issued.
- If no satisfactory resolution is reached with the instructor, or if the instructor is unavailable, and the student wishes to appeal, the student shall report the dispute to the department head. A grade appeal must be initiated in writing with the course instructor or, if the instructor is unavailable, with the department head within 180 days (six months) of the last day of the semester or summer session in which the disputed grade was earned. The department head will examine the student’s appeal in order to determine if the student has established a prima facie case of capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced academic evaluation. If not, the department head will so inform the student and the instructor without delay.
- If a prima facie case exists, the department head will then secure from all parties (including the Office of Disability Services) statements and such other information as he or she deems helpful and will issue his or her findings and remedies, if any. In doing so, the department head will be guided by the principle that it is up to the student to show that a capricious, arbitrary or prejudiced academic evaluation has occurred.
- The student or the instructor may appeal the department head’s decision to the dean or designee of the college in which the course is offered. The dean or designee will attempt to resolve the matter by informal means within a reasonable period of time.
- If no resolution can be reached, the Dean or designee will notify the student, the instructor and the department head. Upon receipt of such notification, the student and/or the instructor may file a formal appeal with the appeals panel in the office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Compliance with Disability Laws
The University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations, upon request, to employees, students and visitors to the University. All announcements in University publications and for University events shall contain a statement informing persons with disabilities with the procedures for requesting special accommodations. New construction projects and renovations shall comply fully with all federal, state and local codes. Prairie View A&M University strives to ensure non-discrimination and to resolve complaints related to disability in a prompt and equitable manner. The Director of Disability Services shall be an active participant and resource in the solution of complaints following the University’s informal and formal grievance procedures.
Informal Grievance Procedure
- An individual who wish to raise a specific complaint regarding University compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or its amendments is encouraged to informally seek resolution of the dispute at the lowest level through discussions with the alleged violator.
Formal Grievance Procedure
- If a formal ADA complaint becomes necessary, the individual should document the complaint in writing using the ADA Student Complaint Form through the Office of Disability Services. The documentation should be given to the Director of Disability Services within 30 calendar days of the root or trigger event. The written complaint must include a) concise statement of the University rule or policy upon which the is grievance is based; b) the date of any action the student is appealing; c) summary of actions the student has taken or has been offered to resolve the matter informally; and d) documentation which support the complaint. The complaint and documentation will be forwarded to the appropriate administrator as specified by the issue. These documents will be reviewed by the appropriate administrator who shall meet with the complainant within 15 calendar days of the receipt of the documentation to gather more information and attempt to resolve the conflict. The appropriate administrator shall respond in writing to the grievance within 15 calendar days of the meeting. It is recommended that the written response be mailed to the complainant by certified mail, return receipt requested.
- If the appropriate administrator is not able to reach a resolution, the complainant may report the grievance in writing to the Vice President in the relevant area of the complaint within 10 calendar days of receipt of the response. The Vice President or designee shall conduct a meeting with the complainant and all persons involved in the grievance and shall, within 30 calendar days issue a written answer to the complainant.
The appropriate Vice President will conduct an appeals review with advice from the Office of General Counsel within 15 business days of receipt. The review will determine if the appeal:
Involves new facts, which if true, would demonstrate a violation of an anti-discrimination statute or regulation.
a. Contains new allegations that appear to be substantially credible
b. Addresses a violation, which if true, results in a personal wrong to the grievant.
c. Is not frivolous.
- If the above conditions are not met; the Vice President may terminate the appeal and notify the complainant.
- If the appeal meets all of the above criteria, the Vice President will conduct interviews and obtain information, as deemed appropriate and necessary and conclude to uphold, modify, or reverse the original determination of the administrator in the former process.
- The determination of the appropriate Vice President is the final decision. A copy of the written decision of the Vice President shall be provided to the EEO and the Director of Disability Services who shall maintain the files and records relating to the complaint.
If you need an ADA Complaint Form, please CLICK here.
Prairie View A&M University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities.
Ms. Renee R. Williams, Director of Equal Opportunity & Diversity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies.
Ms. Williams can be reached at: P.O. Box 519: Mail Stop 1337; Harrington Science Building, Suite 109; Prairie View, TX 77446-0519, or by calling 936-261-1730
For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.