I have been going to UOP NM campus for almost a year after previously going to a local community collage. In addition to being told I have to take the same math class I had taken previously, I am now having issues getting this grade disputed so that I can continue my schooling. (At a different school because I won't go back to a school that shows such a tremendous lack of concern or assistance for their students) I am attempting to resolve this issue currently, but with the issues in this with the administration, it looks like I will have to file a law suite against the school, which I am looking in to.
To start at the beginning, the issue I had began during my 3rd week of the 5 week math course, which ended May 5th. The following is a copy of the first complete email I sent to Collage Campus Chair explaining the grade issue. This was sent on May 15th, 10 days after the class ended, and it was apparent that the instructor, Don Silva, would not attempt working the issues out with me:
Thu 5/15/08 10:22 AM
Don Silva (firstname.lastname@example.org); Don Silva (email@example.com); Leticia Gonzales (firstname.lastname@example.org); Marilyn Leverette (email@example.com)
Hello, my name is M. IRN # #########. I completed Math 208 with Don Silva and received my final grade on Monday May 5th, 2008. I have included with my email to you correspondence that I had with Mr. Silva regarding the grade he gave me, which was a 68.60/100. After speaking with him, I was under the impression that Mr. Silva would be attempting to contact you regarding an adjustment on this grade. I have not heard from Mr. Silva since our last conversation shortly after his last email to me, in which he said he doubted anything could be done regarding the grade he had given me. Due to the time that has elapsed since I last spoke with Mr. Silva, I have determined that additional steps are necessary in order to dispute the grade given to me for this class.
There are two reasons that I am disputing this grade. Each reason alone, had Mr. Silva treated the situation fairly, would have resulted in me passing this class.
The first reason is a grade given to myself and other members on my Learning Team on our 4th LT assignment. Between weeks 3 and 4, our LT of 5 lost 2 members who dropped the class. Additionally, two of us, (myself included) came down with Bronchitis. I went home sick, and the other girl who was sick did not make it into class that night. Of the two girls that dropped, one of them told me that she was dropping, and so I was able to make up her portion of the assignment. Unfortunately we were all expecting the other member of our LT to be in class, and did not discover that she was dropping until class was starting. This left one person of our LT in the class for week 4. Before leaving, I attempted to talk with Mr. Silva about the other girl not being in class, and her portion of the assignment. He informed me and my other learning team member that he hadn't heard from her, and we would deal with the issue if she didn't show up. Several days later, after discovering that she did not show up to class, Mr. Silva posted our LT grade for the assignment as 27/75. I then sent him a message in the OLS asking him if this was because our learning team had lost 2 people, and we were unable to make up the work. He replied that it was not due to missing parts of the assignment, but rather the poor work done on the assignment. When looking at the problems wrong, Mr. Silva had taken 30 points away from us for the portion that we told him was the missing girls portion. On the assignment, the girl that was in class attempted to make up the work quickly while in class, and had written, 'Mandy was to do these questions but as she did not come to class, I do not have her work and tried to do it myself'. Mr. Silva's response to this was, 'One of the hazards of LT work'. I am disputing the grade on this assignment, because I feel that not only was Mr. Silva being unfair to our learning team, but Mr. Silva has also told us that if we attempt a problem, and he can see that we tried, he would give us partial credit for the work. This was not given to us.
The second reason that I am disputing this grade is because of an individual assignment that was due in week 5, worth 50 points. Before class, I informed Mr. Silva that my Bronchitis had kept me sick in bed for most of 2 weeks, and because of this, I had done all of my homework that was due that day. This included an assignment that past due from week 4 that he had allowed me to turn in late because I was sick. I was telling him this because I wanted to let him know that I had not had enough time that day to complete one of my assignments, and also because I had ran short on time, and after checking my answers in the book, I had not had enough time to work out my incorrect answers, and so I had changed 2 problems on my individual assignment to the correct answer. Mr. Silva was not wanting to go over this with me, although I had came in early specifically because he told me he could go over any issues I had before class. At this point, he said that I could ask him questions after class, once I was finished with my final. After the final, I attempted to finish the other assignment I had due that day, and did not bring up the completed work I had already turned in because Mr. Silva informed me that he was sure it would be fine. While this assignment was done correctly and had no missed problems, Mr. Silva failed me on it by giving me a 26/50 due to the fact that I had not shown my work.
While Mr. Silva has stressed multiple times the importance of showing our work because he can give partial credit for missed problems, he has never told us that he would take away credit for not showing our work, nor has he given partial credit on any of my assignments that I have shown my work. I have also double checked the Syllabus Mr. Silva gave to us, and it states that partial credit would not be given if the work is not shown, not that we would be deducted for not showing our work..
When discovering that Mr. Silva was failing me because I did not show my work, I offered to re-do the work in a way that he would like, and informed him in person that I can give him my scrap graft paper that I used if he would like, because I had grafted most of the assignment. Per his following emails, he informed me that he would forward the request, then in person told me not to hold my breath.
I honestly have worked extremely hard in this class, and was unfortunate to become sick for over half of it, which caused me to make several mistakes in other work I had submitted. I take full responsibility for the problems that I have wrong, but I am disputing the unfair grades that Mr. Silva has given me that has resulted in me failing this class. The total point value that Mr. Silva has taken off for these two assignments was 54 points. By his grading scale this would have given me a 74 final grade, a passing grade. Alone, either of these issues would have given me a 71 final grade, also passing.
Per their request, I have copied my academic and financial advisors, Leticia Gonzales and Marilyn Leverette. I am also copying Mr. Silva at both emails I have for him.
I have never had to dispute a grade before, so I am not sure what you will need from me, but I do have both of the assignments in question, along with the scrap graft paper I had used with my individual assignments. I am able and willing to provide anything that you need. You may reach me on my cell or leave a message if I am at work and unable to get to the phone, or please reply via email to let me know what you may need, or what the next step for this dispute is.
I appreciate your time and efforts with this issue.
It took Ms. Calderon almost a month to return this message. I made several calls, and finally had re-sent the email before I heard back from her. During this time, I was on a leave of absence from the school, as I had to take the 2nd math class, and could not do so until the first was passed. It is now mid August, and after several re-submissions of this and other emails, along with the requested documentation, I finally received the following email yesterday, (along with my response.):
Subject: RE: grade dispute
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 10:06:58 -0700
According to the instructor, there was no grade miscalculation. Therefore, you do not meet the requirements for placing a grade grievance.
Sandra Calderon, College Campus Chair, College of Education
University of Phoenix | New Mexico Campus
1270 Country Club Road | Santa Teresa, NM 88008
phone (505) 997-3089 | fax (505) 997-0809 | email: Sandra.Calderon@Phoenix.edu
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RE: grade dispute
Sent:Tue 8/19/08 6:22 PM
To: Sandra Calderon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am disputing the instructor's calculation because he took credit off an assignment that I had done correctly due to a reason that was never stated as a credit deduction. Additionally, I had offered to re-do the assignment as he wanted but was told all I could do was request a dispute in order to change the grade. How do I take this to the next step?
What do I do now? My financial aid for an entire semester has been returned, and I will not be able to get further financial aid because I am now married and am making too much money. Further, I can not have my transcripts until I have paid for this class, which is just shy of $1000! I am also being told that I will have to start paying back student loans in October and December due to my dis-enrollment status. This is such a mess! For a school that is supposed to have standards above the rest, it seems the only thing above the rest is the cost and the lack of assistance given when there are issues. Does anybody know a good lawyer in the area?
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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