September 29, 2020

BY BRAD COUGHLIN

It’s that time of year again; desks are cluttered with coffee cups, bank accounts burdened by overdue fees, students are frantic and teachers are stocked up on red marking pens.

As the fall semester comes to a close, exams and summative projects cause students stress. Students need to remember these challenges, including multi-tasking, are all part of the learning process. Instructors are there to help, not to hurt, and most are fair in their grading.

That said, there’s always the exception to the rule. At least, that’s what one Concordia University student believes. He is currently involved in a lawsuit with his political science professor over grades. The student, William Groombridge, believes the professor is only allowed to give out so many A grades, so his A- was lowered to a B+. According to a CTV News article, Groombridge hired a lawyer to send a letter asking for reimbursement of the $342 he paid for the course, which was ignored. So, he filed a lawsuit.

Conestoga College students need not worry about such situations here – teachers grade all work and give it the mark it deserves.

Although the difference between a B+ and an A- is not that much, the recorded mark should be what the student’s work was initally graded at. In Groombridge’s case that didn’t happen, but it still isn’t worth suing over. Most employers are looking for a certificate, diploma or degree and, for the most part, marks will never be questioned in a job interview.

If a Conestoga College student is profoundly unhappy with his or her grade, there is a student appeal process in place to handle disputes in a timely, fair and impartial manner. Students are advised to first discuss their grievance with the instructor, and then with the program chair. If still unsatisfied, students can request a formal appeal be heard by an appeal panel.

The college goes so far as to prohibit reprisals or threats of reprisal against students who have raised concerns under this procedure. This is as it should be.

The classroom should be a place of trust and success, not disputes and controversy.