Grading: Appeals, Grievances, and Integrity


Academic Appeals

Students have a right to know how they are being evaluated and graded in a course and to know what is being required of them.

The SANS Technology Institute exam technology allows students to mark any exam question they feel is wrong or poorly written. At the completion of the exam, these marked questions are displayed, and there is an opportunity to comment. If the GIAC Director or TD reviewing the comments validates that a question was incorrect, the student will be awarded the points for that question and the student's test score will be updated.

SANS Technology Institute has also developed procedures to allow students to seek review of the grading of their research and technical reports.

Students also have the right to appeal their final course grade, as long as they follow the appeal procedure. To appeal, the student files a written appeal within 60 days of the date the grade was posted. An Ombudsman will review how the final grade was determined and render a decision.

Grievance Policy

SANS Technology Institute seeks actively to foster a collegial and cooperative atmosphere among students and faculty. All faculty members and students are expected to act in a supportive and understanding manner. In this spirit, the Institute expects that open communication between students and faculty will be the norm, and that this will help to avert misunderstandings. However, there may be occasions when contention arises between students and faculty members. In the event a conflict cannot be readily resolved, the first step will be to contact the student's Faculty Advisor, so that steps may be taken to reconcile the matter. Normally, this will consist of discussions between the parties, with attempts to determine a satisfactory resolution. In the event that this does not resolve the issue, it is the privilege of either party to request that the matter be heard formally by the President of the Institute, who will then render an opinion on the matter and propose steps toward resolution. The President of the Institute is the final authority with regard to grievance proceedings.

Academic Integrity

Integrity in teaching and learning is a fundamental principle of a graduate school. SANS Technology Institute believes that all members of the Institute community share the responsibility for academic integrity. Faculty members are expected to establish classroom environments conducive to the maintenance of academic integrity by giving students a complete syllabus describing the course and its requirements, by grading submitted work promptly and adequately, and by arranging appropriate testing conditions. Students at the SANS Technology Institute are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will contribute to maintaining academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is the failure to maintain academic integrity. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating; fabrication; bribery offered for grades, transcripts, or diplomas; obtaining or giving aid on an examination; having unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination; doing work for another student; presenting another student's work as one's own; and plagiarism.

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's idea or product as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Copying verbatim all or part of another's written work, using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; paraphrasing ideas, conclusions, or research without citing the source; or using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score, or other artistic product without attributing the work to its creator.

Students can avoid unintentional plagiarism by carefully following accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and papers should acknowledge these sources in references. A first act of plagiarism will result in an automatic reduction in the student's grade. Multiple acts of plagiarism may result in dismissal from the program.

All course examinations are open book, and proctored.

As is customary in creating a new institutions academic policies, SANS policies are compilations, sometimes with rewording, of sections of policies that other graduate institutions have used. SANS is grateful to UMUC, in particular, for the excellent foundation offered by its academic policies.