Posthumous Degree Policy

At the request of a parent or spouse, Southern State may award an associate degree posthumously to a student providing the student was in good academic standing at the time of death and had earned at least 45 semester hours of credit related to the associate degree being awarded.


The family member must make the request to a Campus Director or the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs. The Campus Director or the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs must send a memo to the Office of the Registrar requesting that the degree be awarded posthumously as of the appropriate graduation date.

The diploma may be given to the Campus Director or the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for presentation in a private gathering as special gesture to the family, or, if requested, may be presented to the family at the regular graduation ceremony in May.

Students Right to Appeal

Academic Nature

A student seeking an academic appeal must follow all the steps outlined in sequence.

Level 1

1. In an effort to resolve the issue, the student must first arrange a meeting with the faculty member involved within 30 calendar days of the awarding of grades. If the professor is absent from campus, the student must attempt to contact the professor through mail, email or by phone working with campus personnel if necessary. Students should document all attempts to contact faculty.

2. When discussing the grade with the professor, students should present as much evidence as possible to support their appeal. Open and civil communication is the best approach in an attempt to reach agreement on the appeal.

3. In the event the professor is absent from the campus or no longer in the employment of the college, or after consultation with the faculty member the issue is not resolved, the student may proceed to appeal Level 2.

Level 2

1. A Level 2 appeal is initiated by the student through a typed statement to the respective Campus Director or Program Director depending on the course for which they are appealing the final grade. Should a Program Director be the instructor of record for the course involved in the appeal, then it shall be handled by the Campus Director. Should the appeal occur for a course taught by a Campus Director, then the Vice President will appoint a designee to review the appeal. The typed statement will describe the exact nature of the complaint and the remedy the student is seeking. This typed statement must be submitted within 5 working days from the date of the meeting with the faculty member and must include:

  • a statement of the reason(s) the student believes the grades or academic dismissal was incorrectly or arbitrarily assigned;
  • the steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the grade with the faculty member; and
  • the resolution sought.

2. The written request for appeal may be accompanied by any additional evidence (e.g. papers, tests, syllabi) the student believes supports the conclusion that the grade or academic decision assigned meets the grounds for appeal outlined previously.

3. Upon receiving the typed student appeal, the Campus Director will notify the faculty member and request a written statement from the professor concerning the appeal. Additionally, the Campus Director may request a meeting with the professor and or the student to obtain further clarification of the appeal.

4. After receiving typed statements from both the student and professor and through possible consultation with the student or the professor, the Campus Director must give a typed response to the student with a copy to the professor within 10 working days. If the issue(s) brought forward in the appeal are not resolved satisfactorily in this step, the student or faculty member may then appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) in Level 3.

Level 3

1. Student wishing to take the appeal the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC) must submit their typed appeal within five working days after receiving the Campus Director’s response. If the student appeals to the AAC, the Campus Director will forward all information provided and gathered during their evaluation of the issue to the committee. Additionally the professor will be notified by the AAC that they have received the appeal.

2. The AAC will review the appeal within 10 working days of receipt of typed appeal. The AAC may, but are not required to, request a meeting with the student and/or the professor in which the student and/or professor may present evidence or information on his or her behalf and may be accompanied by an academic advisor or other faculty or staff member (or if the student is under age of 18, may be accompanied by a legal guardian). The advisor or guardian may consult with the student, but may not speak on behalf of the student or otherwise participate in the proceedings, unless given specific permission by the committee. Should a mutually agreeable meeting date or adequate review not be feasible within the 10 working days, Level 3 may be extended an additional five days. Once the AAC has made a decision, the chair of the committee will provide a typed response that will be sent to the student.

3. The decision of the AAC is final even if a decision against the student will mean that the grade or requirement under appeal will result in academic disqualification. There is no further college appeal.

Non-Academic Nature

1. The student should contact a staff member in the Department of Student Affairs.

2. If the student does not receive satisfaction, they may request to see the Dean of Student Services.

3. If the student is not satisfied with the above results, they may request to see the President of Southern State.

In the event that a student is not satisfied with the above results, the student may request that the President appoint a Grievance Committee to hear the complaint. The committee will consist of two students (one of which may be chosen by the student), one faculty member and one administrator. The Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs will chair the committee.

Additional Policies

This section provides links to the remaining college policies.