Academic Concerns of Students

Teaching and learning in Trinity College is based on collaboration between instructors and students. Sometimes, however, the student-faculty relationship in a course can give rise to concerns that, for whatever reason, can inhibit successful teaching and learning. When this occurs, students often need assistance in resolving the issue, and you should not hesitate to seek assistance from faculty and administrative officers in resolving problems you encounter.

  • If you have questions about the content of a course, an instructor’s methods of presentation of material, the level of discourse, criteria for evaluation of students, or administrative procedures in the course, direct them to the instructor. Even if you doubt that a productive discussion with the instructor is possible, he/she is best positioned to address your concerns and, in any case, it is courteous to inform the instructor before you refer a matter to the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or, in his or her absence, to the chair of the department. You should be able to resolve most of your course-related academic concerns through direct consultation with your instructor.  However, in exceptional cases in which a problem remains unresolved after informal discussions have taken place, you can appeal the matter to the senior associate dean of Trinity College or the senior associate dean for education in Pratt School of Engineering. The senior associate dean will request information about the nature of the issue and about the earlier efforts you have made to deal with it. If the problem concerns a specific course, it should be directed to the senior associate dean of the college or school in which the course is taught.
  • If your concern involves a departmental policy rather than an individual course, confer with the DUS in the department. If necessary, the DUS can refer you to the department chair.  You can also contact your academic dean if you are in doubt about how to proceed with a matter of concern to you.
  • Finally, if your academic concern arises from a poor course grade submitted by an instructor at the end of the semester, there is a separate procedure established for handling grade complaints