The purpose of the grievance policy and procedures (E-55) are to provide a prompt and equitable means for resolving student(s) grievances. In the pursuit of academic goals, the student should be free of unfair or improper action by any member of the academic community. The grievance procedure may be initiated by one or more students who reasonably believe he/she/they have been subject to unjust action or denied rights involving their status or privileges as students. It is the responsibility of the student(s) to submit proof of alleged unfair or improper action. Grievances pertaining to grades are subject to the California Education Code Section 76224(a) which states:
When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college district, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student's grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith* , or incompetency, shall be final. (* In general, there is no definitive definition of bad faith. However, bad faith may exist if there is neglect or refusal to fulfill some duty or obligation (e.g., ignoring student evaluation standards published in the course syllabus), not prompted by an honest mistake.)
If you have any further questions contact the Ombudsperson: Associate Dean Dr. Jeremy Villar at:
323-953-4000 extension 2011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a student grievance?
A grievance is a formal complaint by a student arising out of an alleged action of the faculty, administrators, or staff of the college. The person or entity against who the complaint is made is referred to in this document as the "respondent." Such action is alleged by the student to be an unauthorized or unjustified action which adversely affects the status, rights, or privileges of the student. Students are reminded that the Grievance Procedure is not designed to replace the open communication and understanding that are vital to the academic process. During all stages of the grievance, the burden of proof will be on the student.
What is an Ombudsperson?
The Ombudsperson serves as a facilitator of the grievance process and does not serve as an advocate for either the Grievant(s) or Respondent(s). The Ombudsperson:
- Provides information to the student (grievant) and the Respondent(s) concerning the grievance procedures at any stage in the grievance process.
- May collect information, documents and records pertinent to the case. The Ombudsperson may hold and facilitate meetings and discussions that may lead to a resolution of the grievance.
- Sits with the Grievance Hearing Committee and may answer questions upon request but shall not serve as a member or vote.
- Coordinates the preparation and conduct of the Grievance Hearing, including providing in-service training to committee members on hearing procedures and operation.
- Ensures that the entire grievance process is conducted in an orderly, fair and respectful manner. The Ombudsperson shall have the authority to exclude from the hearing any individuals who fail to conduct themselves in an orderly, fair and respectful manner.
- Shall assist the Grievant(s) in understanding the grievance procedures, filing the appropriate forms, meeting all the time lines of these procedures, communicating with college employees and officials and participating in the hearing process. (See Section 10 for non–student advocate options)
Do I need an appointment to see the ombudsperson?
Yes, it would be best to make an appointment to ensure that proper time is given to each case. To make an appointment with Associate Dean Dr. Jeremy Villar, please call (323) 953-4000 extension 2011 or email email@example.com.
My professor gave me the wrong grade. What can I do?
Prior to coming to the ombudsperson, you must follow the steps:
- You must have or tried to speak with the faculty
- You must have brought the matter to the attention of the Chair of the department
- You must have brought the matter to the attention to the Dean of the respective discipline.
- If you feel the issue has not been addressed, student may meet with the Ombudsperson, Associate Dean of Student Services, Jeremy Villar, x2011, located in the in the Student Services Village 117.
How do I contact the Chair of the Department or the Dean of Academic Affairs?
Communication Studies (Dean Jones)
English / ESL (Dean Duenas)
Foreign Languages/Humanities (Dean Jones)
Learning Skills (Dean Jones)
Philosophy (Dean Davis)
Psychology (Dean Davis)
Social Sciences (Dean Day)
Physics / Engineering
Cinema / Television
Visual & Media Arts
Law/Administration of Justice
M. "Shae" Hsieh
Dr. Thelma Day
Dr. Adriene "Alex" Davis
What happens when I see the ombudsperson?
You will be asked to discuss your written comments. Your comments briefly indicate the nature of your concern. You will also be asked to consider what sort of outcome you want to your concerns. Your concerns may be referred to someone else. The discussion is informal and the visit confidential.
Is it possible to change a grade?
Yes, the college has a grievance process for contesting a grade, which may be changed only if the professor has made a mistake, acted in bad faith, fraudulently, or incompetently. The ombudsperson can explain the grade appeal grievance process, but has cannot change the grade.
How long does the grade appeal process take?
The grade appeal process varies and may take several weeks, depending on the time of year. Grievances submitted during summer session, may not be heard until Fall semester due to faculty availability.
What is the grade appeal process?
The grade appeal process is contained in Administrative Regulation E55 (pdf), Student Grievances (Link open the new browser window). The ombudsperson can explain the grade appeal grievance process, but has no power to change the grade.
What is the deadline for filing a Grade Change or Grievance Hearing Request?
The statute of limitations period for requesting a Grievance Hearing under this regulation is one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the occurrence of the incident giving rise to the grievance; or one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the student learns, or should have learned, that the student has a basis for filing a grievance.
Who makes the final grade decision?
The grievance committee and the grievance appeals committee make recommendation to the college President. The college President makes the final decision.
If you have any further questions contact Associate Dean Dr. Jeremy Villar at:
323-953-4000 extension 2011 or firstname.lastname@example.org