Student Grievance Procedure
A student grievance is a College-related problem or condition which a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrance to the educational process. A grievance also includes discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation.
The student grievance procedure is not intended to supplant the Student Code of Conduct, which allows the student procedural due process in disciplinary proceedings initiated by the College. This student grievance procedure is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to file a grievance, as defined above, and to provide a process for resolution of the grievance. A student may file a grievance concerning a policy, procedure, rule, or grade if discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age is the basis for the grievance. This student grievance procedure is not designed to include changes in policy nor does it apply to grading practices. Recommendations for initiating new policy or changing established policy are handled through normal administrative channels. A grade dispute that is not based on an allegation of discrimination is handled under FLDB(LOCAL).
The student grievance procedure is not applicable to complaints of sexual harassment. All students shall report complaints of sexual harassment informally to campus human resources personnel or location representatives selected by the highest level administrator at the location, or formally to the Vice-Chancellor of Educational Affairs as provided in DHA(LOCAL), which is the sexual harassment procedure.
Students who wish to file a College-related grievance should, but are not required to, discuss it with the College employee most directly responsible for the condition which brought about the alleged grievance. If the grievance is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may appeal to the next level of authority. The student may consult with the administrative offices to determine the next level of authority. If an appeal does not resolve the grievance, the student may proceed to the appropriate vice-president with a written presentation of the grievance. If the vice-presidential level of appeal does not prove satisfactory to the student, the student may seek review under the formal procedures below.
If a student files a grievance informally by discussing it with the college employee most directly responsible, etc., the following procedures apply. The student shall discuss the grievance fully at each level in the process. At each level of authority, a decision shall be made based on common sense and good judgment of a reasonable person. Each level may seek the appropriate authority, if necessary, to resolve the grievance. The entire informal procedure should take no longer than 30 days.
Procedures for appeals are as follows:
- A student who wishes a grievance to be heard by an appeal committee must submit a request in writing to the vice-president of student development (VPSD) or the employee who is responsible for student development.
- The VPSD or responsible employee will convene and chair the appeal committee.
- The appeal must be heard by the committee within ten class days of the request unless extended with the agreement of both the student and the VPSD or responsible employee.
- The committee will be ad hoc and will consist of two students, two faculty members, and one staff member who is either an administrator or a noncontractual employee. It is the responsibility of the College President or designee to appoint all committee members, and the appointer shall examine each member to ensure his or her impartiality.
- The appeal committee will make findings and send its decision to the College President. A grievant may seek review of an adverse decision through the College President. The decision of the College President shall be final.
By law, the Board is not required to take any action concerning a grievance, but is required to listen if the grievance is presented at a public meeting.
If a student requests a hearing by an appeal committee, a grievance must be in writing and contain:
- The student’s name and address;
- The nature of the grievance, including the date it occurred;
- The corrective action sought; and
- Any other relevant information.
A grievance filed, either informally or formally, will not be considered unless it is filed not later than 120 days after the event or occurrence giving rise to the grievance or knowledge of the event or occurrence. The entire formal procedure should take no longer than 30 days.
In conducting the appeal committee hearing, the VPSD or responsible employee is authorized to:
- Require any student or employee to provide a written statement, along with any documents concerning the events and circumstances that may have given rise to the grievance;
- Require any student or employee to appear and testify;
- Question each individual who testifies; and
- Copy all documents.
This is not an adversarial proceeding. A VPSD or responsible employee shall conduct a hearing in a professional and cooperative manner, and all participants are expected to do likewise.
Failure to comply with a summons or order from the VPSD or responsible person may result in disciplinary action.
The appeal committee shall base its decisions during a hearing and make a recommendation upon the common sense and good judgment of a reasonable person.
The VPSD or responsible employee shall ensure that all relevant evidence is obtained from parties during the hearing.
An attorney or other representative of a grievant may present a grievance to the appeal committee, but this presentation does not include questioning or cross-examining witnesses (including the grievant), objecting to testimony or documents, or similar actions undertaken by an attorney to represent a client.
Students who wish to dispute a credit course grade may sequentially follow the steps below, unless the dispute is resolved at a preceding step:
- Discuss the dispute with the instructor who awarded the grade.
- Discuss the dispute with the appropriate division dean.
- Appeal, in writing, to the appropriate vice-president.
- Appeal, in writing, to the College President, whose decision is final.
A student shall receive a written response within ten working days after a written appeal. The appropriate faculty member shall be notified in writing regarding the resolution of the matter. A grade dispute shall not be considered later than the end of the semester following the semester in which the grade was awarded. In a summer session, the dispute must be initiated not later than the end of the following fall semester.
By law, the Board is not required to take any action concerning a grade dispute, but is required to listen if the grade dispute is presented at a public meeting.
DATE ISSUED: 04/05/2004
This online presentation of your college district’s policy concerning the stated subject material is an electronic representation of TASB’s record of the college district’s currently adopted policy manual. It does not reflect updating activities in progress nor is it a legally binding document. Please contact the office of the President or Chancellor for the official, legally binding generation of this and the other policies that pertain to your college district.