Student Grievance

The purpose of the grievance policy and procedures (S-9) 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.)


Forms
 
After you have attempted to resolve the issue with the faculty, Chair of the department, and the Academic Dean, contact the Ombudsperson and complete the forms below.
 
Grievance Statement
 
Request for a Hearing 
 

If you have any further questions contact the Ombudsperson at:

323-953-4000 extension 2011 or ombudsperson@lacitycollege.edu

 

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:

  1. Provides information to the student (grievant) and the Respondent(s) concerning the grievance procedures at any stage in the grievance process.
  2. 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.
  3. Sits with the Grievance Hearing Committee and may answer questions upon request but shall not serve as a member or vote.
  4. Coordinates the preparation and conduct of the Grievance Hearing, including providing in-service training to committee members on hearing procedures and operation.
  5. 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.
  6. 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, call (323) 953-4000 extension 2011 or email ombudsperson@lacitycollege.edu.

My professor gave me the wrong grade. What can I do?

Prior to coming to the ombudsperson, you must follow the steps:

  1. You must have or tried to speak with the faculty
  2. You must have brought the matter to the attention of the Chair of the department
  3. You must have brought the matter to the attention to the Dean of the Discipline.
  4. If you feel the issue has not been addressed, student may meet with the Ombudsperson, Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Lawrence Bradford,  x2460, located in the Office of Student Life, in the Student Union Building 2nd floor.

How do I contact the Chair of the Department or the Dean of Academic Affairs?

Dean

Allison Jones

2060

Art / Architecture

Gayle Partlow   2510

Cinema / TV

Joni Varner  2627

Communication Studies

Kathleen Beaufait

2694

Dental Technology

Dana Cohen

2501

Library

Barbara Vasquez

2407

Media Arts

Daniel Marlos

2835

Music

Christine Park

2887

Social Sciences

Wendel Eckford

2561

Theatre Arts

Kevin Morrissey

2992

 

Dean

Todd Scott

2061

English / ESL

Bernadette Tchen 2727

Learning Skills

Maryanne Des Vignes 2778

 

Dean

Thelma Day

2056

CAOT/Business Administration

Britt Hastey

2547

Chemistry/Geophysical Sciences

Michael Farrell

2600

Foreign Languages / Humanities

Eiko Chatel

2737

Kinesiology / Health / Dance

Dan Cowgill

2660

Life Sciences

Sean Phommasaysy

2795

Math / CSIT / Electronics / CT

Roger Wolf

2811

Nursing

Jocelyn Simpson-Turk

1526

Philosophy

Julio Torres

2763

Physics / Engineering

Jayesh Bhakta

2923

Radiologic Technology

Israel Fonseca, Acting Program Director

2942

 

Dean                                                                                                  Alex Davis                    2596

Child Development / Dietetics                                                             Keli Miller                       2299

Law / Administration of Justice                                                            Wilhelm Vargas               2754

Psychology                                                                                         Rochelle Sechooler          2930    
   

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 the Ombudsperson at:
323-953-4000 extension 2011 or ombudsperson@lacitycollege.edu