Academic Grievance

The academic grievance process is to resolve grade disputes between students and instructors. Students who have a non-grade-related concern regarding either a member of the instructional staff or a process of the college should use the Student Complaint Process.

General information

These procedures outline due process, equitable treatment, and protection of all parties involved. No adverse action shall be taken in response to a student who files an academic grievance. The administrator responsibilities which are described may be carried out by an appointed designee or by the next level of supervisor. At the discretion of the vice president for instructional and student success, any step can be bypassed or repeated.

If a "question of safe practice" is an issue, the student may not be allowed to continue in the program until the grievance process has been concluded. A "question of safe practice" is defined as conduct of a student which has the potential of endangering other persons in the classroom, laboratory/clinical, and or workplace environments.

While every effort will be made to expedite the grievance process, there is a possibility that the grievance may delay the grievant’s completion of a program.

This process must be initiated within 30 (thirty) days of when the grade in question was issued. The specified times may be extended by mutual agreement of the involved parties.

Grievance Procedure

1. Meet informally with the faculty member

The student will make a reasonable effort to meeting informally with the faculty member.

2. Submit a grievance form

If a resolution is not reached through informal discussions, the student has 10 (ten) business days (defined here as days excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and days when classes are not in session) to complete and submit a Student Academic Grievance Form. The form is submitted to the associate dean for the appropriate academic division.

3. Discussion of grievance

The associate dean will discuss the grievance with the student and the faculty member within 15 business days of the date the form was received. The associate dean may request a combined or individual meeting with parties involved.

4. Written response from associate dean

A written response will be provided to the student and all involved parties by the associate dean within 15 business days of the meeting. The associate dean may:

  • Resolve the dispute;
  • Deny the request if the student provides insufficient evidence that his/her grade was determined in a biased or otherwise unfair manner;
  • Move forward with the academic grievance process by convening an Academic Grievance Committee.

Academic Grievance Committee hearing

The committee will include two faculty members (full-time or part-time); one associate dean (from a different  division); the instructional vice president who acts as non-voting facilitator and chair. A non-voting recording secretary may be present to document the proceedings. The student have a support person/advisor with attend the hearing. The support person/advisor has no role other than to advise the student, and is not be permitted to ask or answer questions, or to make arguments.

Proceedings may be audio-recorded.

The student and the instructor will be invited to attend the grievance committee hearing. If either the student or the instructor is not present, a decision will be made based on information presented at the hearing and evidence already submitted during the grievance process.

5. Written response following the committee hearing

The student, the faculty member and the faculty member's supervisor will receive the written decision within five business days. The response to the student will be sent via certified mail. The response to the instructor and his/her supervisor will be send via campus mailing. The Academic Grievance Committee decision is final and binding.

6. Final follow-up

If necessary, the appropriate associate dean will submit a Change of Grade Form to the Registrar’s Office on behalf of the Academic Grievance Committee within five business days of the written notification.