STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
The student grievance procedure is designed to provide a prompt and equitable means for resolving student grievances, including but not limited to the grading process. The grievance procedure may be initiated by a student or group of students who reasonably believe that they have been subject to unjust action or denied rights that adversely affect their status, rights, or privileges as a student.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
“The statute of limitations period for requesting a Grievance Hearing under this regulation is 120 calendar days after the occurrence of the incident giving rise to the grievance; or 120 calendar days after the student learns, or should have learned, that the student has a basis for filing a grievance. Pursuing an informal remedy for a grievance does not relieve the Grievant of the responsibility of requesting a Grievance Hearing within 120 calendar days of the incident giving rise to the grievance.”
SUMMARY OF THE CA EDUCATION CODE COVERING GRADING PRACTICES
Although the grievance procedures are established to enable a student to challenge a particular grade, students are advised of section 76224 of the California Education Code which provides: “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.”
STUDENT HAS THE BURDEN OF PROOF
The burden of proving mistake, fraud, bad faith and/or incompetence is on the student. Basically, this means that you, the student, must provide the evidence to prove “mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetence” against the instructor you are grieving.
WHAT KIND OF EVIDENCE TO I NEED?
That’s depends on what you are attempting to prove. In most matters, you will need to supply the Grievance Officer with the course syllabus, any email communications you may have had with the instructor surrounding the matter, and any returned student work. (Please see Step 4 below)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INFORMAL AND FORMAL RESOLUTION?
Informal Resolution Procedures. The E-55 Administrative Regulation states “All parties involved should be encouraged to seek an informal remedy. Informal meetings and discussion between persons directly involved in a grievance are essential at the outset of the dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution should be sought before persons directly involved in the case have assumed official or public opinions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult.”
Formal Resolution Procedures. The E-55 Administrative Regulation states in part “ . . . If there is no informal resolution of the grievance, the student has a right to request a Grievance Hearing.”
LET’S GO OVER THE STEPS . . .
Contact your instructor. If you cannot reach the instructor, contact the department chair of the faculty member. If you cannot contact the department chair, contact the department’s Dean. Visit the list of Department Chairs.
If your grade matter has not been resolved at these levels, you are entitled to file a Statement of Grievance with the Grade Grievance Officer. Read LACCD Administrative Regulation E-55 (Student Grievance Procedures) to understand the grade grievance process.
Go back through your course materials and retrieve the following written materials:
- Course outline
- All graded papers/quizzes/exams and/or graded scantrons
- Any email communications with the instructor, department chairperson and/or area dean regarding the grade dispute or coursework
- Any other written material you deem relevant towards proving your claim
Collect all materials from Steps 3 and 4 and put them in an envelope. Contact the Grade Grievance Officer - Anafe Robinson at (818) 610-6516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an intake appointment.
Our address is Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91371.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION RELATING TO STUDENT COMPLAINTS
Please see Administrative Regulation E-55 for rules for more specific information on hearings and appeals.
Please also note that the student grievance procedure does not apply to the following.
- Challenge process for prerequisites, corequisites, advisories and limitations on enrollment. Information on challenges to prerequisites is available from the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Alleged violations of sexual harassment, actions dealing with alleged discrimination on the basis of ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability. These complaints are handled through the District's office of Diversity Programs at 213-891-2315.
- An appeal for residency determination. Residency appeals should be filed with that Admissions and Records Office.
- Eligibility, disqualification or reinstatement of financial aid. Procedures for eligibility, disqualification or reinstatement of Financial Aid may be obtained in the Financial Aid Office
- Student Discipline: Actions dealing with student discipline are handled through the Office of Student Services.
- Freedom of the Press: Issues pertaining to freedom of press and journalism are addressed in Administrative Regulation E-63 and Board Rules 9703 and 9704.
- Employee Discipline. Students may file complaints about employee conduct with the appropriate administrator (see Board Rule 10101 – Unsolicited Written Derogatory Communications).
- Challenges of established District policies, e.g. Board Rules and Administrative Regulations. Grievances regarding District policy, which are beyond the authority of a college president, shall be referred to the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee for appropriate handling and response.
- Financial claims against the District. Financial claims need to be made through the District’s Office of General Counsel.
Information about other procedures is listed in the schedule of classes and college catalogs or may be obtained from the Student Service Office.
Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level, before escalating issues to other resources. Please follow the link below for more information at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office: http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/complaintsform.aspx
Students may file complaints about Pierce College employee misconduct with the appropriate administrator (see LACCD Board Rule 10101 – Unsolicited Written Derogatory Communications or call the Office of Academic Affairs at (818) 719-6444.
Students may file complaints about Student Services Units with the Office of Student Services on campus (Student Services Building, 3rd floor) or call (818) 719-6418 for more information.Student Services Complaint Form – submit the completed form to the Office of Vice President of Student Services located on the 3rd floor of the Student Services Building.