What can a student grieve?
Students may file grievances against actions by GCC employees in areas including, but not limited to the following: the exercise of rights of free expression; violation of published GCC rules, Board policies, and administrative regulations; academic decisions that may affect a course grade; and the assignment of final course grades (according to prescribed legal limits).
Where can a student get a copy of the GCC student grievance procedures?
Copies of GCC Board Policy 5530 and Administrative Regulations 5530 can be obtained from a division chairperson, the Dean of Student Affairs, the Dean of Instructional Services, the Dean of Student Services, and the Director of Admissions and Records. Additionally, students may access these regulations on the GCC web site at www.glendale.edu.
A student may address a complaint about an action taken by a college employee that does not involve course grades through the grievance process. Informal meetings and discussions between persons directly involved in a non-grade grievance are essential at the outset of the dispute and are encouraged at all stages. If a student cannot resolve a non- grade grievance directly with the involved GCC employee, the student may request a meeting with the appropriate administrator/manager or division chairperson. The administrator/manager or division chairperson shall meet with the student and the employee in an attempt to resolve the issue and may meet with the student and GCC employee either jointly or separately. If no informal resolution is reached with the administrator/manager or division chairperson that is satisfactory to the student, the student may request an administrative hearing with the appropriate senior GCC administrator as follows: Instructional Services employees: Vice President, Instructional Services or designee; Student Services employees: Vice President, Student Services or designee; Administrative Services employees: Vice President, Administrative Services or designee; College Administrators: Superintendent/President or designee.
The senior administrator shall meet with student and GCC employee either jointly or separately to attempt to settle grievance through mediation, negotiated agreement, or another mutually acceptable resolution. The final outcome or resolution will be communicated to the involved parties within ten instructional days after the conclusion of the hearing process.
Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters can be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues involving a California community college. Issues that are not resolved at the campus level may be presented to:
- The CCC Chancellor’s Office if your complaint does not concern CCC’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. Complete the web form at http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/ComplaintsForm.aspx.
- The Chancellor’s Office website at http://extranet.cccco.edu/Divisions/Legal/Discrimination.aspx
if your complaint involves unlawful discrimination.
- The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) at http://www.accjc.org/complaint-process if your complaint is associated with the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. ACCJC is the agency that accredits the academic programs of the California Community Colleges.
This procedure provides a means of resolving a student’s dispute of an academic decision (such as temporary removal from a lab or classroom setting) or the assigned final grade for a course. A student has the right initially to an informal review and explanation of his or her grade by the instructor who in turn is obligated to provide such a review. However, a student may only appeal a grade or academic decision if he or she is prepared to carry the burden of proving one or more of the following conditions as specified by law: a mistake in the assignment of the grade or in the process of its recording, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence.
A student shall initiate the process by filing a grade appeal with the instructor within the next regular semester (as specified in the applicable class schedule) following the award of the original grade. The student is expected to make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis with the instructor. If the student and instructor cannot settle the grade appeal, the student may request a meeting with the appropriate division chairperson. The division chairperson will then meet with the student and the instructor either jointly or separately to attempt to work out the grievance.
If the student cannot resolve the grade appeal with the instructor and division chairperson, then the student may request a conference with the appropriate dean. The dean will meet with the student and instructor either jointly or separately to resolve the grade appeal through compromise, negotiated settlement, or a recommendation that is satisfactory to all involved parties. If the dean is unable to resolve the complaint, and the student wishes to continue the grade appeal process, then the student may submit a written request for a formal grade appeal hearing with the Campus Judicial Board.
The Campus Judicial Board will conduct a closed hearing and based on the examination of supporting documents and testimony may take the following actions: Accept the formal grade appeal and recommend an administrative grade change; reject the formal grade appeal; make related recommendations as appropriate.
The Board will issue a written decision that includes a determination of whether the student established a rationale for a grade change according to applicable laws, and recommendations for the relief, if any, that should be afforded to the student. These findings are then submitted to the Superintendent/President for a final review.
After receiving the report of findings and recommended actions from the Campus Judicial Board, the Superintendent/ President will issue a written decision to the involved parties that include his or her conclusions and directives. The Superintendent/President’s decision shall be final and binding in all formal grade appeal hearings.