Student Complaints & Grievances
Student Complaints and Grievances Policy and Procedure
Per Administrative Procedure 5530: The purpose of this procedure is to provide a reasonable means for resolving student grievances when no other administrative procedure or departmental procedure for review, investigation or resolution of the matter exists. Per Board policy 5530, students shall be entitled to seek redress over improper District decisions and actions that are contrary to District policies, procedures or laws, and that adversely affect a student’s status, rights or privileges. This procedure shall apply to grievances regarding:
- The exercise of rights of free expression protected by the state and federal constitutions and Education Code Section 76120.
- Infringement of any right specifically granted to the student by law or a duly established District policy or procedure.
- Course grades, to the extent permitted by Education Code Section 76224(a), 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 professor of the course and the determination of the student’s grade by the professor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final. “Mistake” may include, but is not limited to errors made by a professor in calculating a student’s grade and clerical errors.
Exemptions: The student grievance or complaint process does not apply to standards of student conduct (student disciplinary matters), sexual misconduct (including sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, or illegal discrimination), financial aid actions, and parking tickets, all of which are covered under separate Board Policies and Administrative Procedures.
Step 1: Informal Resolution Procedure: Students who have a grievance or complaint shall make a reasonable, good faith attempt to resolve the matter by communicating first with the respondent(s) and, if unable to reach an informal resolution, with the respondent’s/respondents’ immediate supervisor within ten (10) days after the alleged act or omission giving rise to the grievance.
Step 2: Facilitated Resolution Procedure:
- If an Informal Resolution has not been reached and the student desires to continue to pursue resolution, he/she shall submit a Grievance Mediation Form to the office of the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services within twenty (20) days after the act or omission giving rise to the grievance.
- The Grievance Facilitator shall try to facilitate a resolution through conference(s) with the parties, individually or together, and by any other voluntary means designed to facilitate a mutually agreeable, voluntary resolution.
- If the parties are unable to reach a mutually agreeable, voluntary resolution, the Grievant may pursue an administrative review.
Step 3: Administrative Review
- If the Grievant desires to seek an Administrative Review, the Grievant shall submit a Request for Administrative Review to the Grievance Facilitator, who shall forward it to the Grievance Officer.
- The Grievance Officer shall set an Administrative Review Conference as soon as practicable.
- The Grievance Officer shall issue a Notice of Decision to the parties within ten (10) days after conclusion of the ARC whenever practicable. The Grievance Officer’s decision shall be final.
- Board Policy 5530 Student Rights and Grievances
- Administrative Procedure 5530 Student Rights and Grievances
- SJDC Student Complaint and Grievance Form
To request additional information on Student Grievances (AP 5530), contact:
Dr. Lonita Cordova
Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services
(209) 954-5151 x5005