Guiding Principles

Informal Process - The College District requires students to discuss their concerns with the appropriate instructor or other campus administrator who has the authority to address the concerns.

Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level.

Informal resolution shall be required but shall not extend any deadlines in this policy, except by mutual written consent.

Formal Process - A student may initiate the formal process described below by timely filing a written Student Complaint/Appeal form located in The Pathfinder - Student Handbook.

  • All formal conferences shall be audio recorded.
  • All complaint forms and appeal notices shall be filed electronically.
  • All responses at Level One, Level Two, Level Three, and Level Four shall be sent electronically to the student’s email address of record.

Even after initiating the formal complaint process, students are encouraged to seek informal resolution of their concerns. A student whose concerns are resolved may withdraw a formal complaint at any time.

The process described in this policy shall not be construed to create new or additional rights beyond those granted by law or Board policy, nor to require a full evidentiary hearing or “mini-trial” at any level.

Freedom from Retaliation - Neither the Board nor any College District employee shall unlawfully retaliate against any student for bringing a concern or complaint.

Notice to Students - The College District shall inform students of this policy through appropriate College District publications.

General Provisions - Complaint forms and appeal notices shall be filed electronically.

Filing - Filings submitted electronically shall be timely filed if they are received by the close of business on the deadline, as indicated by the date/time shown on the electronic communication.

Scheduling Conferences - If a student fails to appear at a scheduled conference, the College District may hold the conference and issue a decision in the student’s absence.

Days - “Days” shall mean College District business days. In calculating timelines under this policy, the day a document is filed is “day zero.” The following day is “day one.”

Representative - “Representative” shall mean any person who or organization that is designated by the student to represent the student in the complaint process. The student may designate a representative through written notice to the College District at any level of this process. If the student designates a representative with fewer than three days’ notice to the College District before a scheduled conference or hearing, the College District may reschedule the conference or hearing to a later date, if desired, in order to include the College District’s counsel. The College District may be represented by counsel at any level of the process.

Consolidating Complaints - Complaints arising out of an event or a series of related events shall be addressed in one complaint. A student shall not file separate or serial complaints arising from any event or series of events that have been or could have been addressed in a previous complaint.

Untimely Filings - All time limits shall be strictly followed unless modified by mutual written consent. If a complaint form or appeal notice is not timely filed, the complaint may be dismissed, on written notice to the student, at any point during the complaint process. The student may appeal the dismissal by seeking review in writing within five days from the date of the written dismissal notice, starting at the level at which the complaint was dismissed. Such appeal shall be limited to the issue of timeliness.

Costs incurred - Each party shall pay its own costs incurred in the course of the complaint.

Grades Appeal Process - This appeal process shall not include appeals for forced withdrawal from developmental courses in accordance with state law.

  • The student may remain in class until the appeal process is completed. If there is a question of patient or student safety, the student shall only observe.

Final course grade complaints shall apply to any grade or course related issue including cheating and plagiarism. The College District requires students to discuss their concerns and appeals through informal conferences with the appropriate instructor.

Suspended Student - No former student who has been suspended for disciplinary reasons from the College District shall be permitted on the campus or other facilities of the College District during the period of suspension without the prior written approval of the College President or a designated representative.