Student Complaint Policy for Non-Title IX



Students Rights and Grievances Policy*

*Formerly Student Complaint Form

Adopted by the Board of Trustees 11/15/95; 3/21/12; 7/20/2004; Jan. 2021
Last Revised: 01/08/2021
Education Code Section 76224 subdivision (a); ACCJC Accreditation Eligibility Requirement 20; ACCJC Accreditation Standard IV.D


The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means of resolving student Grievances.

Grievance: A claim by any Student who reasonably believes a college decision or action has adversely affected his/her/their status, rights or privileges as a student. A Grievance includes, but is limited to, claims regarding:
  • Refusal of instructor to confer with a student;
  • Financial aid [unles the District's financial aid policy contains an appeal procedure]; 
  • Course grades, to the extent peprmitted 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 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." "Mistake" may include, but is not limited to errors made by the instructor in calculating a student's grade and clerical errors;
  • The exercise of rights of free expression protected by state and federal constitutions and Educatin Code Section 76120.

A Grievance is not:

  •  Student disciplinary actions, which are covered under separate Board policies and Administrative Procedures.
  • Police citations (i.e. "tickets"); complaints about citations must be directed to the County Courthouse in the same way as any traffic violations.

  Grievant – A Student who has filed a Grievance.

Party – The student or any persons claimed to have been responsible for the student's alleged Grievance, together with their representatives. "Party" shall not include the Grievance Hearing Committee or the College Grievance Officer.


CEO – The CEO or a designated representative of the CEO: Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety.


Student – A currently enrolled student, a person who has filed an application for admission to the college, or a former student. A Grievance by an applicant shall be limited to a complaint regarding denial of admission. Former students shall be limited to Grievances relating to course grades to the extent permitted by Education Code Section 76224 subdivision (a).


Respondent – Any person the Grievant claims to be responsible for the alleged Grievance.


Day – Unless otherwise provided, day shall mean a day during which the college is in session and regular classes are held, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.


INFORMAL RESOLUTION - Each student who has a grievance shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a Grievance hearing, and shall attempt to solve the problem with the person with whom the student has the Grievance, that person's immediate supervisor, or the local college administration. 


The student may discuss the problem with the individual or the individual's supervisor.


If a mutually satisfactory understanding has not been reached with the other person, the student may, within five (5) instructional days, present the Student Grievance to the immediate supervisor. Student Grievance form information may be found under the Formal Resolution section of this AP. Within (2) two days following receipt of a grievance, the immediate supervisor shall advise the student of his or her rights and responsibilities under these procedures, and assist the student, if necessary, in the preparation of the Grievance form. The supervisor must respond via verbal communication or email within ten (10) instructional days of the initiation of the grievance.

If Grievance is About:


Classified Staff/ Managers/ Confidential

Immediate Supervisor/ Chief Human Resources Office

Teaching & Non-Teaching Faculty

Appropriate Dean

Department Chair

Appropriate Dean




Appropriate Vice President or CEO

Another Student

Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety


Informal meetings and discussion between persons directly involved in a Grievance are essential at the outset of a dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution should be sought before persons directly involved in the case have stated official or public positions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. At no time shall any of the persons directly or indirectly involved in the case use the fact of such informal discussion, the fact that a Grievance has been filed, or the character of the informal discussion for the purpose of strengthening the case for or against persons directly involved in the dispute or for any purpose other than the settlement of the Grievance.


The CEO shall appoint an employee who shall assist students in seeking resolution by informal means. This person shall be called the Grievance Officer. The Grievance Officer and the student may also seek the assistance of the Associated Student Organization in attempting to resolve a Grievance informally.


Any student who believes he/she/they has/have a Grievance shall file a Statement of Grievance with the Grievance Officer within [30] days of the incident on which the Grievance is based, or [30] days after the student learns of the basis for the Grievance, whichever is later. The Statement of Grievance must be filed whether or not the student has already initiated efforts at informal resolution, if the student wishes the Grievance to become official. Within two days following receipt of the Statement of Grievance Form, the Grievance Officer shall advise the student of his/her/their rights and responsibilities under these procedures, and assist the student, if necessary, in the final preparation of the Statement of Grievance form.

If at the end of (20) days (excluding weekends and holidays) days following the student's first meeting with the Grievance Officer, there is no informal resolution of the complaint which is satisfactory to the student, the student shall have the right to request a Grievance hearing.


Grievance Hearing Committee: The Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety shall at the beginning of each semester or summer session, establish a standing panel (available pool) of (18) members of the college community, including (6) students, (4) faculty members a, (4) college staff, and [(4)] administrators from which one or more Grievance Hearing Committees may be appointed. The panel will be established with the advice and assistance of the Associated Students Organization, College Council, and the Academic Senate, who shall each submit] names to the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety for inclusion on the panel. A Grievance Hearing Committee shall be constituted in accordance with the following:


  • It shall include (2) students, (1) faculty members, (1) college staff; and (1) college administrator selected from the panel described above.
  • No person shall serve as a member of a Grievance Hearing Committee if that person has been personally involved in any matter giving rise to the Grievance, has made any statement on the matters at issue, or could otherwise not act in a neutral manner. Any Party to the Grievance may challenge for cause any member of the hearing committee prior to the beginning of the hearing by addressing a challenge to the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety who shall determine whether cause for disqualification has been shown. If the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety feels that sufficient ground for removal of a member of the committee has been presented, the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety shall remove the challenged member or members and substitute a member or members from the panel described above. This determination is subject to appeal as defined below:
  • The Grievance Officer shall sit with the Grievance Hearing Committee but shall not serve as a member nor vote. The Grievance Officer shall coordinate all scheduling of hearings, shall serve to assist all Parties and the Hearing Committee to facilitate a full, fair, and efficient resolution of the Grievance, and shall avoid an adversary role.


If, within ten (10) days, the Grievance is not resolved informally, or the student is not satisfied with the resolution recommended by the supervisor, or if the supervisor does not respond timely a student may submit a Student Grievance form to the Vice President for Academic Services regarding academic matters or Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety regarding non-academic matters.

The Vice President for Academic Services or the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety will respond in writing to the Grievance within ten (10) instructional days of receipt of the Grievance form.

Students' Grievance forms are available from:


Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment

Services & Campus Safety

Student Affairs

(760) 355-6456

Director of Disabled

Student Programs & Services

DSP&S Office

(760) 355-6312

Chief Student Services Officer

Student Services & Equity

(760) 355-6106

Chief Human Resource Officer (staff)

Human Resource Office

(760) 355-6212


REQUEST FOR GRIEVANCE HEARING – Any request for a Grievance hearing shall be filled on a Request for a Grievance Form within (10) days after filing the Statement of Grievance as described above.

Within (10) days following receipt of the request for Grievance hearing, the Dean of Student Affairs, Enrollment Services & Campus Safety shall appoint a Grievance Hearing Committee as described above, and the Grievance Hearing Committee shall meet in private and without
the Parties present to select a chair and to determine on the basis of the Statement of Grievance whether it presents sufficient grounds for a hearing.


• The determination of whether the Grievance presents sufficient grounds for a hearing shall be based on the following: The statement contains facts which, if true, would constitute a Grievance under these procedures;
• The Grievant is a student as defined in these procedures, which include applicants and former
• The grievant is personally and directly affected by the alleged Grievance;
• The Grievance was filed in a timely manner;
• The Grievance is not clearly frivolous, clearly without foundation, or clearly filed for
purposes of harassment.

If the grievance does not meet each of the requirements, the Grievance Hearing Committee chair shall notify the student in writing of the rejection of the Request for a Grievance Hearing, together with the specific reasons for the rejection and the procedures for appeal. This notice will be provided within ten (10) days of the date the Grievance Hearing Committee makes its decision.

If the Request for Grievance Hearing satisfies each of the requirements, the Committee Chair shall schedule a Grievance hearing. The hearing will begin within twenty (20) days following the decision to grant a Grievance Hearing. All Parties to the Grievance shall be given not less than five (5) days' notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.


HEARING PROCEDURES The decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee chair shall be final on all matters relating to the conduct of the hearing unless there is a vote of a majority of the other members of the panel to the contrary.

The Grievance Officer will provide members of the Grievance Hearing Committee with a copy of the Grievance and any written response provided by the Respondent before the hearing begins.

Each Party to the Grievance may call witnesses and introduce oral and written testimony relevant to the issues of the matter.

Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted.

Unless the Grievance Hearing Committee determines to proceed otherwise, each Party to the Grievance shall be permitted to make an opening statement. Thereafter, the Grievant or Grievants shall make the first presentation, followed by the Respondent or Respondents. The Grievant or Grievants may present rebuttal evidence after the Respondent(s)' evidence. The burden shall be on the Grievant or Grievants to prove by substantial evidence that the facts alleged are true and that a Grievance has been established as specified above.


Each Party to the Grievance may represent himself/herself/themselves, and may also have the right to be represented by a person of his/her/their choice; except that a Party shall not be represented by an attorney unless, in the judgment of the Grievance Hearing Committee, complex legal issues are involved. If a Party wishes to be represented by an attorney, a request must be presented not less than five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing. If one Party is permitted to be represented by an attorney, any other Party shall have the right to be represented by an attorney. The hearing committee may also request legal assistance through the CEO. Any legal advisor provided to the hearing committee may sit with it in an advisory capacity to provide legal counsel but shall not be a member of the panel nor vote with it.

Hearings shall be closed and confidential unless all Parties request that it be open to the public. Any such request must be made no less than five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing.
In a closed hearing, witnesses shall not be present at the hearing when not testifying, unless all Parties and the committee agree to the contrary. The Grievance Officer will record the hearing by tape recording or stenographic recording, and this will be the only recording made.  No witness who refuses to be recorded may be permitted to give testimony. In the event the recording is by tape recording, the Grievance Hearing Committee Chair shall, at the beginning of the hearing, ask each person present to identify themselves by name, and 
thereafter shall ask witnesses to identify themselves by name. The tape recording shall remain in the custody of the District, either at the college or the District office, at all times, unless released to a professional transcribing service. Any Party may request a copy of the tape 
All witnesses must testify under oath; the Grievance Hearing Committee Chair will administer the oath. The Grievance Hearing Committee will only admit written statements of witnesses under penalty of perjury if the witness is unavailable to testify. A witness who refuses to be tape recorded shall be considered to be unavailable.
Within (5) of days following the close of the hearing, the Grievance Hearing Committee shall prepare and send to the CEO a written decision. The decision shall include specific factual findings regarding the Grievance, and shall include specific conclusions regarding whether the 
hearing established a Grievance as defined above. The decision shall also include a specific recommendation regarding the relief for the Grievant, if any. The Grievance Hearing Committee will base its decision only on the record of the hearing, and not on matter outside of that record. The record consists of the original Grievance, any written response, and the oral and written evidence produced at the hearing.

APPEAL: Any appeal relating to a Grievance Hearing Committee decision that the Statement of Grievance does not present a Grievance as defined in these procedures shall be made in writing to the CEO within [five] days of that decision. The CEO shall review the Statement of Grievance and Request for Grievance Hearing in accordance with the requirements for a Grievance provided in these procedures, but shall not consider any other matters. The CEO's decision whether or not to grant a Grievance hearing shall be final and not subject to further appeal.

CEO's Decision: Within five (5) days following receipt of the Grievance Hearing Committee's decision and recommendation(s), the CEO shall send to all Parties his/her/their written decision, together with the Hearing Committee's decision and recommendations. The CEO may accept or reject the findings, decisions and recommendations of the Hearing Committee. The factual findings of the Hearing Committee shall be accorded great weight; and if the CEO does not accept the decision or a finding or recommendation of the Hearing Committee, the CEO shall review the record of the hearing, and shall prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The decision of the CEO shall be final.


TIME LIMITS: Any times specified in these procedures may be shortened or lengthened if there is a mutual concurrence by all Parties.


If your complaint cannot be resolved at the campus level, you may present your issues to Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges or to the California Community College Chancellor's Office at: