Student Grievances And Appeals Procedures

  1. The San Mateo County Community College District shall establish and maintain a uniform system of student grievances and appeals for non-grade related disputes, which shall afford procedural due process to students in the review and appeal of College and District decisions or actions.
  2. An explanation of the procedures for submitting student grievances and appeals shall be made available to students in the Student Handbook of each College and shall set forth the appropriate procedure at the respective College, District, and Board of Trustees levels.
  3. In order that the student may have the opportunity to appeal a decision not satisfactorily resolved at the initial level, other than an appeal regarding a grade received in a course or a parking citation, the steps outlined below may be taken. At any time during the progress of the procedure outlined below, informal resolution of the problem may be sought by mutual agreement. For grade grievances, refer to B, Grade Grievances. For parking citations, refer to C, Parking Citation Appeals.

Academic (Excluding Grade) and Non-Academic Grievances and Appeals

Step 1 – College Level

  1. Before initiating formal appeal procedures, the student shall attempt to resolve the dispute informally with the appropriate staff member at the point of initial decision. If the dispute is not resolved, the student may initiate a formal appeal with the Vice President, Student Services for all matters except academic and grade grievances or Vice President, Instruction for academic and grade grievances and must do so within one (1) year of the incident on which the grievance is based or within one (1) year after the student learned of the basis for the grievance. The Vice President of Student Services (Vice President of Instruction for academic and grade grievances) shall advise the student, within five (5) days, of his or her rights and responsibilities, assist the student in the final preparation of the grievance and determine whether the grievance will be remanded to a hearing of the Grievance Committee. Specific information regarding timelines for grievances remanded to the Grievance Committee is outlined in the Student Grievances and Appeals Procedures, 7.73.1. The Vice President of Student Services (Vice President of Instruction for academic and grade grievances) will ensure that a student filing a grievance and the Grievance Committee members are provided copies of grievance procedures, including timelines.
  2. Appeal to the College President
    1. If the College President has been previously involved in the decision or action under appeal, the student may proceed directly to Step 2 (Appeal to the Chancellor).
    2. In the event that the dispute has not been resolved during the course of earlier appeal procedures, the student may appeal in writing to the College President within five (5) days after receipt of the decision made in response to the initial appeal. The College President shall provide the student with a hearing, if requested, and shall review the appeal. A written notice of the College President’s decision shall be provided to the student within ten (10) days of the hearing by the College President.

Step 2 – Appeal to the Chancellor

If a dispute has not been resolved at the College level, the student may appeal, in writing, to the Chancellor within five (5) days after receipt of the decision of the College President. The Chancellor, or his/her designee, shall provide the student with a hearing, if requested, and shall review the appeal. A written notice of the decision of the Chancellor shall be provided to the student within ten (10) days of the review of the student’s written appeal.

Step 3 – Board of Trustees Level

  1. If the dispute has not been resolved during the course of earlier procedures, the student may appeal in writing to the Board of Trustees within five (5) days after receipt of the decision of the Chancellor.
  2. The Board of Trustees shall provide the student with a hearing, if requested, and shall review the appeal. A written notice of the decision of the Board of Trustees shall be mailed to the student and to appropriate staff members within twenty (20) days following the hearing. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.

Grade Grievances

Grades can only be grieved according to the criteria outlined in Education Code 76224. Before initiating formal appeal procedures, the student shall attempt to resolve the grade dispute informally with the instructor. If the dispute is not resolved, the student may initiate a grade grievance with the appropriate division dean. If the grievance is not resolved at the division dean level, the student may appeal to the Vice President, Instruction. The decision of the Vice President on grade-related grievances is final. There is a deadline of one (1) year from the date that the grade is posted for a student to initiate a grade change.

Parking Citation Appeals

Parking citations may be contested by completing a request online by visiting http://www.pticket.com/csm/.