College of San Mateo is committed to the ideal that all students should have recourse from unfair and improper action on the part of any member of the college community. If a student feels that he or she has been subject to unjust actions or denied his or her rights, redress can be sought through the filing of a grievance or an appeal of the decision/action taken in response to a grievance within the framework of policy and procedures.
College of San Mateo complies with Federal regulations (Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the American Disabilities Act of 1992) designed to provide equitable treatment of all students regardless of race, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
Complaints involving sexual harassment and discrimination should be directed to the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources/Employee Relations at the San Mateo County Community College District. Complaints involving violations of academic accommodations for students with disabilities should be directed to the Vice President of Student Services/504 Officer at College of San Mateo.
The following procedures summarize the appropriate college channels to be utilized by students.
Student Complaint Informal Resolution Process - Level 1:
The resolution of a complaint is a two-step process, informal and formal. A student with a complaint is expected to make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a formal resolution.
Meetings and dialogues between the parties directly involved are examples of informal problem-solving strategies that are highly recommended. Students who have complaints are expected to meet with the person/party directly involved to describe (1) the complaint and (2) the relief or remedy requested. Both parties are expected to seek a solution that is equitable and satisfactory.
If the parties are unsuccessful in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution, either party may then seek the assistance of the immediate supervisor. The supervisor’s role is to call meetings between the parties involved.
Should the process described above fail to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, the student may then complete the Student Complaint Informal Resolution Form and submit it to the appropriate Instructional Dean.
Student Complaint Informal Resolution Process - Level 2:
Should the informal process described above fail to resolve the complaint satisfactorily, the College’s formal grievance process may be initiated. The student may then seek a formal resolution by completing Formal Statement of Student Grievance, which can be obtained from the Office of the Vice President of Instruction (for academic or course-related complaints) or the Office of the Vice President of Student Services (for non-academic/miscellaneous complaints.)
The Formal Statement of Student Grievance must be filed within 30 days of the last attempt at an informal resolution.
Consultation and investigation meetings will be convened as necessary at any point of the resolution process.
Students filing a formal Statement of Student Grievance for disputes regarding grades received must be able to demonstrate mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetence in the academic evaluation of their performance (Ed. Code Section 76224). In the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetence, the grade determined by the instructor shall be final. (Ed. Code Section 76224). Grade challenges must be filed within one year of issuance of the grade in dispute.
Academic or Course-Related Complaints
Complaints involving academic or course related matters must be made in writing by completing the Student Complaint Informal Resolution Form (SCR 001) available on the CSM forms website.
Complaints involving college policies (e.g. Admissions, Graduation Requirements, Matriculation) must be made in writing by completing the Student Complaint Informal Resolution Form (SCR 001) available on the CSM forms website.
|Guidelines for Resolution of Complaints
Below is a list of steps to be taken in resolving a student's complaints.
|Academic or Course-Related Complaints||Non-Academic/Miscellaneous Complaints|
|Informal – Level 1
||Informal – Level 1
|Formal – Level 2
||Formal – Level 2
The chart below summarizes the appropriate college channels to be utilized by any student wishing to seek redress. For further information concerning any aspect of student grievances or rights of appeal, students should contact the Office of the Vice President, Student Services.
As an inherent right, basic to the concept of due process, students may elect to appeal any decisions or actions taken to the President of the College, to the Chancellor-Superintendent of the District, and ultimately to the Board of Trustees. All grievances, or appeals of the decision/action taken in response to a grievance, will be dealt with in a timely manner.
At any time during the process outlined below, informal resolution of a grievance may be sought by mutual agreement. In the event that the grievance is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, he or she may appeal the decision or action and will be advised in writing of the process to do so.
Appeals College Procedure
In the event the president is not involved at the second level, the student may request a review of the appeal within five days after receipt of the decision made or action taken in response to the appeal. The president shall provide the student with a hearing, if requested, and shall review the appeal.
A written notice of the president’s decision shall be provided to the student within ten days of the review of the student’s written request for the review. In the event that the president’s response is not satisfactory to the student, he or she may appeal the president's decision or action to the Chancellor of the District.
This student will be advised in writing of his/her further rights of appeal.
- Failure by the appropriate staff member to transmit notice of the decision or action to the student within the specified time period shall permit the student to request a review at the next level as set forth in the procedures.
- Failure of the student to file a written appeal within the specified time period shall be deemed acceptance of the decision.
- The timelines indicated for each step refer to working days. The designated time periods should be regarded as maximum limits and every effort should be made to expedite the process. Time limits may be extended by mutual agreement if circumstances indicate the desirability of such an action.