Students who feel their rights as a student have been violated by an instructor or staff member should first attempt in good faith to resolve the matter with the source of the complaint. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of this meeting, they may take their complaint to a Department Chair or Administrator for further review by a third party. If a resolution is not reached at this level, the student may file a formal grievance with the appropriate Dean/Supervising Administrator. For support and advice on the complaint/grievance process, a student may consult an Ombudsperson in the Student Affairs Office on either the Santa Rosa or Petaluma Campus. For Santa Rosa, call (707) 527-4424; for Petaluma, (707) 778-3637. For the complete procedure, see www.santarosa.edu/polman/8stuserv/8.2.2P.pdf. The procedure is the same for complaints about academic matters including grades and curriculum. The student should begin by first talking to the instructor to attempt resolution. If this is unsuccessful, the student may then proceed with the steps as listed above. The appropriate path is faculty member, Department Chair, area Dean and finally, Vice President, Academic Affairs.
Complaints involving sexual harassment, race discrimination, sex discrimination and discrimination against those with disabilities, should contact the Vice President of Human Resources Office at (707) 527-4954. Reports of complaints of discrimination that proceed to investigation will be investigated by a person knowledgeable about discrimination matters and the investigation process will include, at a minimum, interviewing the complainant, other relevant witnesses, and gathering pertinent documentation. Complaints of discrimination, including harassment, are to be handled pursuant to the College's revised discrimination complaint procedure (2.7/2.7P) and not under the general grievance procedure (8.2.2/8.2.2P).
Student appeals relating to Financial Aid decisions, rules and regulations should contact the Student Financial Services office in order to initiate the Financial Aid appeal process which follows established guidelines. The phone number is (707) 527-4471.
Complaint Process Notice (per Section 600.9 State Authorization (a)(1), Section 668.43(b))
Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues involving a California Community College (CCC). You are obligated to work through the campus complaint process first before escalating issues to any of the following resources. Issues that are not resolved at the campus level may be presented:
- To the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) at http://www.accjc.org/complaint-process if your complaint is associated with the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. ACCJC is the agency that accredits the academic programs of the California Community Colleges.
- To the CCC Chancellor’s Office by completing the Web form at http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/ComplaintsForm.aspx if your complaint does not concern CCC’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards.
- If your complaint involves unlawful discrimination, to the Chancellor’s Office Web site at http://extranet.cccco.edu/Divisions/Legal/Discrimination.aspx. Nothing in this disclosure should be construed to limit any right that you may have to take civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaints.