Grievance and Appeal Policy

Skyline College 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.

Skyline College 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 of sexual harassment, or discrimination should be directed to the Human Resources Department of the San Mateo County Community College District. For more information about procedures for filing these complaints, please visit the San Mateo County Community College District web site  Complaints may be submitted to the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the District office.

Students filing grade grievances must be able to demonstrate mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetence in the academic evaluation of their performance. In the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith or incompetence, the grade determined by the instructor shall be final. (Ed. Code Section 76224). Grade dispute grievances must be filed within one year of issuance of the grade in dispute.

College Procedure

The following procedures summarize the appropriate college channels to be utilized by students.

Informal Level

Before initiating a formal grievance procedure, the student should attempt to resolve the dispute informally with the professor, administrator or staff member concerned. If the dispute is not resolved, the student may initiate a formal grievance in accordance with the procedure set forth below.

Formal Level

Level 1

The initial grievance must be filed with the administrator responsible for the area in which the dispute arose. In presenting a grievance, the student must submit a formal grievance form. Forms are available in the office of the Vice President of Student Services and in the office of the Dean of Enrollment Services. The written description of the grievance should include the following information:

  1. A statement describing the nature of the problem and the action which the student desires taken. 
  2. A description of the general and specific grounds on which the appeal is based. 
  3. A statement of the steps initiated by the student to resolve the problem by informal means, as prescribed above. 
  4. A listing, if relevant, of the names of all persons involved in the matter at issue and the times, places, and events in which each person so named was involved.

The administrator of the division shall review and investigate the grievance. If a faculty or staff member is involved, the administrator will apprise the individual of the alleged grievance. A written notice of the decision shall be provided to the student normally within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student's grievance. 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.

Level 2

In the event that the grievance has not been resolved at the first level, a student may follow one of the next options:

Grade Grievances

Appeals must be in writing and should go directly to the Vice President of Instruction. The appeal must be made within five (5) business days after receipt of the written decision or action taken in response to the initial grievance. The Vice President of Instruction will render a decision within ten (10) business days after meeting with the student.

Appeals involving college policies:
  1. Appeals involving college policies should be in writing and submitted to the appropriate Vice President. The appeal must be made within five (5) business days after receipt of the written decision or action taken in response to the initial grievance. The Vice President will render a decision within ten (10) business days after meeting with the student. 
  2. Appeals involving college policies can also be brought before the Academic Policy Appeals Committee. The student can submit the request to the Hearing Officer, the Dean of Enrollment Services. The Hearing Officer will convene the Academic Policy Appeals Committee (comprised of faculty, staff and a student). The Hearing Officer will convene the Academic Policy Appeals Committee within five (5) business days of the request. A decision will be rendered within ten (10) business days after meeting with the Committee.
  3. In disputes involving degree and certificate requirements, the Vice President of Student Services or Vice President of Instruction will consult with the Academic Senate President or designee.

Level 3

In the event the President of Skyline College is not involved in the second level, the student may appeal in writing to the President to review the appeal within five (5) business days after receipt of the decision or action. 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 (10) business days of the review of the student's written appeal. 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. At each level of appeal, the student shall be advised of his/her further rights of appeal.

Timelines
  1. If the appropriate staff member fails to transmit notice of the decision to the student within the specified time period, the student will be allowed to request a review at the next level of appeal as set forth in the procedures. 
  2. Failure of the student to file a written appeal within the specified time period shall be deemed acceptance of the decision. 
  3. The designated time periods of this policy 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 extension.

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