About the Student Advocate's Office
"Helping Students Help Themselves"
The Student Advocate’s Office (SAO) was created to informally assist students in resolving problems, conflicts and other challenges that may arise within Student Success.
The role of the Student Advocate is to serve as a resource and designated neutral party for students who may have a Student Success-related concern or problem. Issues may include interpretation of Alamo Colleges’ policies and procedures, administrative matters, customer service complaints, and referral assistance. The Student Advocate works with students to resolve issues by identifying options and strategies, offering information and guidance, and providing life skills education and training.
Contacting the Student Advocate’s Office
- By phone: 210.486.4007
- In person: Cypress Campus Center (CCC), Student Wellness Center, Suite 204
- Appointments highly recommended; walk-ins are welcome but are subject to availability
- General office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday; 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Friday; and afterhours by appointment
- Extended summer hours (June through August), Monday through Thursday until 7:00 pm; closed Friday
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When to Visit the Student Advocate’s Office:
Students are urged to seek resolutions at the lowest possible level prior to requesting assistance from the Student Advocate.
Students should seek assistance from the Student Advocate when:
- problems, concerns, or complaints can’t be resolved at the unit supervisor level
- unfair treatment or practice within Student Success is experienced
- the need to speak with a neutral party arises
- seeking clarification with an Alamo Colleges’ policy or procedure
- direction on filing a formal complaint or appeal is required
- assistance is needed in identifying and implementing options and strategies for success
Student Advocate’s Office Standards of Practice
- The Student Advocate is neutral, impartial, and unaligned.
- The Student Advocate strives for impartiality, fairness and objectivity in the treatment of people and the consideration of issues.
- The Student Advocate promotes fair and equitable administered processes and does not advocate on behalf of any individual within the organization.
- The Student Advocate helps develop a range of responsible options to resolve problems and facilitate discussion to identify the best options.
- The Student Advocate functions on an informal basis by such means as listening, providing and receiving information, identifying and reframing issues, developing a range of responsible options, and – with permission and at the Student Advocate’s discretion – engaging in informal third-party intervention.
- When possible, the Student Advocate helps people develop new ways to solve problems themselves.
- The Student Advocate pursues resolution of concerns and looks into procedural irregularities and/or broader systemic problems when appropriate.
- The Student Advocate does not make binding decisions, mandate policies, or formally adjudicate issues for the organization.
- The Student Advocate supplements, but does not replace, any formal channels.
- Use of the Student Advocate Office is voluntary, and is not a required step in any grievance process or organizational policy.
- The Student Advocate identifies trends, issues and concerns about policies and procedures, including potential future issues and concerns, without breaching confidentiality or anonymity, and provides recommendations for responsibly addressing them.
- The Student Advocate endeavors to be worthy of the trust placed in the Student Advocate’s Office.
What the Student Advocate WON’T Do:
- Replace or circumvent existing channels.
- Overrule a decision or supersede the authority of another college official.
- Make decisions on behalf of students.
- Set aside Alamo Colleges’ policies or procedures.
- Participate in or bypass formal grievance processes.
- Make decisions for NVC faculty, staff or administrators.
- Determine "guilt" or "innocence" of anyone accused of wrong doing.
- Assign sanctions to students.
- Receive official "notice" on behalf of the Alamo Colleges.
- Give legal advice or psychological counseling.
SAO Semester Reports:
These reports include the following information:
a description of the role of the Student Advocate’s Office, promotion efforts, a brief summary of types of student concerns, and a brief summary of actions taken to address student concerns.
Below are links to helpful student information:
Need to meet with an advisor? Click on the link for more information!
Link to information regarding campus emergencies, severe weather, and important emergency contact information.
Non-Academic Grievance Procedure (PDF)
to Alamo Colleges Non-Academic Grievance Procedure and and Forms.
Students are encouraged to use the Non-Academic Grievance Procedure only
where there is clear and convincing evidence that a college official
has treated the student unfairly through forms of discrimination, abuse
Registering for Classes
Follow this link for information and instructions on how to register, add or drop classes.
Student Code of Conduct (PDF)
Link to Alamo Colleges Student Code of Conduct Procedures.
Student Financial Aid
Click here for information on qualifying and applying for financial aid.
Links to helpful areas such as the Academic Calendar, Campus Bookstore, Food Services, and Tutoring Labs and Services.
Academic Grievance Policy
Faculty are responsible for classroom management, teaching strategies, testing, and evaluation of student performance. At academic institutions conflicts may develop within the educational process that require academic intervention using the Academic Grievance process. If the grievance process is to function smoothly, a serious effort must be made to resolve such conflicts expeditiously. When student complaints cannot be resolved through informal interaction with a faculty member or chair/coordinator, students are directed to use the Academic Grievance procedure by filing a Student Academic Grievance form, available from any division chair. Students are encouraged to use the Academic Grievance process only when there is clear and convincing evidence that a faculty member has treated the student unfairly, arbitrarily, or capriciously. The Academic Grievance procedure allows for unresolved complaints to continue moving from student, to instructor, to division chair, to dean until consensus is reached or final decision affirming or denying the grievance is made by the appropriate dean. (Source: Course Catalog)
Conduct Issues (SOBI)
Report non-emergency situations using the SOBI form. SOBI: Strategies of Behavioral Intervention is a process for identifying and working with students in distress or potentially disruptive, threatening or violent behavior. Students in distress frequently leave signals. Early and effective intervention can protect the student and the campus. If you see something, tell someone.
A student has a maximum of one (1) year from the end of the semester or term in which the final grade was issued to request a review of the grade or petition for a change of grade. The responsibility for determining all grades and for judging the quality of academic performance in a course rests with the instructor assigned to the course. A student who believes that the grade received is incorrect should schedule a conference with the instructor and provide supporting documentation to resolve the issue. Grade changes require the approval of the instructor and the respective department chair. When the instructor cannot be located in a timely manner by the student and the department chair, the student’s grade appeal can be initiated with the department chair.
If students are not satisfied with an instructor’s decision, they may initiate an Academic Grievance within five (5) days of the instructor’s decision. (Source: Course Catalog)
For more information about policies, visit the Northwest Vista College Catalog.