About the Student Advocate's Office
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.
The Student Advocate's Office also manages the College Ambassadors and Learning 2 Lead Student Leadership Certificate Program programs.
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 lowest possible 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
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 Friday and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on the first Saturday of every month
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org