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Academic Grievance Procedure

ACCD Policy F.4.6

From time to time, conflicts and disagreements may arise between students and their instructors; the intent of these procedures is to provide equitable and expeditious resolutions.  Keeping in mind that instructors are responsible for classroom management, teaching strategies, testing, and the evaluation of student performance, students are encouraged to use these procedures only where there is clear and convincing evidence that an instructor has treated the student unfairly, or arbitrarily, or capriciously.  The student may ask his or her instructor to review the grievance and may appeal the instructor’s finding to the department chairperson.  If necessary, a final appeal may be made to the appropriate dean.  The decision of the dean is final.

A.  Definition Of Terms

In these procedures, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning, the following words and phrase shall have the meaning given below:

  1. “Student”means a person enrolled at a college of the Alamo Community College District.
  2. “Instructor” means the person primarily responsible for teaching the class, and may include full-or part-time faculty, as well as members of the classified, professional and administrative staffs of the District.
  3. “Chairperson” means the direct instructional supervisor of the instructor in whose department or area the student grievance arose.
  4. “Dean” means the direct instructional supervisor of the chairperson in whose department or area the student grievance arose.
  5. “Days” means workdays during which the college is in session.
  6. “Adequate Cause” means clear and convincing evidence that the instructor acted unfairly, arbitrarily, or capriciously in classroom management, teaching methods, testing, or the evaluation of student performance.

B.  Procedures

  1. If a situation occurs in which a student believes that he or she has been treated unfairly by an instructor, the student should schedule a conference with the instructor in an attempt to resolve the problem.
  2. A student grievance should be initiated as soon as possible after the incident upon which the grievance is based.  Therefore, the student must seek a conference with the instructor within ten (10) days of the incident.
  3. If after a conference with the instructor the student believes that the matter is unresolved, he or she may consult with the department chairperson.  Such consultation shall take place within five (5) days of the student’s conference with the instructor.
  4. A Student Academic Grievance Form must be filed with the department chairperson.  The student and the instructor will retain copies of the form.
  5. The chairperson will individually and separately hear the grievance from the student and the instructor.  After hearing both sides, the chairperson may request that the student and the instructor meet with the chairperson in order to reach an acceptable conclusion.
  6. If an agreement is not reached in the hearing or conference, the chairperson will affirm or deny the grievance within five (5) days.  If the decision is to affirm the instructor’s position, the student may appeal to the appropriate dean.  If the decision is to affirm the student grievance and to recommend the instructor reverse his or her decision, the chairperson must meet with the instructor and provide a written explanation.  To affirm a student grievance, the chairperson must have adequate cause.
  7. If either the student or instructor is not satisfied with the chairperson’s decision, he or she may appeal to the appropriate dean within five (5) days of the date of the chairperson’s decision.  A complete record of the grievance will be forwarded to the dean by the chairperson.  The dean and the chairperson will meet with the student and the instructor.  After hearing both sides and reviewing the record, the dean will render a decision, in writing, affirming or denying the grievance within five (5) days.  The decision of the dean is final.

Academic Grievance Procedure form

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