Office of the Ombudsperson for Los Angeles Valley College Students
What is an Ombudsperson?
The word “ombudsman” comes from the Swedish language and means “representative.” The names “ombudsman,” “ombudsperson” or “ombuds” can all refer to this position. At LAVC, the role of the Ombudsperson is that of a neutral party and facilitator of the grievance process. The Ombudsperson does not act as an advocate for either the Grievant(s) or Respondent(s).
Informal Resolution: Students who have a grade grievance should first attempt to resolve the matter informally. The steps are outlined here:
- The first step for a student is to contact their professor to discuss the problem. Many issues can be cleared up with a meeting.
- If the issue is not resolved, or if the student is unable to meet with the professor, the next step is to contact the Department Chairperson. Students may use the Academic Affairs online complaint form to request a meeting with the appropriate Department Chairperson. Please note that the Academic Affairs office cannot address anonymous complaints or statements.
- If a resolution is not met after meeting with the Department Chairperson, the next step is to meet with the area Dean over the department in the Office of Academic Affairs. Students may use the Academic Affairs online complaint form to request a meeting with the appropriate area Dean. Please note that the Academic Affairs office cannot address anonymous complaints or statements.
Formal Resolution: If, after taking those steps, a resolution has not been found, the student can file a formal grievance. The CA Education Code Section 76224(a) specifies that the instructor’s determination of student grades shall be final, except in the cases of fraud, mistake, bad faith or incompetence. A student who reasonably believes and has proof that their instructor has issued an evaluative final grade based on any of these grounds is directed to contact the Ombudsperson at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. The Ombudsperson can explain the grievance process but has no power to change a grade. The college President makes the final decision. A formal grievance cannot be filed anonymously.
The Grievance Hearing Request must be made within one-hundred and twenty (120) calendar days of the date of the alleged incident that is the basis of the student’s complaint. Please see Administrative Regulation E-55, link at the bottom of this page.
For complaints surrounding actions dealing with alleged discrimination on the basis of ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, students are directed to contact the LACCD Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Administrative Regulation E-55
The purpose of Administrative Regulation E-55 (link below) is to provide students a prompt and equitable means for resolving student(s) grievances. The grievance procedure may be initiated by one or more students who reasonably believe he/she/they have been subject to unjust action or denied rights involving their status or privileges as students. It is the responsibility of the student(s) to submit proof of alleged unfair or improper action. Grievances pertaining to grades are subject to the CA Education Code Section 76224 (a).
Student Code of Conduct
Standards of student conduct can be found in Board Policy 5500.
Faculty and staff can find additional information on the student code of conduct and student discipline here.
Conduct in all of the Los Angeles Community Colleges must conform to District and college rules and regulations. Violations of such rules and regulations may result in disciplinary action depending on the individual’s status as student, faculty, staff or visitor. Violations of such rules and regulations include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Willful disobedience to directions of college officials acting in the performance of their duties.
- Violation of college rules and regulations, including those concerning student organizations, the use of college facilities, or the time, place and manner of public expression or distribution of materials.
- Dishonesty, such as cheating or knowingly furnishing false information to the colleges.
- Unauthorized entry to or use of the college facilities.
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of college documents, records or identification.
- Obstruction or disruption of classes, administration, disciplinary procedures or authorized college activities.
- Theft of or damage to property belonging to the college, a member of the college community or a campus visitor.
- The malicious or willful disturbance of the peace or quiet of any of the Los Angeles Community Colleges by loud or unusual noise or any threat, challenge to fight, fight, or violation of any rules of conduct as set forth in this Article. Any person whose conduct violates this section shall be considered to have interfered with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the college where such acts are committed.
- Assault or battery, abuse or any threat of force or violence directed toward any member of the college community or campus visitor engaged in authorized activities.
- Any possession of controlled substances which would constitute a violation of Health and Safety Code section 11350 or Business and Professions Code section 4230, any use of controlled substances the possession of which are prohibited by the same, or any possession or use of alcoholic beverages while on any property owned or used by the District or colleges of the District or while participating in any District or college-sponsored function or field trip. "Controlled substances," as used in this section, include but are not limited to the following drugs and narcotics:
- opiates, opium and opium derivatives
- hallucinogenic substances
- stimulants and depressants
- Possession, while on a college campus or at a college-sponsored function, of any object that might be used as a lethal weapon is forbidden all persons except sworn peace officers, police officers and other governmental employees charged with policing responsibilities.
- Behavior while on a college campus or at a college-sponsored function, inconsistent with the District's Non-discrimination Policy, which requires that all programs and activities of the Los Angeles Community College District be operated in a manner which is free of “Prohibited Discrimination,” defined as discrimination or harassment in violation of state or federal law on the basis of actual or perceived ethnic group identification, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, sex (including gender-based sexual harassment), pregnancy, marital status, cancer-related medical condition of an employee, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, or veteran status.
- Any assemblage of two or more persons to 1) do an unlawful act, or 2) do a lawful act in a violent, boisterous or tumultuous manner.
- Any agreement between two or more persons to perform illegal acts.
- A direct or implied expression of intent to inflict physical or mental/emotional harm and/or actions, such as stalking, which a reasonable person would perceive as a threat to personal safety or property. Threats may include verbal statement, written statements, telephone threats or physical threats.
- Conduct which may be considered disorderly includes; lewd or indecent attire or behavior that disrupts classes or college activities; breach of the peace of the college aiding, or inciting another person to breach the peace of college premises or functions.
- Theft or abuse of computer resources including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of a student faculty member or college official, or to alter college or district records.
- Use of unlicensed software.
- Unauthorized copying of software.
- Use of computing facilities to access, send or engage in messages which are obscene, threatening, defamatory, present a clear and present danger, violate a lawful regulation and/or substantially disrupt the orderly operation of a college campus.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with the regular operation of the college or district computing system.
- Conduct while present on a college campus or at a location operated and/or controlled by the District or at a District-sponsored event, which is prohibited by local, State, or federal law.
- Violations of Academic Integrity include, but are not limited to, the following actions: cheating on an exam, plagiarism, working together on an assignment, paper or project when the instructor has specifically stated students should not do so, submitting the same term paper to more than one instructor, or allowing another individual to assume one’s identity for the purpose of enhancing one’s grade.
- Every person who, by physical force, willfully obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, any student or teacher seeking to attend or instruct classes at any of the campuses or facilities owned, controlled or administered by the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District, is punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or imprisonment in a county jail not exceed one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this section, "physical force" includes, but is not limited to, use of one's person, individually or in concert with others, to impede access to or movement within or otherwise to obstruct the students or teachers of the classes to which the premises are devoted.
- Every person who attempts to cause, or causes, any officer or employee of any of the Los Angeles Community Colleges or any public officer or employee to do or refrain from doing, any act in the performance of his/her duties, by means of a threat to inflict any injury upon any person or property, is guilty of a public offense.
- Every parent, guardian, or other person who assaults or abuses any instructor employed by the District in the presence or hearing of a community college student or in the presence of other community college personnel or students and at a place which is on District premises or public sidewalks, streets, or other public ways adjacent to school premises, or at some other place where the instructor is required to be in connection with assigned college activities is guilty of a misdemeanor.
- Conduct which poses a threat of harm to the individual and/or to others. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of conduct:
- Unsafe conduct in connection with a Health Services Program (e.g., Nursing, Dental Hygiene, etc.);
- Failure to follow safety directions of District and/or College staff;
- Willful disregard of safety rules as adopted by the District and/or College; and/or
- Negligent behavior which creates an unsafe environment.