Students are provided opportunities to informally resolve problems or complaints related to their experience at American River College (ARC). In the event that informal resolution is not found, students may file a request for a formal grievance hearing. The Student Grievance Officer is available to help both students and college staff understand their rights and to advise them about the process.
Steps to Resolution
Note: the informal process must begin within ten (10) days of the incident.
- Students should speak with their instructor about the concern and attempt to resolve the problem informally.
- Students who feel as though they are unable to speak with their instructor or resolve the situation should contact the instructional division area dean.
- If the issue is not revolved by meeting with the instructor and/or divisional dean, then the student should contact the Student Grievance Officer and initiate a formal grievance
- If applicable, there will be a student grievance hearing and the opportunity for a written appeal.
Filing a Formal Grievance
There are specific timelines and date limitations to file a formal grievance. The formal grievance process must begin within five (5) calendar days of the attempted informal resolution. File a Student Grievance Form online.
- Students may not grieve grades unless they demonstrate "there is a mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence" in the giving of the grade. (Education Code, section 76224(a) and Los Rios Community College District Policy 2412).
- If a student does not meet the specific grievance timelines, the grievance is deemed waived and may not be pursued further.
- The student must seek informal resolution of his or her complaint by meeting with the faculty or other staff member, and/or that individual's supervisor, within 10 calendar days of the alleged grievable act.
- If informal resolution is not achieved, the student must file a Grievance Form with the Grievance Officer within five (5) calendar days of that attempt at resolution. The process must be initiated by the student not later than 25 days after the date of the alleged grievable act.
- The college Grievance Officer will review the student's documentation and interview the student to determine whether the complaint is grievable.
- If the Grievance Officer determines that the complaint is not grievable (meaning that sufficient evidence of the alleged wrongdoing is not provided or that the action does not fall within the scope of the grievance process), then the student will receive a letter to that effect. The Grievance Officer's decision on this point is final.
- If the complaint is found to be grievable, a hearing will be scheduled. An independent Hearing Officer will be appointed.
- The decisions of the Hearing Officer can be appealed to the Chief Student Services Officer. The Chief Student Services Officer's determination is final.
For information on how to file a formal grievance, please contact the Student Grievance Officer:
Nisha Beckhorn (Dean of Student Services, Counseling and Transfer Services)
Phone: (916) 484-8375
Additional Grievance Information
Issues that are not resolved at the college or district level may be presented via resources provided by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. Complainants are encouraged to use the official form provided by the Chancellor's office, however, that form is not required and complaints will not be considered defective or rejected if you do not use the form.
A student may file a grievance or grieve an action or decision of the district or one of its colleges when the student's status and/or rights have been adversely affected.
Grievances relating to grades are subject to Education Code Section 76224(a), which reads:
"When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college district, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student's grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence, shall be final."
In addition to complaints being filed by students or employees, complaints may be initiated by other individuals or entities, such as a family member, representative, organization, or other third party wishing to file on behalf of an individual or group alleged to have suffered unlawful discrimination or harassment per Los Rios Regulation R-2423: Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedures.