VP of Student Services

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 Student Rights

A. GENERALLY


All students of the El Paso Community College are entitled to enjoy the basic rights of citizenship which are recognized and protected by the laws of this country and state. Each student is obligated to respect the rights of others. Such environment will enhance the educational purpose for which the College exists and the educational programs designed to achieve that purpose.


B. EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY


No student or prospective student of the College shall be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Students who feel aggrieved on the basis of race, gender, color, national origin, disability, creed, or age may file a written grievance with the Associate Vice President of Employee Relations.


C. ACADEMIC-RELATED GRIEVANCES


Academic-related grievances should be submitted in writing beginning with the faculty member and then to the Instructional Dean/Director. Appeals may then be directed to the appropriate Vice President.


D. STUDENT GRADE APPEALS


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 grade can be formally appealed only when there is demonstrable evidence that discriminatory, arbitrary, or capricious action on the part of the instructor has influenced the grade.


The burden of proof that such an unfair influence has affected a grade rests with the student who appeals the grade. Only final course grades may be formally appealed to the appropriate Instructional Dean/Director.


The processing of formal grade appeals is the responsibility of the Instructional Dean/Director which administers the course. The decision on a grade appeal is the responsibility of the appropriate Vice-President that is responsible for the course: Vice President of Instruction or Vice President of Workforce Development, Lifelong Learning and Technical Education (hereafter referred to as “Vice President”).


Student Grade Appeal Process - To appropriately address the grade appeal, the following process will be followed.


Step 1. A student who believes that the grade received is incorrect should first discuss the grade with his/her instructor. The instructor and student should make every effort to resolve the issue.


Step 2. The student who is not satisfied with the outcome of the discussions with the instructor may contact the Instructional Dean/Director who is responsible for the course. This contact, like the discussion with the instructor, is informal. The Instructional Dean/Director may take what action is deemed necessary to resolve the issue at this level.


Step 3. If the student is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the Instructional Dean/Director, he/she may make a formal grade appeal to the office of the appropriate Vice President of the division administering the course. This appeal must be filed with the office of the Vice President using the Grade Appeal Petition Form. The student has 45 days from the end of the semester, term, or quarter, in which the action occurred, to present his/her appeal. The appeal must include supporting information. After the appeal is filed, a copy will be sent to the student, the instructor, and the Instructional Dean/ Director.


Step 4. The appropriate Vice President will request written information about the case from the instructor involved and will present the grade appeal and this information to the campus Grade Appeals Committee, the student, the instructor, and the Instructional Dean.


Step 5. The Grade Appeals Committee will examine the evidence and conduct the necessary hearings and meetings to make a recommendation in the case. It is not necessary for the parties to appear unless requested by the Grade Appeals Committee. Parties have the right to appear if they wish to do so.


Step 6. The Grade Appeals Committee will give the appropriate Vice President a written recommendation as follows:


a. Whether or not the grade should be changed. If so, what should the final grade be.

b. Make other recommendations that it deems advisable in the disposition of each specific case.

c. Committee members who voted in favor of the Committee's decision must sign recommendation. The dissenting members may also sign and state the reason for their dissenting vote.


Step 7. Taking into account the recommendation(s) of the Grade Appeals Committee, the appropriate Vice President over the division administering the course will make a final decision on the grade appeal and send it in writing to the student, the instructor, the Instructional Dean/Director, and the College President. If the decision is that the grade should be changed, the appropriate Vice President will take appropriate action to revise the student’s record and notify the instructor.


Step 8. Either the student or the instructor may appeal the Vice President’s decision to the President. The President’s review shall be limited to whether the review procedures described herein were properly observed.


Step 9. A District Grade Appeals Committee consisting of a voting faculty chairperson, two other faculty members, and two voting students will be appointed by the appropriate Vice President to consider all grade appeals occurring during the academic year.


a. Any member of the committee who believes that the professional or personal relationship with either party in a grade dispute would create a hindrance to objective judgment, or a conflict of interest must be disqualified and a replacement for that party will be chosen by the appropriate Vice President.

b. The appropriate Vice President or a designee may attend meetings of the appeals committee. The appropriate Vice President may request presentation of evidence, but must not be present during the committee's deliberation on its final recommendation.


E. STUDENT PROGRAM AND STUDENT ACTIVITY-RELATED GRIEVANCES


Student-related grievances should be submitted in writing to the Vice President of Student Services. Appeals may be directed to the Vice President of Student Services for final disposition.


F. APPEALS OF NON-ACADEMIC STUDENT GRIEVANCES


Non-Academic Student Grievance Process - To resolve issues and actions of a non-academic nature, the following process will be followed.


Step 1. The student will seek resolution of the action by contacting the supervisor of the department that initiated the action. Initial contact may be verbal or written. The supervisor has ten (10) working days from the date of initial contact to respond to the student’s request/inquiry. If resolution is not reached, the student has ten (10) working days in which to appeal and proceed to the next step.


Step 2. The student will submit in writing to the administrator (Instructional Dean/Director) in charge of the division/ department that initiated the action in question. The administrator has ten (10) working days from receipt of the request/inquiry in which to respond. If resolution is not reached, the student has ten (10) working days in which to proceed to the next step.


Step 3. The student’s request/inquiry with comments and back-up documentation from the appropriate administrator, as outlined in Step 2, will be forwarded to the appropriate administrator’s direct supervisor (Associate Vice President or Vice President). The administrator has ten (10) working days from receipt of the petition in which to respond. If resolution is not reached, the student has ten (10) working days in which to proceed as follows:


a. If the administrator’s direct supervisor is an Associate Vice President, proceed to Step 4.

b. If the administrator’s direct supervisor is a Vice President, proceed to the President


Step 4. The Student's request/inquiry with comments and back-up documentation from the Associate Vice President will be forwarded to the appropriate Vice President. The Vice President will respond within (10) working days from receipt of the request/inquiry.


Step 5. The student may appeal the Vice President's decision to the President.


G. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS


Students shall retain their intellectual property rights on projects produced as a result of their individual initiative with incidental use of College facilities and resources. If the student is working on a project initiated and funded by El Paso Community College, ownership resides with the College.


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