Grievance Procedure for Students

ArtCenter strives to be in compliance with College policies and all applicable federal, state and local laws. If any student or applicant believes that the College or members of its community may have acted in violation of its policies or may have failed to comply with applicable legal requirements, he or she is encouraged to file a grievance with the College. It is the goal of the College to handle all grievances in a lawful, fair, consistent and confidential manner via informal resolution. However, provisions for formal resolution are also available, if necessary. The grievance procedures outlined here are not intended for use by students to challenge grades issued for courses; these issues should addressed through the Department Chair of the class in question. Unless otherwise specified, grievances will be handled as described below.

Civil Rights and Other Violations

Sexual harassment (including sexual violence) should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator (626 396-4237) and undergo special reporting and investigation procedures. All other civil rights violations, College policy violations, and Student Code of Conduct violations should be reported to the Assistant Dean of Students (626 396-2396).

Unfair Treatment

Students who believe they have been mistreated or treated unfairly by other students, staff or faculty may file a grievance with the Assistant Dean of Students.

Non-Retaliation for reporting Misconduct

No student or employee will be discriminated against or retaliated against for reporting what he or she, in good faith, believes to constitute a violation of any College policy or legal requirements.

Reporting Procedure

Students must file the grievance in writing. Include what allegedly happened, when and where it occurred, name the parties involved (if known), and what policy or regulation was violated (if any).

Grievances should be submitted within 90 days from when the alleged incident occurred, or within 90 days after the complainant may have known about the alleged incident or violation. If there is reasonable cause, the Assistant Dean of Students may extend the time limitation for up to 365 days from the alleged incident. Civil rights violations may be reported within the time limitation imposed by statute.

Informal Grievance Procedure

  1. Upon receiving a complaint or grievance, the Assistant Dean of Students will serve as conciliator. If the grievance is against the Assistant Dean of Students, the Associate Provost for Student Affairs/ Dean of Students will appoint an alternate conciliator. The conciliator will assist the student in resolving the problem informally.
  2. The conciliator shall refer the student to the appropriate person(s) at ArtCenter to try to work out the problem in an informal way. If appropriate, the conciliator will also initiate contact with any other party involved to try to resolve the grievance. The conciliator will keep the student informed of developments during these preliminary stages. If involvement to resolve the grievance is requested from other departments or individuals at ArtCenter, the conciliator will request written updates or responses from those parties within 21 business days of when the grievance was filed by the student. These reports will be shared with the student.
  3. If the student is satisfied with the results of the informal efforts at resolution, the conciliator will close the case. If the student is not satisfied with the results, he or she has the option to file a formal, written request to be heard by the Grievance Committee. The request must be filed no later than seven business days after the student has received the written outcome of informal mediation.

Formal Grievance Procedure

If the result of the informal grievance process is not satisfactory to the student or appropriate due to the nature of the grievance, he or she may request that the case be heard by the Grievance Committee through filing a written notice of appeal to the conciliator. This request must be made within seven business days of receiving the conciliator's written report on the outcome of the informal resolution. The conciliator will promptly submit the student's request and all other relevant written documents to the Chair of the Committee.

  1. The Chair of the Committee (Chair) shall distribute copies to each member of the Committee.
  2. A hearing before the Grievance Committee is required in all circumstances where the grievance is not resolved informally. Testimonial and/or documentary evidence is required to be taken at the hearing. The determination of facts is vested solely with the Grievance Committee.
  3. A student's waiver or failure to take advantage of any important right (such as the right to be present and participate in a hearing) under the grievance procedures shall be documented.
  4. The Committee will hold a hearing at a time agreeable to the student in a timely manner, but no later than 10 business days after the Committee receives the notice of appeal.
  5. The Committee shall hear testimonial and/or documentary evidence. The determination of facts is vested solely with the Grievance Committee.
  6. The student is permitted to present information and relevant documents to the Committee. The Chair shall rule on the method and length of the presentation.
  7. The student may request the presence of a fellow student or College faculty or staff member (who is not an attorney or an officer of the College) to assist the student in the presentation of the grievance.
  8. The Chair may request to hear testimony from other individuals who may have relevant information to provide to the student's case or may have been named in the grievance by the student. The student shall be notified in writing of any such individuals who have been invited to testify.
  9. The student filing the grievance has the right to hear all information presented verbally to the Committee and to receive a copy of all relevant documents considered by the Committee.
  10. The student may request that the Chair call other persons to present information or call for other relevant papers and documents. Such requests will be granted if the Chair believes that the presentation of additional witnesses or documents will not unnecessarily prolong the hearing or pose an undue burden.
  11. The student is encouraged to submit written questions to the Committee on information presented by others who have testified and on documents considered by the Committee. The student may also ask questions verbally, when authorized by the Chair. The Chair will control the extent and manner of questioning.
  12. The student is entitled to submit a written statement or report on the Committee proceedings for inclusion in the case file.
  13. The Committee shall make a determination based on a review of the evidence presented, and the testimony of the student and others who were called before the Committee during the proceedings.
  14. The Chair shall communicate findings to the student within five business days of the conclusion of the hearing, unless otherwise specified in writing. This determination is final and may not be appealed.

Grievance Committee Membership and Responsibilities

Depending on the circumstances of the grievance, the Grievance Committee may consist of the Provost, the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, the Associate Provost for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and a student appointed by the ArtCenter Student Government President. The Vice President of Human Resources shall serve as a non-voting advisory member. In special cases, such as hearings about sexual harassment (including sexual violence), the Title IX coordinator or designee may sit on the Committee as well as an advisory member.

No member may serve on a case in which he or she was in any way personally involved. Members shall excuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest between themselves and either of the parties.

The student is entitled to challenge one or more members of the Committee with respect to impartiality. The Chair will rule on such challenges.

Members who are removed, disqualified or unable to serve will be replaced by a member of the staff or faculty, as appointed by the Chair. No member of the Committee shall be removed or replaced once Committee proceedings have begun, except under unusual circumstances. The Chair will rule in such matters.

All proceedings of the Committee shall be conducted in private and kept confidential. State and federal laws govern the privacy rights of students and employees. Any questions about the disclosure of information shall be directed to the Committee in writing. Committee members, and all involved, will be required to sign a confidentiality statement.

Unless the Committee decides otherwise, no tape recordings or detailed transcripts will be made of Committee meetings. However, a brief summary will be made for the record, and all documents provided during the hearing will be kept by the Chair.

California State Reporting Option

An individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint. The bureau may be contacted at:

2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Telephone: 916 431-6924
Fax: 916 263-1897
Website: bppe.ca.gov