If you have a concern and aren’t quite sure how to address it, you have come to the right place.
Ventura College has a “students first” mission in all facets of the student experience. Our goal is to provide wrap-around support. This webpage is designed as a guide for issues students experience that may require additional help.
Complaint and Grievance Procedures
Students are protected against capricious, arbitrary, unreasonable, unlawful, false, malicious, or professionally inappropriate evaluations or behavior by a faculty member, a staff member, an administrator or an official of the College or another student. Student complaints may be classified as grievances and fall into one of three categories: Academic, Non-Academic, and Discrimination.
It is our charge to provide a prompt and equitable means of resolving student grievances. These procedures shall be available to any student who reasonably believes a Ventura College institutional decision or action has adversely affected his or her status, rights, or privileges as a student.
The forms and procedures for academic and non-academic grievances are listed below and may be submitted to the front desk of the Office of Student Affairs located in Room 17 in the Administration Building. If you have any questions you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (805) 289-6464.
STUDENT COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
The informal grievance process is VCCCD's complaint process which includes the following steps. These steps are in accordance with the Student Grievance Procedure Board Policy 5530 process as outlined below.
It is our process that when a student has a concern, they go directly to the person who can help them with the concern. For example, if a student is continually late to class and their professor is taking points away and the student feels it is an unfair practice, then it is advised they go directly to their instructor to talk about their tardy policy or offer an explanation of their tardiness.
If the person who can directly assist with the concern has not been able to mitigate the students concern, then they can go to the person’s direct supervisor or Department Chair.
If the supervisor or Department Chair is not able to mitigate the students concern, they can then go to the area’s administrative assistant so they can reach out to the Dean of the division.
Continuation to the Informal Resolution process
Each student who has a Grievance shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a Grievance hearing, and shall attempt to solve the problem with the person with whom the student has the Grievance, that person's immediate supervisor, or the local college administration.
The College President shall appoint an employee who shall assist students in seeking resolution by informal means. This person shall be called the Grievance Officer. The Grievance Officer and the student may also seek the assistance of the Associated Student Organization in attempting to resolve a Grievance informally.
Informal meetings and discussions between persons directly involved in a Grievance are essential at the outset of a dispute and should be encouraged at all stages. An equitable solution should be sought before persons directly involved in the case have stated official or public positions that might tend to polarize the dispute and render a solution more difficult. At no time shall any of the persons directly or indirectly involved in the case use the fact of such informal discussion, the fact that a Grievance has been filed, or the character of the informal discussion for the purpose of strengthening the case for or against persons directly involved in the dispute or for any purpose other than the settlement of the Grievance.
Any student who believes he/she/they has a Grievance shall file a Statement of Grievance with the Grievance Officer, Vice President Pena at email@example.com within 20 days of the incident on which the Grievance is based, or 20 days after the student learns of the basis for the Grievance, whichever is later. The Statement of Grievance must be filed whether or not the student has already initiated efforts at an informal resolution if the student wishes the grievance to become official. Within two days following receipt of the Statement of Grievance Form, the Grievance Officer Vice President Pena, shall advise the student of his/her/their rights and responsibilities under these procedures, and assist the student, if necessary, in the final preparation of the Statement of the Grievance form.
If at the end of 20 days following the filing of the Statement of Grievance, there is no informal resolution of the complaint which is satisfactory to the student, the student shall have the right to request a Grievance hearing.
Definition of a grievance and parties involved
Grievance: A claim by any Student who reasonably believes a college decision or action has adversely affected his/her/their status, rights, or privileges as a student. A Grievance is limited to claims regarding:
- Financial aid determinations made at the college or District level.
- Course grades, to the extent permitted by Education Code Section 76224(a), which provides: "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 incompetency, shall be final.” “Mistake” may include, but is not limited to, errors made by an instructor in calculating a student’s grade and clerical errors.
- The exercise of rights of free expression protected by state and federal constitutions and Education Code Section 76120.
A Grievance is NOT:
- Student disciplinary actions, which are covered under separate board policies and administrative procedures.
- Police citations (i.e. "tickets"); complaints about citations must be directed to the County Courthouse in the same way as any traffic violation.
Grievant – A Student who has filed a Grievance.
Party – The student or any persons claimed to have been responsible for the student's alleged Grievance, together with their representatives. "Party" shall not include the Grievance Hearing Committee or the College Grievance Officer.
College President– The College President or a designated representative of the College President.
Student – A currently enrolled student, a person who has filed an application for admission to the college, or a former student. A Grievance by an applicant shall be limited to a complaint regarding denial of admission. Former students shall be limited to Grievances relating to course grades to the extent permitted by Education Code Section 76224 subdivision (a).
Respondent – Any person the Grievant claims to be responsible for the alleged Grievance.
Day – Unless otherwise provided, day shall mean a day during which the college is in session and regular classes are held, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.
Grievance Hearing Committee: The College President shall establish a Grievance Hearing Committee with the advice and assistance of the Associated Students Organization and the Academic Senate. A Grievance Hearing Committee shall be constituted in accordance with the following:
- It shall include 1 student, 1 faculty members, and 1 college administrator.
- No person shall serve as a member of a Grievance Hearing Committee if that person has been personally involved in any matter giving rise to the Grievance, has made any statement on the matters at issue, or could otherwise not act in a neutral manner. Any Party to the Grievance may challenge for cause any member of the hearing committee prior to the beginning of the hearing by addressing a challenge to the College President within 5 days. The College President shall determine whether cause for disqualification has been shown. If the College President feels that sufficient ground for removal of a member of the committee has been presented, the College President shall remove the challenged member or members and substitute a member or members with the advice and assistance of the Associated Students Organization and the Academic Senate. This determination is subject to appeal as defined below.
- The Grievance Officer Vice President Pena shall sit with the Grievance Hearing Committee but shall not serve as a member nor vote. The Grievance Officer shall coordinate all scheduling of hearings, shall serve to assist all Parties and the Hearing Committee to facilitate a full, fair, and efficient resolution of the Grievance, and shall avoid an adversary role.
Request for Grievance Hearing – Any request for a Grievance hearing shall be filed on a Request for a Grievance Hearing Form within 10 days after filing the Statement of Grievance as described above.
Within 10 days following receipt of the request for a Grievance hearing, the College President shall appoint a Grievance Hearing Committee as described above, and the Grievance Hearing Committee shall meet in private and without the Parties present to select a chair and to determine on the basis of the Statement of Grievance whether it presents sufficient grounds for a hearing.
The determination of whether the Statement of Grievance presents sufficient grounds for a hearing shall be based on the following:
- The statement contains facts which, if true, would constitute a Grievance under these procedures;
- The Grievant is a student as defined in these procedures, which include applicants and former students;
- The Grievant is personally and directly affected by the alleged Grievance;
- The Grievance was filed in a timely manner;
- The Grievance is not clearly frivolous, clearly without foundation, or clearly filed for purposes of harassment.
If the Grievance does not meet each of the requirements, the Grievance Hearing Committee chair shall notify the student in writing of the rejection of the Request for a Grievance Hearing, together with the specific reasons for the rejection and the procedures for appeal. This notice will be provided within 5 days of the date the Grievance Hearing Committee makes its decision.
Appeal if Hearing is not Granted: Any appeal relating of a Grievance Hearing Committee decision that the Statement of Grievance does not present a Grievance as defined in these procedures shall be made in writing to the College President within 5 days of that decision. The College President shall review the Statement of Grievance and Request for Grievance Hearing in accordance with the requirements for a Grievance provided in these procedures, but shall not consider any other matters. The College President's decision whether or not to grant a Grievance hearing shall be final and not subject to further appeal.
If the Request for Grievance Hearing satisfies each of the requirements, the College Grievance Officer Vice President Pena shall schedule a Grievance hearing. The hearing will begin within 30 days following the decision to grant a Grievance Hearing. All Parties to the Grievance shall be given not less than 10 days’ notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.
The decision of the Grievance Hearing Committee chair shall be final on all matters relating to the conduct of the hearing unless there is a vote of a majority of the other members of the panel to the contrary.
The Grievance Officer Vice President Pena will provide members of the Grievance Hearing Committee with a copy of the Grievance and any written response provided by the Respondent before the hearing begins.
Each Party to the Grievance may call witnesses and introduce oral and written testimony relevant to the issues of the matter.
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted.
Unless the Grievance Hearing Committee determines to proceed otherwise, each Party to the Grievance shall be permitted to make an opening statement. Thereafter, the Grievant or Grievants shall make the first presentation, followed by the Respondent or Respondents. The Grievant may present rebuttal evidence after the Respondent(s)' evidence. The burden shall be on the Grievant or Grievants to prove by substantial evidence that the facts alleged are true and that a Grievance has been established as specified above.
Each Party to the Grievance may represent himself/herself/themself, and may also have the right to be represented by a person of his/her/their choice; except that a Party shall not be represented by an attorney unless, in the judgment of the Grievance Hearing Committee, complex legal issues are involved. If a Party wishes to be represented by an attorney, a request must be presented not less than 5 days prior to the date of the hearing. If one Party is permitted to be represented by an attorney, any other Party shall have the right to be represented by an attorney. The hearing committee may also request legal assistance through the College President. Any legal advisor provided to the hearing committee may sit with it in an advisory capacity to provide legal counsel but shall not be a member of the panel nor vote with it.
Hearings shall be closed and confidential.
Witnesses shall not be present at the hearing when not testifying unless all Parties and the committee agree to the contrary.
The Grievance Officer Vice President Pena will record the hearing by digital audio recording, and this will be the only recording made. No witness who refuses to be recorded may be permitted to give testimony. In the event the recording is by digital audio recording, the Grievance Hearing Committee Chair shall, at the beginning of the hearing, ask each person present to identify themselves by name, and thereafter shall ask witnesses to identify themselves by name. The digital audio recording shall remain in the custody of the District, either at the college or the District office, at all times, unless released to a professional transcribing service. Any Party may request a copy of the digital audio recording.
All witnesses must testify under oath; the Grievance Hearing Committee Chair will administer the oath. The Grievance Hearing Committee will only admit written statements of witnesses under penalty of perjury if the witness is unavailable to testify. A witness who refuses to be tape-recorded shall be considered to be unavailable.
Within 30 days following the close of the hearing, the Grievance Hearing Committee shall prepare and send to the College President a written decision. The decision shall include specific factual findings regarding the Grievance, and shall include specific conclusions regarding whether the hearing established a Grievance as defined above. The decision shall also include a specific recommendation regarding the relief for the Grievant, if any. The Grievance Hearing Committee will base its decision only on the record of the hearing, and not on matter outside of that record. The record consists of the original Grievance, any written response, and the oral and written evidence produced at the hearing.
College President's Decision: Within 20 days following receipt of the Grievance Hearing Committee's decision and recommendation(s), the College President shall send to all Parties his/her/their written decision, together with the Hearing Committee's decision and recommendations. The College President may accept or reject the findings, decisions, and recommendations of the Hearing Committee. The factual findings of the Hearing Committee shall be accorded great weight; and if the College President does not accept the decision or a finding or recommendation of the Hearing Committee, the College President shall review the record of the hearing, and shall prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The decision of the College President shall be final.
Any times specified in these procedures may be shortened or lengthened if there is mutual concurrence by all Parties.
Students should try and resolve grade grievances informally first. The student must first contact his/her/their professor to discuss the problem. 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. 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.
If the student is still not satisfied with their grade, they have the option of the Formal Grievance Process.
The CA Education Code Section 7622(a) specifies that the instructor's determination of students grades shall be final except in the cases below:
- bad faith
A student who reasonably believes and has proof that her/his/their instructor has issued an evaluative final graded based on any of these grounds, she/he/they is directed to contact the Grievance Officer, Vice President Pena at firstname.lastname@example.org to explain the Grade Grievance along with documentation that supports the claim.
Documentation you will need to submit with your claim.
- Course outline
- All graded papers/quizzes/exams and/or graded scantrons.
- Any email communication with the instructor, department chairperson and/or area dean regarding the grade dispute or coursework.
- Any other written material you deem relevant towards your claim.
Students wishing to file complaints based upon discrimination on the basis of ethnic group identification, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, color, or physical or mental disability and any other category of unlawful discrimination should contact the Vice President, Dr. Damien Pena at email@example.com.
Discrimination- The unjust or prejudiced treatment of different categories of people, especially on the ground of race, age, or sex.
Prejudice: Unreasonable feelings, opinions, or treatment, attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.
Stereotype: Generalized attitudes that is applied to a person’s character based on their ethnicity, race, social or religious group.
Bias incident: A negative incident that is motivated by a bias opinion of an individual that is based on their prejudiced or stereotypical view of that individual.
Harassment: Aggressive pressure or intimidation.
Microaggressions: A statement, action or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.
If you feel you have experienced any of the mentioned definitions of discrimination, please contact Vice President, Dr. Damien Pena at firstname.lastname@example.org.. You may also complete the PDF: Unlawful harassment/Discrimination policy form. After completing the form please print, sign, and email it to Vice President Pena at email@example.com.. A scan or photo of the signed form will be accepted.
Members of Ventura College (VC) community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct and any other form of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination and violence.
OC does not tolerate sexual misconduct, which includes, but not limited to:
- Sexual harassment (in person, by text, or online)
- Domestic violence
- Dating violence
- Sexual assault
- Sexual stalking
- Gender based Hate Crimes
Should you have questions concerning behaviors of sexual misconduct or reporting option, please utilize Sexual Misconduct/ Title IX website to help inform you, or a friend, of the choices that need to be made regarding behaviors of sexual misconduct.
Student Code of Conduct
The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct standards is to ensure a safe, respectful and productive learning environment for VCCCD students, staff, faculty and administrators. In order for the colleges and the district to fulfill their mission of student learning achievement, all employees must feel secure in their work setting. Student conduct that negatively impacts the ability of students to meet their educational goals or employees to carry out their professional job responsibilities will be subject to the terms of this procedure.
The procedures shall be made widely available to students through the college catalog and other means. Students who violate the Student Code of Conduct are subject to the procedures outlined in Administrative Procedure 5520 Student Discipline Procedure, except for conduct that constitutes sexual harassment under Title IX, which shall be addressed under Board Policy 3433 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment under Title IX.
Discipline Types in Order of Severity:
The following sanctions may be imposed upon any student found to have violated the Student Code of Conduct. The selection of the degree of severity of sanction to be imposed shall be commensurate with the severity of offense. The availability of a less severe sanction does not preclude imposition of a more severe sanction in any circumstance where the more severe sanction is deemed appropriate.
Removal from Class. Exclusion of the student by Instructor for the day of the removal and the next class meeting.
Written or Verbal Reprimand. An admonition to the student to cease and desist from conduct determined to violate the Standards of Student Conduct. Written reprimands may become part of a student's permanent record at the college. A record of the fact that a verbal reprimand has been given may become part of a student's record at the college for a period of up to one year.
Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus. Withdrawal of consent by the CSSO for any person to remain on campus in accordance with California Penal Code Section 626.4 where the CSSO has reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus.
Short-term Suspension. Exclusion of the student by the CSSO for good cause from one or more classes for a period of up to ten consecutive days of instruction.
Immediate Interim Suspension. The CSSO may order immediate suspension of a student where he/she/they concludes that immediate suspension is required to protect lives or property and to ensure the maintenance of order. In cases where an interim suspension has been ordered, the time limits contained in these procedures shall not apply, and all hearing rights, including the right to a formal hearing where a long-term suspension or expulsion is recommended, will be afforded to the student within ten (10) days.
Long-term Suspension. Exclusion of the student by the CSSO for good cause from one or more classes for the remainder of the school term, or from all classes and activities of the college for one or more terms.
Expulsion. Exclusion of the student by the Board of Trustees from all colleges in the District for one or more terms.
Procedures for Disciplinary Actions (listed in order of severity)
Any times specified in these procedures may be shortened or lengthened if there is mutual written concurrence by all parties.
The CSSO or designee, upon recommendation from Instructor or other District or college employee, shall review the report of alleged misconduct. If it is determined that there has been a serious violation of the Student Code of Conduct or the Education Code, the CSSO or designee will notify the student that the continuation and/or repetition of misconduct may result in even more serious disciplinary action. This notification will be delivered in writing. Documentation of the misconduct and the written notice given to the student shall be permanently retained in the District discipline files. Reprimands may be appealed directly to the College President. Students may not request a hearing to appeal a reprimand.
Temporary Removal from Class
Any instructor may order a student removed from his/her/their class for the day of the removal and the next class meeting. The instructor shall immediately report the removal to the CSSO, Area Dean, and Department Chair. The CSSO shall arrange for a conference between the student and instructor regarding the removal. If the instructor or the student requests, the CSSO shall attend the conference. The student shall not be returned to class during the period of the removal without the concurrence of the instructor. Nothing herein will prevent the CSSO from recommending further disciplinary action in accordance with these procedures based on the facts that led to the removal.
Suspensions and Expulsions
Before any disciplinary action to suspend or expel is taken against a student, the following procedures will apply:
Notice. The CSSO will provide the student with written notice of the conduct warranting the discipline. The written notice will include the following:
- the specific section of the Student Code of Conduct that the student is accused of violating;
- a short statement of the facts supporting the accusation;
- the right of the student to meet with the CSSO to discuss the accusation, or to respond in writing, or both; and
- the nature of the discipline that is being considered.
Time limits. The notice must be provided to the student within 14 days of the date on which the conduct took place; in the case of continuous, repeated, or ongoing conduct, the notice must be provided within 14 days of the date on which conduct occurred which led to the decision to take disciplinary action.
Meeting. If the student chooses to meet with the CSSO, the meeting must occur no sooner than 14 days after the notice is provided. At the meeting, the student must again be told the facts leading to the accusation, and must be given an opportunity to respond verbally or in writing to the accusation.
Short-term Suspension. Within 10 days after the meeting described above, the CSSO shall, pursuant to a recommendation from the designee, decide whether to impose a short-term suspension, whether to impose some lesser disciplinary action, or whether to end the matter. Written notice of the CSSO’s decision shall be provided to the student. The notice will include the length of time of the suspension, or the nature of the lesser disciplinary action. The CSSO's decision on a short-term suspension shall be final.
Within 10 days after the meeting described above, the College President shall, pursuant to a recommendation from the CSSO or designee, decide whether to impose a long-term suspension. Written notice of the College President’s decision shall be provided to the student. The notice will include the right of the student to request a formal hearing before a long-term suspension is imposed, and a copy of AP 5520 Student Discipline Procedures describing the procedures for the hearing.
Within 7 days after the meeting described above, the College President shall, pursuant to a recommendation from the CSSO or designee, decide whether to recommend expulsion to the Board of Trustees. Written notice of the College President’s decision shall be provided to the student. The notice will include the right of the student to request a formal hearing before expulsion is imposed, and a copy of the AP 5520 Student Discipline Procedures describing the procedures for a hearing.
Request for Hearing. Within 5 days after receipt of the College President’s decision regarding a long-term suspension or expulsion, the student may request a formal hearing. The request must be made in writing to the College President or designee and must include a date and the signature of the student or if the student is a minor, the student’s parent or guardian. If the request for hearing is not received within 5 days after the student's receipt of the College President's decision or recommendation in the case of expulsion, the student's right to a hearing shall be deemed waived.
Schedule of Hearing. The formal hearing shall be held within 20 days after a formal request for hearing is received. The parties involved will be asked to attend the hearing and will be given sufficient notice in writing as to the time and place at least 10 days prior to the hearing date.
Hearing Panel. The hearing panel for any disciplinary action shall be composed of one administrator, one faculty member, and one student. At the beginning of the academic year, and no later than October 1st, the College President, the President of the Academic Senate, and the Associated Students President shall each provide the names of at least five persons who will serve on Student Disciplinary Hearing Panels. The College President, or designee, shall appoint the Hearing Panel from the names on these lists. However, no administrator, faculty member or student who has any personal involvement in the matter to be decided, who is a necessary witness, or who could not otherwise act in a neutral manner shall serve on a Hearing Panel.
Upon notification of the Hearing Panel’s composition, the student and the District shall each be allowed one peremptory challenge. The College President shall substitute the challenged member or members and replace them with another member of the panel pool to achieve the appropriate Hearing Panel composition. In the event the pool names are exhausted in any one category, further designees shall be submitted by the College President (for administrators), the President of the Academic Senate (for faculty), or the Associated Student President (for students). The chairperson may, by giving written notice to both parties, reschedule the hearing as necessary pending the submission of alternate designees.
A quorum shall consist of all three members of the committee.
Hearing Panel Chair. The College President, or designee, shall appoint one member of the Hearing Panel to serve as the chair. The decision of the Hearing Panel Chair shall be final on all matters relating to the conduct of the hearing unless there is a vote by both other members of the Hearing Panel to the contrary.
Conduct of the Hearing
The members of the hearing panel shall be provided with a copy of the accusation against the student and any written response provided by the student before the hearing begins. The facts supporting the accusation shall be presented by a college representative who shall be the CSSO or designee.
The college representative and the student may call witnesses and introduce oral and written testimony relevant to the issues of the matter.
Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. Any relevant evidence shall be admitted.
After consultations with the parties, in the interests of justice, a time limit on the amount of time provided for each party to present its case, or any rebuttal, may be set by the hearing panel. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. All members of the campus community shall be bound by the student code of conduct or code of professional ethics to provide only true testimony. Witnesses who are not members of the campus community will testify under oath subject to the penalty of perjury. Any relevant evidence may be admitted at the discretion of the Hearing Panel Chair, in consultation with the Hearing Panel. Hearsay evidence will be admissible but will be insufficient, alone, to establish a charge against the student. The Hearing Panel Chair, in consultation with the Hearing Panel, shall be responsible for determining the relevancy of presented evidence and testimony, the number of witnesses permitted to testify, and the time allocated for testimony and questioning. The Hearing Panel Chair, in consultation with the Hearing Panel, shall further be responsible for instructing and questioning witnesses on behalf of the Hearing Panel, and for dismissing any persons who are disruptive or who fail to follow instructions. If either party refuses to adhere to the instructions of the Hearing Panel Chair, the right to the hearing will be deemed waived. The Hearing Panel Chair shall have the final decision on all procedural questions concerning the hearing.
Unless the Hearing Panel determines to proceed otherwise, the college representative and the student shall each be permitted to make an opening statement. Thereafter, the college representative shall make the first presentation, followed by the student. The college representative may present rebuttal evidence after the student completes his or her evidence. The burden shall be on the college representative to prove by the preponderance of the evidence that the facts alleged are true.
The student may represent himself/herself/themself and may also have the right to be represented by a person of his/her/their choice, except that the student shall not be represented by an attorney unless, in the judgment of the hearing panel, complex legal issues are involved. If the student wishes to be represented by an attorney, a request must be presented not less than five days prior to the date of the hearing. If the student is permitted to be represented by an attorney, the college representative may request legal assistance. The hearing panel may also request legal assistance; any legal advisor provided to the panel may sit with it in an advisory capacity to provide legal counsel but shall not be a member of the panel nor vote with it
Hearings shall be closed and confidential unless the student requests that they be open to the public. Any such requests must be made no less than 5 working days prior to the date of the hearing.
In a closed hearing, witnesses shall not present at the hearing when not testifying, unless all parties and the panel agree to the contrary.
The hearing shall be recorded by the District either by tape recording or stenographic recording. The official recording shall be the only recording made. No witness who refuses to be recorded may be permitted to give testimony. In the event the recording is by tape recording, the hearing panel chair shall, at the beginning of the hearing, ask each person present to identify themselves by name, and thereafter shall ask witnesses to identify themselves by name. Recordings shall remain in the custody of the District at all times unless released to a professional transcribing service. The student may request a copy of the recording.
All testimony shall be taken under oath; the oath shall be administered by the hearing panel chair. Written statements of witnesses under penalty of perjury shall not be used unless the witness is unavailable to testify. A witness who refuses to be tape-recorded is not unavailable.
Within 5 working days following the close of the hearing, the hearing panel shall prepare and send to the College President a written decision. The decision shall include specific factual findings regarding the accusation and shall include specific conclusions regarding whether any specific section(s) of the Standards of Student Conduct was violated. The decision shall also include a specific recommendation regarding the disciplinary action to be imposed if any. The decision shall be based only on the record of the hearing, and not on matters outside of that record. The record consists of the original accusation, the written response, if any, of the student, and the oral and written evidence produced at the hearing.
College President’s Decision
- Long-term suspension. Within 15 days following receipt of the hearing panel's recommended decision, the College President shall render a final written decision. The College President may accept, modify or reject the findings, decisions, and recommendations of the hearing panel. If the College President modifies or rejects the hearing panel's decision, the College President shall review the record of the hearing, and shall prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The decision of the College President shall be final.
- Expulsion. Within 15 days following receipt of the hearing panel's recommended decision, the College President shall render a written recommended decision to the Chancellor as a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The College President may accept, modify or reject the findings, decisions, and recommendations of the hearing panel. If the College President modifies or rejects the hearing panel's decision, he/she/they shall review the record of the hearing, and shall prepare a new written decision which contains specific factual findings and conclusions. The College President’s decision shall be forwarded to the Chancellor as a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Board of Trustees Decision
The Board of Trustees shall consider any recommendation from the Chancellor for expulsion at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board after receipt of the recommended decision.
The Board shall consider an expulsion recommendation in a closed session unless the student has requested that the matter be considered in a public meeting in accordance with these procedures. (Education Code Section 72122.)
The student shall be notified in writing, by registered or certified mail to the address last on file with the District or by personal service, at least three days prior to the meeting, of the date, time, and place of the Board's meeting.
The student may, within 48 hours after receipt of the notice, request that the hearing be held as a public meeting.
Even if a student has requested that the Board consider an expulsion recommendation in a public meeting, the Board will hold any discussion that might be in conflict with the right to privacy of any student other than the student requesting the public meeting in closed session.
The Board may accept, modify or reject the findings, decisions, and recommendations of the Chancellor. If the Board modifies or rejects the Chancellor’s recommendation, the Board shall review the record of the hearing, and shall prepare a new written decision which contains its specific factual findings and conclusions. The decision of the Board shall be final.
The final action of the Board on the expulsion shall be taken at a public meeting, and the result of the action shall be a public record of the District.
Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus
The CSSO or designee may notify any person for whom there is a reasonable belief that the person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus that consent to remain on campus has been withdrawn. If the person is on campus at the time, he/she/they must promptly leave or be escorted off-campus. If consent is withdrawn by the CSSO or designee, a written report must be promptly made to the College President.
The person from whom consent has been withdrawn may submit a written request for a hearing on the withdrawal within the period of the withdrawal. The request shall be granted no later than seven days from the date of receipt of the request. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this procedure relating to interim suspensions.
In no case shall consent be withdrawn for longer than 14 days from the date upon which consent was initially withdrawn.
Any person whose consent to remain on campus has been withdrawn who knowingly reenters the campus during the period in which consent has been withdrawn, except to come for a meeting or hearing, is subject to arrest (Penal Code Section 626.4).
Time Limits: Any times specified in these procedures may be shortened or lengthened if there is mutual concurrence by all parties.
Plagiarism- Instructors use a platform called Turnitin that will match your written essays to other material found on the internet. The instructor will receive a report with a matching percentage of your essay that matches other material on the internet. When the instructor deems plagiarism has occurred, they submit a BIT report. The BIT report is sent to the Vice President of Student Affairs where the report is processed.
Cheating- Instructors who determine a student has cheated will submit a BIT report with evidence of cheating. The BIT report is sent to the Vice President of Student Affairs where the report is processed.
Consequences of plagiarism and cheating
An Academic Integrity, written warning sanction letter is emailed to the student which details their responsibility to complete a tutorial on academic integrity and submit an essay as to why academic integrity is important.
The sanction stays on the student's conduct record for up to 1 year. Campus resources are provided to the student to assist with their future success.
If the student fails to complete the sanction in the allotted time, a hold is placed on their record. If they repeat the offense within 1 year, they must meet with the dean of conduct and may be given a more severe sanction (determined by the VP of SA).
Continued violations of Academic Integrity will remain on the student's conduct record permanently.
Please note, most colleges, universities, law enforcement careers, fire department careers, and governmental jobs require disclosure of Student Conduct. Having a Student Conduct record may affect your ability to transfer and/or find job placement.
Appealing the allegation of plagiarism or cheating
If a student feels they did not plagiarize their paper or cheated, they can appeal the allegation by initiating the following process:
First, send an email to the Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Damien Pena firstname.lastname@example.org and his Senior Administrative Assistant Blair Gilbtertson email@example.com, saying you would like to appeal the sanction of violation of Academic Integrity. You simply write, "I wish to appeal the sanction of the violation of Academic Integrity." This email will allow the conduct office to place a hold on the Academic Integrity sanction until the appeal process is completed.
Second, The student must email his/her/their professor as well as the department chair and the area dean to schedule a meeting to discuss the allegation. At the meeting, the student can address the allegation and submit evidence that substantiates their claim of not cheating or committing plagiarism.
In the last step, The area dean will submit a final decision of whether to uphold the claim or to override the claim to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
You Have Privacy Rights
Did you know that FERPA Laws protect your right to keep your information private? Oxnard College adheres to the guidelines established by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - a federal legislation established to regulate access and maintenance of student records.
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records, including the right to:
- Inspect their education records
- Request an amendment of the records that the student believes are inaccurate
- Control disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the students' education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Parents, spouses and significant others have no inherent right to access student educational records.
Moorpark College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education and the U.S. Department of Education.
Complaints, grievances, or disciplinary matters are typically mitigated through our Student Complaint Procedures. However, if an issue is not resolved after following the college processes, a student can file a formal complaint with ACCJC.
Students who wish to file a formal complaint to the Commission about one of its member institutions may contact the Commission as shown below:
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204
Novato, CA 94949
Telephone: (415) 506-0234
Fax: (415) 506-0238
Office of Civil Rights
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights enforces federal civil rights laws that protect the rights of individuals and entities from unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, or sex in health and human services. You may file a civil rights complaint with OCR if you feel you have been discriminated against you (or someone else) unlawfully.
Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues. You are encouraged to work through the campus complaint process first before escalating issues to any of the following resources. Issues that are not resolved at the campus level may be presented to OCR if it involves unlawful discrimination.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office for Civil Rights
Centralized Case Management Operations
200 Independence Ave.,S.W. Suite 515F
HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201
Customer Response Center: (800) 368-1019
TDD: (800) 537-7697
California Community College Chancellor’s Office
Most complaints, grievances or disciplinary matters should be resolved at the campus level. This is the quickest and most successful way of resolving issues involving a California Community College (CCC). You are encouraged to work through the campus complaint process first before escalating issues to any of the following resources. Issues that are not resolved at the campus level may be presented to:
California Community College Chancellor’s Office
1102 Q Street, 6th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95811