Learn about the Ombuds Office in the frequently asked questions below.
Do I need an appointment to see the ombudsperson?
No appointment is necessary, but you make make one. The hours that the ombudsperson is available are limited. You may make an appointment by clicking on the "Make an Appointment" link. Also, you may call (310) 434-3986 and leave a message for the ombudsperson. The ombudsperson will return your call.
What happens when I see the ombudsperson?
You will be asked to write your complaint, briefly indicating the nature of your problem. You will also be asked to consider what sort of resolution of your problem that you want. It is especially helpful if your complaint is specific and one that can be addressed either by the ombudsperson or by someone else. You will be able to discuss your complaint with the ombudsperson. The visit is informal and confidential, except as required by law.
My professor gave me the wrong grade. What can I do?
Talk to your professor, if possible, asking how your grade was calculated.
Talk to the department chair.
Talk to the ombudsperson, to discover your options.
If all else fails, consider filing a grade appeal.
Be sure to meet all deadlines.
Be sure to keep all materials pertaining to the class.
Is it possible to change a grade?
Changing a grade is not a trivial matter. If a professor has made a mistake in grading, the professor is usually very willing to correct the mistake. If you believe there has been a mistake, make an appointment with the professor to ask him or her to explain the basis for the grade. The ombudsperson may be able to assist you in this process, but you should try to talk first with the professor. You may also talk to the department chair.
If no mistake has been made, the grade stands. The college has a process for contesting a grade, which may be changed only if the professor has made a mistake, acted in bad faith, fraudulently, or incompetently. The student must prove that there has been a mistake, bad faith, fraud, or incompetence. There is a deadline for filing a grade appeal.
The ombudsperson can explain the grade appeal process, but has no power to change the grade. The ombudsperson assists in the informal process of determining grade calculations and informally resolving communication difficulties between student and professor.
What is the deadline for filing a grade appeal?
There is a deadline after grades are posted for filing a grade appeal. After that, it is too late. Please meet with the faculty member, if possible, and meet with the Ombudsperson at least two weeks before the following deadlines:
- Fall semester classes: Deadline is April 30. Meet with the Ombudsperson before April 15.
- Winter session classes: Deadline is May 30. Meet with the Ombudsperson before May 15.
- Spring semester classes: Deadline is October 30. Meet with the Ombudsperson before October 15.
- Summer session classes: Deadline is November 30. Meet with the Ombudsperson before November 15.
You must see the ombudsperson before filing the formal grade appeal. Call (310) 434-3986 when the office is open to make an appointment or make an appointment online; click the link on the Make and Appointment page.
How long does the grade appeal process take?
The grade appeal process may take several weeks or several months, depending on the time of year.
What is the grade appeal process?
After informal attempts to resolve the grade dispute including visiting the ombuds office, students may have the option to make use of the formal grade appeal process. The formal process involves filing a Petition for Review of Grade. The petition is obtained from the Dean of Enrollment Services, after the student has contacted the professor and the ombudsperson.
The student should write a clear, concise, and accurate statement explaining the reasons and evidence that the grade is inaccurate.
The grade appeal must be consistent with the Education Code 76224(a):
When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in the public schools, the grade given to each pupil shall be the grade determined by the teacher of the course and the determination of the pupil's grade by the teacher, in the absence of a mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence, shall be final.
The student's statement and the Petition for the Review of Grade are returned to the Dean, Enrollment Services, for filing. The student has 90 days following the date of the initial grade report within which to file the petition. Dates for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer courses are April 30, May 30, October 30, and November 30, respectively. The student should plan to meet with the Ombudsperson as soon as possible after learning about the grade.
The statement and petition are sent to the Instructor, Department Chair, Dean of Instruction, and back to the Dean, Enrollment Services. Finally, an administrator convenes and chairs the Grade Appeals Committee. The committee consists of three students, three faculty members, and the administrator. The committee meets only in the spring and fall semesters. At the appointed time, the student and professor each present the case before the committee at a hearing that takes about an hour. The committee then deliberates, and makes a decision, which is forwarded to the Superintendent/President. The Superintendent/President notifies all parties of the result.