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In compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, an institution offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state.
The Los Angeles Community College District includes nine individual colleges that are accredited by the Western Association of States and Colleges (WASC). These colleges include East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Angeles Valley College, Pierce College, and West Los Angeles College. Each college has on its website procedures to address distance education issues of concern. Some of those issues are discussed below.
Complaint Policies and Procedure
The Commission (WASC) receives complaints about substantive matters that are related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. All such complaints are judged against the Commission's standards in Characteristics of Excellence.
Complaints must be written, signed, and addressed to the President of the Commission. However, the Commission investigates these complaints only when the complainant has exhausted all of the institution's appeal procedures. For more information, see the Commission's policy statement and the complaint form.
The Commission (WASC) will address concerns that are clearly related to an accreditation action taken by the Commission. However, the Commission is not a judicial or quasi-judicial body, and therefore cannot settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether these involve students, faculty, administration, or members of other groups. Examples of these would be a student's complaint about a grade received from a faculty member or a faculty member's complaint about his or her hiring or continued employment.
Complaint Resolution Contacts by State
In compliance with Federal Department of Education regulations, click this link for information about filing consumer complaints in the states in which LAMC students might reside and take its distance education courses or programs. For state contact information - click here.
If you need assistance in locating state complaint procedures, please contact the individual Colleges and Distance Education Coordinator.
The individual Colleges have Student Grievance Procedures that you are encouraged to utilize. Most incorporate the following steps:
- For complaints regarding instruction, the student should first meet with the instructor.
- Next, the student should next meet with the departmental chairperson, and if the problem is not resolved at the departmental level, the area dean.
- To file a grievance the student should contact the College Ombudsman and file a written Statement of Grievance within 30 instructional days of the incident. - check the Student Handbook, and the College Catalogue for further details. For further information contact the Office of Student Services or the Vice President of Student Services.
- For disability-related complaints, refer to the Academic Accommodations Policy in the Student Handbook for detailed information on how to file a complaint. A student may contact the Disabled Students Programs and Services Coordinator, Vice President of Student Affairs, or the College Compliance Officer for assistance in filing the complaint or to obtain a complaint form.
See Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WCET) WCET summary of requirements link. WCET has compiled a summary of what states and institutions need to do to meet the new federal regulations.
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