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Student Rights: What can you do if you have an issue with your professor? 

Have you ever encountered an issue with a professor, and did not know what your rights were as a student? Do you have the right to file a complaint, or should you talk to a counselor? Who is responsible for advocating for you and correcting the actions of your professors on campus? In this post, we will address common student complaints and the correct way to file them.


I don’t agree with a grade I got in class, what do I do? We suggest that you try to address this concern with your professor before filing a complaint. We’re all working with new tools and your grade could be the result of a recording error, which can easily be corrected. If you are unable to resolve the issue with your professor, you can address this concern with the Division Dean. The Dean is responsible for supervising faculty, academic professionals, classified staff, and others under their division. As a student, you can make an appointment with the Dean to discuss the grade and the Dean may recommend certain actions such as arranging a meeting with your professor.

My professor was supposed to change my grade but hasn’t yet. What do I do now? You should continue to resolve this concern with your professor. We suggest giving your professor a few days to resolve the issue before you take another action. However, we do advise you to contact the Dean if your concern is not addressed in a timely manner or you are not satisfied with the resolution.

Unfair Treatment

It is San Jose City College’s responsibility to ensure that all students are treated with dignity and respect. Professors are required to uphold this mission throughout your time at San Jose City College. If there is a professor or employee at the college that is not upholding this standard, you can use the following scenarios to address your concerns:

My teacher has been treating me unfairly, where can I go to file a complaint? We suggest that you try to address this concern with your professor before filing a complaint. Inform the professor that you feel that their treatment of you is unfair and provide the instances of this treatment. It is important to try and communicate your frustration respectfully to ensure that the professor can understand your concern.

After you have communicated your concern, your professor should be willing to resolve this issue with you. But if you do not feel that your professor willing to resolve your concern, you should speak with the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Other Scenarios

You can always share your feelings about San Jose City College with your student government. The student government on campus is tasked with advocating for students and representing the student body by attending college governance meetings.

If your concern is more personal, our counseling department is the perfect place to share those feelings. Your counselor can assist with your concerns and advise you more appropriately to deal with those concerns.

In each situation, we want to stress the importance of communicating the issue with your professor before you file an official complaint. We know that not every situation is the same but many of the concerns that students have can easily be resolved by having an honest conversation with your professor. Issues of harassment or discrimination are handled differently and if you are not comfortable, you do not have to address these kinds of concerns with your professor.

Your professor cannot use your complaint against you. You are protected by the San José-Evergreen Community College District's zero-tolerance policy for harassment. If you have ever experienced this kind of harassment, you can file a complaint up to 1 year from the date of the incident.

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The Director of Student Development & Activities has shared a few more resources for students that are experiencing issues with their professors! To report specific issues, use the following forms:

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