Seminole State College provides several avenues through which students may file grievances:
- Academic concerns and grade appeals: May be used for academic concerns, including disputes over grades.
- Accommodation of disabled student appeals: May be used if a student wants to appeal a decision regarding academic accommodations or course substitutions.
- Discrimination complaint: May be used if a student believes he or she is being treated unfairly due to his or her protected class (e.g., race, marital status, etc.).
- Student concerns and complaints: May be used if a student believes the College policies and/or procedures were not applied correctly or if the student has a complaint against an employee’s behavior.
- Student code of conduct: May be used if a student has a complaint against another student’s behavior.
- Florida Department of Education: May be contacted with any complaints. The DOE will encourage students to resolve issues at the college first.
If there is a question about which procedure should be used, students may contact the Student Ombudsman.
Purpose of the Student Ombudsman
Seminole State College has an ombudsman for students to discuss complaints, concerns or problems confidentially. The ombudsman acts as a neutral and impartial resource to listen to students, help develop a range of responsible options to resolve problems and facilitate discussion to identify the best option.
The student ombudsman is Randy Pawlowski. You can email him, or call at 407.708.2320.
Role of the Student Ombudsman
The Ombudsman functions on an informal basis and will listen, identify and reframe issues, and discuss a range of responsible options. The ombudsman will discuss with students the opportunities for assistance or appeals, such as access to courses, credit granted toward a degree, or information publicized through the College catalog and website. The ombudsman does not make binding decisions or mandate policies. Communication with the ombudsman is not considered an official record. If a student would like to make a formal complaint, the ombudsman may refer individuals to the appropriate department or procedure.
The ombudsman will:
- Offer a safe place to listen to and discuss concerns and problems.
- Explain and clarify College policy, including processes for appealing or grieving decisions related to access to courses and degree credit.
- Help develop and evaluate available options.
- Informally look into a student's complaint.
- Advise students about steps to resolve problems informally.
- Make appropriate referrals when informal options do not work.
The ombudsman will not:
- Replace existing policies or procedures for complaints or grievances.
- Make decisions for the student or resolve the problem.
- Participate in formal grievance processes.
- Set aside rules or regulations.
- Provide legal advice.