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Student Complaint for Online Classes:
Distance Education Student Complaints, Procedures, Policies and Resolution

East Los Angeles College (ELAC) is committed to the integrity of online education. In compliance with the Federal Department of Education regulations, ELAC provides prospective and enrolled students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the state the student resides.

East Los Angeles College Accreditation

East Los Angeles College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of States and Colleges (WASC). The commission has authorized ELAC to offer Associate Degrees and Certificates. The full Accreditation Evaluation Report for ELAC:

East Los Angeles College Student Grievance Procedures

East Los Angeles College has a student grievance procedure that you are encouraged to utilize.

Go to ELAC college catalog for further information. College Catalog

Once you have submitted your student complaint form, an Ombudsperson will contact you.

Ombudsperson is a person who helps students receive equitable resolution to complaints. ELAC's ombudsperson is Dean Sonia Lopez. (323) 265-8712 or

Please click on the titles below to view or download the following Adobe Acrobat files:

  Do I need an appointment to see the ombudsperson?
No but it is always better to make an appointment to determine if the ombudsperson is available. You may call (323) 265-8712 to make an appointment with the ombudsperson.

  What happens when I see the ombudsperson?
You will be asked to discuss your written comments. Your comments briefly indicate the nature of your concern. You will also be asked to consider what sort of outcome you want to your concerns. Your concerns may be referred to someone else. The discussion is informal and the visit confidential.

  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, if necessary. Talk to the ombudsperson, to discuss other options such as filing a grade change. Grade Change Request Petitions are available in the Admissions Office.

  Is it possible to change a grade?
Yes, the college has a grievance 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 ombudsperson can explain the grade appeal grievance process, but has no power to change the grade.

  How long does the grade appeal process take?
The grade appeal process varies and may take several weeks, depending on the time of year.

  What is the grade appeal process?
The grade appeal process is contained in Administrative Regulation E55 (pdf), Student Grievances (Link open the new browser window). The ombudsperson can explain the grade appeal grievance process, but has no power to change the grade.

  What is the deadline for filing a Grade Change or Grievance Hearing Request?
The statute of limitations period for requesting a Grievance Hearing under this regulation is one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the occurrence of the incident giving rise to the grievance; or one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the student learns, or should have learned, that the student has a basis for filing a grievance.

  Who makes the final grade decision?
The President makes the final decision.

If you have any further questions contact the Ombudsperson at: (323) 265-8712 or ombuds(at)

DSP&S provides educational support for eligible ELAC students with disabilities in the achievement of their academic and vocational goals. Assistance such as note takers, handicapped parking, special tutoring, audio CD and E-Text for the blind, mobility aids and equipment loans is available. In addition, special learning skills classes and computers are available to enhance DSP&S student classroom success. 
DSP&S Homepage

Complaint Policies and Procedure

The Western Association of States and Colleges 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 "Characteristics of Excellence."

"Students and members of the public who desire to file a formal complaint to the Commission about one of its member institutions should become familiar with the requirements for doing so prior to contacting the Commission. Following is the Commission's Policy on Student and Public Complaints Against Institutions which will assist the user in understanding the issues this Commission can and cannot address through its complaint process, explain the procedures for filing a complaint, and provide a link to the Complaint Information Sheet and Complaint Form." --WASC

All complaints must be written, signed and addressed to the President of the Commission, only after the student has exhausted all ELAC appeal procedures.

For more information, see the WASC policy statement and complaint form.

The 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 can't settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether these involve students, faculty, administration, or members of other groups. Examples would be a student having difficulty logging in to their course (course login link) or complaint about a grade received from a faculty member, or a faculty member's complaint about his or her hiring or continued employment.

For information about filing consumer complaints in any non-California state where ELAC students might reside and take its distance education courses or programs, go to SHEEPO State Authorization Survey: Student Complaint Information by State and Agency For state contact information, go to 2010 Federal Regulations on State Approval of Out-of-State Providers If you need additional assistance in locating state complaint procedures, please contact the office of Distance Education at 323 415-5313 or onlinehelp(at)

Links to Additional Information