Office of the Student Ombudsperson

Office of the Student Ombudsperson

The Office of the Student Ombudsperson provides a place where your concerns can be heard. The Ombudsperson acts as an independent, impartial resource without any authority to make decisions or enact policy. If a matter cannot be resolved through this office, a referral will be made.

  • The student ombudsperson provides the opportunity for you to appeal decisions related to access to courses and credit granted toward a degree. You are expected to have first met with the appropriate program director or other appropriate administrator to seek resolution of a concern.
  • The Office of the Ombudsperson offers an alternative opportunity to resolve complaints, concerns or problems in a timely and private manner.
  • Users of the office are provided a confidential place to explore options to make informed decisions.

The Ombudsperson

  • Listens and discuss questions, issues, and concerns.
  • Is an advocate for fairness.
  • Helps develop and evaluate options to address concerns.
  • Answers questions and helps find others who can develop and evaluate various options to address concerns.
  • Explains College policies and procedures.
  • Facilitates communication between and among individuals.
  • Advises individuals regarding steps that may be taken to resolve problems informally.
  • Advises individuals regarding formal administrative options to address issues.
  • Mediate disputes, seeking "win-win" solutions to problems.
  • Makes appropriate referrals when informal options do not work.
  • Identifies patterns of problems/complaints and seeks to identify ways of avoiding same in the future.
  • Provides semester by semester reports of the number of students contacted, the nature of complaints and issues, and activities undertaken to resolve same.

The Ombudsperson does not

  • Replace or circumvent existing channels.
  • Direct any College office to change a decision.
  • Make decisions for the student.
  • Set aside rules and regulations.
  • Participate in formal grievance, complaint or conduct procedures.
  • Make decisions for College faculty/administrators.
  • Determine "guilt" or "innocence" of those accused of wrong-doing.
  • Assign sanctions to students.
  • Give legal advice.

FSW Student Ombudsperson Dr. April Palmer, Assistant Vice President, Student Life

Phone 239-489-9067 Email