Resolving Complaints, Problems, Appeals, and Grievances - Home

Complaint Process

Pierce College strives to provide a high quality education to all students; however, we realize we may miss something that needs addressing. We want students, employees, and visitors to have a venue to express concerns and complaints. We understand that there are a variety of issues that may come up, so we have provided a variety of options below. If you are uncertain on how to report or which one to choose, please pick the one you feel best meets your needs. We will ensure the information gets to the correct person or department.

Report Discrimination, Harassment (including sexual misconduct), or Retaliation

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) is an all-encompassing federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds. Title IX is most commonly associated with gender discrimination in sports and is credited with advancing participation of women in athletics. However, the scope of Title IX is much broader. It prohibits gender-based discrimination in all college programs and activities.

Title IX protection from discrimination extends to faculty, staff and students and includes such things as: sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, gender-identity and pregnancy. It also prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes or participates in a complaint.

Anyone can report a concern about sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or gender discrimination that impacts a person at Pierce College. Visit the Title IX homepage for more information, including contact information and resources.

Report Concerning, Troublesome, or Threatening Behavior

The Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Team (BITA) is a multi-disciplinary group who meets regularly to support the Pierce College community. The BITA team receives, investigates, and responds to reports of concerning or troublesome behaviors of students and employees that may pose a threat to themselves or others. BITA’s primary focus is to provide support for individuals through referrals to internal and external resources while also making safety for the individual and the community the highest priority.

Individuals who are concerned about a student or employee should submit the BITA report, sharing as much information as possible. Once submitted, the report will be reviewed by the BITA team who will identify appropriate resources and referrals to support the person of concern.

Report an Accessibility Concern

Pierce College supports an integrated learning experience for students with disabilities by promoting an environment that is free from physical and attitudinal barriers. Students are encouraged to develop successful learning strategies in collaboration with faculty and staff.

Report a Complaint

Do you have an issue or complaint with an individual or department at Pierce College that you are not able to resolve? Pierce College is committed to appropriate resolution of complaints as efficiently and effectively as possible. We believe providing a mechanism for complaints to be heard gives us the opportunity to improve our services.

Report a Student Code of Conduct Violation

The complete Student Conduct Code outlines students’ responsibilities and the process of adjudicating alleged violations.

If you believe that a Pierce College student may have violated the Student Conduct Code, you are encouraged to report the incident to the District Conduct Officer by completing the Student Conduct Code Incident Report and uploading supplemental information as appropriate. Once a report is received, the District Conduct Officer will review the report and may contact the reporting party for additional information if needed. The District Conduct Officer will discuss the allegations directly with the student involved, working to create educational opportunities to support the student's academic and personal success while holding them accountable for behaviors which are not consistent with Pierce College's expectations.

Grade Appeal Petition

Students who believe they have been awarded final course grades improperly by members of the faculty may appeal those grades. Only final course grades may be appealed. A final course grade has been awarded improperly if done in an arbitrary or capricious manner as defined under RCW 34.05.570 (4) (C) (iii).

District Title IX/EEO Coordinator

Holly Gorski
Vice President for Human Resources
253-964-6519

District Affirmative Action Officer

Paula Henson-Williams
ctcLink Project Director/District Affirmative Action Officer
253-864-3229

District Section 504 Coordinator

Tami Jacobs
Dean of Student Success
253-964-6581

Puyallup Ombudsperson

Joseph Cates-Carney
Biology Instructor
253-864-3399

Fort Steilacoom Ombudsperson

Jo Anne Geron
Psychology Professor & Department Coordinator
253-964-6465