Students Rights and Responsibilities

Fresno College is committed to maintaining an equitable environment that provides students with disabilities full access to the institution’s educational programs, services, facilities, and activities. In our continuing efforts to meet this commitment, we call upon FCC staff to abide by federal laws, which guarantee students with disabilities the ability to participate in all aspects of FCC offerings that will allow them to maximize their full academic potential.

The DSPS Student Handbook is now available online. The DSPS Student Handbook is designed to give students a general understanding of the programs and accommodations that may be available through DSP&S.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a federal mandate which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any entity receiving federal funds. Title II of the ADA requires state and local government entities to adhere to accessibility standards in facilities and services offered; community colleges fall within Title II of the ADA. Individuals with disabilities are guaranteed an equal opportunity to benefit from state and local programs on the basis of equitable services.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities in any program receiving federal funding.   Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was an addendum passed in 1998, requires entities to make electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Organizations must comply with sections 508 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Many provisions of these statutes overlap, but it is important to learn more about and understand the Differences between 504 and 508  

Title 5 under the California Code of Regulations for California Community Collegesassists college personnel in administering DSP&S services to students with disabilities and outlines legal and fiscal responsibilities the DSP&S department must follow. Title 5 deems appropriate academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and instructional services provided to students with disabilities. 

State Center Community College District Board Policy, Administrative Regulation 5140, Disabled Students Programs and Services 

It is the intent of the District and the colleges of the District to recognize that special efforts need to be made to extend the opportunities for community college education to students with disabilities. Such students are persons within the District who, because of verified physical, communication, or learning disability, cannot benefit from the classes, activities, and services provided by the college without specific additional support services and programs. Given the internal and external resources available to the District, and in compliance with state and federal laws and guidelines, the District will develop programs and services especially designed to compensate for such disabilities and to help assure the recruitment of and the retention of such persons to successful completion of their collegiate goals. 

U.S. Department of Education - Office for Civil Rights (OCR) role is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.

The following is a brief overview of the responsibilities that students using Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) must follow and the service limitations within DSPS. For more details about DSPS student responsibilities and service limitations please consult your copy of the DSPS Policies and Procedures located online in the AIM App.

  • Students must possess the ability to respond appropriately to questions, follow directions, and demonstrate the potential to profit from instruction.
  • Students are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct established by the college.
  • Students are expected to show the proper respect for faculty, staff, and other students. Rudeness, name-calling, and obscene language or gestures will not be tolerated.
  • Students must demonstrate disability-related appropriate adaptive behavior (Title 5 Regulations, Section 56004).
  • Students receiving special services (e.g., interpreting, test assistance) must notify the Disabled Student Programs and Services office of their absence prior to the time these special services are scheduled. Two failures to do so may result in the suspension of these special services.
  • Students must demonstrate annual measurable academic progress (Title 5 Regulations, Section 56024). Failure to do so may result in the suspension of service.
  • Students are to assume personal responsibility for taking any medications.
  • The individual student and/or other non-college agencies shall be responsible for the provision of personal attendant care. Disabled Student Programs and Services staff will not provide this service (Title 5 Regulations, Section 56000-d).

Colleges are required to provide reasonable accommodations (academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services, and educational assistance courses) so that students with verified disabilities can fulfill academic requirements.

Effective accommodations relate directly to the student’s educational limitation. They are designed to:

  • Overcome disadvantages imposed by a disability.
  • Provide equal opportunity for achievement.
  • Address individual needs.
  • Be provided as a legal right, not as a privilege.

Effective accommodations preserve academic integrity. They must not:

  • Provide a competitive advantage.
  • Lower the academic standard by “watering down” content.
  • Lower the academic standard by grading the student more leniently.
  • Continue if ineffective or no longer required.

Academic accommodations are not required if they would alter the fundamental nature of a course or a program. However, the burden of proof is on the college to demonstrate that the student’s accommodations will alter the fundamental nature of a course or a program. A central consideration is that the college administration and the faculty/staff member have made good faith efforts to provide appropriate, reasonable, and equal access to the college’s educational programs, services, and activities without altering their fundamental nature.

Accommodation Appeal Process

If a student is denied an accommodation that they believe is reasonable based on disability limitations and does not fundamentally alter the requirements of the course, the student has the right to file an appeal.

Active DSP&S students can process an appeal if they are dissatisfied with the implementation of an approved academic accommodation or auxiliary aide; if an accommodation that aligns with disability verification is denied; or if they have encountered discrimination based on their disability status.

Informal Accommodation Appeal Process

  1. DSP&S encourages students to first reach out to their DSPS counselor to informally remedy the situation.  Many times, DSPS counselors act as a liaison between students and the institution and can quickly resolve concerns.
  2. If the student is dissatisfied with the resolution reached with their DSPS counselor, students are encouraged to reach out to the DSPS Director, Susan Arriola at or call 559.443.8561 for assistance.
  3. If a mutually satisfactory resolution is not agreed upon between the student and the DSPS Director, students may advance a complaint to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Lataria Hall at or call 559.442.4600, ext. 8595.

 Formal Complaint and Grievance Process

  1. Students who reasonably believe a college decision or action has adversely affected their status, rights, or privileges may file an online student Student Complaint Form and submit it to the Office of the Vice President of Student Services Office.  Forms are also located upstairs in the Student Services Building, #10 on the FCC Campus Map.
  2. Students have the right to file a grievance with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) if no mutually satisfactory agreement can be agreed upon. OCR will convene an open investigation on services provided.

Service Animals

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a “service animal” is a dog or miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties.

Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Reasonable behavior is expected from the animals while on campus. If your dog exhibits unacceptable behavior, you are expected to immediately employ the proper training techniques to correct the situation.

Board Policy 3442 - Animals on District Property

Board Policy 3440 - Service Animals and Emotional Support/Comfort Animals on District Property