Student Ombudsman (Advocates)
The Associate Dean of Student Success and Support is the designated student ombudsman collegewide for Eastern Florida State College, per EFSC Procedure 201.2.1. The student ombudsman acts as a neutral third party who helps students address problems or concerns and explore solutions in an informal manner, including problems or concerns related to access to courses and credit granted toward a degree.
The student ombudsman does not have any authority to make decisions or take official action on behalf of the College and is not a substitute for following proper channels. Communications with the student ombudsman are “off the record” and do not put the College on official notice of a problem. If a student wishes to place the College on official notice of a problem, the student ombudsman can provide information about how to do so.
Disclosures to the student ombudsman are private except where sexual misconduct, certain crimes, imminent threats, or other extenuating circumstances are involved. The student ombudsman follows no prescribed sequences of steps, and does not participate in any formal processes. The student ombudsman does not advocate for or against any particular party and cannot give legal advice nor assist a student represented by legal counsel.
The Student Ombudsman will:
- Notify students about opportunities for assistance or appeal.
- Listen and discuss questions, issues, and concerns.
- Help develop and evaluate various options to address concerns.
- Answer questions or help find others who can develop and evaluate options to address concerns.
- Explain College policies and procedures.
- Facilitate communication between and among individuals.
- Advise individuals about steps to resolve problems informally.
- Advise individuals about formal administrative options.
- Mediate disputes to seek "win-win" resolution of problems.
- Make appropriate referrals when informal options do not work.
- Point out patterns of problems/complaints to administrators.
The Student Ombudsman will not:
- Replace or circumvent existing channels.
- Direct any College office to change a decision.
- Make decisions for the student.
- Set aside rules, regulations, policies, or procedures.
- Participate in formal grievance, complaint, or conduct processes.
- Make decisions for College faculty or administration.
- Determine "guilt" or "innocence" of those accused of wrongdoing.
- Impose sanctions on students.
- Receive official notice for the College about issues or problems.
- Give legal advice or assist students represented by legal counsel.
Students may request assistance from the student ombudsman by contacting Emily Tonn, Associate Dean of Student Success and Support at 321-433-7715. Alternatively, students may request assistance from the student ombudsman by e-mail.
The student ombudsman is accountable to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs/CLO as the designee of the President. The Equity Officer is the designated ombudsman for staff, faculty and adjuncts.