Office of the Ombuds

College Mission Statement

Northern Virginia Community College provides equitable access to affordable and exceptional higher education and workforce programs, transforming the lives of our students and advancing opportunity in our community.

Role of the Student Ombudsperson

An Ombudsperson or Ombuds, from the term Ombudsman, is a confidential*, impartial, independent, and informal resource within the College, designated to assist the student body in managing and resolving conflicts and other types of organizational concerns.
*Conversations are confidential unless there appears to be imminent risk of harm or danger to the student and/or another person.

Student Ombuds Services (SOS) Charter

Services Provided

The Student Ombuds Services WILL:

  • Offer a safe place where students may discuss problems or issues.
  • Actively listen to students’ concerns.
  • Provide information on College policies and procedures.
  • Assist students in evaluating available options.
  • Refer students to the appropriate NVCC office to resolve their concerns.
  • Provide upward feedback to NVCC administration when a systemic issue or trend is observed.

The Student Ombuds Servicers CANNOT:

  • Act as an advocate in a dispute involving college or non-college problems or complaints.
  • Compel participation; use of the Student Ombuds Services is strictly voluntary.
  • Represent individuals in appeals, formal grievance procedures, nor provide legal advice on or off campus.
  • Overturn binding decisions but can investigate procedural fairness.
  • Keep formal written records. The Student Ombuds Services can help you determine how to keep your own record if you need to do that.

What do students commonly consult with the Student Ombuds Services about?

  • Academic Concerns
  • Business Office (i.e., Payment & Parking)
  • Concerns about an Appeal Process
  • Ethical Behavior
  • Financial Aid
  • General Concerns about Navigating your Academic journey at NVCC (i.e., Advising)
  • Student Accounts (i.e., MyNOVA, Email, Transcripts, etc.)
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Violation of College Policies and/or Procedures

Will you be my advocate?
SOS cannot act as an advocate in a dispute. SOS is a neutral and impartial service.

Will you represent me in appeals or formal grievance procedures, either on or off campus?
SOS will guide you to the appropriate resources or office to assist you.

Can you provide me legal representation or give legal advice?
The Ombudsperson is not a legal expert but a neutral and impartial resource for students.

Does speaking with SOS obligate the college to take action regarding my concerns?
SOS is a confidential, independent, informal, and neutral service for students. It is voluntary for students to utilize our services; this means if you want to initiate a formal complaint to the college you must contact the appropriate office. SOS will be happy to guide you to the appropriate office.

Will you keep a record of my concerns? 
In order to maintain the confidentiality of your concerns, SOS does not maintain official records. However, we do keep working notes to keep track of ongoing interactions and follow-up activities, but these notes are purged periodically. 

How does the SOS office enhance the student experience?
SOS exists to listen to all students at the college and to observe trends in students’ complaints to create opportunities for college-wide improvement.

Connect with SOS

Dr. Tanneh Kamara
Manassas / Howsmon Hall, Room 313
10950 Campus Drive, Manassas, VA 20109-2399 | 
Office:  703.530.2834
Fax:  703.530.8244

Dr. Shawn Addison
Employee Ombuds
Pender 4 / Office 109
3926 Pender Dr. Suite 150, Fairfax, VA 22030 |
Office:  703.503.6239