Student Grievances (Non-academic complaint or appeal)
This procedure involves complaint resolution regarding application of policy or procedure, i.e. student advisement, improper disclosure of grades, unfair testing procedures, etc. This procedure does not address complaints related to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or grade/attendance appeals. Issues which have a separate process for resolution (i.e. disciplinary sanctions, FERPA, financial aid, academic grades, etc.) are not considered as grievances and a student must take advantage of the process in place. A student who feels that a justified grievance exists and wishes to make an appeal must follow the following procedure.
Informal Complaint Procedure
A student has ten business days from the date of the incident being grieved to resolve their complaint informally by approaching their instructor, academic dean or any other staff or faculty member directly involved in the grieved incident. If this process does not result in a resolution of the grievance, the student may proceed to the formal grievance procedure.
Formal Complaint Procedure
Step 1: Within fifteen business days of the incident being grieved, the student must file a formal grievance in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) with the following information:
- Brief description of the incident being grieved
- Remedy requested
- Signed and informal remedy attempted by student and outcome
If the grievance is against the VPSA, the student shall file the grievance with the Office of the President.
Step 2: The VPSA, or his/her designee, will investigate the matter and supply a written response to the student within 15 business days.
Note: If the grieved incident involves possible unlawful harassment/discrimination, the investigation will be handled pursuant to the Procedure: Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination of Students. If the grieved incident is closely related to an incident being processed through the disciplinary procedure, the disciplinary procedure will take precedence and the grievance will not be processed until after the disciplinary procedure has run its course.
The VPSA, or his /her designee, shall be granted an additional fifteen business days to investigate the grievance upon notice to the student who filed the grievance.
Step 3: Appeal of Staff Response: If a student is unsatisfied with the response from the VPSA, the student may appeal the decision to the President of the College. The College staff has no right to appeal.
- A student shall file a written appeal to the President within five business days of receiving the response from the VPSA.
- The appeal will be decided based entirely on documents provided by the student and the administration; therefore, the student must ensure that he/she has provided all relevant documents with his/her appeal.
- At the President’s sole discretion, grievance appeals will be held in one of the following two ways:
- The President may review the information provided by the student and administration and make the final decision; or
- The President may appoint a cross-functional committee comprised of five members, including one chair, to make the final decision.
- The decision of either the President or the cross-functional committee shall be made within ten business days of receipt by the President of the appeal.
- Whichever process is chosen by the President, the decision of the grievance appeal is final. Retaliation against a student for filing a grievance is strictly prohibited.