2020-2021 College Catalog and Student Handbook 
    
    Aug 10, 2020  
2020-2021 College Catalog and Student Handbook

Student Grievance Policy and Procedure


Overview

The grievance procedure applies to students who have complaints of unfair and/or unlawful treatment. A student is defined as any person enrolled full- or part-time in credit or non-credit courses at the College. A grievance is a complaint of unfair and/or unlawful treatment formally charged by a student against a College employee, in regard to the application of College rules, policies, procedures and regulations. If at all possible, a complaint should be resolved without initiating the formal grievance procedure.

Please note that it is generally beneficial to the student to discuss the problem with College personnel prior to filing a formal grievance. College personnel are available to advise students. Students should not hesitate to contact a faculty member, counselor or any other College staff person to discuss the problem.

Procedure

Level 1

A grievance should be raised and settled as quickly as possible. Within fifteen business days following either the event that gave rise to the grievance or within fifteen business days (a business day is defined as Monday-Friday when the College is open) of the time when the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the issue, the College employee involved should be contacted by the student. An attempt should be made to resolve the complaint informally. The first step is for the student to communicate with the College employee involved. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student may file a written grievance within ten business days following the verbal response from the College employee involved. The written grievance should be presented to the employee with a notification of the grievance being forwarded to the employee’s supervisor. The written grievance should contain the following: (a) a complete description of the complaint; (b) any supporting documents; and (c) the redress sought. An entire set of records should be assembled and maintained by the student. The person receiving the written grievance has ten business days to reply to the student in writing.

Level 2

If the student is not satisfied with the written response from the employee, he or she may appeal it to the appropriate supervisor within ten business days. The student should forward copies of all correspondence and relevant documents from Level 1, along with a cover letter, to the supervisor. The supervisor has ten business days to reach a decision and reply in writing to the student and the employee.

Level 3

If the student is not satisfied with the written response from Level 2, he or she may appeal to the appropriate vice president or designee. This appeal must be made within ten business days after the reply from Level 2. The student should forward copies of all correspondence and relevant documents from Levels 1 and 2, along with a cover letter, to the vice president or designee. The vice president or designee has ten business days to make a determination and reply in writing to the student and the employee.

Level 4

If the student is not satisfied with the vice president’s or designee’s response, he or she may appeal to the College president or designee within ten business days after the reply from Level 3. The student should forward copies of all correspondence from Levels 1, 2, and 3, along with a cover letter, to the president or designee. The president or designee will discuss the grievance with all concerned parties and make a decision regarding the issue within ten business days after receipt of the correspondence. Copies of the vice president’s or designee’s decision will be sent to the appropriate College employees at Levels 1 and 2 and to the president.

General Guidelines

  1. The student filing a grievance may be accompanied by an advisor or representative of his/her choice at any level of the procedure.
  2. Revision of the deadlines for filing appeals and providing written responses may be made. This may be necessary because of vacations, examinations, illnesses or other extenuating circumstances. If the deadlines are changed by either party, the respective employee should inform the student of the receipt of the grievance and give an estimated date of the final reply.
  3. The only issues that can be reviewed on appeal are those asserted in the filing of the initial grievance. No new issues can be raised or heard during the appeal review process.
  4. Copies of the vice president’s decision will be sent to the appropriate College employees at Levels 1 and 2 and to the president.