Student Grievance Policy & Procedures

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a prompt and equitable means of resolving student grievances. These procedures shall be available to any student who reasonably believes a college decision or action has adversely affected their status, rights, or privileges as a student as outlined in the College catalog.

There are two parts to this process. The informal process attempts to seek positive resolution for all parties involved. Only those directly involved plus any appropriate administrator will be present. The formal process may include appropriate representation for all parties involved.

Each student who has a grievance shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a grievance hearing, and shall attempt to solve the problem with the person with whom the student has the grievance, that person’s immediate supervisor, and/or the Vice President or designee.

Please note: If your complaint is related to a grade that has been issued, please refer to the Grade Grievance Procedure.

Time Limits

The Superintendent/President or designee may shorten or lengthen the times specified in these procedures. The intent, however, is to ensure that each and every step will take place as expeditiously as possible. Any change to the time requirements will be made in writing.

Informal Grievance Resolution Procedure

Each student who has a grievance shall make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter on an informal basis prior to requesting a grievance hearing, and shall attempt to solve the problem with the person with whom the student has the grievance, that person’s immediate supervisor, or the College administration.  

  1. The student shall first discuss the matter with the party in question. If, however, the student cannot discuss the matter with the other party or if the student is not satisfied with the discussion, he or she may proceed with the informal grievance process.
  2. A student must begin the informal grievance procedure within five (5) days from the date of the alleged grievance. The informal procedure must precede the formal procedure. The student may choose to terminate the grievance at any time during the informal procedure. A grievance filed within thirty (30) days of the end of the semester will be deferred until the following semester.
  3. The informal procedure shall be completed within ten (10) days of reporting of the original complaint to the other party. It is the student’s responsibility to describe to the parties involved the nature of the grievance so that involved parties understand that the grievance procedure has been initiated.
  4. An informal meeting will be held by the student and appropriate college staff. The purpose of the meeting is to identify the perceived violation of the student’s rights and to develop a resolution that is of mutual satisfaction to all parties involved. The student shall discuss and attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty, the person’s immediate supervisor, or the administrator at the informal meeting. If the student is satisfied with the outcome of the informal meeting, the process could end.

Formal Procedure

Filing Statement of Student Grievance
  1. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal procedure, a Student Statement of Grievance may be filed within ten (10) days following the informal meeting to the Grievance Officer. Grievance Forms are available at the offices of the deans, counselors, and the Office of Student Life. The student may choose to terminate the grievance at any time during the formal procedure.
  2. A summary of the outcomes of the informal process will be prepared by the faculty or the immediate supervisor and forwarded to the Grievance Officer.
  3. The Grievance Officer shall investigate the nature of the grievance including meeting with the parties involved and possible witnesses for each, clarification of the perceived violation of rights and investigation of college policies that may or may not have been followed.
  4. The Grievance Officer, after conferring with the student may determine that the grievance can be resolved by an additional attempt to engage in the informal procedure within ten (10) days. If the student isn’t satisfied with the outcome of this informal procedure, the student may still request a formal hearing. The Grievance Officer shall give written notice to the student if it is determined that additional informal procedures should not be pursued.
Request for Student Grievance Hearing

A request for a Student Grievance Hearing shall be filed within twenty (20) days by the student if the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal procedure after filing a Student Statement of Grievance, or, if after conferring with the student, the Grievance Officer has determined an informal procedure would be unlikely to help resolve the matter. 

Within ten (10) days following receipt of the Request for Student Grievance Hearing, the Superintendent/President shall appoint a Student Grievance Hearing Committee as described below, and the Student Grievance Hearing Committee shall meet in private and without the parties present to select a chair and to determine on the basis of the Statement of Grievance whether it presents sufficient grounds for a hearing.

The determination of whether the Statement of Grievance presents sufficient grounds for a hearing shall be based on the following:

  • The statement contains facts which, if true, would constitute a grievance under these procedures;
  • The grievant is a student as defined in these procedures, which include applicants and former students;
  • The grievant is personally and directly affected by the alleged grievance;
  • The grievance was filed in a timely manner;
  • The grievance is not clearly frivolous, clearly without foundation, or clearly filed for purpose of harassment.

If the grievance does not meet each of the requirements, the Hearing Committee chair shall notify the student in writing of the rejection of the Request for a Student Grievance Hearing, together with the specific reasons for the rejection and the procedures for appeal. This notice will be provided within five (5) days of the date the decision is made by the Student Grievance Hearing Committee.

If the Request for Student Grievance Hearing satisfies each of the requirements, the Grievance Officer or designee shall schedule a grievance hearing. The hearing will begin within ten (10) days following the decision to grant a Student Grievance Hearing. All parties to the grievance shall be given not less than five (5) days’ notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

Grievance Hearing Procedures are available online under Student Life.