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 or student, 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, advisor, or any other College staff person to discuss a problem.
A grievance should be raised and settled as quickly as possible. The first step in the process is for the student to contact and meet with the employee who she or he believes acted in a grievous manner. Within five business days (a business day is defined as Monday through Friday when the College is open) following either the event that gave rise to the grievance or when the student reasonably should have gained knowledge of the issue, the College employee involved should be contacted by the student. A phone call or email can substitute for a face-to-face meeting. During the communication between the student and the employee, every attempt should be made to resolve the complaint informally. If the matter cannot be resolved, the student may file a written grievance within five 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 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 five business days to reply to the student in writing.
If the student is not satisfied with the written response from the employee, he or she may appeal it to the employee’s supervisor within five 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 five business days to reach a decision and reply in writing to the student and the employee.
If the student is not satisfied with the written response from Level 2, he or she may appeal to the employee’s supervising Vice President. This appeal must be made within five 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. The Vice President has 10 business days to make a determination and reply in writing to the student and the employee.
If the student is not satisfied with the Vice President’s response, he or she may appeal to the College President within five 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. The President will discuss the grievance with all concerned parties and make a decision regarding the issue within 10 business days after receipt of the correspondence. This decision will be final.
General Guidelines for Filing a Grievance
- The student filing a grievance may be accompanied by an advisor or representative of his/her choice at any level of the procedure.
- 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.
- 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.
- Copies of the Vice President’s decision will be sent to the appropriate College employees at Levels 1 and 2 and to the President.
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