I. GRIEVANCE PROCESS OVERVIEW
In order to maintain a harmonious and cooperative environment between and among the College and its students, the College provides for the settlement of problems and differences through an orderly grievance procedure. Every student shall have the right to present his/her problems or grievances free from coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. This Policy provides for prompt and orderly consideration and determination of student problems and grievances by College administrators and ultimately the Vice President.
A grievance is any matter of student concern or dissatisfaction with the College’s control except: (a) student discipline matters regarding academic and non-academic violations (Policy 5.3.2 – Student Conduct); (b) discrimination and unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (Policy 5.3.4 – Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment); (c) a grade appeal (Policy 5.2.5 – Grade Appeal); or (d) any other matter that has a specific grievance process outlined in that policy or procedure.
II. GRIEVANCE PROCESS
1. Informal Grievance – Step One
In the event the alleged grievance lies with a faculty/staff member, the student must first go to that faculty/staff member and attempt to informally resolve the matter. Both the student and faculty/staff member must have an informal conference to discuss the situation and document the attempts taken to resolve the grievance at this level. In the event that the student is unsatisfied with the resolution reached at the informal conference, he/she may proceed to Step Two within five (5) business days after the informal conference. Not proceeding to Step Two within the time period will result in the grievance not being heard and the matter being closed.
If the grievance concerns issues unrelated to a particular faculty/staff member (for example, an issue with College policy), the student can skip the informal process and proceed to Step Two.
2. Formal Grievance – Step Two
If the grievance is not resolved at Step One (or, given the nature of the grievance, Step Two begins the process) the student may file a written grievance with the appropriate Dean/AVP. The written grievance must contain, with specificity, the facts supporting the grievance and the attempt, if applicable, to resolve the grievance at the information level.
The appropriate Dean/AVP shall review the written grievance and conduct whatever further investigation, if any, is necessary to determine any additional facts that are needed to resolve the grievance. The Dean/AVP shall provide his/her written decision within ten (10) business days after receipt of the grievance.
In the event that the student is unsatisfied with the resolution reached by the Dean/AVP, he/she may proceed to Step Three within five (5) business days after receipt of the Dean/AVP’s written determination. Not proceeding to Step Three within the time period will result in the grievance not being heard and the matter being closed.
3. Appeal – Step Three
If the student is not satisfied with the Dean/AVP’s determination, the student may appeal to the Vice President of Instruction. The appeal must be in writing, must provide a written summary of the specific facts and must contain any other documentation pertinent to the matter. The Vice President will conduct an “on the record” review and conduct any further investigation that is necessary to ascertain the facts needed to make a determination. The Vice President may, at his/her discretion, establish a committee to further investigate the matter and make a recommendation to the Vice President.
At the conclusion of the investigation and not later than ten (10) business days after receipt of the student’s appeal, the Vice President shall provide a written decision to the student.
The Vice President’s decision is final.