Student Grievance Policy & Procedures

The purpose of the student grievance policy and procedure is to provide an equitable and orderly process to resolve grievances. A grievance is a difference or dispute between a student and a college employee regarding the following:

  • Grade dispute
  • Final grade appeal
  • Issue with an instructor or staff member
  • Issue with a class
  • Issue with a college procedure

Policy

To maintain good relationships, grievances should be initiated and processed as rapidly as possible. Every effort will be made by all parties to expedite the process. Informal resolution of grievances should be pursued whenever possible.

Effect of student failure to appeal within time limit

Procedure

The student must bring a grievance within the time frame listed below.

GrievanceTimeline to submit Online Student Grievance Form
Grade Dispute (other than final grade in course)Within five business days of notification of grade unless otherwise indicated by instructor
Final Grade AppealWithin one month after the grade is posted
Issue with an instructor or Staff MemberWithin one month of the incident (or within one month after the grade is posted for a courses)
Issue with a classWithin one month after the grade is posted
Issue with a College ProcedureWithin one month of the incident

 

Step One

The student contacts the college faculty member or employee with whom the student has a difference or a dispute through phone, chat, or email. Every reasonable effort should be made by all parties to resolve the matter informally at this level, and no written records of the matter will be placed in the student’s official file.

Step Two

If the issue cannot be resolved at the first step, an Online Student Grievance Form must be submitted by the student within the time frame listed in the table above. The steps outlined on the form must be followed.

  • Step A: The student provides a description of the grievance .
  • Step B: For academic issues, the student schedules a web conference meeting (or telephone conference) with the program head for that department. For non-academic issues, the student schedules a web conference meeting (or telephone conference) with the supervisor of the employee or department with whom he or she has a complaint. Following the meeting, the program head or supervisor will have a chance to respond to the student’s complaint. The head of the department or the supervisor will notify the student of the decision.
  • Step C: If the student is not satisfied, he or she can schedule a web conference meeting (or telephone conference) with the academic dean for academic issues or with the Director of the Student Affair Dean for non-academic issues.
  • Step D: If the student discussed with a dean in Step C and is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance, he or she may appeal to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) following Step Three below.
Step Three

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance as determined by the Completion of the Online Student Grievance Form with either an academic dean or the Director of the Student Affairs then

  1. The student must submit a online written request for a hearing with the COO within five business days of receipt of the decision given in Step C of the grievance process. If, based on the preponderance of evidence, the COO decides that the appeal and record of previous actions indicate an appeal is not warranted, the COO will notify the student, employee, and the dean within five calendar days after receipt of the appeal.
  2. If the COO hears the appeal, he or she will set a date for a web conference meeting (or telephone conference) and notify the student of the time in which the meeting will take place, but the meeting will take place no later than ten business days after receipt of the written appeal of the student. The COO will notify the student of the decision in writing within five business days after hearing the appeal.
  3. A copy of the appeal and the decision of the COO will be placed in the student’s official file, and a copy will be retained by the COO’s office. The decision of the Vice President is final.
Step Four

For students living outside of Virginia taking online courses only

In accordance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA), the grievance procedures outlined above, as they apply to online courses taken by students living outside of Virginia, are subject to the oversight of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Grievances must follow the college’s process outlined above prior to being referred to SCHEV under SARA. Grade appeals and student conduct appeals are not allowed under SARA.

 

If the student’s complaint is not related to the grade or student conduct, the student may also contact Virginia State Portal Entity Contacts of SARA.

Darlene Derricott (DarleneDerricott@schev.edu)
Director of Academic Services
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor

Richmond, VA 23219
804.225.2621

State Website

http://www.schev.edu/index/institutional/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreements-%28sara%29