Student Concerns and Complaints

Purpose

College Procedure 3.0800 outlines the steps to address student concerns (non-instructional) or complaints that a policy or procedure of the College has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in their particular case, or to bring a complaint or grievance against an employee's behavior. The following steps have been established to address complaints not covered by the following procedures:

  • Student instructional and faculty concerns and grade appeals are to be resolved according to Procedure 4.0300.
  • Discrimination complaints are to be addressed according to Procedure 1.0600 Discrimination Complaint.
  • Students may appeal for tuition refunds according to Procedure 5.0450 by using the College's petitions process overseen by the Registrar's Office.
  • Student conduct concerns are to be addressed according to Policy 3.0900 Student Code of Conduct.
  • Student disability accommodation and course substitution appeals are to be resolved according to Procedure 3.0600 Accommodation of Disabled Students.
Procedure
  1. Student Ombudsman: The student ombudsman helps students understand College policies and procedures and is a resource to help resolve concerns and appeals regarding issues such as a student's access to courses, credit granted toward the degree and other matters. The student ombudsman is a neutral person who does not make binding decisions. Information regarding the purpose, role and contact information for the Student Ombudsman can be found at: http://www.seminolestate.edu/student-complaints/
  2. Informal Conference: The deans of students on each campus serve as the student conduct officer. They are resources to help resolve issues and concerns. Student concerns or complaints can be directed to the student conduct officer to assist in resolution and identification of individuals involved. Most student concerns or complaints can be resolved through direct communication between the student and employee involved. The student shall request an informal conference with the employee involved. This conference is an informal meeting at which the student may present information regarding his/her concern. Every effort should be made to resolve the issue at this level.
  3. Written Appeal: If the issue has not been resolved within 10 college working days of the request for the initial conference, either because the student and employee have been unable to resolve the issue informally or the employee is unavailable, the student may file a Written Statement of Student Concern or Complaint and submit it to the dean of students at the campus where the incident occurred. The dean of students will inform the immediate supervisor of the person against whom the complaint is being made. To accommodate the distance learning student, the written statement of student concern or complaint may be submitted electronically. The campus dean of students is responsible for keeping a record of all written student complaints submitted at their site and will be copied on all correspondence regarding the concern or complaint.
    The written statement must document the informal conference or attempts to schedule an informal conference. It should describe the complaint in the clearest possible terms, provide relevant facts upon which the allegation is based and must be signed by the student.
    The immediate supervisor(s) shall review the written statement and may meet with the student or employee individually or together to try to resolve the issue(s) raised in the written statement. The immediate supervisor(s) will send the student and the employee against whom the complaint was brought a written decision about the situation within five college working days.
  4. Review by the Next-level Supervisor: If either party wishes further appeal beyond the employee's immediate supervisor, the aggrieved party may request a hearing with the appropriate next-level supervisor within five college working days of the decision of the immediate supervisor. At such time, the written statement shall be updated with an account of previous actions taken and sent to the appropriate dean of students for referral to the next-level supervisor. Upon receipt of the written statement, the next-level supervisor will work with the involved parties in an attempt to resolve the conflict within five college working days of receipt of the written statement. The next-level supervisor will send a written decision to both parties within five college working days of having received the written statement.
  5. Review by The Vice President: If either party wishes further appeal beyond the next-level supervisor, the party may request a hearing with the vice president responsible for the program or employee at issue. The request for a hearing with the vice president must be made within 10 college working days from when the next-level supervisor sent the written decision. The vice president will review the previous actions and meet, as appropriate, with the student, immediate supervisor, and next-level supervisor to resolve the issue(s). The vice president will send a written summary to both parties within 10 college working days of having received the written statement. The determination of the vice president shall constitute the final disposition of the student concern or complaint. The final disposition cannot be appealed.

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