|Number: 1.14 printable version||Policy/Operational Procedure Name:
|Sponsor: Dr. Christine Kelly-Kleese, Vice President, Student Engagement, Development and Support||Custodian: Student Engagement, Development, and Support|
|Effective Date(s): January 2017||Next Review Date: Fall 2019|
|Location: http://www.durhamtech.edu/policiesprocedures/StudentGrievanceProcedure.htm||Citation: 2A SBCCC 400.10 Student Complaints
SACSCOC FR 4.5
Durham Technical Community College students have the right to pursue timely, legitimate grievances against employees of the college. Therefore, the college shall establish, publish, and follow a procedure that delineates the rights and responsibilities of the aggrieved party and the college employee against whom a grievance may be lodged.
The student grievance procedure provides a process for resolving student disputes with employees. This procedure applies to all student issues, including but not limited to academic issues, student services, or administrative concerns. Grievances involving academic issues are limited to final course grades and satisfactory completion of instructional program requirements.
The grievance procedure may be used by persons who were enrolled as students at Durham Tech at the time the incident occurred. The person filing the grievance must be the subject of alleged unfair treatment that is related to his or her status as a student or program participant. A grievance cannot be filed on behalf of another person.
The student grievance procedure provides a process for resolving student disputes with teaching faculty, staff and administrators. This procedure applies to all student issues, including but not limited to academic issues, (terms that appear in boldface italic type are defined above) student services, or administrative concerns. Grievances involving academic issues are limited to final course grades and satisfactory completion of instructional program requirements. Students who need additional accommodations at any time during this procedure should contact the Student Development, Communications, and Activities office.
The grievance procedure may be used by persons who were students at Durham Tech at the time the incident occurred. The person filing the grievance must be the alleged subject of unfair treatment that is related to his or her status as a student or program participant. A grievance cannot be filed on behalf of another person.
Throughout the grievance procedure, it is up to the student to present evidence to support the claim. Students are advised to keep written notes and maintain documentation to provide evidence of complying with each step of this procedure. All allegations arising from a single event must be presented in one grievance.
The procedure involves specific deadlines for pursuing a grievance. Students are required to follow the steps and timeline outlined within this procedure. Issues presented past the deadlines will not be considered unless there are specific, extenuating circumstances that make pursuing the complaint by the deadline extremely difficult. To request an extension due to extenuating circumstances at any point in the procedure, the student, employee, or supervisor must make a request in writing within the timelines listed. Requests for deadline extensions should be submitted to the applicable department head. Should extenuating circumstances be present, documented, and approved, the department head will determine and communicate in writing an appropriate revised timeline and next steps to all involved parties.
If college officials determine that the student cannot continue to attend class, participate in clinical experiences, or participate in student activities for a specified period because of the potential for harm to self or others, the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support, after consultation with other College Officials, may issue specific restrictions and will provide the rationale in writing. If at any time in the procedure the grievance or appeal involves claims of discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment), the matter must be forwarded immediately to the Title IX coordinator, who must investigate the situation and determine next steps within six working days of the notification.
Grievance Steps for Students
Step 1. The student meets with the employee with whom they have the concern within six working days of the incident. This conversation should be an informal attempt on the part of the student to resolve the issue in an efficient manner. Following the conversation, both parties should document the facts and possible outcome for their own records. If the student is not satisfied that the concern has been resolved, he/she may move to Step 2.
Step 2. The student meets with the employee’s supervisor to present the grievance within six working days of the meeting with the employee in an attempt to resolve the issue. Following this additional informal conversation, all parties should document the facts and possible outcome for their own records. If the issue is not resolved at this step, the supervisor provides information about the formal grievance procedure to the student, which begins with Step 3.
Step 3. The student submits the formal Student Grievance Form within six working days from the meeting with the supervisor. If the student feels that the conversation with the employee and his or her supervisor did not satisfy the issue in question, he/she should initiate the formal grievance procedure. The student is encouraged to meet with a counselor in the Student Development, Communications and Activities office for assistance with the following tasks:
Step 5. The employee and supervisor submit a written response (hard copy or electronic copy) to the department head within six working days of receiving the request. (Employees should consult with Human Resources if they are in need of assistance at any point in this procedure.) The department head uploads this documentation and adds it to the official case file.
Step 6. The department head meets with the student to discuss the official grievance case within six working days of receipt of the written response noted in Step 5 and shares the information gathered regarding the case. Following the conversation, both parties should document the conversation and possible outcome for their own records. The department head will determine the appropriate action/resolution within six working days of the meeting with the student and communicate the decision to the student, employee, direct supervisor, the appropriate Vice President, and the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support in writing. The decision of the department head is final except in the circumstances outlined in the following appeals procedure. All records of formal grievances are kept within the college’s approved system for management and tracking of cases.
Procedure for Appeal
If the student believes that exceptional circumstances justify reconsideration of the decision made by the department head, the student may file an appeal. An appeal should not be pursued if the student simply disagrees with the decisions made during the grievance procedure. The discovery of new evidence not presented in the initial grievance and/or an allegation of serious bias or discrimination at some level of the student grievance procedure and/or documentation showing that the grievance policy was not properly followed by the college are allowable exceptional circumstances. To request an appeal, the student follows these steps:
Appeal Step 1. Within ten working days of receiving the written decision in the grievance case, the student files a written appeal with the assistance of a college counselor, who will have access to the appeal form within the college’s approved system for managing and tracking cases. The appeal is sent within the system to the Vice President of Student Engagement, Development, and Support who then routes the form to the appropriate Vice President who oversees the department head involved in the case. To file an appeal, the student must work with a counselor from the Student Development, Communications, and Activities office to complete the written appeal, with a clear explanation of what qualifies the grievance for an appeal based on the definition of exceptional circumstances noted within this procedure. The student should be as specific as possible and attach documentation to support the need for an appeal. The name of the counselor assisting the student is required on the appeal form.
Appeal Step 2. Upon receipt of the appeal, the appropriate Vice President reviews the appeal based on the definition of exceptional circumstances noted within this procedure. If he/she determines that the grievance is not eligible for appeal, he/she communicates that decision to all involved parties and closes the case within ten working days. If he/she determines that the grievance is eligible for appeal, he/she conducts an appeal investigation of the case and renders a final decision within ten working days of receiving the appeal. During this time, the appropriate Vice President has the option of requesting further meetings with any party involved in the grievance procedure if he/she feels that such conversations will aid in the ability to come to a final decision. The appropriate Vice President sends a copy of the decision to the student, employee, the department head, and Vice President, Student Engagement, Development, and Support within the college’s approved system for managing and tracking cases. The decision is final. No further appeal is available after the appropriate Vice President has rendered a final decision.
All records of the appeal are logged and maintained within the college’s approved system for managing and tracking cases.
|College Council or Committee||6/30/2015, 9/25/2015, 6/2016 (LC)||9/25/2015, 1/29/2016 (Revisions), 6/2016|
|Campus Community/Legal Review||7/8-21/2015||NA|
|Board of Trustees Review||NA||NA|