Student Complaint Process

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Student Complaint Process

STUDENT GRIEVANCE I. Purpose The purpose of the student grievance procedure is to ensure students receive due process and resolution of concerns in a fair and timely manner and to promote an educational environment that values open communication, fair treatment, mutual respect, and trust among students, faculty and staff. II. Degree of Coverage A. Grievance - a difference of opinion or disagreement between a student and staff member (faculty or supportive staff) concerning the relevance and/or administration of the rules, policies, procedures, or regulations of the College. B. Items that may be grieved: 1. Complaints of discrimination / harassment/ malice 2. Alleged procedural irregularity 3. Issues related to ADA accommodations 4. Program dismissal 114 C. Items that may not be grieved: decisions made by the policies of: 1. the Honor Council 2. the Grade Appeal Review Committee 3. the Admission and Retention Committee III. Procedure o Step 1 – a. Before filing any grievance, the student is strongly encouraged to address concerns informally with the faculty and/or staff most directly involved in the issue. Every reasonable effort should be made on both sides to settle the matter at this level. o Step 2 – a. If the issue is not resolved, the student will present the complaint in writing to the Academic Director of the program within two (2) business days after the informal meeting/discussion with the involved faculty/staff. b. Within two (2) business days of receipt of this grievance, the Academic Director of the Program will schedule a joint conference with the involved parties in an attempt to reach a mutual agreement. o Step 3 – a. If the student is not satisfied with the resolution of the grievance in step 2, a written appeal must be made to the Dean of the College of Nursing within two (2) business days. b. The Dean will review the request for an appeal. The Dean will appoint an Ad Hoc Committee of 4 uninvolved faculty/staff and 1 student from the honor council. The Dean (or designee) will serve as chair for this committee without voting privileges and will assign a recorder for minutes. c. The hearing will be held within two (2) business days after the Ad Hoc Committee has been chosen. The Ad Hoc Committee will make its decision by simple majority vote and communicate its decision in writing to the student, the staff member, and the Dean/Managing Director of Professional Development. IV. General Provisions A. Identification - all written grievances and appeals will include the name and position of the aggrieved student(s), and: 1. a brief description of the grievance 2. specific reasons and documentation of the nature of the grievance 115 3. specific resolution sought by the student. o Should a grievance involve more than one student or a group of students, two students will be selected to represent the group. B. Rights of Grievants - both parties have the right to present and cross-examine witnesses; to present evidence; to examine all evidence introduced during the proceedings; and to receive a copy of the transcript of the hearing. C. Procedure for Hearing: 1. The Chair will begin the proceeding by explaining the confidentiality of the committee's hearing. 2. The student filing the grievance will present documentation to support his/her complaint and may present witnesses on his/her behalf. 3. The faculty or staff member against whom the grievance was filed will present his/her presentation of the facts and may also present witnesses on his/her behalf. 4. Committee members will be permitted to ask any questions pertinent to the case at any time during the proceeding. 5. After all the facts have been presented, all parties will be dismissed except for committee members who will then discuss the case and vote. The Dean will issue a written finding to the student within 2 business days of the hearing. 6. Written minutes will be kept on all meetings related to the hearing and will be kept on file in the Office of the Dean of the College of Nursing for a minimum of 8 years. D. If the student complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the College’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Written complaints should be submitted to: State Council of Higher Education for Virginia 10th Floor, James Monroe Building 101 N. 14th Street Richmond, VA 23219 As a courtesy, College requests that the student send to the College a copy of his/her complaint to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia at the time it is filed.

The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA), is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia.  This office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries.  While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact their office via e-mail at