Informal Student Complaint Process
Calhoun Community College has a variety of procedures for dealing with student-related issues, including grade appeals, academic dishonesty violations, student discipline, harassment complaints, and Student Grievance procedures. One area not generally covered by other procedures concerns informal student complaints about faculty, staff or student conduct. The College respects the academic freedom of the faculty and will not interfere with the exercise of appropriate discretion concerning the content or style of teaching activities. Indeed, academic freedom is and should be of paramount importance. At the same time, the College recognizes its responsibility to provide students with a procedure for addressing complaints about faculty/staff treatment of students that are not covered by other procedures.
Wherever possible, complaints at Calhoun Community College are handled in an informal manner. Administrators, faculty, and staff maintain an "open-door" policy to discuss issues of concern for all students. Faculty and staff serve as a resource for individuals seeking assistance in resolving matters within the College community. Students are encouraged to first attempt to resolve complaints with the faculty or staff person. If unresolved, students should next speak to the departmental chairperson or supervisor of the faculty or staff member in an effort to resolve the matter. If still unresolved, the student should lodge their complaint with the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Vice President of Student Services depending on the nature of the complaint. Students may also seek the assistance of the campus Student Advocate Office to facilitate an informal resolution. The chart below details the initial area for assistance referral and subsequent contact areas. If students have any questions about the applicable area for assistance, they should consult with the Vice President of Student Services, who will advise the student if some other procedure is applicable to the type of complaint they are seeking to resolve.
|ISSUE||1ST RESPONSE - LEVEL I||LEVEL II|
|Academic Instructor Concerns||Instructor||Faculty Chair/Division Dean|
|Academic Probation/Suspension||Records/Admissions||Registrar/Director of Student Financial Svcs.|
|Admissions Application Process||Records/Admissions||Director of Admissions/Registrar|
|Assessment/Testing Center||Advising Center Staff/Testing Center Staff||Director of Advising and Retention/Director Testing Ctr.|
|Academic Advising||Advising Staff/Faculty Advisor||Director of Advising and Retention/Faculty Chair|
|Blackboard Technical Assistance||IT Helpline||Instructor/Director of Distance Learning|
|Bookstore||Bookstore Manager||Dean of Business & Finance|
|Student Guided Campus Tours||Warhawk Sponsor||Vice President of Student Services|
|Staff Guided Campus Tours||Outreach Staff||Recruitment Coordinator|
|Discipline Outside the Classroom||Campus Police/Staff Member||Vice President of Student Services|
|Financial Aid Issues||Financial Aid Staff||Director of Student Financial Services|
|Veteran Benefits||VA Coordinator||Director of Student Financial Services|
|Tutor Support||Subject Area Lab Assistant||Director of STAR Institute|
|Students with Disabilities||Disabilities Office Staff||504 Compliance Officer|
|Student Orientation||Orientation Instructor||Director of Advising and Retention|
|Transcripts||Records Office Staff||Director of Admissions and College Registrar|
|Refund Requests||Business Office Staff||Dean of Business & Finance|
|Parking Tickets||Campus Police||SGA Parking Appeals Committee|
|Police||Campus Police Staff||Campus Chief of Police/Executive Director of Facilities Maintenance and Safety|
|Workforce Solutions Faculty||Workforce Solutions Faculty||Dean of Workforce Solutions|
Formal Student Complaint Process
If an informal conference regarding a complaint fails to reach the outcome requested by the student, the student may initiate the formal process described below by timely filing a written complaint with the department chairperson or staff supervisor, or if the chairperson or supervisor is the subject of the complaint, with the person designated by the Vice President of Student Services. (This person will be referred to as the "Fact Finder.")
- The complaint shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged conduct unless there is good cause shown for delay, including but not limited to delay caused by an attempt at informal resolution. The complaint shall be as specific as possible in describing the conduct being complained about.
- The Fact Finder shall promptly send a copy to the faculty or staff member about whom the complaint is made, along with a letter stating that the filing of the complaint does not imply that any wrong doing has occurred and that a faculty or staff member must not retaliate in any way against a student for having made a complaint.
- The Fact Finder shall meet with the complaining student and faculty or staff member, either separately or together, to discuss the complaint and to try to resolve it. If a resolution is not possible and there are factual issues in dispute, an investigation shall be conducted.
- The Fact Finder shall separately interview the complaining student, the faculty or staff member and other persons with relevant knowledge and information and shall also consult with the Vice President of Student Services and, if appropriate, the College Student Advocate. The Fact Finder shall not reveal the identity of the complaining student and the faculty member to others except to the extent necessary to conduct the investigation. If the Fact Finder believes it would be helpful, he or she may meet again with the student and faculty member after completing the investigation in an effort to resolve the matter.