General Student Complaint Policy
Individuals seeking redress for what they perceive to be unfair treatment or wishing to file a complaint regarding the policies, procedures or operations of Robeson Community College must follow the resolution procedures outlined below.
For Student Code of Conduct related concerns, individuals must follow the processes defined in the Student Code of Conduct Due Process guidelines. For individual grade and/or final grade issues, individuals must follow the Grade Appeal Policy. Detailed information pertaining to the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Grade Appeal Policy may be found in the current edition of the Robeson Community College’s Catalog and Student Handbook.
The College is committed to responding promptly to reported complaints/appeals. Individuals must report any event or activity giving cause to initiate a complaint/appeal within five workdays of the incident. A workday is defined as any College operational day in which College offices are open for business.
Step 1: In most cases, complaints/appeals can be resolved informally through communication between the individuals involved. To initiate the first step, the individual should:
- in matters in which the complaint/appeal involves a College employee, the individual with a complaint must schedule a conference with the College employee with whom the individual has a complaint or dispute. If appropriate, either party may request that the employee’s supervisor participate in the conference.
- in matters where the complaint/appeal does not concern a specific employee, but is related to seeking redress for what is perceived as unfair treatment or to file a complaint regarding a College policy, procedure and/or operational process, the individual must schedule a conference with the College employee that has administrative oversight for the area of concern.
In a timely manner (within five workdays), every reasonable effort should be made by both parties to resolve the matter informally. If the matter cannot be resolved, the individual may proceed to Step Two as defined in this policy.
Step 2: If the complaint/appeal is not resolved at the scheduled conference in Step One, the individual should file a written complaint/appeal with the appropriate vice president within five workdays following the conclusion of Step One. If the complaint/appeal directly involves a vice-president, the individual should submit their written complaint/appeal to the President. Upon receipt, the President will designate another College official to review the Step Two complaint/appeal.
The written complaint/appeal must include the following information:
- the name and address of the individual filing the complaint/appeal,
- a detailed statement of the nature of the complaint/appeal,
- reasons for dissatisfaction with the decision reached during Step One, and
- the desired resolution sought by the individual.
If an individual needs assistance in preparing their written complaint/appeal, the following staff members are available:
- Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
- Director of Technology Enhanced Instruction
- Director of The Learning Center
After receiving the written complaint/appeal from an individual, the administrator will:
- review the complaint/appeal along with any supporting documentation,
- complete interviews with the parties involved, and
- if necessary, conduct interviews with other individuals to gather additional information.
After completing the review of the written complaint/appeal, the administrator will exercise one of the following options in writing:
- render a decision detailing a resolution to the issue or
- schedule a hearing with the administrator.
The administrator should complete Step Two within ten workdays of receiving the complaint/appeal. If a hearing is called, the administrator is responsible for notifying all individuals of the hearing date, time, and location.
At the hearing, the individual and College officials may present relevant evidence in the form of witness testimony and/or written documentation. All hearings are recorded and the administrator conducting the hearing reserves the right to establish reasonable limitations as to the length of witness statements and of the hearing. Only individuals directly involved in the complaint may participate in the hearing.
Within five workdays of the hearing, the administrator will issue a written decision on the complaint/appeal to the individual. All information gathered for the hearing including the recording of the hearing shall be part of the complaint/appeal record.
Step 3 – Final Appeal: If the decision rendered by the administrator in Step Two is not satisfactory to the individual that filed the complaint/appeal, the individual may appeal the decision to the President or his/her designee. To appeal to the President or his/her designee, the individual must submit a written appeal within five workdays of the individual’s receipt of the administrator’s written decision. The final appeal must include the following information:
- the written complaint/appeal submitted in Step Two,
- a detailed explanation of the basis of the appeal including rationale as to why the decision reached in Step Two is not appropriate,
- desired action or resolution being sought.
The President or his/her designee will review the record of Step Two, conduct interviews as necessary, and render a decision. As part of the interview and review process, the President, at his/her discretion, may request additional supporting materials to better understand facts/issues in the case. The decision will be made in writing within ten workdays of the receipt of the appeal and the decision rendered is final.
- Every effort will be initiated to ensure timely processing of complaint/appeal. At each step, the parties may mutually agree in writing to extend the completion time limits of a particular step. However, if there is no written mutual agreement to extend the time limits, and if the complaint/appeal is not filed within the time specified for the next step in this policy, the individual’s right to further appeal is terminated.
- Robeson Community College maintains a comprehensive record of all written complaints/appeals. The Assistant Vice-President of Student Services is responsible for maintaining the record of written complaints/appeals. Vice-Presidents are responsible for ensuring that documentation of all written complaints/appeals are forwarded to the Assistant Vice-President of Student Services. The following information regarding complaints/appeals are maintained: date of complaint/appeal, individuals involved in complaint/appeal, individuals involved in resolving the complaint/appeal, a brief summary of the complaint/appeal, and the final resolution. The College maintains the record of complaints/appeals to determine any patterns that would provide a basis for updating a College policy or process.