Procedure for the Resolution of Student Complaints

Students may encounter a variety of issues during their course of study at Kishwaukee College that may require review by appropriate administrative or academic personnel. The purpose of the following procedures is to provide an equitable system for resolving conflicts between students and faculty or staff members when a review of the issue is not otherwise available under established College policies and procedures. The College has already established appropriate procedures for conflict resolution (Final Grade Appeal and Judicial Procedures).

Questions regarding these procedures or guidance on the applicability of any Kishwaukee policy or procedure to a student’s specific problem should be directed to the office of the Dean of Student Services.

Applicability

This procedure applies to all registered Kishwaukee students (full-time, part-time, special programs, Community Education/Continuing Professional Education) and is applicable in the review of problems such as the following:

  1. All aspects of the degree granting process, including grading, evaluation or status (unless established policies are already available).
  2. Alleged professional misconduct toward a student by a faculty or College staff member while in the scope of College employment.
  3. Alleged intimidation, discrimination, and harassment based on sex, race, religion, age, disability, national origin or sexual orientation, and the College specifically prohibits such intimidation, discrimination, and harassment, including sexual harassment (Title IX and 504 complaints are included).
  4. Allegations concerning the application or propriety of College regulations, policies, and procedures regarding student rights and behavior.

Procedures

No student shall be penalized by the College for filing or participating in the complaint process when the student has acted reasonable and in good faith. All complaints must be initiated within 60 days of the date of the incident or after the student should have become aware of the incident giving rise to the complaint. The College reserves the right to waive the 60 day rule based on the facts and circumstances of the complaint and after giving due consideration to the protection of the rights of both parties.

Informal procedures

All students are encouraged to first utilize informal discussion to resolve any problems encountered at the College.

  1. When appropriate the student is encouraged to talk directly to the faculty or staff member in an effort to resolve the issue.
  2. If the student prefers to talk to someone other than the direct faculty or staff member involved, they are encouraged to present the complaint to the immediate supervisor of the person involved.

Each student, faculty member, administrative and staff member has an obligation to resolve problems fairly and informally through discussion between the aggrieved student(s) and the specific College person immediately involved with the problem. Although students are strongly encouraged to use informal discussion for problem solution, it is not a requirement for the filing of a formal complaint.

Formal Procedures

Students should always first attempt to resolve issues through an informal process with the faculty or staff person. If a student is unable to resolve the issue informally, they can choose to file a formal complaint.

  1. Student must first consult with the Dean of Student Services before filing a written complaint.
      1. Where a previously established policy/procedure already exists, the Dean will refer the complaint to the appropriate process.
      2. In cases of alleged discrimination based on sex, race, religion, age, disability, national origin or sexual orientation the Dean will contact the Vice President of Student Services prior to advising the student about a course of action.
  2. After consultation with the Dean of Student Services, the student may submit to the Dean a written statement of the problem in order to continue the formal resolution process.
    1. The written statement must be signed and dated and must clearly state the nature and basis of the alleged offense, the name(s) of the person(s) committing the alleged offense, the specifics of the incident(s) in question and the names of any known witnesses.
    2. The Dean will submit the complaint to the immediate supervisor who will conduct an investigation and respond in writing to the student, with a copy to the Dean within 30 days of the filing date of the complaint. An extension for additional review may be granted by agreement of the Dean.
  3. If the student feels that the decision of the immediate supervisor is arbitrary or capricious or if he/she has new evidence to present, he/she may appeal the decision in writing to the next level of supervision or an individual designated by the Dean of Student Services within 10 days of the decision.
    1. A copy of the appeal must be submitted to the Dean.
    2. Upon appropriate review, the appellate determination must be communicated in writing to all parties involved within 30 days of the date of the appeal.
  4. The decisions of the Dean of Student Services or appointed designee regarding review and appeal shall be final.

As appropriate, the Dean of Student Services may designate different persons to review cases or may consolidate complaints when such action is consistent with administrative efficiency and a fair resolution of the problem. In cases where the complaint itself is frivolous, harassing in nature, or not specific, the Dean may refuse to process the complaint. Written notification will be provided.

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