Revised: October 1, 2016; October 1, 2017
Student grievance is defined as any matter of student concern or dissatisfaction within the control of the College, except for the following:
- grades, which shall be subject to the decision of the professor unless related to some type of suspected discrimination as defined by the College’s non-discrimination statement;
- attendance policies and matters of a purely academic nature, which shall be adjudicated through the Dean of Instruction;
- some matters involving allegations of sexual harassment, which are addressed elsewhere in this Catalog and published online at www.sandhills.edu;
- residency classification, which shall be subject to the residency appeal process outlined by the North Carolina Community College System and the State of North Carolina; and
- financial Aid awards and eligibility, which shall be subject to review by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee with a final ruling by the Vice President of Student Services.
Student Grievance Procedure
The purpose of the Student Grievance Procedure is to assure students of Sandhills Community College that their grievances will be considered fairly, rapidly, and in a non-threatening atmosphere. This process is designed to be used by students, not their surrogates. In keeping with the College practice of addressing all grievances informally prior to resorting to formal procedures, it is assumed that prior to embarking on the formal Student Grievance Procedure, students will initially address problems and matters of concern informally with the faculty and/or staff members involved.
However, the College recognizes that not all student grievances will be satisfactorily settled on an informal basis. Therefore, this Student Grievance Procedure has been adopted and applies to all appeals of disciplinary actions, appeals regarding student records and privacy rights. Appeals based on charges of discrimination will be handled by the Title IX coordinator in Human Resources. Students should follow these procedures first in all applicable situations.
Any student electing initially to pursue a grievance outside of these procedures has thereby waived the ability to pursue his or her grievance hereunder. A complete copy of the Student Grievance Procedure may be obtained from the Dean of Student Services or Dean of Instruction.
Student grievances resulting from academic practices or learning environment activities other than disruptive student behavior should be referred to the attention of the Dean of Instruction (curriculum students), Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development (Continuing Education students), or Dean of the Hoke Center (Hoke Center students) after the student has met with the faculty member or department chair and attempted an informal resolution of the problem. Student grievances that affect an individual’s welfare and are not directly related to academic or classroom activities of the College should be brought to the attention of the Dean of Student Services (curriculum students), Vice President for Continuing Education and Workforce Development (Continuing Education students), or Dean of the Hoke Center (Hoke Center students) after the student has made every effort to resolve the problem in an informal basis through conversation with the individuals involved.
Student Grievance Procedure Steps
- Informal Resolution: The student obtains the Student Grievance Form from the office of the Dean of Student Services or the Dean of Instruction. In non-academic disciplinary issues initiated by student, the informal grievance procedure begins with Section C of the Student Grievance Form. In academic disciplinary issues, the student must meet with the instructor and department chair in turn to seek an informal resolution. If a satisfactory informal resolution is achieved at any point, the grievance process stops. If an informal resolution is not achieved, the student grievance procedure continues to appropriate Vice President/Dean, who renders a decision within five (5) business days. The student may elect to continue the appeal in accordance with the following:
- Curriculum students will proceed to Step 2 of the Student Grievance Procedure and appeal to the Student Grievance Committee.
- Continuing Education students may appeal within three (3) business days to the Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. A decision will be rendered in ten (10) business days. The decision of the Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development is final. Exceptions to the procedure include continuing education certificate programs: BLET and NA. These students should proceed in accordance with Step 2.
- Student Grievance Committee Hearing: The student submits the Student Grievance Form to the Student Grievance Committee Chair within three (3) business days of the Vice President’s/Dean’s decision. The Student Grievance Committee renders a decision within ten (10) business days. Following a discussion by the Student Grievance Committee, the student may elect to continue the appeal to Step 3. (The Student Grievance Committee may choose to discontinue a hearing if the student fails to attend two or more scheduled meetings.)
- President’s Review: The student submits a written request for review to the college President within three (3) business days after the Student Grievance Committee’s decision. The President renders a decision within ten (10) business days. The President’s decision will be final.