7.09 Grievance Process for Students

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I. Definition

A grievance is a student allegation that a College action or decision is discriminatory or has a negative effect on the student's status at the College.

II. Regulation

Any student may request a review of any College decision or action alleged to be discriminatory or to have a negative effect on the student's status at Central Piedmont Community College. If the grievance concerns a course grade, then the student should follow the steps in Section V.

III. Procedure

A. The student shall first informally discuss the matter in question with the College employee most directly involved unless the issue is a claim of discriminatory harassment. In that case, the student may appeal directly to the employee's immediate administrator.

B. If the student is unable to resolve the matter in question through discussion with the College employee directly involved, the student may file an appeal with the employee's immediate administrator. All such appeals shall be in writing and state the basic facts in the case.

C. During the grievance process, a student may seek mediation after he/she has discussed the grievance with the College employee most closely involved in the dispute and with that employee's immediate administrator. See Policy 7.15 Student Mediation Program.

D. If the matter is not resolved, the appeal may be processed through the employee's supervising administrators in succession until a satisfactory resolution is obtained or until the appeal reaches the President. The President's decision will be final.

E. A student may at any stage of the process consult with the Dean of Student Life and Service Learning to obtain advice regarding the grievance procedure.

IV. Timeliness

A grievance must be presented within 30 calendar days after the action or decision being questioned. Processing at each step cannot exceed 30 working days; however, the time may be extended by agreement of both parties or by extenuating circumstances as decided by the administrator to whom the grievance is presented. If the administrator at each step does not meet processing time limitations, the grievant may then request higher administrative assistance in obtaining requested relief. If the grievant does not meet the stated time limitations, the process will be terminated and such grievance cannot be resubmitted.

V. Course Grade Appeals Procedure

A part of faculty responsibility at Central Piedmont Community College is the assignment of student course grades according to methods which are professionally acceptable, communicated to everyone in the class, and applied to all students equally.

Any student who contests a course grade should attempt first to resolve the matter with the faculty member who assigned the grade. Failing to reach a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal the course grade in accordance with the procedure outlined below. While a grade is being appealed, a student is obligated to abide by the written division policies concerning continuation in programs or continuation in courses with prerequisites.

A. The student must consult initially with the faculty member who assigned the course grade.

B. Students may seek mediation during the Course Grade Appeals Procedure after they have discussed the grade in question with the faculty member who assigned the grade, but prior to presenting the Grade Appeal Form to the division director as described in Section V. C. below. If the matter is not resolved through discussion with the faculty member, the student may request mediation.

C. If the conference between the student and the faculty member does not resolve the matter, then the student must complete and submit the Grade Appeal Form to the division director where the contested course grade was awarded. This written appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days after the grade has been posted and cannot be appealed beyond this period. The written appeal will become the document of record. The 30-day period will be extended if mediation is a part of the process.

D. The division director will then confer with the student and the faculty member to seek resolution by mutual agreement within 10 working days. When appropriate, the program chair/coordinator in which the course grade was assigned will be involved in this conference.

E. Failing such resolution, the student may contact the appropriate instructional dean for an appointment. The dean will request all documentation, including the student's Grade Appeal Form from the division director prior to meeting with the student. Within 10 working days after receiving the documentation, the dean will confer with the student, faculty member, division director, and, when appropriate, the program chair/coordinator. Based on these discussions, the dean will either render a decision or convene the Grade Appeal Committee.

F. If the dean renders a decision, he/she will communicate that decision in writing to the student, the faculty member, the program chair/coordinator, and the division director within 5 working days. If the grade is to be changed, the dean will change the grade within 5 working days. The dean's decision will be final.

G. If the dean determines that further evaluation of the student’s work is warranted, the dean will convene a Grade Appeal Committee within 10 working days. This committee will consist of the convening dean and three faculty members. The Faculty Senate will appoint one member; the student will select one member; and the instructor who assigned the contested grade will select one member. The faculty member who assigned the grade, the student, the division director, and, when appropriate, the program chair/coordinator will be present at the meeting. The student may bring one guest. The student and faculty member will be given an opportunity to address the committee and to answer questions. The student’s guest, the division director, and the program chair may not address the committee. The three faculty members will vote to affirm the grade or to change the grade. The committee’s decision will be final. The dean will communicate the committee’s decision in writing to the student, division director, program chair, and the faculty member who assigned the grade within 5 working days. If the grade is to be changed, the dean will change the grade within 5 working days.

H. If the dean changes the grade, the College will assist the student in resuming studies at the College.

Learning Council approved changes on September 2, 2010

Updated on January 11, 2005; March 3, 2008