7.09 Grievance Process for Students - Updated 8/10/15

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I. Definition

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

II. Regulation

Any student may request a review of a College decision or action alleged to be discriminatory or to have a negative effect on the student's status at Central Piedmont Community College. However, in accordance with 7.20 Sexual Misconduct Policy, some forms of harassment may also violate the College’s policy against Sexual Misconduct under Title IX. When a report of harassment is received, the Title IX coordinator will determine whether it shall proceed under this policy or the Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures.

A. If the decision or action is alleged to be discriminatory, the student should refer to 7.13 Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

B. If the decision or action concerns a course grade, the student should follow the steps below in Section V.

C. If the decision or action is about any other matter, the student should follow the steps below in Section III.

III. Procedure

A. The student is encouraged to first informally discuss the matter in question with the College employee most directly involved or may choose to informally discuss the matter with the employee's immediate supervisor.

B. As part of the grievance process, a student may seek mediation after he/she has discussed the grievance with the College employee most directly involved in the dispute and with that employee's immediate supervisor (see 7.15 Student Mediation Program).

C. If the student is unable to resolve the matter in question through discussion with the College employee most directly involved or the employee's immediate supervisor, the student may file a grievance with the employee's immediate supervisor. All such written grievances shall be submitted on the Student Grievance Form. This written grievance must be filed within 30 calendar days after the alleged decision or action occurred. The written grievance will become the document of record.

D. The immediate supervisor will consider the issue and provide the student with a written decision within 10 working days of receiving the written grievance. If the matter is not resolved at the level of the immediate supervisor, the grievance may be appealed to the second-level supervisor and through the employee’s supervising administrators in succession until a resolution is obtained or until the appeal reaches the Administrator who reports to the Unit Vice President.

E. The administrator who reports to the Unit Vice President will consider the issue and provide the student with a written decision within 10 working days of receiving the written grievance. This administrator’s decision will be final.

F. 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 process.

IV. Timeliness

A grievance must be presented within 30 calendar days after the decision or action being questioned. Processing at each step cannot exceed 10 working days; however, the time may be extended by agreement of both parties or by extenuating circumstances as decided by the supervisor or 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 the grievance cannot be resubmitted.

V. Course Grade Appeals Procedure

A 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 must 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. If the matter is not resolved through discussion with the faculty member, the student may either request mediation (see 7.15 Student Mediation Program) or file a course grade appeal.

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 may 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 of the course in which the 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 five working days. If the grade is to be changed, the dean will change the grade within five 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 College 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/coordinator 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/coordinator, and the faculty member who assigned the grade within five working days. If the grade is to be changed, the dean will change the grade within five working days.

H. If the decision is made to change the grade, the College will assist the student in resuming studies at the College.

Changes approved by Cabinet on January 26, 2015; August 10, 2015
Changes approved by Learning Council on September 2, 2010

Updated on January 11, 2005; March 3, 2008