7.15 Student Mediation Program

See version history

I. Purpose

The Mediation Program allows parties involved in a dispute to rely on a neutral third party for resolution of their dispute. The purpose of the program is to promote alternatives to and resolution of conflicts and to foster respect for differences. The focus of the Mediation Program is to develop an understanding of the needs and concerns of the parties involved and to forge a consensus on reasonable actions to resolve disputes.

II. General Information

A. The Mediation Program may be used in the following circumstances:

1. To resolve student grievances prior to the second appeal in the Student Grievance Procedure (see Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students);

2. To resolve alleged incidents of discrimination or harassment (see Policy 7.13 Discrimination and Harassment Policy);

3. To resolve grade disputes between students and instructors (see Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students); and

4. To resolve nonviolent disputes between students and between students and employees.

B. Mediation will not be used to resolve disputes or grievances related to academic honor code violations or violations of the general standards of student conduct. Criminal offenses committed on the CPCC Campus will not be resolved through mediation.

C. Students who choose to participate in the mediation process maintain their right to the grievance process, to the discrimination and harassment complaint procedures, and/or the grade appeals procedure contained in CPCC’s Policy and Procedures. A student may choose to withdraw from the mediation process at any time during mediation and re-enter the formal College procedure designed to address his/her particular concern(s).

D. Participation in the Mediation Program will be on a voluntary basis. All parties participating in mediation must be willing to settle their dispute through mediation. Once the mediation process is complete and all involved parties have agreed in writing to honor the mediated solution, the involved parties are expected to uphold the agreement.

III. Procedures

A. Grievance Process

1. Students may seek mediation during the Grievance Process for Students (Policy 7.09) after they have discussed their grievance with the College employee most closely involved in the dispute and with the employee's immediate administrator.

2. If the matter is not resolved with the assistance of the immediate administrator, the student may request mediation. A request for mediation must be made prior to presenting the written grievance memorandum to the immediate administrator's supervising administrator as described in Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students.

3. Requests for mediation should be made in writing within five working days following a decision rendered by the immediate administrator. The original grievance memorandum and any written decisions rendered by the immediate administrator should be attached to the request.

4. Student requests for mediation and documentation should be submitted to the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning. The Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will forward the request and documentation to the Director Institutional Equity for arrangement of the mediation. The Director Institutional Equity will notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following receipt of the request.

5. If the matter is not resolved through mediation, the student may continue the grievance process as described in Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students.

B. Grade Appeal Procedures

1. 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 a Grade Appeal Form to the division director as described in Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students. If the matter is not resolved through discussion with the faculty member, the student may request mediation.

2. Requests for mediation during the course Grade Appeals Procedure should be in writing within five working days following the decision by the faculty member assigning the grade. Requests for mediation should include a summary of the issues involved and of any previous attempts to resolve the grade dispute.

3. Requests for mediation should be submitted to the appropriate academic dean. The academic dean will refer the request to the Director Institutional Equity. The Director Institutional Equity will meet with the disputants and then arrange for the mediation within five working days following the meetings.

4. If the matter in question is not resolved through mediation, the student may continue his/her grievance through the grievance process as described in Section V. of Policy 7.09 Grievance Process for Students.

C. Disputes Between Students and Between Students and Employees

1. Disputes between students and between students and employees may be mediated upon request by the disputing parties.

2. Students may request mediation of disputes after they have discussed the matter to be resolved with the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning. A statement of the issues to be resolved should be attached to the request. Student requests for mediation of disputes between students and supporting documents should be submitted to the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning. The Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will refer the request to the Director Institutional Equity.

3. Requests to mediate disputes between students and employees may be submitted to either the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning or the Director Institutional Equity. The Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will forward the request to the Director Institutional Equity for processing.

4. The Director Institutional Equity will arrange for the mediation and notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following the request.

5. If the matter in question is not resolved through mediation, the employee or student may continue to address his/her concerns through the appropriate College procedure.

D. Mediation for Claims of Discrimination and Harassment

1. Students may participate in the mediation process in situations regarding alleged discrimination or harassment following a waiver of complaint as described in Policy 7.13 Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

2. Students may participate in mediation after an initial meeting with the Director Institutional Equity. At the meeting the allegations will be discussed, College policy regarding discrimination and harassment will be reviewed, the meaning of waiver of complaint defined, and the option to mediate the alleged harassment will be explored.

3. Requests to mediate allegations of discrimination or harassment should be submitted to the Director Institutional Equity within five working days following the initial meeting to discuss the allegations. The Director Institutional Equity will arrange for the mediation and notify the disputants of the arrangements within five working days following the request.

4. Students who choose to mediate allegations of discrimination or harassment may return to the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Procedure at any time during or after mediation if their concerns have not been addressed.

IV. Administrative Procedures

A. Mediation Program Administration

1. The Director Institutional Equity and the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will develop, implement, and monitor the Mediation Program.

2. The Director Institutional Equity and the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will coordinate training and maintain a list of mediators (both students and employees) for the Mediation Program.

3. In conjunction with the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning, the Director Institutional Equity will develop and implement a monitoring system to evaluate the Mediation Program.

4. The Director Institutional Equity will submit a semiannual review of the Mediation Program to the Executive Vice President.

B. Mediation Process

1. Once a referral for mediation or a request for mediation is made, the Director Institutional Equity will meet with the disputants within five working days to discuss the mediation process and potential mediators. (The disputants will be encouraged to mutually agree on the mediator selected.)

2. The Director Institutional Equity will retain the mediator within two working days after the disputants have made their selection. The selected mediator will be given fifteen working days to conduct the mediation and report the results to the Director Institutional Equity. (The 15-day period may be extended for extenuating circumstances.)

3. If settlement is reached, the mediator will provide within two working days a copy of the “Agreement to Mediate,“ “Confidentially Agreement,“ and “Settlement Agreement“ to the Director Institutional Equity. Settlement agreements that include monetary compensation, promotions, schedule adjustment, etc., must be approved by the College President or his representative.

4. If a settlement is reached, the dispute will be considered resolved.

5. The Director Institutional Equity will notify the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning of the outcome of the mediation.

6. If no settlement is reached, the Dean for Student Life and Service Learning will notify the disputants of their options.

Policy approved by Cabinet on March 3, 2008.