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Students seeking to resolve a concern or complaint about or an issue relevant to an action or inaction of a college employee should use the following procedures. These procedures are established to resolve the matter fairly and in a timely manner. Therefore, whenever possible, consultation with those individuals directly involved is encouraged. Resolution may be facilitated by a college ombudsperson who can assist both parties with his or her attempt to articulate concerns and identify possible solutions. Contact Counseling, Advising and Retention Services to inquire about ombudsperson services.

A. Grievance About Academic Assessment

  1. The authority to assign grades for academic work is exclusive to the course instructor. Therefore, should a student believe that an assigned grade or evaluation rating is capricious or unfair, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor immediately.
  2. If the student believes that the concern has not been addressed adequately by the instructor, only then should the student seek the assistance of the department chair/ director/supervisor in an attempt to resolve this matter.
  3. If after five business days from initial contact of the department chair/director/supervisor the student believes that the concern has not been addressed adequately, only then should the student seek the assistance of the school/division dean.
  4. A response to the student’s written complaint will be prepared by the dean within five business days of receipt of a complaint. If the student believes that the dean’s response has not addressed the concern, only then should the student seek the assistance of the vice president for Learning. The vice president should be contacted in writing. Correspondence with the vice president must include details of compliance with the process as outlined above.
    The written decision of the vice president or his/her designee(s) shall be final.
  5. Adjustment to the process: No step here outlined may be ignored; however, in the event that a student has valid reasons for declining discussion with the instructor or chair, the student may write to the school/division dean detailing such reasons and requesting an exception to the process. This is the sole method for adjusting the grievance process about an academic assessment.

B. Grievance About Faculty Members and Instructional Staff Instructions with a Student

  1. Should a student have concern about the actions, inactions or comments of a faculty or instructional staff member, the student should discuss the matter with the instructor or instructional staff member immediately to try to resolve the matter.
  2. If the student believes that the concern has not been addressed adequately by the instructor or instructional staff member, only then should the student seek the assistance of the department chair/director/supervisor in an attempt to resolve this matter.
  3. If after five business days from initial contact of the department chair/director/supervisor the student believes that the concern has not been addressed adequately, only then should the student seek the assistance of the school/division dean.
  4. A response to the student’s written complaint will be prepared by the dean within five business days of receipt of a complaint. If the student believes that the dean’s response has not addressed the concern, only then should the student seek the assistance of the vice president for learning. The vice president should be contacted in writing. Correspondence with the vice president must include details of compliance with the process as outlined above.
  5. The written decision of the vice president or his/her designee(s) shall be final.
  6. Adjustment to the process: No step here outlined may be ignored; however, in the event that a student has valid reasons for declining discussion with the instructor, staff member or the chair/director/supervisor, the student may write to the school/division dean detailing such reasons and requesting an exception to the process. This is the sole method for adjusting the grievance process.

C. Student Grievance About College Staff Interactions with a Student

  1. Should a student have concern about the actions, inactions or comments of a noninstructional staff member, the student should discuss the matter with the staff member immediately and try to resolve the matter.
  2. If the student believes the concern has not been addressed adequately by the staff member, only then should the student seek the assistance of the department chair/ director/supervisor in an attempt to resolve this matter.
  3. If after five business days from initial contact of the department chair/director/supervisor the student believes that the concern has not been addressed adequately, only then should the student seek the assistance of the school/division dean.
  4. A response to the student’s written complaint will be prepared by the dean within five business days of receipt of a complaint. If the student believes that the dean’s response has not addressed the concern, only then should the student seek the assistance of the responsible vice president. The vice president should be contacted in writing. Correspondence with the vice president must include details of compliance with the process as outlined above.
  5. The written decision of the vice president or his/her designee(s) shall be final.
  6. Adjustment to the process: No step here outlined may be ignored; however, in the event that a student has valid reasons for declining discussion with the staff member or the chair/director/supervisor, the student may write to the school/division dean detailing such reasons and requesting an exception to the process. This is the sole method for adjusting the grievance process.

D. Accusations of Discrimination

Questions concerning requests for accommodations should be directed to Counseling, Advising and Retention Services. Any complaints concerning requests for accommodations or of discrimination shall be directed to the federal compliance officer.

 

*Once a student has exhausted the above procedures, he or she may pursue state of Maryland consumer complaint procedures. See the consumer information section on the Anne Arundel Community College website, https://www.aacc.edu/aid/consumerinfo.cfm or contact the Maryland Higher Education Commission at 410-767-3301 or http://www.mhec.state.md.us.