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College Catalog: Complaint Policy

PDCCC will address general complaints from students and other members of the community in a fair and timely fashion according to stated procedures, and will log such complaints and their resolution per the requirements of SACSCOC Federal Requirement 4.5 which states: The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints.

1. Definitions

  1. Verbal complaints are considered informal and the Procedure for Informal Complaints is to be followed.
  2. Written complaints, whether received electronically or in hard copy, are considered formal and the Procedure for Formal Complaints is to be followed.

2. Limitations
This policy does not apply to the following appeals or grievances. Policy and procedures for these are contained in other policy statements:

  1. All Human Resource policies
  2. All appeal and grievance policies and procedures explicitly described in the VCCS Policy Manual
  3. Any formal appeal or grievance covered by another PDCCC policy, (e.g., financial aid, satisfactory academic progress, and grade appeal), except Student Grievances which are a specific type of Student Complaint. All procedures in the Student Grievance policy are to be followed and final documentation and correspondence regarding the grievance and its resolution are to be forwarded to, and maintained by, the Executive Secretary, Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Development as described below in sections 4d, 4e, and 4f.

3. Procedure for Informal Complaints
Informal (verbal) complaints by students or members of the public are to be dealt with through a discussion between the complainant and the responsible college administrator supervising the area. If through this process a mutually satisfactory resolution of the complaint cannot be reached, the complainant may put the complaint in writing and move to the policy and procedure on formal complaints (see below) or the complaint will be considered inactive. It is the responsibility of the administrator involved in an informal complaint to write a memorandum for the record detailing the nature of the complaint and the resolution. The administrator is to retain such memoranda in a file accessible to his/her supervisor upon request.

4. Procedure for Formal Complaints

  1. Formal complaints by students or members of the public are to be handled by the responsible dean, director, or supervisor of the area involved in the complaint. Faculty and staff who receive a formal complaint should forward it to the dean, director, or supervisor of the area(s) involved in the complaint.
  2. The administrator handling the complaint is to gather information as necessary. Information must be gathered from the complainant.
  3. A written response (hard copy or email) will be sent to the complainant by the administrator handling the complaint.
  4. A copy of the complaint, all subsequent related correspondence, and a summary of its resolution is to be sent to the Executive Secretary, Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Development.
  5. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, he/she may file a written complaint to the supervising Vice President (or the President, should the initial administrator handling the complaint be a Vice President). In such cases, the Vice President (or President) will gather information and provide a final written response to the complainant with a copy to the Executive Secretary, Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Development.
  6. The Executive Secretary, Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Development will maintain a log of all formal complaints to include the complainant and respondent and a summary of the complaint and resolution; as well as a copy of the complaint and all subsequent correspondence.