The Institution provides a complaint system as detailed in the student handbook and on the page below. For further information contact:
Director of Institutional Research
Informal Grievance Procedure
Informal means of resolving complaints are supported and required as the first step in addressing concerns. Students are encouraged to communicate their concerns openly with the appropriate faculty or staff member responsible for the applicable program or process. This informal communication often leads to a resolution and promotes cooperation and communication. If the parties are unable to arrive at an agreeable resolution, the parties should use a mutually acceptable person to mediate further discussions. If needed, Erskine Director of Institutional Research may be contacted to help identify a mediator to assist in communication. If an acceptable mediator cannot be agreed upon, or if the mediations process fails to resolve the matter, students may appeal for resolution through the formal grievance procedure.
Formal Grievance Procedure
The formal grievance procedure provides a structured framework to document and review unresolved conflicts. Faculty and staff members shall use extreme care to safeguard student complaints of a personal or sensitive nature and share information only on a “need to know” basis and in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). Any student with an unresolved grievance shall follow the appropriate process described below:
1. NON-ACADEMIC ISSUES: Initially, complaints involving non-academic issues such as residence hall concerns or campus concerns potentially impacting the student experience outside of the classroom, should be made informally to the appropriate staff member overseeing the specific area of concern such as the Resident Director, Coordinator of Residence Life and Housing, Campus Life Coordinator, etc. Unresolved issues of a non-academic nature may then be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Student Success (VPSS). The VPSS will investigate the complaint and follow up with appropriate staff as needed and will return a written response to all grievances within ten (10) business days of receiving a written complaint. This time may be extended if reasonably necessary due to availability of information, the student, faculty or staff. If the decision of the VPSS goes against the student’s desires the student may appeal to the Provost of the College.
2. NON-ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE: The student Judicial Process is outlined in its entirety in the student handbook, The Pilot. Students accused of violating the Code of Conduct, are given the opportunity to have their case heard by a council of their peers (The Judicial Council). The Judicial Council will determine if the student is responsible for the violation and will communicate a sanction to that student. The student then has the opportunity to appeal the original decision of the Judicial Council. The process under the Code of Conduct applies to all disciplinary matters and supersedes general grievances under this policy.
3. ACADEMIC ISSUES: Any student with concerns related to academic grading, instruction, faculty relations, and academic progression should first discuss his or her concerns with the involved faculty member. If the student is unable to resolve the issue at this level, he or she should discuss the concern with the Administrative Dean who will then begin the process of mediation between the student and the professor.
4. HONOR CODE: The Academic Dean or the Vice President for Student Success may become aware of concerns about the Honor Code from faculty or the student body. Either administrator may request that an Honor Code Review Committee be appointed. This committee should consist of three faculty members selected by the chair of the faculty and three students selected by the Student Government Association president. The committee will appoint a chair from its membership. All revisions must be approved by the faculty and the Student Government Association. The process under the Honor Code applies to all disciplinary matters and supersedes general grievances under this policy.
Complaints regarding the institution that cannot be resolved at the institutional level, particularly state related policies and procedures or accrediting concerns, should be filed by the complainants to the S.C. Commission on Higher Education. In the case of students enrolled only in online classes who live in states other than South Carolina, further pursuit of a complaint not resolved at the institutional level may be pursued at the NC-SARA site.
COMPLAINT INFORMATION, PROCEDURES, FORM, AND AUTHORIZATION
The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has a complaints page. Students may also address complaints to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Academic Affairs and Licensing
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone (803) 737-2260; FAX (803) 737-2297
Web site: www.che.sc.gov
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097