Student Complaint Process

1. Definition

The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidelines which promote constructive dialogue, understanding, and informal resolution of student complaints and concerns in circumstances where the use of formalized procedures is not required. A complaint expresses dissatisfaction with the performance or action of a College employee which the student believes to be unfair or inconsistent with College policy or usual practices.

2. Exclusions

This procedure is not to be used where other procedures are required for the resolution of specific categories of student complaints or student appeals. Student concerns with existing College policy or practices are excluded from this complaint procedure and should be brought to the attention of the appropriate College committee or administrator.

3. Time Limitations

A student wishing to express a complaint, as previously defined, should do so not later than two calendar weeks of the time the student should have reasonably been aware of the concern. The timely initiation of a complaint rests with the student.

4. Complaint Process

A. Discuss Complaint with Employee
The student should discuss the complaint informally and thoroughly with the employee. Both parties should openly discuss the student complaint/concern and attempt to understand the other's perspectives, explore alternatives, and attempt to arrive at a satisfactory resolution to the complaint.

B. Express Complaint in Writing
If the student is dissatisfied with the complaint resolution in Section 4.a., the student should express the complaint in writing and forward the written complaint within five (5) instructional days to the employee and employee's immediate supervisor. At the student's request a member of Student Government of Olympic College shall be assigned to assist in clarifying the complaint process, writing the complaint, and supporting the student throughout the complaint process.

C. Supervisor Conference
On receipt of the student's written complaint the immediate supervisor may ask the employee for a written response and shall, within five (5) instructional days following receipt of the student's written complaint, hold a conference with the involved parties. The supervisor may request supporting materials of either employee or student. If after discussion, mediation, and review of materials at the conference the involved parties have been unable to find a mutually acceptable resolution, the supervisor shall render a verbal decision on the complaint to all present parties or shall within five instructional days provide a written copy of his/her decision of the complaint to each involved party.

D. Dean Conference
If the decision of the immediate supervisor does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of the student, the appropriate Dean shall, on request of the student, convene a conference of all previously involved parties and any additionally affected supervisors within five (5) instructional days. All written statements and supporting materials of involved parties will be provided the Dean prior to the conference. Written materials will be retained by the Dean for College files. If after discussion, mediation, and review of materials at the conference the involved parties have been unable to find a mutually acceptable resolution, the Dean shall within five (5)instructional days render a written decision on the complaint and will provide copies of all involved parties. The decision of the Dean on a student complaint will be final except that a student complaint originally initiated on the performance or actions of a Dean may be appealed to the College President for final resolution consistent with the procedures established in Section 4. a-c.