Section 4: Federal Requirements
The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints.
It is the policy of Western Texas College to receive, process, and resolve student grievances in a fair and prompt manner. In all interpretations, constructions, and applications of the provisions of this grievance procedure, the cardinal principles are equity and justice for students in their association with the College.
Administrative Policy 6109.2 of the Institutional Policy Manual states that “A student may initiate grievance procedures when he/she believes that an act or decision of the college made by an employee of the college results in a violation of one or more of his/her rights as described in the Student Handbook. There are a number of appeal opportunities available to students for redress of grievances.” These include the following: access to personal records, disciplinary action, employment, grades, handicaps and disabilities, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, parking citations, and race, religion, and age discrimination.
In the spring semester of 2006, the College revised its handling of student complaints in order to better ensure comprehensive access for all students. These revisions included developing a Student Relations Form that can be electronically accessed, assigning the oversight of the grievance process to the Student Welfare Committee, creating an appropriate link to the Student Relations Form in the Student Handbook, and creating a file in the office of the Dean of Student Services in order to compile/track the complaints. In addition to the Dean’s file, the chair of the Student Welfare Committee maintains a file of student appeals that have been referred to that committee. Students wishing to review the action of a particular individual or department can direct their question to the persons responsible for the individual or department in the college organizational structure. If the student does not know whom to contact, he or she may contact the Dean of Student Services or the Counseling Center for information. If additional assistance is needed, a student is encouraged to file a formal written grievance in accordance with the following steps:
--The student should submit a complaint in writing by filling out the Student Relations Form. This form can be electronically accessed or obtained at the Counseling Center. The form should be directed to the chairman of the Student Welfare Committee or her or his designee.
--The student will be notified in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the complaint as to the length of time it will take to resolve the issue.
--The Student Welfare Committee will investigate the complaint.
--The student will be contacted by the Student Welfare Committee within ten (10) days of the written response to determine his/her satisfaction with the proposed solution and to be sure that the provisions of the solution had been implemented.
--If the student is not satisfied with the proposed solution, he/she may request that the complaint be considered by the college president. The decision of the college president is final.