735.000 - Student Complaint Policy and Procedure

The College shall advocate, subscribe to and exemplify high ethical standards in managing and operating the institution. The College shall ensure all student complaints are addressed in a fair and timely manner. Any student who has a complaint and feels they have been treated unfairly has the right to file a formal complaint. A formal complaint process will be provided in order to assure impartial and equitable resolution for those conflicts.

• Complaints should be filed as soon as possible and no more than 60 days after the incident occurs.
• Confirmation that a complaint has been received and is being examined will take place within five (5) regular business days by the appointed Dean or Vice President of a college unit.
• All complaints must be submitted through the approved Clark College Student Formal Complaint form.

The student complaint process may not be invoked for matters that have independent appeal processes established. Examples of these include, but are not limited to Academic Appeals, Academic Standards, Code of Student Conduct, FERPA, Financial Aid, Grades, Title IX, Discrimination and Harassment, and Safety/Parking. Matters which are not grievable at the student complaints level include the following:

1. Federal and State laws
2. Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 34.05 RCW)
3. Employment and personnel decisions
4. Policies of the Board of Trustees
5. Rules and procedures adopted by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges or the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

735.001 STUDENT COMPLAINT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

The student may follow the complaint procedures in the order outlined below. Students may have support provided in the resolution process, at their request, from the Director of Student Equity and Inclusion and/or the Assistant Director of Student Care and Conduct.

1. For complaints that are instructional in nature, the following applies:

• Complaints about a faculty member will be submitted through the approved Clark College Student Formal Complaint form.
• The approved unit Dean will schedule a time to meet with the student via phone, video conference or in person.
• After collecting complaint details from complaint form and speaking with the complainant, the approved Dean will work to resolve the complaint with the faculty member. After a resolution has been found, the approved Dean will update the student complainant and the Assistant Director of Student Care & Conduct of the resolution outcomes, to be documented in Advocate, the student complaint tracking system.
• If the unit Dean does not resolve the student complaint to the student’s satisfaction, the student may request in writing via Student Complaint Appeals form, that the issue to be reviewed by the Appeal Review Committee. The appeal must be submitted within five (5) instructional days of resolution with the Dean.
• The Appeal Review Committee will be chaired by the Vice President of Instruction (or designee) and will also include the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee), one student representative appointed by ASCC, and one faculty member appointed by the faculty union.
• Within ten (10) instructional days of notification, the Appeal Review Committee will meet with the student, instructor, and department chair or employee supervisor to hear the points at issue in the appeal.
• The Appeal Review Committee will provide its written decision to all parties within five
(5) instructional days following the hearing. The decision of the Appeal Review Committee is final and may not be appealed.

2. For complaints that are non-instructional or non-faculty related in nature, the following applies:

• Complaints about a college staff member, administrator, procedure, process or service will be submitted through the approved Clark College Student Formal Complaint form.
• The approved Dean, Director or Vice President of the involved unit or department will schedule a time to meet with the student via phone, video conference or in person.
• After collecting complaint details from complaint form and speaking with the complainant, the approved Dean, Director or Vice President will work to resolve the complaint with the staff member, administrator, procedure, process or service. After a resolution has been found, the approved Vice President will update the student complainant of the resolution outcomes.
• If the unit Dean, Director or Vice President does not resolve the student complaint to the student’s satisfaction, the student may request in writing via Student Complaint Appeals form, that the issue to be reviewed by the Appeal Review Committee. The appeal must be submitted within five (5) instructional days of resolution with the Dean.
• The Appeal Review Committee will be chaired by the Vice President of Instruction (or designee) and will also include the Vice President of Student Affairs (or designee), one student representative appointed by ASCC, and one faculty member appointed by the faculty union.
• Within ten (10) instructional days of notification, the Appeal Review Committee will meet with the student, instructor, and department chair or employee supervisor to hear the points at issue in the appeal.
• The Appeal Review Committee will provide its written decision to all parties within five
• (5) instructional days following the hearing. The decision of the Appeal Review Committee is final and may not be appealed.

Revised Policy/Procedure Approved by Executive Cabinet
February 5, 2013

June 29, 2021