The Student Complaint Procedures are established so that students can resolve difficulties/problems they encounter in College-related activities. Student complaints are taken seriously; therefore, the complaint must be of a compelling, substantive, and verifiable nature. Repeated filings of the same complaint, filings of a frivolous nature, or capricious complaints against school personnel will be considered abuse of the student conduct and/or complaint process. Such repeated filings will be referred to the College President for a decision.
The procedure students must follow in filing complaints is outlined in Procedure 4F9(a) of the Kern Community College Board Policy manual.
These procedures apply to student complaints such as:
These procedures do not apply to student complaints which involve:
The College President will determine and publicize which administrative office will receive and administer student complaints.
Any party to a complaint may be represented by one (1) person on the College staff or student body.
Filing of complaints against any party is a serious undertaking. Prior to filing a written complaint, and within ten (10) instructional days of the incident leading to the complaint, the student(s) should contact the staff member involved in an attempt to resolve the issue. If this attempt is not feasible or does not resolve the problem, the student(s) may initiate Level I action. Complaints may not be filed after ninety (90) instructional days from the date of the incident leading to the complaint.
Notices sent to the last address available in the records of the College and deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, shall be presumed to have been received and read.
1. Under certain circumstances, and in the interest of fairness to all parties, the immediate supervisor/designee may refer the complaint to Level II immediately. The immediate supervisor/designee shall notify the student(s), staff member(s) and appropriate administrator when the referral has been made to Level II.
2. If the complainant(s) choose(s) to move the complaint to Level II, he/she/they must complete a "Request to Appeal from Level I Recommendation" form.
3. (Within ten (10) instructional days of receiving the request (either the immediate supervisor's/designee's referral or the student(s)' appeal), the appropriate administrator shall investigate the allegations and convene a conference of the student(s), the staff member(s), and the staff member(s)' immediate supervisor/designee.
4. Following this Level II conference, the appropriate administrator shall, within five (5) instructional days, provide his/her written decision and the basis for the decision. Copies of this decision shall be sent to the student(s), the staff member(s), the immediate supervisor/designee, and the appropriate Vice President.
5. The student(s) bringing the complaint and/or staff member(s) being complained against may challenge the Level II decision by proceeding to Level III.
1. If the student(s) and/or the staff member(s) challenge(s) the Level II decision, he/she/they must file a written appeal (See "Request to Appeal from Level II Recommendation" form) within ten (10) instructional days of notification of the Level II decision. This Level III appeal shall be filed with the appropriate Vice President.
2. The appropriate Vice President must be provided with copies of all written materials, recordings, and any other documents generated regarding the complaint at Levels I and II.
3. The purpose of Level III is to make one last attempt to resolve the issues to the satisfaction of the parties involved. To that end, the appropriate Vice President shall, within ten (10) instructional days of receiving the referral, assemble the complainant(s), the staff member(s), the appropriate administrator from Level II, and the immediate supervisor/designee. (This meeting shall be tape recorded by the appropriate Vice President. These recordings shall be the exclusive property of the College/District and shall become part of the complaint file.)
4. If the appropriate Vice President is able to resolve the difference(s)/complaint(s), such resolution shall be established in written form and shall be validated by the signatures of all parties involved. This agreement shall become part of the file and copies of same shall be made available to the complainant(s), staff member(s), appropriate administrator, and immediate supervisor/designee.
5. If the appropriate Vice President is unable to resolve the differences/complaint(s), he/she shall assemble the Hearing Panel within ten (10) instructional days of that determination. He/she shall provide the Hearing Panel with the procedure to be used and answer any procedural questions which may arise. See Student Complaint Hearing Panel Procedure 4F9(b).
The non-voting Chair of the Hearing Panel (not a Standing Committee member) shall be appointed by the College President. The Student Complaint Hearing Panel shall be composed of selected members of the Standing Committee and an ad hoc member as follows:
If the complaint is against a faculty member, the Hearing Panel shall consist of:
If the complaint is against an administrator, the Hearing Panel shall consist of:
If the complaint is against a classified staff member, the Hearing Panel shall consist of:
Any questions regarding the student complaint procedures can be directed to the Vice President of Student Services.
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