Student Complaints and Inquiries

Consistent with our mission statement of being grounded in the belief that education is a liberating force which makes it possible for the individual to live a life of meaningful activity, of personal satisfaction, and of service to others as a neighbor and a citizen, we are committed to providing students access and assistance to resources if a concern, complaint, or appeal arises. 

 

General administrative complaints

General administrative complaints are those complaints that do not fit into a discriminatory category and can be instructional or non-instructional complaints. The Vice President of Student Affairs or appointed designee provides assistance to any student with a complaint by helping the student determine the nature of the complaint and by ensuring the student has recourse through the appropriate policies and procedures impacted by the complaint. Complaints for which there are no formalized committee structures or procedures are handled in an expeditious manner. In most situations, resolution should be sought through an informal process in which the student discusses the complaint directly with the individual (faculty/staff/department representative) involved. These complaints generally follow the chain of command for resolution. Some types of complaints can be anticipated and are specifically addressed by standing committees or through other administrative policies and procedures. A student concerned about a policy or procedure of a particular department/division/college on campus being incorrectly or objectively followed has recourse by filing a complaint. Below are the steps in addressing a complaint or inquiry for which there is no formalized committee structure or procedure.

 

Protocol for Instructional Complaints:
  • Discuss issue directly with faculty member involved to resolve matter on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with department chair and faculty member to resolve issue on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with college dean to resolve issue. If not resolved then,
  • Complete and submit a “Student Complaint & Inquiry Form” to the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

 

Protocol for Non-Instructional Complaints:
  • Discuss issue directly with person involved to resolve matter on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Meet with supervisor (move up chain of command) to resolve issue on an informal basis. If not resolved then,
  • Continue to move up chain of command and meet with next higher level supervisor to resolve issue. If not resolved then,
  • Complete and submit a “Student Complaint & Inquiry Form” to the Vice President of Student Affairs or designee.

 


The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education responds to formal complaints from students against public, independent non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education in South Carolina when a Student Complaint Form is filed. However, the Commission has limited authority over public and non-profit independent colleges and universities and cannot offer legal advice or initiate court proceedings. The Commission may not review student complaints in the following situations:

  • where the complainant has retained legal counsel or legal action.
  • where the complaint is related to course grades, academic sanctions, or discipline/conduct matters unless the student can prove that the institution did not comply with its policies and procedures for appeal.
  • where another governmental agency has a process or jurisdiction to mediate the complaint
  • if the complaint was submitted to the Commission anonymously.

 

Related Links:

TITLE IX

STATEMENT OF NON-DISCRIMINATION