SWGTC Student Grievances Procedure
Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) maintains a grievance process available to all students that provides an open and meaningful forum for their cgrievances, the resolution of these grievances, and is subject to clear guidelines. This procedure does not address grievances related to the unlawful harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation for reporting harassment/discrimination against students. Those complaints are handled by the State Board Procedure: Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination of Students.
A. For all timelines established herein, if a student will need additional time, an extension may be granted at the Vice President for Student Affair's discretion.
B. Informal Grievance Procedure. Students with grievable issues should resolve those issues, if possible, on an informal basis without the filing of a formal grievance.
1. A student has 10 business days from the date of the incident being grieved to resolve the matter informally by approaching their instructor, department chair or any other staff or faculty member directly involved in the grieved incident.
2. Where this process does not result in a resolution of the grievable issue, the student may proceed to the formal grievance procedure below.
2. Formal Grievance Procedure. Where a student cannot resolve his or her grievance informally, he or she may use this formal grievance procedure.
1. Within 15 business days of the incident being grieved, the student must file a formal grievance in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) or the College President's designee with the following information:
c. Brief description of incident being grieved,
d. Remedy requested
e. Signed, and
f. Informal remedy attempted by student and outcome
2. If the grievance is against the VPSA, the student shall file the grievance with the President.
3. The VPSA, or the College President's designee, will investigate the matter and supply a written response to the student within 15 business days.
4. If the grieved incident involves possible unlawful harassment, discrimination or retaliation for reporting unlawful harassment/discrimination, the investigation will be handled pursuant to the State Board Procedure: Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination of Students.
5. If the grieved incident is closely related to an incident being processed through the harassment/discrimination or disciplinary procedures, the proceedings under the Unlawful Harassment and Discrimination of Students procedure will take precedence, then the disciplinary procedure and then the student's grievances will be addressed. The grievance will not be processed until after the other procedures have run their course.
6. The VPSA, or his designee, shall be granted an additional 15 business days to investigate the grievance upon notice to the grieving student.
D. Appeal: The student may appeal the decision from the VPSA or the College President's designee to the President. Only the student has the right to appeal.
1. A student shall file a written appeal to the President within 5 business days of receiving the response referenced in C.3. above..
2. The appeal will be decided based entirely on documents provided by the student and the administration; therefore, the student must ensure that he has provided all relevant documents with his or her appeal.
3. At the sole discretion of the President, grievance appeals may be held in one of the following two ways:
a. The President may review the information provided by the student and administration and make the final decision; or
b. The President may appoint a cross-functional committee to make the final decision.
c. The decision of either the President or the cross-functional committee shall be made within 10 business days of receipt of the appeal.
4. Whichever process is chosen by the President, the decision of the grievance appeal is final.
E. Retaliation against a student for filing a grievance is strictly prohibited.
F. Record Retention
Documents relating to formal grievances including investigations, dispositions and the grievance itself shall be held for 5 years after the graduation of the student or the date of the student’s last attendance.
The Vice President for Student Affairs has the overall responsibility for ensuring this procedure is implemented.