Students are encouraged to use available informal means to have decisions reconsidered before submitting a complaint or filing a grievance. The ultimate objective of this policy and procedures is to reach a mutually agreed upon resolution to the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participating in the complaint or grievance process. These procedures shall also protect data privacy rights. The college maintains a record of all complaints and grievances filed and are collected and archived in the Administrative Affairs Division.
This policy does not apply to academic grade disputes. Grade appeals are handled under a separate policy/procedure. Student complaints regarding discrimination or harassment are subject to SCTCC and Minnesota State Board Policy 1.B1, Procedure 1B.1.1.
The goal of the complaint procedure is to quickly address a student’s question/concern about a college decision, action or inaction and come to a resolution agreeable to the student and the college as soon as possible.
Submitted verbally or in writing, the student may bring the complaint directly to a faculty member, administrator, manager, department chairperson, college supervisor or other SCTCC staff. Complaints may also be brought to the manager, supervisor or dean of the department/division closest to the disputed action.
Student(s) not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint - and/or if the complaint involves the application of a college policy – may file a written grievance with the supervisor (director, dean or vice-president) of the employee or department whose action gave rise to the grievance.
To file a written Grievance, the grievant must provide the following information:
- name of the student(s) filing the grievance,
- name of the faculty or staff member whose action(s) is being grieved,
- statement of facts and nature of the grievance, including specific policy violation, if known,
- any documentation or evidence,
- date(s) of the incident(s),
- resolution being sought by the grievant, and
- grievant ’s signature and date.
The written materials must be submitted to the Assistant of the Vice-President of Administration (office 1-401E). The Administrative Assistant will forward the grievance to the appropriate academic or administrative officer.
A student may appeal a grievance decision based on the application of a specific college rule, regulation, policy or procedure. The same written material submitted in the original decision will be presented for appeal to the appropriate divisional Vice-President.
If the grievance involves a board policy, the actions of a college or university president, an issue of institutional or program quality such as an institution's compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practice, a student may further appeal the college or university decision to the Office of the Chancellor. The decision of the chancellor is final and binding. To contact the Chancellor’s Office: Academic and Student Affairs, Office of the Chancellor, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th Street E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804.
St. Cloud Technical & Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC). In cases that involve SCTCC’s compliance with the standards of the College’s accrediting agency, questions or concerns may be directed to: Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411.
Out of State Student Complaint Process
St. Cloud Technical & Community College is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), which regulates the manner in which participating institutions may offer distance learning education to students who reside in other states that are members of NC-SARA.
If a student has a complaint that involves distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of SARA, the student must file a complaint with St. Cloud Technical & Community College first to seek resolution. If the student bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the College’s internal process for resolving complaints, the student may contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MDE) for further assistance. The direct link for instructions on how to file a complaint with MDE is here.
St. Cloud Technical & Community College has been approved by the state of Minnesota to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.