Complaint and Grievance Processes
Several avenues exist within the framework of the college by which students, employees, or members of the public may express concerns, complaints, or grievances. Student complaints regarding final course grades will be handled in the manner described in the Course Grade Appeal section of the catalog.
South College policy prohibits any retaliatory action against any person for reporting, inquiring, testifying, or assisting with an investigation of a complaint. South College will not tolerate any form of retaliation for making a good faith report of potential college-related legal or policy violations. Any attempted or actual retaliatory action will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal by South College. Any alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to South College.
The following briefly describes the appropriate procedure for resolving issues.
Informal Complaint: An Informal complaint is an informal allegation, concern, or expression of dissatisfaction regarding a service, policy, procedure, behavior, or outcome. An informal complaint is made verbally or via email to the College employee responsible for the area of concern or to their immediate supervisor. If an informal complaint cannot be resolved through these channels, a Formal Complaint may be filed. If a member of the public does not know this information, please call the main number to the institution as published via the website and ask to speak to the Campus Dean.
Formal Complaint: A Formal Complaint is a written allegation submitted on the Formal Complaint Form that one has been harmed by being treated arbitrarily, unfairly, or in ways which violate established laws, rules, policies, or procedures. The Formal Complaint Form is submitted to the respective campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online). Further directions are found on the form. The Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) will involve all necessary parties to resolve the grievance. All grievances will be addressed within 10 business days of submission. This process, as well as the appeals process, is more fully outlined in the Complaint and Grievance Process section of the catalog. This process includes addressing complaints received from members of the public.
Grievance: A grievance is a formal allegation of discrimination specifically involving one’s disability or sex. Concerns regarding discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, or any other forms of discrimination not including disability or sex should be reported using the Formal Complaint process described above.
- ADA (Section 504) Grievance – A student, a employee or member of the public who believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination due to a disability should file a grievance with the respective campus’s Dean of Academic and Student Services or Dean of Academics (online) or for employees, the Vice President of Talent Management & HR. This process, as well as the appeals process, is more fully outlined in the Disability Services section of the Catalog.
- Title IX (sexual harassment, discrimination, or abuse) Grievance – A student, employee, or member of the public who believes s/he has been subjected to discrimination due to sex should notify the respective campus’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. This process, as well as the appeals process, is more fully outlined in the Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy section of the Catalog.
Tennessee/Online – Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institutional level, a student or member of the public may contact the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, 312 Rosa L. Park Avenue, 9th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243-1102. website: https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization.html.
North Carolina – Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institutional level, a student or member of the public may file a North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaint to the University of North Carolina General Administration c/o Student Complaints, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688,(919) 962-4550, email: [email protected]. website: http://www.northcarolina.edu/complaints.
Georgia – Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student or member of the public may contact the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, Georgia 30084-5305, Office: (770) 414-3300, website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/student-resources. website: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/gnpec-student-complaint-rules.
Indiana – Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student or member of the public must contact the Indiana Commission for Higher Education using the provided complaint form. Procedures for filing a complaint can be found at https://www.in.gov/che/student-complaints/.
Florida – Should there be a grievance that cannot be satisfactorily resolved at the institution level, a student or member of the public may contact the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education at 325 West Gaines St., Ste. 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400, toll-free telephone number (888) 224-6684, website: https://www.fldoe.org/sara/complaint-process.stml.
Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA.
Student or member of the public complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution. Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html). For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA. For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students or member of the public residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.