Consumer Information

WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES

Introduction:

The purpose of these Complaint Procedures is to provide a mechanism for resolving complaints against the College.

General Overview of Complaint Procedures:

For complaints related to College practices or consumer protection issues, please first contact the office, instructor, or area where the issue arose. College administrators or officials can be contacted as needed, to resolve the complaints.

The Dean of Students/Ombudsman at WCC seeks to provide a neutral third party where complaints may be addressed or the complainant guided to the correct complaint procedure. On campus, contact the Dean in SC 275; or email your concern to ombudsman; or call 734-973-3328.

A student, prospective student, or member of the public who has a concern about misrepresentation of information concerning the College’s educational programs, financial charges, or the employability of College graduates should also contact the Dean of Students/Ombudsman. Get more information at Ombudsman.

WCC Complaint Procedures

  1. Student grade appeals
  2. Sexual and discriminatory harassment – Title IX Grievance Procedure
  3. Complaints regarding any College faculty, staff, personnel, or administrative offices
  1. Procedure for Student Final Grade Appeal
  2. A student may appeal any letter grade from any course. All parties are to be notified of any action taken during the entire process.

    • Step One: Student discusses concerns with the course instructor.
    • Step Two: If Step One does not resolve the appeal, the student submits to the Department Chair a written request for a meeting. This step must be taken within five months of the posting of the grade to the student's record.
    • Step Three: After discussion with the student and/or the instructor, the Department Chair makes an initial determination regarding the basis for an appeal or that there is no basis for appeal, or that the student may wish to appeal to the Divisional Dean.
    • Step Four: If the student wishes to pursue the grade appeal, he/she should submit the appeal in writing within five days to the Divisional Dean with a request for a meeting and notification that he/she has already talked to the faculty member and Chair.
    • Step Five: The Divisional Dean may request further information and/or may meet with the student and the instructor and issues a written decision. This step must be completed within six months of the posting of the grade to the student's record.
    • Step Six: A final appeal may be made in writing to the Vice President for Instruction. The Vice President for Instruction shall make a final determination and shall inform the student in writing of his/her decision.
  3. Sexual and Discriminatory Harassment – Student Title IX Grievance Procedure
  4. Note: WCC employees should contact the office of Human Resources to file their Title IX grievance. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 as amended bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it is in academics or athletics. Title IX states:


    “No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid.”

    Washtenaw Community College shall comply with all applicable state and federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination. The College provides the following grievance procedure for use by any person participating in a College sponsored program, service, or activity, who believes his or her rights as provided for under Title IX have been violated.

    The College has designated a person(s) responsible for compliance with Title IX. The College shall inform all students and employees of the name, office, work address, email address, and office telephone numbers of the employee(s) designated to serve as the Title IX compliance officer(s). The responsible individual(s) shall be available to assist the aggrieved individual or parties with this procedure, as well as conduct or coordinate an investigation and report their findings.

    The two employees designated to serve as Title IX compliance officers are:

    Linda Blakey, VP Student and Academic Services & Title IX Coordinator
    Room No: SC247
    Phone: 734.973.3536
    Email: Linda Blakey

    Larry Aeilts, Dean/Ombudsman
    Room No: SC275
    Phone: 734.973.3328
    Email:Larry Aeilts

    Any retaliatory action of any kind taken by any member of the College community against any other member of the College community as a result of that person seeking a remedy under these procedures, cooperating in an investigation, or otherwise participating in any proceeding under these procedures, is prohibited and will be addressed as a separate investigative and disciplinary matter.

    Student Title IX Grievance Procedure

    Option 1 - Informal Resolution

    The College encourages informal resolution of grievances. If appropriate, the aggrieved individual(s) may first discuss the grievance directly with the individual against whom the complaint is made. If the alleged discrimination involves a department or unit rather than an individual, the aggrieved individual(s) may discuss the grievance with the Dean or executive officer of that department/unit. If the grievance is not resolved as a result of this discussion, or if the aggrieved individual(s) does not wish to proceed informally, they should proceed to Option 2.

    Option 2 – Filing a Written Grievance

    The aggrieved individual(s) may file a grievance with one of Washtenaw Community College’s Title IX compliance officers. If the Title IX compliance officer is the person alleged to have discriminated, the grievance may be filed directly with the President of the College, who shall designate another qualified individual to conduct the investigation and report their findings. The grievance must be in writing.

    A grievance should be filed in a timely manner following an alleged violation. The College will take affirmative steps to comply with the provisions of Title IX at any time a violation becomes known, but may not be able to address a specific instance of alleged violation if the passage of time has rendered memories unclear and relevant documentation is lacking.

    Upon receipt of the grievance, the Title IX compliance officer will immediately conduct an investigation. All parties related to the grievance will be afforded the opportunity to submit evidence (including statements from witnesses) relevant to the grievance. The investigation will be completed within 20 working days and a statement of findings will be issued by the Title IX compliance officer to one or all of the following; the individual, Dean or Vice President of the department/unit against whom the grievance is made, and to the grievant.

    If the compliance officer determines that the allegations of discrimination have merit, a proposed resolution according to law and College policy will be submitted to the parties involved. If the proposed recommendations are acceptable to the grievant and the solutions are implemented, the grievance is considered resolved.

    The grievant may appeal in instances where he or she is dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for consideration should be filed in the Title IX Coordinator’s office within 10 working days of receipt of the resolution. The Title IX Coordinator will review the request and issue a final resolution in a timely manner. The decision of the Title IX Coordinator is final.

    Anyone at any time may contact the following: Office for Civil Rights
    United States Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
    Phone: (202) 245-6800 Or Office for Civil Rights
    United States Department of Education
    600 Superior Avenue East
    Cleveland, OH 44114-2614
    Phone: (216) 522-4970

    Complaints of discrimination will be treated as confidentially as possible, recognizing the potential need to notify the alleged perpetrator of the facts relative to the alleged violation, contact and interview witnesses and other knowledgeable parties, inform key staff of issues required for compliance, and reply to any state or federal agencies who may have been informed of the alleged violation.

    Paper copies of the Title IX grievance procedure will be provided upon request by contacting the Ombudsman’s Office.

  5. Procedure for Student Complaints Regarding College Faculty, Staff, Personnel or Administrative Offices
    1. Complaints against College Faculty or Instructional Staff
    2. Complaints Against College Non-instructional Staff, Personnel or Administrative Offices
    3. Complaints against any Vice President
    1. Student Complaints against College Faculty or Instructional Staff
      • Step One: The student should make an effort to resolve the complaint informally by means of a meeting with the parties involved and, if appropriate, the Dean over the area.
      • Step Two: If the complaint cannot be resolved, prior to filing a formal, written complaint; then the student should meet with the Vice President of Instruction (VPI) within 10 days.
      • Step Three: If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the student may file a written complaint with the Ombudsman Office within 20 working days of the event that generated the complaint or from the date the student met with the dean or VPI. The Ombudsman Office will investigate or forward the complaint to the appropriate administrator for further action.
      • Step Four: The Ombudsman or administrator will review, investigate, and attempt to resolve the complaint. The Ombudsman or administrator may request further information in writing and/or may schedule a meeting with involved parties. If the complaint is not resolved at this level, the complaint will be referred by the Ombudsman or administrator to the Vice President of Student and Academic Services.
      • Step Five: The Vice President of Student and Academic Services may investigate the complaint,meet with the parties involved, consult with appropriate College offices, and take whatever action he/she determines is appropriate with regard to the complaint.
      • Step Six: The Vice President of Student and Academic Services shall make a final decision with regard to the complaint.
      • Step Seven: The Vice President of Student and Academic Services will notify the student of the final decision. A copy of the decision will be sent to the appropriate staff.
        Submit course complaint online
    2. Complaints Against College Non-instructional Staff, Personnel or Administrative Offices
      • Step One: The student should make an effort to resolve the complaint informally by means of a meeting with the parties involved prior to filing a formal, written complaint.
      • Step Two: The student may file a written complaint with the Ombudsman Office within 20 working days of the decision or the event that generated the complaint.
      • Step Three: The Ombudsman or an assigned administrator shall conduct an investigation into the complaint. The Ombudsman or administrator may take whatever action he/she determines is appropriate with regard to the complaint, including, but not limited to, meeting with the parties involved, consultation with College staff, and informal resolution of the complaint.
      • Step Four: If the complaint is not otherwise resolved, the Ombudsman or administrator will refer the complaint to the Vice President of Student and Academic Services to review and make a determination with regard to the complaint which shall be final.
      • Step Five: The Vice President will notify the student and the appropriate staff involved with the final decision.
    3. Complaints against any Vice President
      • Step One: If the complaint is against any Vice President of WCC and the complaint cannot be resolved through informal means, then a written complaint should be filed with the President's office.
      • Step Two: The President or his/her designee may take whatever action she/he deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, investigation, dismissal of the complaint, informal resolution, or formal findings.
      • Step Three: The President or his/her designee will notify the student of the decision in the matter, which shall be final.

External Remedies:

As required by the Department of Education as of the October 29, 2010 regulations, (34 C.F.R. 668.43, 12. iv, b), the following information is provided for complaints that are unresolved after addressing them at the College as described above. The Higher Learning Commission will take complaints related to general practices that may affect accreditation. To get more specific information, contact the HLC at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411 or visit Higher Learning Commission.

If the unresolved complaint is a consumer protection issue, contact the Attorney General at the Consumer Protection Division, P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909-7713 or visit Michigan Department of Treasury.

If the unresolved complaint involves an active duty service member or veteran of the U.S. military, visit the VA GI Bill Feedback System.

Revised October 2014

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