UACCM Student

Grievances and Appeals Procedures

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Academic Decisions

Informal Resolution

Students who wish to seek further review of academic decisions or actions by UACCM or a UACCM employee (acting in an official capacity) that the student contends was in violation of written campus policies or constitutes unfair or unequal application of such policies should first seek to resolve such concerns through informal discussions. In particular, grievances regarding academic matters should generally begin with informal discussions with the student’s instructor or with the faculty member supervising a course. If such informal discussions do not reach a satisfactory resolution, then the student may pursue a grievance following the steps in this policy.

Applicability of Policy

This policy applies to students enrolled in traditional courses as well as online courses. This policy does not apply to matters which are covered by other campus policies or appeal procedures including, but not limited to, the following: grade appeals, allegations of discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment) under the university’s non-discrimination policy, allegations of failure to provide reasonable accommodations, financial aid appeals, enforcement of campus parking and traffic regulations, or violations of the college’s Student Code of Conduct.

Formal Grievance Process

If efforts to resolve a grievance informally are not successful, no later than ten business days (Monday-Friday) following the decision or action that the student seeks to have reviewed, the student shall put the grievance in writing clearly stating the facts relating to the grievance and which policies the student contends have been violated or misapplied. When student attendance in a class is at issue, the student should seek to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. For an academically related grievance, the written grievance shall be submitted to the faculty member’s Program Chair. If there is no program chair, the grievance should be submitted to the Academic Dean.

If the concern relates to the Program Chair, then the written grievance may be submitted to the Dean supervising the Program Chair. If the concern is related to the Dean, then the written grievance may be submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs who shall appoint an alternate official to consider the grievance.

The administrator reviewing the grievance will review the material provided by the student, and may at the administrator’s discretion gather any additional information whether in writing or through meeting with the student or other persons involved.
The administrator reviewing the grievance shall make a decision within ten business days after receiving the student’s written grievance (excluding the day of receipt), or as soon as possible thereafter. The written decision will explain the basis for the decision, remedial steps required, if any, and the procedure for requesting an appeal.

Appeals

If the student believes the grievance decision is in error, the student may within ten business days after the date of the written decision appeal the decision to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Vice Chancellor will review the material provided by the student, the grievance decision, any other material which has been assembled regarding the matter, and any applicable university policies. At his or her discretion, the Vice Chancellor may gather any additional information that will be helpful in determining a decision, whether in writing or through meeting or consulting with any individuals deemed necessary in the administrator’s judgement. The Vice Chancellor reviewing the appeal shall make a decision within ten business days of receiving the student’s written grievance (excluding the day of receipt), or as soon as possible thereafter. The appeal decision shall be final.

Note 1: Students are not permitted legal counsel for an academic appeal.

External Complaint Resolution

If a grievance cannot be resolved internally within the College, a student may file a complaint with the Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE). Arkansas residents must file complaints in writing with the ICAC Coordinator, Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE), 423 Main Street, Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72201, within 20 days of completing the institution’s grievance process. As required by ADHE, the grievant must provide a statement from the institution verifying that the institution’s appeal process has been followed. ADHE inquiries are limited to course/degree programs certified by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) under Ark. Code 6-6-301 and to matters related to criteria for certification. For other states, the Student Complaint Process is available on the Arkansas Division of Higher Education website www.adhe.edu/students-parents/colleges-universites/student-grievance-form/. Complaints must be filed online. Students may also contact the Higher Learning Commission, which is the College’s accrediting body, at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, or at info@hlcommission.org or 1-800-621-7440.

Non-Academic Grievances

Any alleged non-academic grievance which a student, including an online student, may have regarding a college employee, policy, or procedure may be considered under this policy.

These would include grievances under any of the following: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. This policy does not apply to matters covered by other campus policies, including, but not limited to: allegations of sexual discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and misconduct complaints under the UACCM Title IX policy, financial aid appeals, or violations of the UACCM Student Code of Conduct.

Refer to the Academic Honor Code or Academic Appeals Policy for academic grievances, such as appealing a grade.

Informal Resolution

Students should attempt to seek resolution informally by discussing the grievance with the person responsible for the action, interpretation, or application of the policy or procedure leading to the problem. If the grievance is with an employee, the student should attempt to seek resolution by speaking with the employee’s supervisor.

Formal Resolution

If the grievance remains unresolved by informal means the student may seek formal resolution by submitting a written complaint to the Vice Chancellor for Student Services.

Student Complaint Resolution Steps

  1. The student must submit in writing within 5 business days of unsatisfactory completion of the informal resolution process the complaint to the Vice Chancellor for Student Services. The student must include the date(s) informal resolution was sought, specific details describing the complaint, and specific remedies sought. If the complaint is with the Vice Chancellor for Student Services, the student must submit the written complaint to the Chancellor.
  2. The Vice Chancellor for Student Services has 10 business days from receipt of the written complaint in which to investigate and respond to the student in written form.
  3. If not satisfied with the resolution of the Vice Chancellor for Student Services, the student may appeal to the Chancellor within 5 business days from receipt of the Vice Chancellor for Student Services’ response.
  4. The Chancellor has 5 business days from receipt of the written appeal to respond in writing to the student. The on-campus decision of the Chancellor is final.

External Complaint Resolution

If a grievance cannot be resolved internally within the College, a student may file a complaint with the Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE). Arkansas residents must file complaints in writing with the ICAC Coordinator, Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE), 423 Main Street, Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72201, within 20 days of completing the institution’s grievance process. As required by ADHE, the grievant must provide a statement from the institution verifying that the institution’s appeal process has been followed. ADHE inquiries are limited to course/degree programs certified by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) under Ark. Code 6-6-301 and to matters related to criteria for certification. For other states, the Student Complaint Process is available on the Arkansas Division of Higher Education website www.adhe.edu/students-parents/colleges-universites/student-grievance-form/. Complaints must be filed online. Students may also contact the Higher Learning Commission, which is the College’s accrediting body, at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, or at info@hlcommission.org or 1-800-621-7440.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability and age in programs or activities. Students may submit a grievance or complaint directly to OCR at ocr@ed.gov.  Visit the OCR website for details.