STUDENT-INITIATED GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Danville Community College is dedicated to an affirmative action policy that provides that all grievances relating to students at the college, including grade appeals, will be handled fairly and without regard to race, color, age, national origin, sex, disability, or other non-merit factors. A grievance is a difference between a student and an employee of the college with respect to the application of the provisions of the rules, policies, procedures, and regulations of the college or the Virginia Community & College system as this application affects the activities or status of each student. The grievance procedure must be initiated within seven (7) class days according to the following procedure. Three steps delineate the procedure to be followed when a student is filing a grievance against an employee of the college for failing to follow the provisions of VCCS and/or DCC rules, policies, procedures, and/or regulations.
- The student initiating the grievance shall discuss it with the college employee involved.
- The student may request a Danville Community College counselor’s participation as a third party to discuss the issue when the student judges that the personal conference with the college employee would be detrimental to resolving the problem.
- Every reasonable effort should be made by all parties to resolve the matter at this step.
- Documentation of the Step I decision shall be submitted in writing by the employee to the student and the employee’s supervisor within seven (7) class days of the student/employee conference.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the decision after Step I, s/he/they may, within seven (7) class days, file a written appeal with the employee’s supervisor.
- Within (7) seven class days of receipt of the written appeal from the student, the supervisor will schedule and hold a meeting with the student and the employee, separately or together.
- The supervisor will conduct the meeting to hear the appeal, maintain a written record of the meeting, and will notify the student, employee, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services of the decision within (7) seven class days.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the decision at Step II s/he/they may, within seven (7) class days must file a written grievance to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services.
B. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services.
- Within seven (7) class days after receipt of the written appeal, the Chair of the Review Committee will be responsible for selecting the Review Committee.
C. The Review Committee Process consists of the following:
- The Review Committee is dedicated to fair and impartial hearings in order to resolve the grievance. The members will decide, by at least a majority vote, to uphold, to modify, or reverse the decision made at the previous level. The Review Committee will consist of two faculty members, one division dean, one Student Services representative, and two students. To ensure a fair and impartial committee, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services may replace any member of this Committee with another student or faculty/staff member, whenever deemed appropriate by the President.
- The Review Committee Chair shall set a time and place for the hearing and notify every individual involved in an earlier step of the grievance.
- All parties concerned shall be given at least five (5) class days’ written notice informing them of the nature of the complaint, and the date, time, and location/modality (i.e. face to face, remote) of the hearing.
- The student requesting the hearing shall present the case to the Committee. The party against whom the complaint has been lodged shall have the opportunity to respond to the complaint. Both parties shall be allowed to present only relevant information to the Committee; however, it is the responsibility of the parties to gather and provide such information.
- The student has the right to be accompanied by counsel or advisor who may come from within or outside the College. Such counsel or advisor must restrict his/her/their participation to advising the student, and he/she may not participate in the actual proceedings of the hearing.
- After hearing all relevant information, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services may ask for a concluding statement from each party if such a statement would aid the Committee’ s deliberation.
- Following the concluding statements, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services may request that the student and the college employee leave the room.
- The Committee shall deliberate and state its ruling and rationale in writing within seven (7) class days after a decision is reached.
- A majority vote will control. A minority report may be included signed by the minority position. If the Committee rules in favor of the student’s appeal, it will recommend specific measures to be taken by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services to resolve the issue in an appropriate and fair manner.
- In a case of academic dishonesty where the committee finds the student violated the standards of acceptable conduct, the Committee will accept the recommended penalty of the faculty member in whose class the offense occurred unless the committee finds, by majority vote, that such recommended penalty is unfair in the light of the evidence. It will then access the disciplinary action taken. The Committee’s decision and any minority report will be stated in writing of rationale and provided to the affected student and appropriate college officials including the College President.
- Verbal or written warning;
- Requirement that the student complete a special project which may be, but is not limited to, writing an essay, attending a special class or lecture, or attending counseling sessions;
- Withholding of official transcript or degree;
- Bar against readmission;
- Denial or non-recognition of a degree;
- Withdrawing from a course with a grade of ” W ” ;
- Failing or reduction of a grade on a test, a course, or other academic work and/or requiring the performance of additional academic work that is not required of other students in the course;
- The hearing will be recorded.
- The Committee’s decision may be appealed to the President of the college. The appeal must be in writing and set forth the specific ground(s) for appeal and be filed with the President no later than ten (10) class days from the decision of the Committee unless the President grants an extension for good cause. Failure to file an appeal within the time provided, in writing, as above shall cause a loss of the right to appeal.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing, the President reserves the right to take any action as the President determines to be in the best interest of the college.
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
As a last resort, if a student has exhausted the avenues provided by DCC and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student may file a formal complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).