Students enrolled in or taking courses at Pacific College of Technology (Pacific Tech, PCT) are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity and to conduct themselves as professionals. Similarly, students should expect faculty and staff members to be persons of integrity who apply the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and trust that characterize the professional/academic community. Thus, when student grievances concerning faculty and staff members arise, they are taken very seriously and are treated with sensitivity and urgency. The Director of Student Services is responsible for managing this policy.
These procedures are to provide a framework and mechanism for an objective review of student grievances about the equity and fairness of PCT faculty, staff, or procedures that affect their academic standing and progress toward their degree. Such issues may arise regarding fair and equal treatment in the conduct of a class or in the grading or evaluation of academic work. Other issues may concern the equity and fairness of program or PCT policies. Other college policies and procedures apply to allegations of faculty and staff misconduct; such matters will be governed by appropriate policies administered under other college units: Complaints that a member of the faculty or staff has engaged in research misconduct, violated the college’s nondiscrimination and harassment policies, or violated employment contracts will be investigated by the President.
A student who alleges misconduct by a faculty or staff member must pursue the grievance by following the resolution procedure below:
Student Grievance Resolution Procedure
In many cases, academic disputes can be quickly and effectively resolved when addressed informally at the local level. Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and disagreements often can be resolved through such conversations. In such cases, the best way for a student to resolve a grievance is to approach the faculty or staff member directly involved in the situation and attempt to reach a resolution informally.
If informal discussion does not resolve the disagreement, the student may file a formal Student Grievance.
Step 1: The complainant completes a grievance form. The grievance form is available on the College website and in the Office of Administration.
Step 2: The complainant submits the grievance form to the Director of Student Services.
Step 3: A Complaint Officer will be assigned. The complainant will receive a letter via email with the Complaint officer’s information as appropriate. The Director of Student Services will provide written notification of the grievance to the accused within live working days of receiving the grievance. In some instances, the Director of Student Services may choose to hear the complaint at his/her discretion.
Step 4: The Complaint Officer will conduct an investigation.
Step 5: The Complaint Officer notices the complainant and the accused of their findings. Notification of findings will be sent within 20 working days of the grievance being filed. The complainant will receive the results of the investigation in writing. The complainant will review the findings and decide if they are satisfied with the results. If they are not satisfied with the results, they may proceed to Step 6.
Step 6: The complainant may appeal the ruling by submitting a grievance appeal form to the Director of Student Services within five days. Appeals must be based on the issue of substantive or procedural errors which are prejudicial. The specific grounds to be addressed are:
a) Were the procedures of the policy followed?
b) If a procedural error occurred, were the rights of the grievant violated to the extent that a fair review was not conducted?
c) Was the review conducted in a way that did not permit the grievant adequate notice and opportunity to present facts?
d) Was the information presented during the review sufficient to justify the decision reached?
e) Was there information existing at the time of the review that was not discovered until after the review?
The Director of Student Services reviews the investigation and findings. The Director of Student Services may refer the appeal to a hearing committee at his/her discretion. If the Director of Student Services was the original decision maker in the grievance, the appeal will go to the President.
Step 7: A final decision is made. The Director of Student Services, or the President depending on the appeal, will make the final decision on the appeal and notify the complainant and the accused in writing within 10 working days.
Step 8: If the complainant is not satisfied with the final institutional decision, he or she may file a formal, written complaint with the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC) or with ACICS, the College’s accrediting agency, or with both. Contact information for each of these agencies is listed below:
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC)
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, Georgia 30084