Grievance Procedure Guidelines
In accordance with the institution’s mission statement, the school will make every attempt to resolve any student complaint that is not frivolous or without merit. Complaint procedures will be included in new student orientation thereby assuring that all students know the steps to follow should they desire to register a complaint at any time. Evidence of final resolution of all complaints will be retained in school files in order to determine the frequency, nature, and patterns of complaints for the institution. The following procedure outlines the specific steps of the complaint process.
1. The student should register the complaint in writing on the designated form provided by the institution within 60 days of the date that the act which is the subject of the grievance occurred.
2. The complaint form will be given to the school Director.
3. The complaint will be reviewed by management and a response will be sent in writing to the student within 30 days of receiving the complaint. The initial response may not provide for final resolution of the problem but will notify the student of continued investigation and/or actions being taken regarding the complaint.
4. If the complaint is of such nature that it cannot be resolved by the management, it will be referred to an appropriate agency if applicable.
5. Depending on the extent and nature of the complaint, interviews with appropriate staff and other students may be necessary to reach a final resolution of the complaint.
6. In cases of extreme conflict, it may be necessary to conduct an informal hearing regarding the complaint. If necessary, management will appoint a hearing committee consisting of one member selected by the school who has had no involvement in the dispute and who may also be a corporate officer, another member who may not be related to the student filing the complaint or another student in the school, and another member who may not be employed by the school or related to the school owners. The hearing will occur within 90 days of committee appointment. The hearing will be informal with the student presenting his/her case followed by the school’s response. The hearing committee will be allowed to ask questions of all involved parties. Within 15 days of the hearing, the committee will prepare a report summarizing each witness’s testimony and a recommended resolution for the dispute. School management shall consider the report and either accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the committee.
Corporate management shall consider the report and either accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the committee.
7. Students must exhaust the institution’s internal complaint process before submitting the complaint to the school’s accrediting agency, if applicable. If complaint is not resolved, the student may contact the Commission for Independent Education at: Commission for Independent Education, 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400, (805) 245-3200 or toll free (888) 224-6684.