Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 3: Student Affairs

03:05:10   Student Complaints and Compliments

Northeast State Community College encourages students to comment on their experiences at the College in a responsible manner. These comments may include complaints, compliments, or suggestions for improving college services. Comments help the College administration improve processes, pinpoint problems, eliminate waste, plan for strategic growth, or recognize outstanding personnel and programs.

The following procedures have been established to help students submit their comments:

Complaints

  1. Students should first seek to resolve complaints informally with the College personnel directly responsible for the area of complaint.
  2. If the above is not possible or does not provide a satisfactory outcome, students should submit written complaints about any area of the College’s operations to the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success by using the Student Complaint Online Submission Form.
  3. Submissions should state the nature of the complaint as well as the resolution sought.
  4. The Student Complaint Online Submission Form must include the contact information of the person submitting the complaint.
  5. The Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success will forward the complaint to a designated Vice President or other appropriate office (as determined by the nature of the comments) for review within three (3) business days.
  6. The student will be notified of the outcome within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the Student Complaint Online Submission Form by the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success.
  7. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she may appeal in writing to the President of the College. The President’s decision will be final.
  8. Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA.
    1. Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.
    2. Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).  
    3. For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (http://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA. 
    4. For a list of SARA member states, please visit the NC-SARA website (http://nc-sara.org/sarastates-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective state of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.

Compliments 

  1. Compliments may be submitted using the Student Compliment Online Submission Form.
  2. Compliments will be received by the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success and forwarded to the appropriate Vice President’s office for review and dissemination to the College personnel or program mentioned.
  3. The student may be contacted by the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success if additional information is necessary.

Procedures for submitting Suggestions for Improving College Services are stated in Policy 03:05:13 Suggestions for Improving College Services: Speak Out. Contact the following for more information on student complaints, compliments, and suggestions for improvement:

Office of the Vice President for Institutional Excellence and Student Success
Room F104 of the Faculty Office Building
423.354.2529

Additional Information

For concerns or complaints regarding Title IX, civil rights, discrimination, or harassment, please visit the Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance web site or contact:

Office of Equity, Inclusion and Compliance
Room P313 of the Pierce Administration Building
423.354.5296 or equityofficer@NortheastState.edu

Although crimes are not part of the complaints process, for issues involving campus safety, personal security, or to Report Behaviors of Concern, please visit the Safe Northeast web portal or contact:
Northeast State Police Department
Welcome Center 
423.323.0255 (non-emergency) or 423.677.7927 (emergency cell)



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Institutional Excellence and Student Success

Revision History: April 2014; Sept. 2014; Oct. 2014; Nov. 2014; Sept. 2015; Feb. 2016; May 2019; Edited Aug. 2019