Student Services

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Student Complaints

 
  1. What are the steps of the Student Complaint Process?

    Once a student concern/complaint/grievance form is received by the student complaint officer (SCO), he/she will acknowledge receiving it (usually via e-mail). Subsequently, the SCO will contact the complainant and relevant department and possibly others with knowledge of what happened. This is the process for determining what each side has to say about the issue—the fact finding inquiry (FFI). Upon receipt of any supporting documentation, the SCO will forward a summary to the parties with the relevant department making any necessary changes. Finally, the SCO will forward a final findings & closing resolution to both parties and close the file. Depending on the initial review, the SCO will prepare a report that will be forward to a department administrator to make a decision OR the SCO will problem solve internally OR the SCO will determine that there is no basis to proceed further (and close the file).

  1. What is a Concern?

    A concern is something that relates to, is of importance or interest to or affects a student. If you have a concern, it is an informal method of communicating something to the school. If you have a concern, you simply want someone to know about it, but do not necessarily want someone to follow up with you. A meeting with the SCO will not be scheduled; however, he/she may follow up with you if there are questions.

  1. What is a Complaint?

    A complaint is initially an oral claim by a student alleging improper, unfair, arbitrary or discriminatory treatment. The complaint and its details should be submitted in writing for purposes of follow-up and required College record keeping. College Policy 4.10, Part 2. If you have a complaint, you would like the appropriate person to follow up with those involved. This includes contacting you by the method indicated when you file your complaint as well as conducting a fact finding inquiry to determine the background.

  1. What is a Grievance?

    A grievance is a written claim raised by a student, alleging improper, unfair, arbitrary or discriminatory action by an employee involving the application of a specific provision of a College rule/regulation or a board policy or procedure such as:

    1. The interpretation of the specific provision of a rule or regulation, OR
    2. The application of a rule or regulation in other than a uniform manner, OR
    3. The application of a rule or regulation other than in accordance with the provisions of the rule.
    College Policy 4.10, Part 3.
  1. How can I obtain and submit a Student Concern/Complaint/Grievance Form?

    You may obtain a form from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, now part of the Student Support Services Center, in T.2300.  Additionally, some other offices have the forms available.. You may also obtain the form here. You may complete the document, save it and e-mail it to the SCO at StudentComplaints@minneapolis.edu or print the document and submit after completing it.

  1. Who can file a concern, complaint or grievance?

    A concern, complaint or grievance may be filed by any student who has experienced a concern or an issue that is cause for a complaint or grievance involving MCTC. This includes former students as well as PSEO, Jump Start, TRIO, CECT or anyone else affiliated with MCTC in a student-like relationship. Complaints or grievances filed more than  calendar year after the incident or at which time the student should have known of it, will be treated as concerns in most circumstances.

    A complaint may also be filed by a student who personally observed an incident that falls within the student complaint officer’s jurisdiction, even if that student was not personally involved.

    Students with concerns or complaint about other students’ conduct (harassment, bullying, intimidation or other inappropriate behavior covered by the Student Code of Conduct), cannot file a complaint within the student complaint process. Instead, they should file their report with a student conduct officer.

    Student Complaints may be filed regarding general issues as well as issues falling under the college’s non-discrimination and sexual violence policies if it involves a non-student.

  1. When can I file a concern, complaint or grievance?

    You may file as soon as you have experienced a concern or an issue that is cause for a complaint or grievance. Complaints should be made no later than the 8th week of the following semester (not including summer session) when the incident occurred (or from when they learned of or should have learned of the issue).

  1. Will other people know that I filed a concern, complaint or grievance?

    In most cases, no. Information provided within the FFI or at other points during the process is not disclosed to other individuals unless they reasonably require access for purpose of performing their job. Other times when information may be disclosed is where it is requested by certain government agencies or court order or is otherwise permitted by law. If you have questions about this, feel free to inquire with the student complaint officer via e-mail or phone at 612-659-6749.

  1. Does the SCO represent or advocate for me?

    No, the SCO does not represent or advocate for those filing concerns, complaints or grievances. He/She is a fact finder that analyzes facts, documents and makes inquiries in order to facilitate resolution of concerns, complaints or grievances.

  1. Can the SCO provide me with legal advice?

    No, the SCO cannot provide you with legal advice.

  1. May I have someone attend my meeting with the SCO?

    Yes, you may. If you seek to bring someone who can offer you support during your meeting, you may bring them. This person should not however, be someone who is a witness.

  1. Who makes the decision about my complaint or grievance?

    In most cases, the decision will be made by the supervisor of the department/employee complained about or the issue complained about (ie: program directors, deans, VPs, etc.).  However, the SCO will make determinations regarding whether there is a basis to proceed further based on initial assessment and investigation.

  1. What if I am not satisfied with the decision?

    In many cases you may appeal to the next level supervisor. This person’s contact information is generally communicated in the Final Findings. Appeals must be made within the time provided in the Final Findings, but in most cases 10 business days are allotted.

  1. If I decide to participate in mediation, do I lose my opportunity to file a complaint or grievance later if it is not resolved?

    No. While we hope that you will be able to resolve your issue through mediation, you do not waive your right to file a complaint or grievance by participating in mediation. If a resolution is not reached in mediation, it is your responsibility to contact the office for follow up.

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