Students have a right to seek a remedy to a dispute through a complaint or grievance procedure. The following procedure is established to promote a timely means of resolving disputes between you and others in the campus community. Students who have a complaint against any member of the faculty or staff about content or conduct of a co urse, grading, tuition, or any other school policy or procedure, review the following for the process that needs to be followed. For more information about your rights or the procedure, call 651.846.1327 . To file a complaint or grievance, you may come to the Administration Office or fill out an online form at www.saint paul.edu/fileareport.
Complaint and grievance procedures shall not substitute for other grievance procedures specific in board or College regulations or negotiated agreements. Students should use available informal means to have decisions reconsidered before filing a complaint or grievance. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participation in a complaint or grievance. These procedures shall also protect data privacy rights.
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, and you may not receive follow-up from the College.
A complaint is an informal claim by a student or a group of students regarding alleged improper, unfair, or arbitrary treatment. A complaint may constitute a grievance, if not mutually resolved and if the complaint falls within the definition of a grievance.
A grievance is a dispute or disagreement raised by a student, or group of students, alleging improper, unfair, or arbitrary action by an employee involving the application of the specific provision of a College policy or procedure or Board policy or procedure. A grievance must be submitted in writing; Complaint and Grievance forms are available from the Records Office or the Administration Office.
Scope of Policy
You may file a concern, complaint or grievance concerning any campus issue and discuss it with the appropriate employee, or administrator, as established by College procedure. The College has established regulations regarding the procedures to be used in presenting and handling student concerns, complaints and grievances.
This procedure does not apply to the following:
- Allegations of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence shall be resolved
- pursuant to College Policy 01.06.00 (Board Policy 1B.1), Equal Opportunity and
- Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education, College Procedure 01.06.00.1
- (System Procedure 1B.1.1), Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment
- Investigation and Resolution, College Policy 01.08.00 (Board Policy 1B.3), Sexual
- Violence Policy, College Procedure 01.08.00.1 (System Procedure 1B.3.1), Sexual
- Violence Procedure.
- Grading - Grading is the sole prerogative of the faculty. Be sure you have
- completed all assignments, followed the syllabus, and maintained a good
- attendance record before you consider filing a Petition for a Grade Review.
- Academic Dishonesty – In the case of Academic Dishonesty, review the
- Academic Integrity policy for guidance.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress – Satisfactory Academic Progress Procedure
- Conduct – Conduct Appeal Process
- Tuition Appeal – Tuition Appeal Form
- Transcript Evaluation – Transcript Evaluation Appeal Process
Informal Student Complaint Resolution Procedure
- You are encouraged to discuss your complaint with the employee involved first. Talking with the employee resolves more concerns than doing nothing about it. It is important that you attempt to resolve the complaint. Arrange a meeting with the appropriate individual(s) to discuss the complaint and desired remedy in an attempt to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Before you meet with the appropriate individual(s), you may want to prepare by having in writing, the nature of the compliant, a summary of the facts as you see them, and the remedy you are seeking. Most misunderstandings will be resolved at this first step by clarifying communications and expectations.
- If you are not able to reach a satisfactory agreement directly with the employee, you may, no later than ten school days after the meeting with the employee, complete and submit the Complaint or Grievance form for it to be routed to the appropriate administrator or designee The form is available online at www.saintpaul.edu/fileareport or in paper copy in the Administration Office.
- The completed form will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email within 3 business days.
- To resolve the complaint, the supervisor will discuss the situation with all appropriate individuals. If needed, a follow-up meeting will be scheduled in a timely manner.
- Any student or group of students may present or discuss a complaint with the employee whose actions give rise to the complaint, and/or with the administrator to whom the employee reports. You may have a representative in attendance to observe any such discussion.
- The supervisor will contact you with a response to your complaint and appeal information. If you feel that the response is still not appropriate or satisfactory, you may appeal the decision, in writing. The appeals will be heard by the supervising administrator or designee. The decision is final and binding. However, by Board policy, you may carry a complaint no further, unless a complaint falls within the definition of a grievance.
If you make a complaint about an employee to a supervising administrator, you should be aware that the employee may be informed that a complaint has been registered. This will be the case except when Minnesota statutes expressly allow for anonymity, e.g., initially for accusations of sexual harassment.
Student Grievance Resolution Process
In order to have a right to the entire grievance process, a specific rule or regulation of the College or the system must be involved. If a violation involves a College rule or regulation, you may carry an official grievance through three steps if necessary:
- To the employee being grieved
- To the administrator to whom the employee reports
- To the College President—the decision of the President is final and binding
No grievance shall be considered or processed unless it is submitted within thirty (30) working days after the first occurrence of the event giving rise to the grievance, or within thirty (30) days after you, through the use of reasonable diligence, should have obtained knowledge of the first occurrence of the event giving rise to the grievance.
In all instances that follow, the term "days" does not include (1) Saturdays, (2) Sundays, (3) holidays, and (4) breaks in the academic year.
If a complaint that falls within the definition of a grievance is not satisfactorily resolved in the informal discussion and a minimum of five (5) days have elapsed since the complaint was presented, you may then file a grievance on the official Complaint and Grievance form located in the Student Records Office or the Administration Office. The grievance procedure would then begin at Step II.
- Complete and submit Complaint or Grievance form for it to be routed to the appropriate administrator. The form is available online at www.saintpaul.edu/fileareport or in paper copy in the Administration Office.
- The written grievance shall set forth the nature of the grievance, the facts on which it is based, and the relief requested. If possible, witnesses' statements and names should be included. The grievance must be written and signed by the student. The completed form will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email within 3 business days.
- The grievance shall be discussed within ten (10) days with the student(s) and others involved at a time mutually agreeable to all parties. The meeting may be held in the presence of a student(s) witness if the student(s) filing the claim wishes, and an employee witness if the accused employee wishes.
- The purpose of the meeting is to resolve the grievance. The supervisor will be responsible for making a decision within 5 business days of the meeting.
- A copy of the decision shall be given to the employee, supervisor, and student(s).
- If the student agreement requires further action, the responsible supervisor may schedule meetings or discussions with the student(s) or the employee.
- If the student is dissatisfied with the decision in Step I, they can file a written appeal to the supervisor's supervisor, within five (5) days from the receipt of a written answer, appeal and present the grievance, in writing, to the Administration Office.
- The completed form will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email within 3 business days. The grievance shall be discussed within ten (10) days with the student(s) and others involved at a time mutually agreeable to all parties. The meeting may be held in the presence of a student(s) witness if the student(s) filing the claim wishes, and an employee witness if the accused employee wishes. The time should be convenient to the student(s), the employee, and the administrator.
- The administrator shall give a written answer to the student(s) within five (5) days.
- If the student decision requires further action, the responsible supervisor may schedule a meetings or discussions with the student(s) or the employee.
- If the grievance is based on an alleged violation of a College rule or regulation, the decision of the administrator shall be final and binding.
All time limits have been set at fifteen (15) days; however, the student initially has thirty days to initiate the grievance process. By mutual agreement of the student(s) and College personnel, time limits may be extended due to extenuating circumstances approved by the Vice President of Academic or Student Affairs. If a grievance is not presented within the established limits, it shall be considered as "waived."
- If a grievance is not appealed to the next step within the established time limits, it shall be considered settled on the basis of the last answer.
- If, after presentation at any step, a College staff member does not discuss the grievance with the student(s) within the established time limits, the student(s) may treat the grievance as denied at that step and may appeal the grievance to the next step.
- If, after discussion, a College staff member does not answer a grievance within the established time limits, the student(s) may treat the grievance as denied at that step and may appeal the grievance to the next step.
- A copy of the written grievance and settlement should be filed with the Vice President of Student Affairs. If the grievance and settlement does not result in discipline of the employee, no record shall be maintained. Maintenance of records shall be in compliance with the employee contract.
Additional Complaint Process
Saint Paul College—A Community and Technical College, is part of the Minnesota State system of public two and four year institutions of higher education designated by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 136F and governed by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC). If you wish to file a complaint about the Saint Paul College with the HLC, you may do so by contacting:
Higher Learning Commission
230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1413
Saint Paul College takes student complaints and grievances seriously. If you have a complaint about Saint Paul College—A Community and Technical College, we encourage you to utilize the Institution's Student Complaint and Grievance Process provided in Minnesota State Board Policy 3.8 and System Procedure 3.8.1. If your grievance involves a Board Policy, the actions of the Saint Paul College President, an issue of institutional or program quality such as an institution's compliance with the standards of an accrediting or licensing agency, or a claim of consumer fraud or deceptive trade practices, you may appeal to the Office of the Chancellor pursuant to the Board Policy 3.8 and System Procedure 3.8.1. The contact information for the Office of the Chancellor is:
Academic and Student Affairs
Office of the Chancellor
Wells Fargo Place 30 7th St. E., Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101-7804