SACS Principles of Accreditation
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Section VI: COC Federal Requirements

4.5 The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (See Commission policy "The Review of Complaints Involving the Commission or its Accredited Institutions.")



JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Compliance.

NARRATIVE/JUSTIFICATION FOR JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

The University has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints.

The University takes a proactive stance with respect to student concerns and emphasizes the importance of communication as a first step in the resolution of issues. The Student Handbook indicates that dialogue among parties is the first step in resolving disputes before initiating formal procedures to address complaints or grievances associated with discrimination, disability accommodations, harassment, grade disputes, academic dishonesty, absences or disciplinary actions.(Student Handbook, Grievance Procedures) The Student Handbook also provides an overview of rights, responsibilities, and relevant law. The Faculty Handbook outlines the process of grievance in which students and faculty are involved. (Faculty Handbook, 2.31 Faculty Complaint, Grievance and Appeal Procedures, A. Faculty - Student)

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs has an open-door policy for all students. It is not uncommon for students to go to the Vice President to discuss a situation that could result in a grievance. Should the matter be urgent and the Vice President not immediately available in the office, the office will refer the student to the Office of Student Life for immediate assistance. In most other cases the Vice President will meet with the student then explain the appropriate steps for that particular situation.

The Office of Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs maintains the Student Handbook and serves as a centralized office where students can go to deal with complaints or seek guidance in preparing and filing complaints that fall outside the charge of Student Life. The Office of Student Life provides information regarding applicable laws, university rules and procedures and options for resolution of complaints.

The Office of Financial Aid has its own appeals process for students who have lost their financial aid. Students are required to complete an appeal form outlined in the Financial Aid Appeals Process which is submitted to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee for review. All other financial disputes are handled at the lowest point of resolution beginning with the Associate Director proceeding through the chain of command to the Director of Financial Aid, the Executive Director of Enrollment Services and finally the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Student employment related disputes or grievances are handled by the Office of Human Resources. Student employees are considered regular University staff and therefore follow the same process as university staff who have employment related disputes or grievances. The Director of Human Resources provides guidance for employees filing grievances. The Texas A&M University System Regulation 32.01.02, Complaint and Appeal Process for Nonfaculty Employees details the procedures for University employees filing complaints and appeals.

In compliance with professional accreditation requirements, the School of Nursing has internal grievance procedures that emphasize dialogue and resolution of concerns. These policies and the process of internal review are published in the School of Nursing Student Handbook.(School of Nursing Student Handbook, Grievance)

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs maintains the confidential records of written student complaints and their resolution.(Student Complaint Records)





SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION


SOURCE

LOCATION/Special Instructions

Student Handbook, Grievance Procedures

http://www.tamiu.edu/affairs/develop/2004.pdf 
Scroll down to page 23.

Faculty Handbook, 2.31 Faculty Complaint, Grievance and Appeal Procedures, A. Faculty - Student

http://www.tamiu.edu/handbook.pdf 
Scroll down to page 55.

Financial Aid Appeals Process http://www.tamiu.edu/affairs/financial/appeal.PDF 

The Texas A&M University System Regulation 32.01.02, Complaint and Appeal Process for Nonfaculty Employees

http://sago.tamu.edu/policy/32-01-02.htm

Backup Link:

http://www.tamiu.edu/archives/sago-policy-32-01-02.htm
School of Nursing Student Handbook, Grievance http://www.tamiu.edu/cost/son/files/
completehandbook.pdf

Scroll down to page 69
Student Complaint Records Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
(Killam Library Room 160)


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