The institution complies with the policies of the Commission on Colleges. (Policy compliance)
3.13.3 “Complaint Procedures against the Commission or its Accredited Institutions”
Applicable Policy Statement. Each institution is required to have in place student complaint policies and procedures that are reasonable, fairly administered, and well-publicized. (See FR 4.5). The Commission also requires, in accord with federal regulations, that each institution maintains a record of complaints received by the institution. This record is made available to the Commission upon request. This record will be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution’s decennial evaluation.
Documentation: When addressing this policy statement, the institution should provide information to the Commission describing how the institution maintains its record and also include the following: (1) individuals/offices responsible for the maintenance of the record(s), (2) elements of a complaint review that are included in the record, and (3) where the record(s) is located (centralized or decentralized). The record itself will be reviewed during the on-site evaluation of the institution.
X In compliance Partially compliant Non-compliant Not applicable
Francis Marion University student grievance and complaint policies and procedures satisfy the criteria of the Complaint Procedures against SACSCOC or Its Accredited Institutions [1-scroll down to p. 2] by:
- “maintain[ing] a record of complaints received by the institution”
- having the records available for review and evaluation “by the Commission as part of the decennial evaluation.”
Location of Records
Records of campus complaints and their dispositions are maintained by various campus offices, depending upon the nature of the complaints as described in the following table:
|Type of Complaint||Recording and File Maintenance|
|Grade Appeal||Office of the Provost|
|Sexual Harassment||Office of Student Affairs
Office of the Vice President for Administration
|Financial Assistance||Office of Financial Assistance|
|Disability and Accommodation||Office of the Vice President for Administration|
Table 1. Location of Student Complaint Forms and Records of Actions Taken
Elements Included in Records of Students’ Complaints
In general, the elements included in records of student complaints are as follows:
- a written communication from the student describing the complaint
- a written response from the appropriate university office describing the established procedure the student should follow in pursuing the complaint
- any additional written description of the complaint from the student that results from following university procedures
- a written communication from the appropriate university office indicating the disposition of the student complaint.
In cases where students choose to appeal the disposition of a complaint, the records of student complaints will also include:
- the written request for appeal
- a written response from the appropriate university office regarding the established appeal procedure
- any additional written communication from the student explaining the basis for the appeal
- a written communication from the appropriate university office indicating the disposition of the appeal.
Copies of two Non-Academic Student Concern or Complaint Forms filed by students and the resolutions of the complaints are attached [2, 3]. The complaints were lodged against two staff members and the Financial Assistance Office, respectively. The sheet of Guidelines for Student Concerns or Complaints which is attached to the form when it is distributed by the Office of Student Affairs is shown here . The same information is located in the Catalog 2017-2018 .