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Complaint Procedures

Procedures

Any person who believes he/she has been aggrieved by the College may file a complaint with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students within 90 days of the alleged occurrence or event giving rise to the grievance. Complaints may be made in person, by telephone, or in writing. You will be asked to discuss your problem with a responsible college representative, one who may best be able to resolve your concerns.

In response to a written complaint, the College will investigate the allegations and respond to the grievant in a timely manner. Should the need arise, the College may contact the grievant for further information or clarification of the complaint. The complaint may be referred to a responsible campus official for resolution; any final determination of a formal complaint will be made by an individual not directly involved in the alleged problem.

No adverse action will be taken by the College against the student or other complainant.

The College will maintain a written record of the complaint and its resolution or disposition, including appropriate documentation, for a period of six years. Such file will be retained in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

If a grievant wishes, he/she may file a formal written complaint with the State Education Department in accordance with their guidelines (see below). An official complaint form and guidelines are available in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

State Education Department Procedures

Section 494C(j) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, provides that a student, faculty member, or any other person who believes he/she has been aggrieved by an institution of higher education has the right to file a written complaint.

In New York State, a complaint may be filed by any person with reason to believe that an institution has acted contrary to its published standards or that conditions at the institution appear to jeopardize the quality of the institution’s instructional programs or the general welfare of its students. Any person who believes he/she has been aggrieved by an institution on or after May 4, 1994 may file a written complaint with the Department within three years of the alleged incident.

How to File a Complaint

  1. The person should first try to resolve the complaint directly with the institution by following the internal-complaint procedure listed above. An institution of higher education is required to publish its internal-complaint procedure in a primary-information document such as the catalog or student handbook.
  2. If a person is unable to resolve the complaint with the institution or believes that the institution has not properly addressed the concerns, he/she may write or telephone the Postsecondary Complaint Registry to request a complaint form – (212) 951-6493 or write to: New York State Education Department Postsecondary Complaint Registry, One Park Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016.
  3. The Postsecondary Complaint Registry Form should be completed, signed, and sent to the above address. The completed form should indicate the resolution being sought and any efforts that have been made to resolve the complaint through the institution’s internal-complaint procedure. Copies of all relevant documents should be included.
  4. After receiving the completed form, the Department will notify the complainant of its receipt, and make any necessary request for further information. When appropriate, the Department will also advise the institution that a complaint has been made and of the nature of the complaint. The complainant will also be notified of the name of the evaluator assigned to address the specific complaint. The evaluator may contact the complainant for additional information.
  5. The Department will make every effort to address and resolve complaints within 90 days of receipt of the complaint form.

Complaint Resolution

Some complaints fall within the jurisdiction of an agency or organization other than the State Education Department. These complaints will be referred to the entity with appropriate jurisdiction. When a complaint concerns a matter that falls solely within the jurisdiction of the institution of higher education, the complainant will be notified, the Department will refer the complainant to the institution in question, and a request will be made to have the matter receive a review and response.

Upon conclusion of the Department’s complaint review or upon a disposition of the complaint by referral to another agency or organization or to the institution of higher education, the Department will issue a written notice to the complainant describing the resolution of the complaint. The complainant may contact the Department evaluator directly for follow-up information or for additional assistance.

Copies of letters of disciplinary sanction are sent to the parents of any dependent student (those who do not possess independent/emancipated student status as identified by the Director of Financial Aid). Such letters are sent with the full knowledge of the student.