Student Complaint – General

Office of Origin: Student Services
Date Adopted:
Date Reviewed: 09-26-16
Last Date Modified & Approved: 09-27-16

Lake Michigan College strives to resolve all student complaints in a fair and expedient manner. This policy and procedure pertains to non-civil rights* related complaints that involve issues that are general in nature and are not related to instruction or academic matters, such as complaints about non-teaching college staff, the parking lot, snow removal, bathroom maintenance, facility issues, etc. Student who have complaints that involve instruction or academic matters, such as evaluations of academic work (e.g., examinations, quizzes, papers, final course grades, etc.), and/or failure of a faculty member to follow College policies and/or procedures as they relate to instruction or academic matters, should refer to the Student Complaint – Academic Policy and Procedure.

Students who want to file a complaint regarding general, non-academic College operations should report their concerns to the Executive Director, Students or his/her designee. The following steps outline the requirements of the students as well as the timeline for the General Complaint Process:

  • Verbal or written student complaint(s) should be submitted to The Executive Director, Students or his/her designee. The Executive Director, Students or his/her designee will consider the merits of the complaint and will take any and all action they consider appropriate or necessary to resolve the concerns raised in the complaint. At this level, the student may request to remain anonymous. Students having a complaint may submit the complaint either verbally or in writing at any time. The Executive Director, Students will respond to the complaint within 7 business days.
  • If the student’s verbal or written complaint is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction and the student chooses to continue to pursue the complaint further, the student must submit a request in writing (making the complaint a formal complaint) to the Executive Director, Students or his/her designee requesting further resolution. The written request must be submitted within 10 business days of notification of the Executive Director, Students resolution to the informal complaint. The written request must include the specific nature of the complaint, reasons for filing the complaint, all documentation supporting the complaint, and specific remedy requested. The Executive Director, Students or his/her designee will seek a resolution by using the following means:
    • Contact the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that a complaint has been lodged against and arrange a meeting between the parties involved to discuss a possible resolution. The written complaint will be forwarded to all appropriate parties involved in the conflict prior to the meeting. If a satisfactory resolution is concluded, then the appropriate college employee who received the complaint shall notify the Executive Director, Students that the complaint Lake Michigan College Policy has been resolved, and an appropriate entry shall be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log.
    • Should a resolution not be reached, the Executive Director, Students or his/her designee will review the complaint and all supporting material and render a written decision regarding the complaint which shall include the basis of the decision. A decision to the formal complaint will be rendered within five (5) business days and will be communicated in writing. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing with a copy to the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that the complaint has been lodged against. An entry regarding the complaint and resolution will be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log.
    • Appeal Process: In the event the Executive Director, Students or his/her designee is unable to resolve the complaint; the complaint will be forwarded to the Vice President, Student Services for review and action. The Vice President, Student Services will review the complaint and all supporting material and render a written decision regarding the complaint which shall include the basis of the decision. A decision to the formal complaint will be rendered within five (5) business days and will be communicated in writing. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing with a copy to the appropriate college employee who is responsible for the college operation that the complaint has been lodged against. The decision from the Vice President, Student Services shall be final. No further appeal will be considered. An entry regarding the complaint and resolution will be recorded in the LMC Student Complaint Log.

Formal Complaint Log
Formal complaints will result in an anonymous entry to the LMC Student Complaint Log. The Log is available for review by college staff, representatives of accrediting agencies, and by other, appropriate outside agencies. The names of any individuals involved in a complaint (including the names of any student(s) or LMC staff directly involved) are not part of the Log. The LMC Student Complaint Log will include the following information: 
A. A description of the complaint
B. The date the complaint was received
C. The category of the complaint (grounds, facilities, etc.)
D. Steps taken to address the complaint
E. The disposition of the complaint, including referral to an outside agency
F. Any external actions initiated by a student and related to a given complaint

Maintenance of the Complaint Log
LMC will maintain records of complaints for a minimum of ten years. The Director of Student Life and Housing will maintain the LMC Student Complaint Log. Accrediting agencies and other appropriate outside agencies will be able to review the LMC Student Complaint Log in conjunction with accrediting visits and self-studies. 

Notice to Students
Complaint resolutions procedures are published on the LMC website, in the College Catalog and Student Handbook. Students can get hard copies at any LMC Student Information Center location.

*Civil Rights Issues:
This policy and procedure does not apply to issues related to sexual harassment, civil rights, Title IX, and disability concerns. Complaints or concerns related to civil rights issues should be discussed with the Executive Director of Human Resources and Diversity. 

Out-of-state Students Taking Distance Learning Courses:
LMC distance education students wishing to file a formal complaint must first seek resolution through LMC’s Student Complaint Policies and Procedures. LMC participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the state of Michigan. If a student's complaint cannot be resolved internally at LMC, the student may file a complaint with the state of Michigan – Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department  (http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-61343_35395_35396---,00.html).

Accreditation:
Lake Michigan College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds several program accreditations. To learn more about LMC’s accreditations, please visit www.lakemichigancollege.edu/home/discover-lmc/about-lake-michigan-college/accreditation

Sharing Disclosure:
All complaints submitted in writing, signed by a student, and addressed to or submitted to an academic officer may be shared with agencies that accredit the College or its programs unless the student expressly prohibits the College from doing so. 

Student Consumer Information:
In accordance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, prospective students, enrolled students, and employees may access student consumer information at www.lakemichigancollege.edu/home/discover-lmc/about-lake-michigan-college/studentconsumer-information

Responsibility: Vice President, Student Services
References: Questions regarding this policy and procedure should be directed to the Executive Director, Students.