Student Grievances and Appeals | KCTCS

Administrative Procedures

Student Grievances and Appeals

Procedure Number: 6.0-P

Current Effective Date: 05/20/2022

Original Effective Date: 05/20/2022

Revision Dates: 0

Revision Number: 0

Revision Summary: implements new procedure formerly in the Code of Student Conduct

Responsible Official: Chancellor, General Counsel

References: KCTCS Code of Student Conduct, Administrative Policy 6.0

1. Purpose

This procedure describes the process by which KCTCS students may appeal violations of their academic rights. 

2. Scope

This procedure applies to all students enrolled and attending any KCTCS institution.

3. Procedure

3.1 College Appeals Board

The College Appeals Board (CAB) serves as a hearing body for appeals of violations of academic rights, of findings of academic misconduct, and for non-academic/behavioral violations. 

  1. Composition
    1. Regular Members: The CAB shall consist of seven (7) members confirmed by the College President: 
      • Two (2) full time students
      • Three (3) full time faculty
      • Two (2) full time staff

    2. Alternates. To ensure that the CAB can be convened in instances of absences or conflicts of interest of regular members, the College President shall name or confirm the following alternates who meet the same requirements as the regular members. 
      • Two (2) students
      • Two (2) faculty
      • One (1) staff
  2. Service on the Cab
    1. Student members and alternates:  Each student member must have earned at least 24 semester credit hours at the college, must have had one (1) full academic year of attendance at the college, and must be in good academic standing.  The CSAO shall recommend students to the College President for appointment.  Appointments shall be for a term of one (1) year. 
    2. Faculty and staff members and alternates:  Faculty and staff members may be selected to staggered three-year terms by the faculty and/or College staff with the final appointment confirmed by the College President or designee.  Faculty representatives cannot be division chairs or deans.
    3. Appeals Board Chair:  The chair is elected annually by the Appeals Board members.
  3. Quorum

A quorum of five (5) members, at least three (3) of whom must be faculty and staff and a minimum of two (2) faculty (regular members or alternates), is required for the conduct of business of the Appeals Board. 

3.2 Grievances and Appeals of a Student’s Academic Rights 

  1. Email may be used to file any “written grievance” and “written appeal” or provide any “written notice” described in this procedure.
     
  2. The College President may name a designee for the actions described in this procedure.  
  1. Students may file grievances when they believe a violation of their academic rights has occurred.  Students have the academic right to: 
    1. timely receive information about course content

    2. timely receive information about course grading criteria

    3. hold and express a contrary opinion

    4. fair and impartial academic evaluation

    5. confidentiality of academic records

    6. informed evaluation of student character and ability

      More information about student academic rights may be found in the Student Bill of Rights, particularly #6, 7, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19 and 20.

  2. Grievances Involving Academic Rights of Students
    1. If a student encounters a problem in a class and wishes to file a grievance, the student should first speak with the instructor and try to resolve the issue. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the student should proceed follow the remaining steps outlined below.

    2. If no satisfactory resolution is achieved with the instructor, the student may submit a formal written grievance. This grievance: 
      1. Must specify the alleged violations as soon as possible following the occurrence of the violation.

      2. Must be submitted to the appropriate administrator at the college providing the class which is the subject of the appeal. These administrators may have the title of Division Chair, Program or Discipline Coordinator, Dean, or other title, which vary by college.

      3. May be submitted no later than five (5) business days after the first day of classes in the following semester. Untimely appeals will not be considered.

    3. Upon receipt of the student grievance, the administrator will attempt to resolve the issue. If no resolution is agreed upon by all parties within 15 business days, the administrator will refer the case to the College President.

    4. The College President or designee will attempt to resolve the grievance.  If no resolution can be agreed upon within 15 business days, the College President must notify the student in writing.

    5. If the student does not receive timely notification or does not accept the decision of the College President, the student has ten (10) business days to submit a written appeal to the College President requesting a hearing before the CAB.

    6. No new matter may be appealed to the CAB which was not included in the student’s original formal written grievance to the administrator described in number 2 above.

  3. Appeals of Student Academic Offenses (Standard 1 of the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct) 
    1. If a student has been found to have committed an academic offense, the student may protest the decision to the faculty member. The faculty member may decide to uphold or rescind their finding or may change the sanction they implemented for the violation.

    2. Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of their protest to the faculty member may submit an appeal to the appropriate administrator.  The administrator shall attempt to resolve student appeals to the satisfaction of the instructor and the student.  If the administrator upholds the decision of the instructor, the student may file a written appeal to the College President within ten (10) business days of receiving the administrator’s decision.

    3. The College President shall review and attempt to resolve the appeal.  If no resolution is reached within ten (10) business days, the student may submit a written appeal to the College President requesting a hearing before the CAB.

  4. Student Rights During the Appeals Process: In cases of academic rights and academic offenses, the student shall have the right of class attendance and participation during the consideration of any appeal except that such attendance and participation may be limited when:
    1. outside agencies are used as a part of the student’s educational experience, in which case precedence will be given to the terms of any agreement(s), which have been negotiated between the college and the agency; or

    2. patient/client contact is involved in the student’s educational experience, in which case only patient/client contact may be limited or excluded at the discretion of program faculty.

  5. If the appeal is decided in the student’s favor, the college must provide an opportunity for the student to complete any essential experiences missed due to the appeals process.

  6. In an appeal of a grade after the class has been completed, the CAB can only change the grade to a P or a W.

3.3 Appeals of Behavioral/Non-Academic Offenses (Standards 2-4)

Students who have been found to have violated the Code may submit a written appeal to the College President requesting a hearing before the CAB. The appeal may ask for reconsideration of being found to have committed the violation(s), the severity of the sanction(s), or both.  

3.4 College Appeals Board Procedures

  1. Upon receipt of a CAB appeal, the College President shall forward the appeal to the CAB Chair. Within ten (10) business days, the Chair will convene the CAB to make the following determinations based on the written appeal document(s): 
    1. Whether or not any conflicts of interest arise with the regular members of the CAB. If conflicts are found, the respective alternates will be used instead.

    2. Whether or not the reason for the appeal is within the CAB’s authority to hear. The Code and this procedure describe the issues that may be heard by the CAB.

    3. If the CAB finds it does not have authority to hear the appeal, the Chair will send written notice of the decision to the student and the College President within four (4) business days. This decision is final and not appealable.

  2. If the CAB decides the appeal is within their authority, then within five (5) business days, the CAB chair shall invite the appropriate college representatives to provide written statements and any related records. These statements and records are due to be returned to the CAB within ten (10) business days.

  3. The CAB then has ten (10) business days to review the appeal and all the documentation to decide by majority vote whether to hold a hearing or decide the appeal based on the written documentation provided by each party.

  4. The CAB will notify the student and the college representatives in writing within five (5) business days of their decision. If the CAB makes a decision based on the written documentation, that decision is final, and the student has no further right to appeal within the system.

  5. If the CAB decides to hear the case, it will establish procedures and a schedule. All parties shall have the opportunity to appear at the hearing and to present oral and written evidence in support of their positions. The CAB may call for further evidence as it deems appropriate. The hearing shall be held, and a final decision made by the CAB within 20 business days after the decision to hear the case. The CAB’s decision is final, and the student has no further right to appeal within the system. 

3.5 Appeal of Suspension or Expulsion to the KCTCS Board of Regents

Pursuant to KRS 164.370, students may appeal a sanction of suspension or expulsion to the KCTCS Board of Regents.

  1. Before an appeal can be submitted to the Board of Regents, the student must exhaust all available remedies by using all applicable appeal processes in this Code.

  2. The student has 30 calendar days from the completion of the final applicable appeal process to submit an appeal in writing to the KCTCS Board of Regents in care of the KCTCS President.

  3. Upon receipt of an appeal, the KCTCS President shall forward the appeal document to the Office of General Counsel.  The Office of General Counsel shall conduct a review of the record related to the suspension or expulsion and may conduct additional fact finding if warranted. The Office of General Counsel shall prepare a Report of Findings.

  4. The appeal shall be heard by a three-person panel (appointed by the KCTCS President) consisting of the Chancellor, a faculty member of the KCTCS Board of Regents, and a student member of the KCTCS Board of Regents.  The panel members shall review the Report of Findings then meet, with the option to use video conferencing, with a representative of the Office of General Counsel to finalize a recommendation, which will be acted upon by the full Board of Regents at the next scheduled meeting.

  5. The student shall be notified in writing of the recommendation of the panel and of the date the full Board will take action on the recommendation.  Once the Board has taken action, the student will receive written notice of the final decision.