Academic Student Complaint Process

Academic Complaint Form (pdf)

A student complaint is any non-civil rights related complaint generated by an individual student concerning the work-related activities of any faculty member (such as grade disputes).  Academic Complaints can include but are not limited to the following: an evaluation of academic work (e.g., grade dispute, exam retakes) failure of a faculty member to follow college policies in the conduct of classes or examinations, etc.

Each student complaint is processed separately unless the instructor involved agrees to meet with multiple students.

The following steps outline the requirements of students as well as the timeline for the Academic Complaint Process:

1. Student Meets with Instructor

Students must initiate a scheduled conference with the instructor with whom they have a complaint no later than the end of the fourth week of the semester following the relevant incident/dispute. A face-to-face meeting is strongly preferred, but electronic formats that allow for multiple participants are acceptable. One representative, who must be from Jackson College (a current student, instructor or administrator), may be requested by each party to participate in this scheduled informal meeting. At this conference the student must identify the concern(s) and propose a resolution. If the instructor is no longer employed by the College the student will meeting with the Department Chair.

2. Student Puts Complaint in Writing

If the conflict is not resolved in the conference between the student and instructor, the student, if he/she chooses to pursue the matter further must put the complaint in writing using the form provided and submit it to the Student Ombudsman. The complaint should contain (at a minimum): the date and time of the alleged conflict or action, the date and time of the Step 1 meeting, a summary of the complaint along with any relevant documentation and the specific resolution or outcome the student is seeking. The form and any companying documentation should be submitted within 10 business days of the Step 1 meeting.

3. Department Chair Holds an Informal Hearing

The Department Chair will contact the instructor and student to arrange a meeting within a reasonable timeframe following the guidelines in the faculty manual. The department chair will conduct any necessary investigation prior to the meeting. A face-to-face meeting is strongly preferred, but electronic formats that allow for multiple participants are acceptable. One representative, who must be from Jackson College (a current student, instructor or administrator), may be requested by each party to participate in this scheduled informal meeting. The department chair’s role in this meeting is a neutral mediator. The department chair will make a written recommendation within 5 business days for the meeting, the recommendation will be forwarded to the student, instructor and Student Ombudsman.

4. Complaint Submitted to Dean

If the student or instructor is unsatisfied with the results of the meeting with the Department Chair, they must request that the Student Ombudsman send the complaint on to the supervising Academic Dean. The Student Ombudsman will then forward the formal written complaint and ant supporting documents, including the Department Chairs written recommendation. The Dean shall promptly provide the instructor and the Association President with a true and complete copy of the student’s written statement(s).

5. Dean Holds a Hearing

Within five (5) business days of the time the instructor and the Association should have received the copies of the student’s written statement(s), the Dean shall contact the student instructor and the Association President to arrange a formal hearing. A face-to-face meeting is strongly preferred, but electronic formats that allow for multiple participants are acceptable Parties of interest that may attend the hearing shall include the student, the student ombudsman (if the student so desires), the instructor, his/her Association representative and the Department Chair. Other individuals may be present at the hearing but they may not participate in the proceedings.

6. Dean Issues a Resolution

Within five (5) business days after the hearing, the Dean will distribute a written resolution of the complaint to the student, instructor, the Association President and Student Ombudsman. The written resolution will state the facts as assessed by the Dean and indicate that appropriate action will be taken.

7. Appeal to the Provost

In the event the student or the instructor is not satisfied with the Dean’s disposition of the complaint, the disposition may be appealed to the Provost. A Provost appeal will only be considered if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Three is substantive new evidence that was not previously available at the time of the Dean’s hearing which could have materially affected the outcome.
  • There were procedural errors in the cares that substantively impacted the fairness of the hearing.

If the student or instructor has grounds for the appeal as delineated above the must submit a letter to the provost outlining the grounds for their appeal within five (5) business days of the receipt  of the supervising Academic Dean’s written resolution. The Provost may request all relevant documentation from the supervising Academic Dean and the Student Ombudsman The Provost will decide within five (5) business days of the receipt of al relevant documents where a formal appeal hearing is warranted.

If the Provost determines that a formal appeal hearing is warranted he/she shall contact the student, instructor, the Association President to arrange a formal hearing within a reasonable timeframe. Parties of interest that may attend the hearing shall include the student, the student ombudsman (if the student so desires), the instructor, his/her Association representative and the Department Chair. The provost may include a non-participating Academic Dean in the appeal process. A face-to-face meeting is strongly preferred, but electronic formats that allow for multiple participants are acceptable.

8. Provost issues an Appeals Resolution

Within five (5) business days after the hearing, the Provost will distribute a written resolution of the appeal to the student, instructor, the Association President, the supervising Academic Dean and Student Ombudsman. The written resolution will state the facts as assessed by the Provost and indicate that appropriate action will be take. This is the ultimate step in the Academic Student Complaint Process and the decision of the Provost is final.


Filing a Complaint with the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Corporations, Security & Commercial Licensing Bureau is the agency designated to review complaints against institutions of higher education providing distance education. Complaints concerning JC’s distance education activities regulated by Michigan’s Higher Education Authorization and Distance Education Reciprocal Exchange Act (2015 PA 45) may be directed to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, P.O. Box 30018, Lansing, MI 48909.

Process for filing a complaint (pdf)