150.040 – Student Grievance Policy

Revised: February 2021

POLICY

The primary objective of the grievance policy is to ensure that student concerns are promptly addressed, and that resolutions are reached in a fair and just manner.

A grievance is defined as dissatisfaction occurring when a student believes that any decision, act, or condition affecting them is illegal, unjust, or creates unnecessary hardship. Such grievances may concern, but are not limited to, the following: academic problems; wrongful assessment of fees; records and registration errors; and discrimination because of race, national origin, sex, marital status, religion, age, or disability. Complaints covered by policies already in place (i.e., Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence, Drug Free Campus, Smoke Free Campus, Alcohol, Plagiarism, Withdrawal and Refund Policies, etc.) are excluded from this policy.

PROCEDURE

Students at Maine Media Workshops + College may file a grievance through this procedure. Prior to invoking the procedures described below, the student is strongly encouraged to discuss his or her grievance with the person(s) alleged to have caused the grievance. The discussion should be held as soon as the student first becomes aware of the act or condition that is the basis of the grievance. Regarding an academic concern, if a student elects to bypass the above or is dissatisfied with the response, the student is encouraged to seek counsel from the Program Chair or Director. If the student is still dissatisfied they may present the grievance in writing to the Academic Standards Committee via the Provost. A hearing of the grievance before the Academic Standards Committee will be scheduled within 10 days of receipt of the written grievance should it be required to resolve the grievance. The Committee will respond to the student in writing within one week from the date of the hearing.

If the grievance is non-academic in nature (i.e., disciplinary, financial aid, records) the student is encouraged to seek counsel from the Program Chair or Director.

If the student is still dissatisfied they may complete the Incident & Grievance From. A hearing of the grievance before the appropriate Committee will be scheduled within ten days of receipt of the form should it be required to resolve the grievance. The Committee will respond to the student in writing within one week from the date of the hearing.

A grievance against the Program Chair, Director or the Provost should be submitted to the President of the College.

Matters of serious legal or consequential outcomes will be directed without delay to other appropriate venues. All matters shall be considered confidential and shall involve only the necessary parties and representatives of the College. Records of grievances and their resolutions shall be retained in such a way to respect the privacy of the complainant.

Regardless of the situation, no member of the College community may harass or retaliate against a student who has filed a grievance under the College grievance procedure.

The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) also has a procedure to receive grievances from other institutions, students, faculty, or the public against a college, including tuition and fee policies, and as related to NECHE standards, policies or procedures. Such grievances shall be placed in writing in detail by the complainant and submitted to the NECHE office. You may review the criteria for making a public comment or filing a formal complaint and download the required complaint form at http://cihe.neasc.org/information_for_the_public/comments_amp_complaints/.

If the complaint meets the Commission’s criteria for consideration, it will be forwarded to the College President, who is asked to respond within 30 days. At NECHE’s next regularly scheduled meeting, the Commission may consider both the complaint and Maine Media College’s response and determine whether or not further action is required. The complainant and the institution will be notified in writing of the Commission’s decision in the matter. For guidance on filing either a Public Comment or Complaint, you may email [email protected]

For information on registering a complaint against Maine Media College in the State of Maine, students should contact the following agencies for additional information. When the Consumer Protection Division receives a complaint, they will determine whether it is suitable to refer to their Consumer Mediation Service. In many cases, the best response is to provide the complainant with information on how to resolve your problem.

Maine Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
6 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333
1-800-436-2131
[email protected]
http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/complaints/complaint_form.shtml

Maine Department of Education
Angel Martinez Loredo
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0023
Telephone:  (207) 624-6846
Fax:  (207) 624-6841

The policies and procedures with respect to student complaints are not meant to prevent a student from seeking immediate resolution to a matter that could result in ongoing and serious physical, emotional, or financial harm to the student or to others. Rather, they are meant to foster a productive and meaningful resolution to legitimate student concerns.