The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) requires its accredited institutions to have in place student complaint policies and procedures that are reasonable, fairly administered, and well publicized. The Commission also requires, in accord with federal regulations, that each institution maintains a record of complaints received by the institution. The record of complaints may be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution's decennial evaluation or when other SACSCOC Committees are on campus. Students may wish to file complaints against the College with SACSCOC and may also file complaints against the SACSCOC Board of Directors, staff and visiting teams. The three procedures for filing complaints are highlighted below;
Purpose of the Complaint Procedures
Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) is required to have adequate procedures for addressing student complaints and for maintaining records of student complaints by both SACSCOC and the Federal Department of Education.
Responsibility for Compiling and Responding to Complaints to H-SC
The Dean of Students has line accountability and responsibility for the process of reporting the results of the student complaints and makes regular reports, as appropriate to the President and the Senior Cabinet. Additionally, the office of the Dean of Student Affairs serves as the permanent repository for all student complaints regarding H-SC.
A. Procedures for Writing Formal Student Complaint against H-SC
1. H-SC has several appeals processes delineated in the KEY (Student Handbook) consistent with best practices in private liberal arts educational institutions. In all cases, students are encouraged to complete these processes prior to lodging a formal written complaint.
2. In every case, students are encouraged to speak with appropriate faculty, administrators, or students in order to seek resolution prior to filing a complaint.
3. All formal written complaints must be filed using the document entitled, Hampden-Sydney College Student Complaint Form. The form and instructions are available on the College website. Paper copies are available in the Office of Student Affairs at no cost to students. The Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs will be available to meet to assist in filing complaints.
4. All completed Hampden-Sydney College Student Complaint Forms and supporting documentation are to be submitted to the Dean of Students who will review the documents for completeness. Complaints against the Office of Student Affairs are submitted to the Dean of Faculty, rather than the Dean of Students.
5. The Dean of Students will review Student Complaints and all documentation and investigate the issues raised therein. Additional documentation and personal visits with students, faculty, and administrators may be requested.
6. The Dean of Students will respond to the complainant in writing within 14 business days.
7. A student may appeal a decision made by the Dean of Students via notification by letter or email correspondence. The President will review all documentation and may request interviews with the students, faculty, or administration. The President will respond within 14 business days in writing to the complaint.
8. All Student Complaints will be kept on file in the office of Student Affairs for ten years. A report of all Student Complaints shall be made quarterly to the Senior Cabinet.
B. The Procedure for Filing a Complaint Against the College with SACSCOC
The College has published the entire Procedure for Filing a Complaint Against the College with SACSCOC (please reference page 3) with all pertinent documents and provided a link to SACSCOC web page containing the Policy.
C. Procedure for Filing Complaints Against SACSCOC Board of Trustees and Staff
The College has published the entire Procedure for Filing a Complaint Against the SACSCOC Board of Trustees and Staff (please reference page 5) and all pertinent documents on the College website and provided a link to SACSCOC web page containing the Policy.