Student Complaints Process
As learners within a university community, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to model appropriate, effective, and respectful interpersonal communication. If issues arise, the parties involved should make a genuine effort to resolve them. When efforts to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution are unsuccessful, students are advised to proceed as quickly as possible to initiate a complaint. Staff, faculty, and administrators are advised to acknowledge receipt of a complaint promptly and to respond in an expeditious manner. Generally, receipt of a complaint should be acknowledged within five (5) business days.
The following section outlines the general complaint procedures that are followed by all offices and departments at Clayton State University. If a student wishes to appeal the outcome of a policy/procedure or to question the manner in which the policy/procedure was administered, a complaint can be initiated at the most appropriate step within the General Complaint Procedures below. The final section of this page provides links to some of the more common categories of appeals that have specific procedures and policies, such as customer service complaints, satisfactory academic progress, grade appeals, hardship withdrawals, readmission appeals, student conduct, and grievances.
General Complaint Procedures
Students who wish to file a complaint about an academic or non-academic concern should follow the procedure outlined below:
- The student should attempt an informal resolution of concerns by interacting directly with the individual(s) involved or with the first-line supervisor of the individual, department, or office.
- If resolution is not achieved through informal interaction, the student may direct the complaint—verbally or in writing—to the Director/Department Head/Chair of the department or office. The Director/Department Head/Chair will attempt to facilitate resolution between the parties.
- If resolution is not achieved through the initial intervention of the Director/Department
Head/Chair, the matter can be directed as follows:
- The student must present a formal written complaint using the student complaint form.
- Complaints should be submitted using the following guide:
- For complaints initiated with an academic department:
- Dean of the college/school for academic complaints.
- Complaints not resolved at the Dean level can then be directed to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee). Appeals to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs should be made within 10 business days of the Dean's Office decision.
- For complaints initiated with all other departments:
- The appropriate Associate/Assistant Vice President (or designee) responsible for the unit.
- Complaints not resolved at the Associate/Assistant Vice President level can then be directed to the Vice President responsible for that unit. Appeals to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs should be made within 10 business days of the Dean's Office decision.
- For complaints initiated with an academic department:
- Unless otherwise specified, the Vice President (or designee) responsible for the unit will constitute the final decision-making authority for the University. Students have the right to appeal decisions to the President of the University within 10 business days of the Vice President's (or designee) decision. The results of complaints appealed at this level are final and may not be appealed further. All appeals will be recorded in the student complaint log.
- Logs of all formal written complaints will be entered by the person receiving the complaint and will be stored on the password protected University server. The logs will be monitored by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee), the Dean of Students, and the Dean of Assessment and Instructional Development.
Customer Service Complaint
- Follow the General Complaint Procedures above
- Listing of Offices and Departments
Common University Policy/Procedure Categories
- Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal
- Grade Appeal
- A grade appeal is can be filed if a student feels that their grade was reported incorrectly
due to a miscalculation, did not follow the grading method contained in the syllabus,
or was reported wrong during the grade reporting period. Students wishing to file
an appeal of a grade must:
- First attempt to work out the matter informally with the appropriate instructor (if applicable).
- If that is not satisfactory or if the instructor cannot be contacted, the appealing student must contact the relevant department head or associate dean. The appeal must be initiated as soon as possible. The student must put his or her case in writing and supply documentation unless the matter is resolved informally before an official appeal is filed. Written appeals should be directed to the relevant department head or associate dean with a copy to the dean. The department head/associate dean in consultation with the dean will provide the appellant with a written answer.
- Students may appeal the school/department-level response by submitting a written statement to the Office of the Provost.
- Appeals initiated more than one semester following the time that the dispute arose will not be considered. Other details about the appeal process are contained in the Student Handbook section, which can be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or via the University website.
- A grade appeal is can be filed if a student feels that their grade was reported incorrectly due to a miscalculation, did not follow the grading method contained in the syllabus, or was reported wrong during the grade reporting period. Students wishing to file an appeal of a grade must:
- Graduation Appeal
- Contact the Registrar’s Office, 239 Edgewater Hall, (678) 466-4150
- Hardship Withdrawal
- Readmission Appeal
- Student Community Standards / Student Conduct Process
Grievance (on the basis of personal status)
Procedure for Filing a Formal Written Complaint Students who wish to file a complaint should follow the procedures outlined in the General Student Complaint Policy above. If you have already attempted informal resolution with the party involved via phone, email or in person, then you may file a Formal Written Complaint to the appropriate Academic Dean or Vice President using the form below. All Formal Written Complaints will be logged and available for viewing by representatives from Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Complaints must be filed within 30 days of the alleged issue or the last recorded date of attendance, whichever comes first. Formal Written Complaint Form