Student Complaints and Grievances

Student Complaints and Grievances

Our hope is that each and every student at AVTEC is successful and content with their experience.  However, we recognize that various obstacles may occur during training that students wish to address.  In these times, we ask that students utilize the Complaint and Grievance process to the best of their ability to voice any concerns they may have.

Definitions

A) Informal Complaint: An informal complaint is defined as an academic or non-academic issue that a student has with a faculty/instructor, fellow student, staff member, administrator, department or program of AVTEC.

B) Non-Academic Grievance: A non-academic grievance occurs when a Grievance Form is submitted because a student believes that they have been dealt with illogically, unfairly or in ways which violate established laws, rules, policies or procedures of AVTEC that has caused actual harm to the student.  Non-Academic Grievances are against: faculty/instructor, fellow student, staff member, administrator, department or program of AVTEC

C) Academic Grievance: An academic grievance occurs when a Grievance Form is submitted because a student believes they have been harmed by being treated illogically or unfairly within the context of their course/program.  Academic Grievances are against:  faculty/instructor, department head, administrator, department or program of AVTEC.  In order to file an academic grievance, the student must demonstrate actual harm. It does not involve perceived rude treatment, classroom style or general grading policies. For example, the student may not like a particular instructor’s classroom style or grading practices as a whole, but this does not constitute grounds for a grievance. The student may, however, use the informal complaint process to talk with a counselor or administrator about the perception of inappropriate behavior.

D) Privacy/Confidentiality: It is understood that committee members, faculty, staff, and administrators involved in the discussion of complaints or grievances will maintain professional standards of privacy as situations allow. Students should be aware that every effort will be made to maintain privacy; however, AVTEC officials may be obligated to disclose information to law enforcement or other agencies as required by law.  All counselors at AVTEC are provided as a confidential resource for students to utilize.

Process

It is hoped that minor differences can be resolved without utilizing the process listed below.  However, there may be situations where a more formal process may be necessary. This process is intended to settle disputes through mediation and reasoned discussion. It is not intended to overrule the student conduct process, the administrative rules of AVTEC, any provisions of the collective bargaining agreements between the faculty or staff members and AVTEC, or any other appeal/grievance already existing within a department. Usually, the resolution of a complaint or grievance involves resolution of the problem/issue; not punishment of those involved. Students who intend to file a complaint or an academic or nonacademic grievance must follow the instructions below.

Informal Complaints

A) Resolving a Non-Academic Informal Complaint

The student must first discuss and attempt to resolve the issue with whomever the issue arose, if at all possible. Please note, this requirement does not apply in cases of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination.  In those cases, the student should contact an AVTEC counselor or AVTEC’s Title IX Coordinator, Jamie Hall for guidance.  In the event that such an informal discussion is not possible or the issue is not resolved, then the student should contact a counselor or the director to try to reach an informal resolution. The student may be aided in following procedures correctly by a counselor. The appropriate administrator or designee receiving the complaint shall attempt to resolve the matter and report the decision.

B) Resolving an Academic Informal Complaint

Given the nature of complaints covered by this procedure, it is expected that in all but the most unusual circumstances, students will first address the issue with the faculty/instructor. In the event this is not feasible, or the student and faculty/instructor have not resolved the issue, the student will contact a counselor or the director.

Grievance

A) Initiating a Grievance

If the complaint is not resolved informally and the student wishes to continue the process, the student must present a completed Grievance Form to the appropriate director, administrator, or designee.

Prior to any grievance action, the complainant(s) should attempt to obtain a satisfactory resolution through the Informal Complaint process.

B) Non-Academic Grievances

If the complaint is not resolved informally, the student may submit a completed Grievance Form to the appropriate director, administrator, or designee.

The director, administrator, or designee receiving the written grievance shall attempt to resolve the matter and is required to report the decision, in writing, to the student filing the grievance.

If the student wishes to appeal the grievance decision, the student must submit an Appeal Form to the director, administrator, or designee along with the director’s, administrators, or designee’s written response to previous resolution attempts.

C) Academic Grievances

If the complaint is not resolved informally, the student may submit a completed Grievance Form to the department head, director or designee.

In instances where the director is the subject of the complaint, or has decided the student’s informal complaint, the student has the ability to contact the Office of the Commissioner.

If the student wishes to appeal the grievance decision, the student must submit an Appeal Form to the director, administrator, or designee along with the director’s, administrators, or designee’s written response to previous resolution attempts.

 

If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved after taking the steps listed above, the student may contact the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner at commissioner.labor@alaska.gov

Human Rights Complaints/Grievances

The Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC), as an employer and service provider, complies with Alaska Human Rights Law and federal civil rights laws.  AVTEC does not discriminate due to race, color, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, religious beliefs, disability, marital status, changes in marital status, pregnancy, parenthood, military service, family medical history, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity and economic status.

AVTEC provides a safe and secure learning and working environment and does not tolerate harassment of any kind. This means that all contact between students, instructors, and other employees of AVTEC must be respectful and conducive to a healthy learning and working environment. This includes language, clothing, or personal items displayed or worn in public containing obscene, profane, or offensive language, gestures, pictures, or symbols. Any such behaviors should be reported to staff immediately.

If a student has a grievance or believes they have been subjected to discrimination under Section 504, Title II, Title IV of HEA, Title IX or a WIOA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, they may follow these steps toward resolution or during any time of the resolution process and within 180 days of the alleged violation, contact any one of the human rights agencies listed.

Human Rights Agencies:

State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development              

Commissioner

PO Box 111149

Juneau, AK 99811

(907) 465-2700

commissioner.labor@alaska.gov

 

State of Alaska Department of Administration Division of Personnel

EEO Program Manager

(907) 375-7705

 

State of Alaska ADA Coordinator

W. 7th Ave., Ste. 1960

Anchorage, AK 99501

(907) 375-7716

 

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights

800 A Street, Ste. 204

Anchorage, AK 99501-3669

(907) 274-4692

(800) 478-4692

 

EO Officer, Grants and Contracts (WIOA)

550 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 1930

Anchorage, AK 99501

(907) 269-7487

 

Director, Civil Rights Center

U. S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Ave. NW Room N-4123

Washington, DC 20210

(202) 693-6500

CivilRightsCenter@dol.gov

 

U.S. Department of Education

Office for Civil Rights

915 Second Ave, Room 3310,

Seattle, WA 98174-1099

Customer Service Hotline: (800)-421.3481

 

Council on Occupational Education

7840 Roswell Rd.,

Bldg. 300, Ste. 325, Atlanta, GA 30350

(770) 396-3898

(800) 917-2081

http://www.council.org

 

For more information, contact AVTEC’s Equal Rights Compliance Officer at (907) 224-6170.