William James College makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally using policies and procedures outlined in the current Academic and Student Handbooks (see links below). The complaint process is the same for all students, regardless of physical location. It is expected that students will utilize our outlined procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in a timely manner. The following is William James College grievances policy, as outlined in the Student Handbook. While the following is an excerpt, we encourage students to always reference the most up to date Student Handbook, available on our website, in case changes are made in the future.
In matters that are not concerned with the appeal of course grades or any other subject for which a specific grievance policy/procedure is otherwise provided (e.g., discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation), students must first discuss the matters of concern with their advisor, their Department Chair, or with the Dean of Students to determine whether some informal resolution of a problem can be achieved. In those instances when the matter cannot be informally resolved and the student wishes to pursue a complaint, the student must follow the following process.
Within 21 days of the occurrence of the objectionable behavior or establishment of objectionable condition, the student must submit a written complaint to the VPAA. Complaints must (a) clearly and succinctly state the objectionable behavior or condition, describe the remedy being sought and (b) provide any pertinent background information/documentation to support a justification of an investigation.
On the basis of the written presentation of the complaint and upon information gathered through any other initial fact-finding, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, may (a) dismiss the complaint, or (b) engage parties to the complaint as well as any other appropriate personnel in an informal dispute resolution process, and/or convene a special review panel.
If the VPAA decides to convene a formal review panel, membership shall be comprised of the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) who will chair the panel; and three faculty members, one of whom shall be a member of the Academic Policies and Standards Committee. It will be the review panel’s responsibility to consider the complaint, collect and consider evidence, hear testimony, and to provide a recommended remedy to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs carefully weighs the review panel’s recommendations and then makes a determination.
The Student Handbook also includes specific policies and procedures on:
- Academic Records and Forms
- Academic Advising
- Academic Integrity
- Communication Policies, including IT, computer, phone, printing, etc.
- Disability Services Accommodations and Procedures
- Discrimination Policies
- Financial Aid Policies
- General Academic Policies
- Grade Appeals
- Guidelines on Professional Behavior
- Facilities, parking, room reservations, safety and security
- Sexual Harassment, Title IX
- Social Media and Branding
- Stages of Enrollment
- Tuition Fees and Payment Policies
Additional student support resources include, but are not limited to:
- Academic Assistance and ADA Accommodations
- Academic Advising
- Academic Handbooks (by Department)
- Self-Care Resources
- College Policy and Procedures Website - This webpage contains links to: