Student Grievance Process

The purpose of the Student Grievance Process is to determine equitable solutions to problems that might arise and to deal with these problems in a fair and just manner. This process is open to students and/or employees seeking a resolution for what is perceived to be unfair treatment in student-student or student-faculty/staff interaction.

The grievance process must be initiated within five school days after the aggrieved party becomes aware of the situation. For academic issues with curriculum courses, students are asked to attempt to resolve the matter by first talking with the faculty member involved, then the division dean, and lastly the senior academic officer. For academic issues for continuing education courses, students are asked to attempt to resolve the matter by first talking with the instructor involved, then the senior continuing education officer. For all other issues, students are asked to attempt to resolve the situation with the other party involved and if unsuccessful, contact the dean of student services and lastly the senior student services official.

    Image of Natasha Harris
    Natasha Harris, PhD
    Dean of Arts & Sciences
    Phone: 336-838-6189

    Image of Kristen Macemore
    Kristen Macemore, MBA
    Vice President of Instruction
    Phone: 336-838-6427

    Image of Tammy Beck
    Tammy Beck, MA, CNMT
    Dean of Health Sciences
    Phone: 336-838-6496

    Image of Ronald Dollyhite
    Ronald Dollyhite, Ed.S
    Dean of Applied Career Technologies (ACT)
    Phone: 336-838-6149

    Image of Wanda Beck
    Wanda Beck, MBA
    Director of Alleghany Center
    Phone: 336-903-3141

    Image of Caleb Marsh
    Caleb Marsh, PhD
    Dean of Ashe Campus
    Phone: 336-903-3116

    Image of Scott Johnson
    Scott Johnson, EdS
    Dean of Student Services
    Phone: 336-838-6141
    Image of Kim Faw
    Kim Faw, MA
    Vice President of Instructional Support & Student Services
    Phone: 336-838-6293

    For additional information about the complete grievance process, please contact Scott Johnson in Student Services at 336-838-6141.

    If a matter remains unresolved after exhausting WCC’s grievance process, a formal complaint may be filed with the North Carolina Community College System Office. Click here for more information.

    Policy 5.3.6 – Student Grievance

    I. Grievance Process Overview

    In order to maintain a harmonious and cooperative environment between and among the College and its students, the College provides for the settlement of problems and differences through an orderly grievance procedure. Every student shall have the right to present his/her problems or grievances free from coercion, restraint, discrimination or reprisal. This Policy provides for prompt and orderly consideration and determination of student problems and grievances by College administrators and ultimately the President.

    A grievance is any matter of student concern or dissatisfaction with the College’s control except:

    1. student discipline matters regarding academic and non-academic violations (Policy 5.3.2 – Student Conduct);
    2. discrimination and unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (Policy 5.3.4 – Title IX Sex Discrimination and Harassment);
    3. a grade appeal (Policy 2.5.2 – Grade Appeal); or
    4. any other matter that has a specific grievance process outlined in that policy or procedure.

    II. Grievance Process

    A. Informal Grievance – Step One

    In the event the alleged grievance lies with an instructor/staff member, the student must first go to that instructor/staff member and attempt to informally resolve the matter within five school days. Both the student and instructor/staff member must have an informal conference to discuss the situation and document the attempts taken to resolve the grievance at this level. If the attempt to resolve the complaint is unsuccessful, the student may pursue resolution with the employee’s supervisor. If the complaint is still unresolved, the student may pursue resolution with the supervisory succession through the division dean. In the event that the student is unsatisfied with the resolution reached at the informal conference, he/she may proceed to Step Two within five (5) business days after the informal conference. Not proceeding to Step Two within the time period will result in the grievance not being heard and the matter being closed.

    If the grievance concerns issues unrelated to a particular instructor/staff member (for example, an issue with College policy), the student can skip the informal process and proceed to Step Two.

    B. Formal Grievance – Step Two

    If the grievance is not resolved at Step One (or, given the nature of the grievance, Step Two begins the process) the student may submit a written grievance to the senior instructional, workforce development or student services officer (Vice President). The written grievance must contain, with specificity, the facts supporting the grievance and the attempt, if applicable, to resolve the grievance at the informal level.

    The Vice President shall review the written grievance and conduct whatever further investigation, if any, is necessary to determine any additional facts that are needed to resolve the grievance. The Vice President shall provide his/her written decision within five (5) business days after receipt of the grievance.

    If the student is unsatisfied with the resolution reached by the Vice President, he/she may proceed to Step Three within five (5) business days after receipt of the Vice President’s written determination. Not proceeding to Step Three within the time period will result in the grievance not being heard and the matter being closed.

    C. Formal Grievance – Step Three

    If the complaint is not resolved with steps one and two, a grievance committee may be convened. In cases resulting in a grievance committee, a Vice President or designee who has not previously heard the grievance will chair the grievance committee and will explain the grievance process to the person(s) filing the grievance. An appeal of a Vice President’s decision shall be limited to a review of the investigation and supporting documents, as indicated by items below, to determine if proper procedure was followed.

    1. To determine whether the investigation was conducted fairly in light of the allegations and information presented, and in conformity with prescribed procedures. Deviation from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results;
    2. To determine whether the decision reached was based on preponderance of the evidence; that is, more likely than not, a violation of college policy occurred;
    3. To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were appropriate for the violation of college policy; and/or
    4. To consider new information, sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not brought out in the original investigation, because such information and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original investigation.

    Should cases involve suspension from course(s), the student must obtain permission from the Vice President to attend course(s) pending resolution. Upon reviewing both sides of the grievance, the committee will render a decision by majority vote. All parties will be informed of the committee’s decision. The committee decision is final.

    Complaints entered into the grievance process are to be handled diligently so as to protect the rights, privileges, and confidentiality of the college’s students and employees. All parties involved are expected to make the resolution of these matters a top priority to bring the grievance to a rapid but fair conclusion.

    Adopted: 08/08/2019

    Out-of-State Students

    Students residing outside of North Carolina while attending WCC who wish to resolve a grievance should follow WCC’s Student Grievance Process.

    If the grievance cannot be resolved internally, you may file a complaint with your state. Student Grievance Contact Information for Individual States, including phone numbers, email addresses, and/or links to state education agencies, is available below.

      Student Grievance Procedure

      Alabama Commission on Higher Education - Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
      Student Grievance Procedure

      ACCS Private School Licensing Division
      Student Grievance Procedure (complaints for out-of-state institutions are referred to the ACCS Private School Licensure)

      Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (907) 465-2962
      Fax: (907) 465-5316
      Student Grievance Procedure

      No information found.

      Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (602) 542-5709
      Fax: (602) 542-1253
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Arkansas Department of Higher Education
      Phone: (501) 371-2000
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (916) 431-6959
      Fax: (916) 263-1895
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Colorado Department of Higher Education
      Phone: (303) 866-2723
      Fax: (303) 866-4266
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education
      Phone: (860)947-1801
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Delaware Department of Education
      Phone: (302) 735-4000
      Fax: (302) 739-4654
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Florida Department of Education
      Phone: (850) 245-0505
      Fax: (850) 245-9667
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
      Phone: (770) 414-3300
      Fax: (770) 414-3309
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
      Phone: (808) 933-0910
      Fax: (808) 933-8845
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Idaho Board of Education
      Phone: (208) 334-2270
      Fax: (208) 334-2632
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Illinois Board of Higher Education
      Phone: (217) 782-2551
      Fax: (217) 782-8548
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Indiana Commission for Higher Education
      Phone: (317) 464-4400
      Fax: (317) 464-4410
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Iowa College Student Aid Commission
      Phone: (515) 725-3400
      Fax: (515) 725-3401
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Kansas Board of Regents
      Phone: (785) 296-4917
      Fax: (785) 296-7052
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (502) 573-1555
      Fax: (502) 573-1535
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Louisiana Board of Regents
      Phone: (225) 342-4253
      Fax: (225) 342-9318
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Proprietary Schools
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Maine Department of Education
      Phone: (207) 624-6600
      Fax: (207) 624-6700
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Maryland Higher Education Commission
      Phone: (410) 260-4500
      Fax: (800) 974-0203
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
      Phone: (617) 994-6950
      Fax: (617) 727-0955
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
      Phone: (517) 373-1820
      Fax: (517) 373-2129
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Minnesota Office of Higher Education
      Phone: (651) 642-0567
      Fax: (651) 642-0675
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
      Phone: (601) 432-6372
      Fax: (601) 432-6225
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Missouri Department of Higher Education
      Phone: (573) 751-2361
      Fax: (573) 751-6635
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Montana University System, Montana Board of Regents
      Phone: (406) 444-6570
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (402) 471-2847
      Fax: (402) 471-2886
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (702) 486-7330
      Fax: (702) 486-7340
      Student Complaint Form

      New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission
      Phone: (603) 271-3494
      Student Grievance Procedure

      New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
      Phone: (609) 588-3226
      Student Grievance Procedure

      New Mexico Higher Education Department
      Phone: (505) 476-8400
      Fax: (505) 476-8453
      Student Grievance Procedure

      New York Office of College and University Evaluation
      Phone: (518) 474-2593
      Fax: (518) 486-2779
      Student Grievance Procedure

      North Carolina Community College System, Office of Proprietary School Services
      Phone: (919) 807-7146
      Fax: (919) 807-7164
      Student Grievance Procedure

      North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education
      Phone: (701) 328-3180
      Fax: (701) 328-1255
      Student Grievance Procedure

      The Ohio Department of Higher Education
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools
      Phone: (405) 225-9100
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
      Phone: (614) 466-2752
      Fax: (614) 466-2219
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Oregon Department of Education - Private and Career Schools Office
      Phone: (503) 947-5600
      Fax: (503) 378-5156
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Program Services
      Phone: (717) 783-6137
      Fax: (717) 783-6139
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Puerto Rico State Department- Board of Postsecondary Education
      Phone: (787) 722-2121
      Fax: (787) 641-2573
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
      Phone: (401) 456-6008
      Student Grievance Procedure

      South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
      Phone: (803) 737-2260
      Fax: (803) 737-2297
      Student Grievance Procedure

      South Dakota Board of Regents
      Phone: (803) 737-2260
      Fax: (803) 737-2297
      Complaint Form (this is a broad complaint form, not just to address postsecondary institutions)

      Tennessee Higher Education Commission
      Phone: (615) 741-3605
      Fax: (615) 741-6230
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
      Phone: (512) 427-6101
      Student Grievance Procedure

      No information found.

      Utah Division of Consumer Protection
      Phone: (801) 530-6601
      Fax: (801) 530-6001
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Vermont Agency of Education
      Phone: (802) 828-3135
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Private & Out-of-State Postsecondary Education, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
      Phone: (804) 371-2285
      Fax: (804) 225-2604
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
      Phone: (360) 753-7869
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Office of the State Superintendent of Education
      Higher Education Licensure Commission
      1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor
      Washington, DC 20002
      Student Grievance Procedure

      West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
      Phone: (304) 558-4016
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
      Phone: (608) 266-1996
      Fax: (608) 264-8477
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Wyoming Department of Education
      Phone: (307) 777-5712
      Student Grievance Procedure

      Wilkes Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

      SACSCOC Student Complaint Process

      WCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates. If a student has evidence of an institution’s non-compliance with SACSCOC standards, policies, and procedures, the next step would be to file a complaint with WCC’s accrediting agency. Students who file a complaint with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure (PDF). The contact information for SACS is:

      Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
      1866 Southern Lane
      Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
      Telephone: 404-679-4500