The following procedure for resolving student complaints is from the SouthArk College Catalog, which is located at https://www.southark.edu/admissions/resources/course-catalog. When students believe they have been treated unfairly, the following procedures will provide redress of their complaint or grievances:
Step 1: Within 10 days of the alleged incident, the student discusses the problem with his/ her instructor, student advising coach, or program director. If the problem is not resolved, then:
Step 2: Within 10 days, the student must discuss the problem with the division dean, who will explore the issue with the persons involved and seek a satisfactory solution. If the student is not satisfied with the solution proposed by the division chairperson, then:
Step 3: Within five working days of the discussion with the division dean, the student must present, in writing, a complaint to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). This complaint must include the specific grievance and specific remedies sought. The VPAA has five working days to respond in writing to the student. The VPAA shall have the option of conferring with all parties to the complaint. If the student is not satisfied with the actions taken by the VPAA, then:
Step 4: The student may request a formal hearing before the Academic Hearing Committee, a sub-committee of the Academic Standards Committee. This committee shall consist of three faculty members from the Academic Standards Committee and two students appointed by the Student Services Committee. Within five working days of hearing the appeal, the Academic Hearing Committee will submit a written decision to the parties involved and to the President of the college.
- In cases of grades, the Academic Hearing Committee can only recommend changes, because the instructor has final authority; however, the instructor should give serious consideration to the Committee’s recommendation.
- The Academic Hearing Committee is charged with hearing formal complaints from students if problems cannot be resolved at more informal levels. The committee reviews those cases in which rigid application of college regulations or policy might result in injustice to individuals. The committee has the authority to recommend waiving or modifying college policy within the limits of sound educational practices.
- Some of the selective-admissions health science programs have specific criteria regarding continuation of studies during the academic appeals process. Students are encouraged to refer to program policies in these matters.
Any student who remains unsatisfied after going through the Complaint Resolution procedure above may file a formal complaint with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education [ADHE] at https://www.adhe.edu/students-parents/colleges-universites/student-grievance-form/.