Student Grievance Procedures

Students may file a grievance in response to any perceived infringement of their rights, whether the perceived infringement is of their rights according to federal law, their rights as students according to College policies, or simply their personal rights to equitable treatment. Prescott College is committed to handling all grievances in a prompt and equitable manner. Conflicts occur every day and many conflicts are resolved through effective and respectful communication. Prescott College encourages all community members to make a reasonable effort to resolve conflicts informally before filing a formal grievance. If a student needs assistance in resolving an academic or non-academic conflict, they should contact the appropriate Dean.

Grievances fall into two categories: academic and nonacademic.

  • Academic grievances might include conflicts over course evaluations, learning contracts, or grades, but could concern any academic matter in which a student believes he/she has been treated unfairly or unreasonably. Students who believe they have grounds for an academic grievance should contact the Dean of the Undergraduate or Graduate Programs.
  • Nonacademic grievances might concern any instance of perceived mistreatment. Examples include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment or discrimination based on race, age, disability, sexual preference, or any other unprofessional and/or illegal conduct on the part of a College community member. Students who believe they have grounds for a nonacademic grievance should contact the Dean of Student Affairs.

Academic Grievance Procedures

A student who believes their academic efforts have not been justly evaluated has the right to be heard. The problem may be the result of exchanges with the instructor, occurrences within the class, or the content of a written evaluation. All grievances should be initiated within the term the alleged violation occurred. The following are the steps to take:

  1. A student who is unsure whether their grievance falls under this description should consult with the appropriate Dean of Undergraduate or Graduate Programs or the Dean of Student Affairs.
  2. Once it is determined that the grievance is academic in nature, every effort should be made to resolve the problem informally. To accomplish this, the student is encouraged to talk directly with the faculty member or mentor. (In exceptional circumstances where a dispute cannot or should not be addressed informally, this step may be omitted.)
  3. If the student cannot resolve the issue with the instructor, they should then explain the situation to the Program Director of that area of study and ask for their assistance in working with the instructor to resolve the issue. If that does not successfully resolve the issue, the student has the option to file an academic grievance.
  4. If the above efforts are unsatisfactory or unsuccessful, a grievance may be filed with the academic dean or designee. The grievance should be in writing and should include the name of the respondent and a description of the specific incident(s) forming the basis of the grievance, an outline of the informal steps taken to resolve the matter, and reference to the desired outcome(s) if appropriate. The formal grievance should be presented no later than 30 days after the student has knowledge of the problem.
  5. The complainant has a right to present witnesses or testimony if they so choose.
  6. The academic dean or designee will investigate and decide how the problem should be resolved, and will render a decision in a written summary to the student and the relevant faculty member or mentor.
  7. The dean’s decision may be appealed in writing to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will make a ruling within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.

Outside Entities Contact Information

If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The State Board address is 1740 W. Adams, Phoenix, AZ 85007, phone # 602-542-5709, website address: www.azppse.gov

Students also have the right to contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues. For online students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, consumer inquiries may be directed via the College’s webpage listing contact information for licensing and consumer protection bodies in specific states: http://www.prescott.edu/explore/at-a-glance/accreditation/consumer-protection-agency.php.

Nonacademic Grievance Procedures

Nonacademic grievances fall into two categories:

  • general nonacademic grievances, and
  • sexual harassment grievances, which include sexual misconduct. Title IX regulations cover sexual harassment/sexual violence (see below) and Title IX regulations covering sexual harassment/sexual violence (see below)
  1. A student who is unsure whether their grievance falls under the nonacademic description should consult with the Dean of their program or Dean of Student Affairs. For issues dealing with sexual harassment, the student should contact the Title IX Coordinator. Once it is determined the grievance is nonacademic in nature, every effort should be made to resolve the problem informally. (If for any reason a dispute cannot or should not be addressed informally, this step may be omitted.)
  2. If the student cannot resolve the issue with the individual directly, they should then explain the situation to the Program Director of that appropriate area, i.e. housing, advising and support, department or study area, and ask for their assistance in working with the individual to resolve the issue. If that does not successfully resolve the issue, the student has the option to file a nonacademic grievance with the Dean of Student Affairs.
  3. The grievance must be in writing, and must include the name of the respondent and a description of the specific incident(s) concerning the grievance, an outline of the informal steps taken to resolve the matter, and reference to the desired outcome(s), if appropriate. The formal grievance should be filed within 30 days after the student has knowledge of the problem.
  4. The dean or designee will determine if an investigation is appropriate. 
  5. Any investigation will be conducted by the dean or designee; who may include other relevant college officials in the process. 
  6. The complainant has a right to present witnesses or testimony if they so choose.
  7. Based on the investigation, the dean or designee will render a decision in a written summary sent to both parties. 
  8. The dean's decision may be appealed in writing to the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will make a ruling within 30 days of receipt of the appeal.

Outside Entities Contact Information

The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions including Prescott College in relation to non-instructional complaints. Instructional complaints, such as grade grievance, are not reviewed by the Council and should not be submitted for review. Prior to registering a non-instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA Council, the student/complainant must complete Prescott College’s and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s complaint process, as listed above. Non-instructional complaints may be submitted here: http://azsara.arizona.edu/complaintprocess. 

Students also have the right to contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues. For online students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, consumer inquiries may be directed via the College’s webpage listing contact information for licensing and consumer protection bodies in specific states: https://prescott.edu/consumer-information. If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the United States Department of Education: Office for Civil Rights (OCR), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481, Email: OCR@ed.gov