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.
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)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- The dean or designee will determine if an investigation is appropriate.
- Any investigation will be conducted by the dean or designee; who may include other relevant college officials in the process.
- The complainant has a right to present witnesses or testimony if they so choose.
- Based on the investigation, the dean or designee will render a decision in a written summary sent to both parties.
- 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/complaints.
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