Student Complaint Process
The U.S. Department of Education’s “Program Integrity” regulations require that each state has a student complaint procedure in order for public and private higher education institutions to be eligible for Title IV funds. The West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (Council) and West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) are responsible for monitoring all written and signed student complaints against degree granting institutions authorized to operate in West Virginia.
All West Virginia institutions of higher education must establish, publish and adhere to a procedure for handling student grievances. It is the institution’s responsibility to respond to student complaints and grievances in accordance with the college’s student grievance policy. The complaint should be brought to the attention of the institution in an informal fashion. Many issues can be handled quickly and informally once the institution is aware of the concern or issue. If the problem cannot be resolved informally, the complainant should follow the formal complaint or grievance process of the institution. It is important to keep records and documentation that provide evidence of the problem and the complainant’s efforts to solve it through the institution’s internal process.
If, after exhausting internal grievance procedures, the institution of higher education has not responded to the complainant’s satisfaction or a satisfactory remedy has not been found, the complainant may contact the Council/Commission for further investigation into the issue.
In order for Council/Commission to initiate an investigation, the following must be true:
Upon receipt of the completed and signed Student Complaint Form and the FERPA Form, the Council/ Commission will open an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. As appropriate, the Council/Commission will conduct the investigation or refer the issue to another agency that is authorized to address the issue.