Jul 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Concerns

General Concerns/Complaints

Students who wish to discuss a concern relating to their education at East Central College should contact the appropriate supervisor or vice president and/or submit an online Student Concern/Incident Report located on the college website under Current Students.


Academic Suspension Appeal

Students who do not meet the minimum standards of academic progress are placed on academic suspension for one semester and are notified by the Vice President of Student Development with instructions on how to appeal. Documentation of extenuating circumstances may be required.

Administrative Withdrawal Appeal

Any student who feels that the administrative withdrawal was executed unfairly or inaccurately can appeal the withdrawal within 10 calendar days of notification. Student must submit a written statement of the appeal to the Vice President of Instruction.

Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA) Grievance Procedures (Board Policy 3.24)

East Central College will provide for expeditious and reasonable resolution of student grievances related to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, or other disability related statutory rights. Grievance must be filed during the semester in which accommodations are requested.

Informal Procedure:

Step 1:

  1. Student contacts faculty and/or Access staff regarding implementation of academic accommodations.
  2. Resolved or go to Step 2.

Step 2:

  1. Student requests conference with Access staff and/or faculty/staff. When deemed appropriate by the Access staff, the division chair will also be included.
  2. If the faculty/staff have been asked to provide the accommodations by the Access staff, the faculty/staff will continue to provide the accommodations.
  3. Resolved or go to Step 3.

Step 3:

  1. Student requests conference with appropriate Vice President, as well as the parties listed above.
  2. Within 10 working days, appropriate Vice President convenes a conference of parties from above and may consult with the Vice President of Student Development.
  3. Resolved or student initiates formal grievance procedure.

Formal Procedure:

Step 1:

  1. Student appeals by filing Formal ADA Grievance Form with Vice President of Student Development within 10 working days of informal grievance decision.
  2. Vice President of Student Development conducts investigation with all parties involved and issues a statement of findings.
  3. Resolved or go to Step 2.

Step 2:

  1. Vice President of Student Development appoints and convenes ADA Hearing Committee, which is a five-member committee composed of faculty and staff chaired by the Vice President of Student Development, within 10 working days of appeal being filed. Hearing will be audio recorded.
  2. The ADA Hearing Committee reviews documentation and meets with all parties involved.
  3. Vice President of Student Development notifies all concerned parties of the committee’s decision in writing within 10 working days.
  4. Resolved or go to Step 3.

Step 3:

  1. Student files written appeal to President within 10 working days of committee’s decision, including copies of Informal and Formal Grievance proceedings.
  2. President renders decision, which is final.

Due Process/Formal Student Hearing (Board Policy 3.18)

All students are expected to meet the expectations of college administrators and faculty and the norms of a civil society and to avoid prohibited conduct (see Student Conduct Policy, Board Policy 3.17). If the need for student discipline arises, students can expect due process as defined by the following procedures.


In most cases, disciplinary actions are meant to be remedial rather than punitive. Ideally, disciplinary proceedings will be conducted informally between the student(s) and the Chief Student Affairs Officer. However, when this means of resolution is not possible, a student has the right to a formal student hearing with a hearing committee.

  1. Definitions:
    1. Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO): the administrator responsible for student services such as counseling and advising.
    2. Chief Academic Officer (CAO): the administrator responsible for the oversight and direction of academic programs and faculty.
    3. Hearing Committee: A five-member committee called upon for hearings whose membership includes 2 faculty, 2 administrative/ professional staff, and 1 support staff member. The CSAO and the CAO are not voting members of the hearing committee, but they are nevertheless involved in the hearing. The CSAO will preside over, and the CAO will present the charges, at all hearings where the misconduct does not involve an academic issue. If the misconduct involves an academic issue, their roles shall be reversed.
    4. Sanctions: Any action taken during the institutional discipline process, not including those actions an instructor may take within the classroom in cases of academic dishonesty such as assigning a lowered or failing grade for the assignment or class.
  2. Formal Student Hearing
    Students subject to sanctions shall be accorded the opportunity for a hearing before a hearing committee. For a hearing to be held, the student is required to submit a written request for a hearing. The following guidelines will be applicable:
    1. Students will be informed in writing of the time, date, and location of the hearing, either by personal delivery or certified mail, at least ten calendar days in advance of the hearing.
    2. The entire case file, including the names of prospective witnesses, will be available for inspection by the student in the Chief Student Affairs Officer’s office during normal business hours. The file, which should be available at least two (2) business days before the hearing, need not include the personal and confidential notes of any college official or participant in the evaluation process.
    3. The hearing shall be conversational and non-adversarial. For that reason, legal counsel will not be allowed to participate in the hearing on behalf of either the student or the administrator presenting the case against the student. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. The Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee shall exercise active control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve the orderly completion of the hearing. Any person who disrupts the hearing may be excluded.
    4. The student may choose to be assisted by a member of the faculty or staff of the institution. Furthermore, the student may be accompanied by legal counsel or other representative, although the role of legal counsel will be limited to providing legal advice to the student.
    5. Those assisting the student, except for legal counsel, will be given reasonable time to ask relevant questions of any individual appearing at the hearing, as well as to present relevant evidence.
    6. Whenever possible, the student will be expected to respond to questions asked by the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee.
    7. If the student requests a hearing and fails to appear after proper notice, the hearing committee may either proceed with the hearing in the student’s absence or may make a decision without holding a hearing.
    8. The hearing shall be tape recorded. The tape(s) shall be kept with the pertinent case file for a minimum of six months.
    9. A written decision shall be rendered by the hearing committee within five business days after the completion of the hearing. The written decision, which should be mailed or personally delivered to the student, should contain a brief statement of reasons for any determination leading to sanctions. The student should also be advised as to when a petition for reinstatement would be considered, along with any conditions for reinstatement. The decision of the hearing committee shall be final unless a timely appeal is made to the College President.
    10. A student who wishes to appeal a disciplinary decision must do so within 30 days of the original action by filing a written appeal with the College President. The College President will meet with the student and render a decision within 7 days. The decision of the President shall be final unless a timely appeal is made to the Board of Trustees.
    11. The student may appeal to the Board of Trustees within 14 days of the President’s decision. The Board of Trustees will review the matter and render a decision within 14 days. The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.
    12. In all non-grade appeals, the student may withdraw from College or the class of his/her own volition at any time during the disciplinary process. 

Financial Aid Suspension/Appeal

Students who do not meet the minimum standards for academic progress will be placed on financial aid warning for one semester. During this warning period, students may continue to receive aid. Failure to meet the policy standards after the warning semester will result in financial aid suspension and loss of financial aid. In certain situations, students may appeal their suspension by contacting the Director of Financial Aid. Documentation of extenuating circumstances may be required.

Grade Appeal Process (Board Policy 3.7)

East Central College students have the right to appeal a final course grade. This right is limited to grades received for the semester most recently completed.

Grade Appeal Procedure:

Level 1 Review: Within two weeks of the official last day of the semester (as noted on the Academic Calendar) in which the grade in question was received, the student will contact the instructor (or in his/her absence, the division chair or chief academic officer) to see if the grade in question can be resolved informally. The instructor will notify the student in writing (email is acceptable) of the decision.

If requested by the student in writing to the chief academic officer, an expedited review can be conducted within seven (7) work days of notification of appeal; the student must make the expedited review request in writing and acknowledge that such an expedited review will skip Level 1 and 2 and immediately move the procedure to Level 3 and Grade Appeal Committee (Level 4).

Level 2 Review: If the matter cannot be resolved at level one, the student may, within one week of the notification of the outcome of Level 1, contact the division chair, who will work with the student and instructor to try and resolve the issue.

Level 3 Review: If still unsatisfied, the student may, within one week of the outcome of Level 2, contact the chief academic officer. The chief academic officer will seek to resolve the grade issue in question issue by meeting with the student, the instructor and/or the division chair.

Level 4 Review: If no resolution is reached at Level 3, the student may opt for the final level of appeal, a formal grade appeal hearing before a committee of five faculty members, appointed by the chief academic officer (or designee). Said appointments will come from a standing pool of ten faculty, representing the academic divisions. Membership in the appeals pool will rotate annually. The committee will be chaired by the chief academic officer (or designee) as a non-voting member.

The committee will conduct a hearing so that both student and instructor can state their positions. It will render its decision, in writing, within one week of the appeals hearing. The decision of the Grade Appeals Committee is final.

Refund Policy Appeal (Board Policy 4.33)

In the event of extenuating circumstances and with proper documentation, students may appeal the Refund Policy by contacting the Office of Student Development. A confidential committee consisting of college administrators will review refund appeals on a case-by-case basis. The Refund Policy is found on the College’s website under Future Students and Current Students.

Residency Status Appeal (Board Policy 3.4)

Student residency status will be determined at the time of enrollment at East Central College. Student residency guidelines followed by the College will be those adopted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. In the case of international students or resident aliens, residency will be determined based upon both federal determination of status and state guidelines. A copy of such guidelines may be found in the Office of the Registrar. The Residency Policy may be found on the College’s website under Future Students and Current Students.


If the student disagrees with the College’s assessment of his or her resident/non-resident status, the following procedure should be followed to appeal the decision:

  1. Informal Appeal. Meet informally with the Registrar to discuss the residency status and reasons why the student should be considered an in-district student. The Registrar will render an informal decision based upon the information provided in this discussion.
  2. First Level of Formal Appeal. If the informal decision determines that the student is not an in-district resident and if the student wishes to appeal this decision further, then the next level of appeal may be implemented. The student is obligated to submit the appeal in writing to the Chief Student Affairs Officer, accompanied by written documentation of those criteria which the student meets for in-district residency as set forth in the Student Residency Requirements published by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will review and verify the information provided and render a decision within three working days of receipt of the written appeal.
  3. Second Level of Formal Appeal. The final level of appeal requires the student to submit an appeal in writing to the Office of the President of the College. The Chief Student Affairs Officer will forward to the President the documentation previously provided by the student at the first level of formal appeal. The President will deliver a decision within five (5) working days of receipt of the written appeal.

Student Protections Against Discrimination and Harassment, Including Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence and Stalking (Board Policies 3.25 AND 3.26)

East Central College is committed to maintaining an educational environment that is free from illegal discrimination or harassment in admission or access to its programs, activities and facilities. This includes conduct on property owned or operated by the college, at college-sanctioned functions, and certain off-campus events. Discrimination, harassment or retaliation against students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law is strictly prohibited in accordance with law.

Reporting a Complaint

Students who believe that they have been victims of illegal discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment or sexual violence, may file a formal (verbal, written, or online) complaint with the Vice President of Student Development and it will be promptly investigated. There is no time limit on the filing of complaints.

As noted above, all employees, students and visitors must immediately report to the College for investigation any incident or behavior that could constitute illegal discrimination or harassment. Such reports should be made to the Vice President of Student Development or the Director of Human Resources, as the College’s Compliance Officers. All College employees will instruct persons seeking to make a complaint under this policy to communicate directly with the College compliance officers. Even if the potential victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation does not file a complaint, College employees are required to report to the compliance officers any observations, rumors or other information regarding actions prohibited by this policy.

After receiving a complaint, the compliance officer to whom the complaint is made will determine the appropriate College policy for processing the complaint. Once the determination is reached, the compliance officer will notify the complainant of which College policy will govern the disposition of the student’s complaint.

Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Shelli Allen, Vice President for Student Development serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees the reporting and investigation of all student complaints regarding sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Wendy Hartmann, Director of Human Resources serves as Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

Shelli Allen Wendy Hartmann
Title IX Coordinator Title IX Deputy Coordinator
East Central College East Central College
131 Buescher Hall 005-D Multipurpose Building
1964 Prairie Dell Road 1964 Prairie Dell Road
Union, MO 63084 Union, MO 63084
636-584-6565 636-584-6712
stnotice@eastcentral.edu hrnotice@eastcentral.edu

Transfer Credit Appeal

After an evaluation of transfer credit has been completed and the results communicated to the student, the student may appeal the decision to the Registrar and the Vice President of Instruction.

Missouri Department of Higher Education

The Missouri Department of Higher Education serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints. The MDHE complaint policy may be found at http://www.dhe.mo.gov/documents/POLICYONCOMPLAINTRESOLUTION.pdf. This webpage contains information about the complaint process and includes instructions for filing a formal complaint. Note that the policy provides that a student who wishes to file a complaint with the department must first exhaust all formal and informal avenues provided by the institution to resolve disputes.

Higher Learning Commission

Individuals interested in bringing an appropriate complaint to the attention of the Commission should take some time to compile a complete submission as outlined below. There is no complaint form.

  1. Write a cover letter directed to the Commission containing a brief narrative of the facts of the complaint. In most cases, such a narrative need be no longer than a few pages.
  2. Indicate in your complaint why you believe the issues raised in your complaint are accrediting issues. If possible, please review the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation on the Commission’s Web site prior to writing this section. You should also indicate how you believe the Commission can assist you with this matter. Remember that the Commission cannot assist you in understanding your tuition bill, arranging for a refund of tuition, obtaining a higher grade for a course, seeking reinstatement to an academic program, etc.
  3. Attach documentation to support your narrative wherever possible. (For example, if you make reference in your complaint to an institutional policy, include a copy of the policy with your complaint.) Helpful documentation might include relevant portions of the catalog, letters or e-mail exchanged between you and the institution, learning agreements, etc.
  4. A few reminders-
    • Please type your complaint or print very neatly.
    • Please do not use abbreviations or nicknames (e.g., NMS or USC or U of N).
    • Sign and date the cover letter.
    • Include contact information for future correspondence, with a street address.
    • If you are writing on behalf of someone else (son/daughter or client), be sure to provide that person’s consent in writing to allow you to communicate with the Commission on his/her behalf. 
  5. Mail the letter and its attachments to the Commission’s office at 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1413. The Commission does not have an online complaint system and does not accept complaints via e-mail.

Please note that The Commission will not consider those complaints that are not in writing and do not contain the elements noted here. The Commission’s complaint policy precludes it from considering matters more than five years old.

The Commission will acknowledge your complaint within thirty days of receiving it and let you know whether your complaint is complete and whether it raises issues that are related to accrediting requirements or whether it is an individual dispute outside the jurisdiction of the Commission’s complaint policy.

Email questions to complaints@hlcommission.org.