Student Complaint Process
Any student with a complaint who feels they have been treated unfairly will have the right to be heard fairly and promptly. The college recognizes that disputes may sometimes arise and requires the parties involved to resolve the conflict informally whenever possible. If resolution cannot be reached, a formal complaint process will be provided in order to assure impartial and equitable resolution for those conflicts.
This complaint process may not be invoked for matters that have independent appeal processes established. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: Academic Appeals, Academic Standards, Student Conduct Code, FERPA, Financial Aid, Grades, Title IX, Discrimination and Harassment, Consumer Protection (Title IV) Student Complaint Process and VA GI Bill® Feedback. Matters which are not grievable include the following:
- Federal and State laws
- Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 34.05 RCS)
- Employment and personnel decisions
- Policies of the Board of Trustees
- Rules and procedures adopted by the State Board for Community and Technical College or the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
General Student Complaint Information
The Complaint Process is divided into an informal and formal process. This process is initiated by the student who will receive support and information during each of the steps that may be involved. A complaint may be resolved at various stages of the process. Complaints should be filed as soon as possible and no more than 90 days after the incident occurs.
Process for Filing a Complaint
Step One: Pierce College requires that you first make every effort to informally resolve a complaint or concern. It is important that you talk directly with the staff, faculty, administrator or department with whom you have a complaint in order for them to have an opportunity to hear your concerns and work with you to resolve the issue. As a professional courtesy, you are advised to:
- Contact college employees by phone or email to schedule an appointment
- Contact the following numbers for assistance with a locating a phone number, email address, or determining an employee’s supervisor:
- Fort Steilacoom – (253) 964-6500, option 0
- Puyallup – (253) 840-8400, option 0
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord – (253) 964-6606
- Be clear about what your concern is and how you would like the issue resolved
If your complaint or concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may move into the Formal Complaint process listed below. If you have questions or would like assistance with this process, please contact the Dean of Student Success, Fort Steilacoom, Tami Jacobs (firstname.lastname@example.org - 253-964-6581)
Step Two: You may utilize the formal complaint process after exhausting the informal complaint process directly with the person or department with whom you have a complaint or concern. To submit a formal complaint, you must use the Pierce College Student Complaint Form. This form can be submitted online using the provided link or it can be printed and completed in writing; if you choose to print the form please submit it to the Office of the Dean of Student Success, Fort Steilacoom in the Cascade Building, Room 380 (CAS 380).
After your Student Complaint Form has been submitted, you will receive notification from the appropriate person examining your complaint within five (5) business days. You will be provided information regarding next steps in the process and may be asked for additional information, if necessary.
The length of time to resolution will vary depending on the complexity of the complaint and the time of the year. We strive to provide resolution to all complaints within thirty (30) business days.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.