Student Complaint Policy

Please note that complaints that are specific to acts of discrimination and/or harassment, grade appeals, or parking citations are addressed elsewhere in the Student Handbook and/or College Catalog and are not covered under this general policy. Instead, please refer to the Title VII/IX Sexual Harassment Policy, Grade Appeals Policy, or the Motor Vehicle Policy for Students.

Berea College strives to create a supportive, engaging, and responsive educational community that provides all students with a positive learning experience. It is the responsibility of all College employees and students to help ensure that Berea College achieves this goal. Whenever someone feels that the College has fallen short of this goal, the College takes seriously its obligation to investigate the substance of each complaint in a timely manner and make reasonable attempts to find a satisfactory resolution. When a student has a complaint, they are encouraged to first attempt to resolve the issue directly with the other person(s) or area involved. If a satisfactory resolution is not possible at this level, the complainant is encouraged to approach the immediate supervisor, department chairperson, or area supervisor to see whether a resolution can be found without the need of a formal complaint.

When a satisfactory resolution is not possible through these informal channels, the complainant should submit their complaint in writing using the College’s complaint portal found on the “My Berea” homepage. Once submitted, the complainant should receive within 24 to 48 hours a confirmation email that the complaint was received and the name of the College administrator who will be investigating the complaint. A complaint should include specific details of the complaint, as well as the preferred contact information of the complainant (e.g., Berea College email and campus post office box). Although the complexity and individual circumstances of each complaint will vary, it is the College’s goal to resolve all complaints in as timely a manner as possible, ideally within three to four weeks of the complaint being submitted.

The College administrator responsible for investigating each complaint will conduct a thorough inquiry. Upon concluding the investigation, the administrator will provide the complainant with a written response as to the resolution. In most cases, this written response will be provided within three to four weeks of the original date the complaint was submitted. In cases where additional time may be needed to complete an investigation, the complainant will be notified in writing of the delay.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation, they may appeal the conclusion and or proposed resolution. Appeals must be in writing and must be submitted within two weeks of receiving the written response from the administrator to whom the complaint was directed. All appeals are to be submitted via the same complaints portal on the “My Berea” homepage (choosing the “appeal” option) and will be reviewed by the President of the College. Once the appeal has been reviewed, the President will render a decision, in writing, within three to four weeks of receipt of that appeal. All decisions and resulting resolutions at this level will be final.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Complaints regarding noncompliance with accreditation standards, policies, and procedures may be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500.