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Complaint/Grievance Process

Southwestern Community College maintains a process to resolve student complaints/grievances and Formal Complaint Log. The procedure for resolving a complaint/grievance includes the following steps:

  1. Students with a complaint/grievance are encouraged to seek resolution informally by working directly with an instructor, counselor, advisor, immediate supervisor, or the individual involved.
  2. If the complaint/ grievance is not resolved informally the student with the complaint/ grievance may seek formal resolution by submitting the complaint/grievance in writing to the dean of student services.
  3. The dean of student services will review the complaint/grievance and arrange a meeting with all appropriate parties. The meeting will take place within 10 school days after the formal complaint/grievance has been received. 
  4. If the complaint/grievance is not resolved during the meeting with the dean of student services and all parties involved, the complaint/grievance will be directed to the Academic Review Committee.
  5. The Academic Review Committee Chair will convene a meeting with all parties involved within 10 days of receiving the complaint. The Academic Review Committee will listen to all parties, review all relevant facts, and offer a final resolution to the complaint/grievance.
  6. Following the Academic Review Committee meeting, the dean of student services will inform all students of the resolution. The resolution of the Academic Review Committee is final.

A  formal complaint/grievance does not include complaints from parents,  employers or the general public. The Master Log will be maintained in the office of the dean of student services.

If you still feel there has been no resolution made, you may contact the Bureau of Iowa College Aid, by filling out an online dispute form or call 877-272-4456.

Consumer information in accordance with The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) can be found here: Detailed information regarding SWCC's "Formal Student Complaint Process" may be found on the Consumer Information page as well.

Southwestern Community College is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity (NC-SARA) Agreements.

Complaints from students in other SARA states should contact Iowa's SARA portal agency which is the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC).

State Portal Entity Contact:

Keyli Keifer, Compliance Office
Bureau of Iowa College Aid
Iowa Department of Education | 400 E. 14th St. | Des Moines, IA 50319-0416
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515.725.3456 | fax: 515.242.5988

Please note that in general, state agencies ask that you work to resolve your complaint with the college before filing a complaint with the state.

State of Iowa Contact:
Kelly Friesleben, Ph.D.
Bureau of Community Colleges and Postsecondary Readiness
Iowa Department of Education
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, IA  50319
Cell: 515.868.2847 
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