In 2015, the Alabama Legislature vested oversight of the state’s public two-year institutions of higher education (known as the Alabama Community College System (ACCS)) with the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees. The Alabama Legislature further directed the Board of Trustees to delegate to the System’s Chancellor the authority to act and make decisions concerning the management and operation of the community and technical colleges. The Chancellor is assisted in these duties by the staff of the System Office, formerly known as the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. Consumer and student complaints that are not resolved at the institutional level are thus arbitrated at the state level by the ACCS System Office.
The ACCS is committed to respecting and supporting the work of its member institutions and to providing a quality educational experience for all students. The objective of the student complaint process is to ensure that the concerns and complaints of students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. The Alabama Community College System requires each institution to establish its own procedures to address student grievances and complaints. A student must exhaust his/her rights under the institution’s official complaint/grievance policy before advancing any complaint to the System Office of Alabama Community College System. Students may file consumer/student complaints with the Alabama Community College System by following these procedures:
- If, after exhausting all available institutional processes, a student’s complaint remains unresolved, the student may appeal to the Alabama Community College System using the System’s official Student Complaint Form (PDF) or Online Student Complaint Form. Students may submit completed complaint forms using one of the following options:
- Printing the form, signing it, and then either (1) scanning it and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or (2) mailing it to:
Alabama Community College System
Attention: Division of Academic and Student Affairs
P.O. Box 302130
Montgomery, AL 36130-2130
- Electronically submitting the form using the Online Student Complaint Form.
- The Division of Student Success will investigate the complaint.
- The institution which is the subject of complaint has 15 days to provide a written response to questions and/or concerns raised during the investigation. Such response may or may not contain a resolution.
- The Division of Student Success will adjudicate the matter within 30 business days of receipt of complaint and write a report or letter to the institution and student detailing corrective action, if any is necessary, or stating that the school has no violation of policies.
- If corrective action is needed the institution will have 30 days to comply or develop a plan to comply with the corrective action.
- The System Office will monitor the institution’s compliance to ensure the completion of any required corrective action.
- The decision made by ACCS is final and cannot be appealed.