Complaints and Grievances

Student complaints and grievances are addressed through the College's operating procedures. These procedures are published in the Student Services section under Academic Grievance Procedure and Student Administrative Grievance Procedure (non-Academic issues) in the online college catalog, College Operating Procedure 06-0803 and 06-0804, the Student Handbook, and outlined here. 

Formal Grievance Procedure

The aggrieved student should submit a request in writing to the Academic Dean for a formal student grievance hearing.

A formal written grievance is distinguished from an informal grievance in the following manner:

  1. The grievance must be in writing, and must be dated and signed by the student making the grievance.
  2. The grievance must clearly identify the department(s) and issue(s) involved.
  3. The grievance must indicate that the student has attempted to resolve the issue with the involved staff member prior to the date of the grievance.

The Academic Dean shall appoint an ad hoc grievance committee consisting of the faculty Department Chair, Program Coordinator or Director, or faculty designee, and two other members: one regular, full-time administrative employee and one member of the Student Government Association Board. The Department Chair, Program Coordinator or Director, or faculty designee will serve as the chairperson.

  1. The Dean or his/her designee will serve as recording secretary to the committee, but shall have no vote.
  2. The committee shall, within seven working days of being constituted, meet to hear the grievance, review documentation, and interview all witnesses deemed pertinent to the matter.
  3. The committee shall, within four working days after the close of the hearing, report its findings, and make a recommendation for resolution of the matter.
  4. The Academic Dean will report the finding to the Provost for a final decision. That decision is binding. There are no further appeals within the College.
  5. When the grievance has been resolved, all paperwork shall be forwarded to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs for archiving.

Student Administrative Grievance Procedure (Non-Academic Issues)

A grievance is a student complaint regarding a violation, interpretation, or application of a College policy or College operating procedure. The written grievance procedure is based on the assumption that grievances, disagreements, and complaints should be resolved by direct interaction among students and staff. To facilitate an efficient and timely resolution process, Florida SouthWestern State College has an Ombudsperson to assist students through informal and formal grievance procedures. The College also maintains a clear chain of escalation for grievances. For more detailed information on complaint procedures please visit Academic Grievance Procedure and Student Administrative Grievance Procedure (non-Academic issues) in the online college catalog.


If you are not satisfied with the resolution of the institution the student should visit the Florida College System Complaint Procedure Information webpage for information on how to file a complaint if it is believed that the complaint warrants additional investigation.

If the student is not satisfied with the outcome with the Florida College System, s/he may appeal the complaint to the Post-Secondary Reciprocal Distance Education Coordinating Council (PRDEC) by sending an email to FLSARAinfo@fldoe.org. The Florida Department of Education also posts information about the complaint process on its website.

Out of State Distance Education Students:

Complaint process for out-of-state distance education students participating under SARA Distance Education students, who have completed the internal institutional grievance process, and the applicable state grievance process, may appeal non-instructional complaints to the FL­ SARA PRDEC Council at FLSARAinfo@fldoe.org. For additional information on the complaint process, please visit the FL­-SARA Complaint Process page.