Rock Valley College

Student Complaint FAQ

What types of complaints are addressed at Rock Valley College?

We have several different complaint types: General Complaint, Disability/Accommodation Grievances, Academic Misconduct, and Sexual and Other Harassment (you are not required to complete the form for this type of complaint). ADA and Title IX (Sexual Assault, Domestic and Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Discrimination) complaint types would automatically fall under the formal complaint process. 

Types of complaints and grievances:

  • General complaint:  A student may submit a complaint regarding staff, faculty, or other student. Complainant must submit their concern via the preliminary complaint form.  Example: a general office complaint, customer service, general class concern (not related to your grade) or other concerns.
  • ADA grievance/accommodation: (see disability grievance procedure
  • Academic Misconduct allegation: A student should be informed of any academic misconduct allegation by their instructor.  The student should be informed of the allegation, any assigned penalty and informed of the right to appeal. 
  • Sexual Assault, Domestic and Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Other Discrimination: This type of complaint would be filed as a Title IX or Other Discrimination Concern. Please read our sexual assault/Title IX procedure for more.
  • Appeals regarding grades and student conduct: A student may only appeal a capricious grade, or student conduct expulsion or suspension.  The appeal may be filed no later than the beginning of the fourth week of the academic term or summer session which directly follows the term the grade was awarded.


What are my resolution options?

The resolution options once a preliminary form is completed are formal and informal or information only. 


What is an information only complaint?

An information only complaint is defined as your submission of the preliminary student complaint form resolves your concern and you are not seeking any follow up. You "just want someone to know."


What is an informal complaint?

An informal complaint means you are addressing the concern between you and the person of conflict. Ideally, this would be the suggested method and we strongly encourage trying to resolve the concern with the individual first. Often times this may be handled by a phone call, meeting with Dean of Students office, Academic division or respective department. Your concern would be handled at this level requiring no further information/action. (e.g. general concern, customer service, classroom, other student).


What is a formal complaint?

A formal complaint is defined as a concern that you would like to pursue beyond the informal channel and requires:

a) meeting with the Dean

b) additional documentation

c) may require additional meetings and staff contacts. 

If you are seeking a formal complaint, it will automatically require you to schedule an appointment with the Dean of Students office.


What if I don’t know which options to choose to resolve my concern?

If you are uncertain which option is best suited to resolve your situation, please submit the preliminary complaint form and the appropriate Rock Valley College staff member will assist you once the form is submitted.


Do I have to write my complaint down?

You can share your concern verbally or in writing, but to begin the complaint process a preliminary complaint/conflict resolution form must be filled out.


When I complete the preliminary complaint form, isn't that considered a formal complaint?

No, that only initiates the process and allows us to assist you with determining if you are seeking a formal or informal complaint resolution. 


What if I don't want to file a complaint but just want someone to know about my concern?

We welcome any concern that you have. In this case you should share your concern via the preliminary complaint form and choose the "I just want someone to know about this" option. 


Can I make an anonymous complaint?

While we accept anonymous complaints, if you would like for us to act on your complaint, we would need to know the name of the individual or involved parties in order to move forward.


Can I make an anonymous complaint if I am reporting a sexual assault, sexual violence or interpersonal violence concern?

Yes, anonymous complaints regarding these types of incidents are accepted.  However, it may limit our ability to act on your complaint. In addition, depending on the information shared, the college may have to act on a reported concern regardless of your request. See Sexual Assault/Title IX Concerns


Where can I find the policy for student complaints?

The student complaint process is located in the Student Handbook and on our websitePlease review the College Board policy regarding student complaints


Which office handles complaints at Rock Valley College?

The complaint process is managed by the Dean of Students office. We advocate, provide mediation and facilitated dialogue when appropriate for students. Academic related complaints are a joint effort between the Dean of Students and Academics. The complaint generally begins in the Dean of Students office, but may be addressed and resolved by the Academic division as well. 


How long do I have to file a complaint?

It depends on the complaint type.  The general time frame is within the semester or by the semester following the incident occurrence.  Because there are different policies and procedures for different complaints, please review the specific policy you are filing a complaint about.


What happens after I file a complaint?

After you file a complaint, you have the option of having a meeting with the Dean of Students office and assistance through facilitated dialogue, if appropriate. If you file a formal complaint, you will automatically need to have a discussion with Dean of Students office. After the meeting you will then meet one-on-one with the person with whom you have the concern about or someone form the Dean of Students office may accompany you at your request.


Are appeals and complaints the same?

No, they are not the same. Appeals are filed after your complaint has gone through the proper procedure to address the concern and you have exhausted all other resolution options during the applicable procedure. Please review our appeals process.

What types of complaints can I appeal?

The types of complaints that you can appeal are:

  • Appeal of a Capricious Final Grade
  • Suspension or Expulsion
  • Allegation of Academic Misconduct


What happens if I followed the college complaint process and my issue wasn’t resolved?

Students may file a complaint with the Illinois Community College Board AFTER attempting to resolve the issue with the institution, according to the formal procedures set in place by Rock Valley College. Steps for completing this process can be found on the ICCB Website.