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Federal Requirements 4.5

The institution has adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints and is responsible for demonstrating that it follows those procedures when resolving student complaints. (See Commission policy The Review of Complaints Involving the Commission or its Accredited Institutions.)



Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) complies with this Federal Requirement by providing evidence of a policy addressing written student complaints and by providing evidence that in practice the policy is adhered to when resolving the complaints. The policy is described in the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook. The CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook explains the necessary steps to be taken, the timeline for procedures, and the body responsible for a complaint’s resolution.


Cape Fear Community College has adequate policies and procedures to address written student complaints in its Written Student Complaint policy which states:

“As a matter of practice, CFCC subscribes to the philosophy that student complaints are best resolved on an informal basis. When a student has a complaint he/she should attempt to resolve concerns with college personnel having responsibilities directly at the source of the complaint.

When informal procedures do not resolve concerns, written student complaints should be sent to the Vice President of Student Development who will determine the appropriate college personnel to review the complaint.

The student should receive written acknowledgment of the complaint from the Vice President of Student Development within five (5) working days. The complaint will be reviewed and a collaborative effort will be made to resolve the complaint. Within twenty (20) working days of receipt of the complaint, the student will receive notification of the resolution of the complaint, or of the College’s position on the complaint.”

CFCC documents that the above procedures are followed by maintaining written student complaints and outcome information in the office of the Vice President of Student Development. Evidence that the College follows the policy can be seen in the samples provided here (Formal Complaint Resolution) (Informal Complaint Resolution). Records of complaints are considered to be confidential and access is granted only to those with a need-to-know as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

The Written Student Complaint policy is published in the CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (Written Student Complaint Policy pg 37), which is available through the Student Development Office, other locations across campus, and on the CFCC website.

On November 16, 2005 the CFCC Board of Trustees approved a Public Complaint Policy which will be added to the 2006-2007 CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (Board Minutes pg 10). This policy states that members of the public who wish to file a complaint must do so in writing to the Office of the President of CFCC.

The CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook also explains the CFCC Grievance Procedure. This procedure has been put in place for students who wish to appeal being placed on academic suspension, conduct suspension or feel they have been discriminated against or denied services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability or sex (Grievance Procedure pg 37).


Source Location

Formal Complaint Resolution,
(Password Protected)


Informal Complaint Resolution,
(Password Protected)


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,
US Department of Education Website


Written Student Complaint Policy,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 37-38)


Board Minutes,
CFCC Board of Trustees
November 16, 2005 (pg 10)
See bookmarks
Grievance Procedure,
CFCC Catalog and Student Handbook (pg 37)



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