Student Grievance Policy

SIT Graduate Institute is committed to establishing and maintaining a respectful learning environment for all members of the SIT Graduate Institute community. Students have the right to seek a remedy for a dispute or disagreement when they believe they have been treated in an improper, unfair, or arbitrary manner. In addition, students have the right to seek a remedy for issues of institutional or program quality. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student for participation in a complaint or grievance.

Applicability of the Policy
This policy applies to all student complaints and grievances that fall outside of the policies already established for harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, student conduct, academic integrity, and the Academic Review Board.

Procedures

  1. If a student has a complaint or grievance, s/he should first seek to resolve the issue informally with the faculty member, staff member, or administrator directly involved with their complaint. For full consideration, the complaint or grievance should be filed during the semester in which the concern arises.
  2. Should the complaint or grievance remain unresolved after consultation with the involved faculty member, staff member, or administrator, or should the student feel uncomfortable or unsafe confronting the involved person, the student may file a written complaint with the appropriate academic dean in cases involving a faculty member, or the appropriate supervisor in cases involving other SIT Graduate Institute employees. This notification should detail the complaint and indicate what outcome the student is seeking. The appropriate dean, supervisor, or designee will respond in writing within ten working days of receipt of the written grievance.
  3. If the grievance is not resolved through communication with the dean or supervisor, the student may appeal to the appropriate division
    supervisor for the area. The division supervisor shall consider the appeal and decide. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing within ten working days.
  4. If the grievance involves the division supervisor, the student may appeal to the president of SIT Graduate Institute, who will consider the case and decide. The president will respond in writing within ten working days of receipt of the written complaint. The decision
    of the president is final and binding.

Student ADA/Section 504 Grievance Policy
School for International Training (SIT) is committed to establishing and maintaining a learning environment that supports students in achieving their academic potential. Differences in ability and learning styles are valued as an integral component of a diverse student body and academic community. The institution is prohibited from discriminating based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to include subsequent amendments and final rulings. SIT has adopted the following internal grievance process for the prompt and equitable resolution of student grievances relating to disability-based discrimination. This grievance process is available to any student who believes that they have been discriminated against based on their disability or have been denied access or accommodation required by law. Issues that may be raised through this process include, but are not limited to:

  • Denial of requested accommodations, including appeals of accommodation decisions by the coordinator of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being
  • Failure to provide an approved accommodation or inadequacy of an accommodation
  • Inaccessibility of a program or activity due to disability
  • Discrimination or harassment based on disability The Dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being can provide students with information regarding the process for appealing an accommodation decision or submitting a formal grievance and support in facilitating an informal resolution.

Appeal of an Accommodation Decision
Students who have concerns over an accommodation decision, including a denial of requested accommodation, are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the disability services coordinator, who makes every effort to first resolve disability-related issues or concerns through informal processes. Students can also pursue a formal appeal of an accommodation decision. Students wishing to formally appeal an unfavorable accommodation decision must submit their request in writing to the dean or assistant dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being for review. The appeal request must contain a statement of the student’s reason(s) for the appeal. SIT may require additional documentation or information from the student in consideration of an appeal. Failure by the student to provide any such additional documentation may be grounds for denying the appeal. Appeal decisions are made by the dean or assistant dean of Student Health,
Safety & Well-Being or their designee within thirty (30) days of receipt of the completed appeal request.

Grievance Procedure
1. Informal resolution
Students experiencing disability-related concerns are encouraged to discuss their concerns and pursue an informal resolution with the involved faculty member, staff member, or administrator. The disability services coordinator can assist students by facilitating an informal resolution when appropriate. Students can choose to end an informal resolution process to pursue a formal grievance at any point, and students are not required to pursue an informal resolution before filing a formal grievance.

2. Filing a formal grievance
Students filing a formal grievance should submit their concern in writing to the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being within thirty (30) days of the incident causing the concern. The grievance should contain the following and be signed by the student: The student’s name and contact information

  • A detailed description of the concern, including the names of any individuals involved
  • A summary of any steps the student has already
  • taken to resolve the concern informally
  • The student’s desired resolution
  • Any supporting documentation

Students requesting an alternate method for submitting a grievance (e.g., recorded statement) must discuss this as a possible accommodation in
advance with the coordinator of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being for Disability Services. After receiving the grievance, the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being will review and forward the grievance and any supporting materials to the appropriate academic dean, in cases involving a faculty member, or supervisor, in cases involving other SIT employees. Resolution efforts will involve the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being and appropriate academic dean or supervisor and include a review of the grievance and any supporting materials as well as gathering additional information from involved or interested parties, where appropriate. Resolution efforts can take up to thirty (30) days, at which point the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well- Being will forward a summary of the grievance and advised resolution to the student.

3. Appeal of a grievance resolution decision
Once the resolution decision has been received, a student can appeal the resolution decision. A request for appeal should be submitted in writing to the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being and SIT president within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the resolution decision. The SIT president or their designee shall consider the appeal and make a final decision. The decision will be communicated to the student in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the completed appeal request. A student may withdraw a formal grievance and/or an appeal of a resolution decision at any point in the process by submitting a signed request to the dean of
Student Health, Safety & Well-Being.

4. Non-Retaliation
SIT strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual participating in this grievance process. Students who believe they have experienced retaliatory action(s) should contact the dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being.

5. Confidentiality
A student’s documentation records are confidential and maintained by the disability services coordinator. However, appropriate information may be shared with designated SIT / World Learning staff, in accordance with federal and SIT / World Learning confidentiality policies, for processing an appeal of an accommodation decision or formal grievance. All participants involved in reviewing an appeal or formal grievance will be advised of the institution’s obligations to maintain student confidentiality to the greatest extent possible.

6. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaint
While students are encouraged to use SIT’s internal grievance procedure in attempting to resolve disability-related concerns, students have the right to file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR).