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Student Complaint Procedure Policy : 3:00:00:06

Responsible Executive: Executive Vice President for Student Success


  1. Motlow State Community College (Motlow State) strives to provide the best instructional atmosphere and level of service to all students. At times, however, students may have a concern or complaint regarding their educational experience. In such cases, Motlow State strives to resolve issues as quickly as possible and at the level closest to the issue.
  2. Students must follow the procedures listed below to resolve their concerns or complaints for matters not involving grade appeals or disciplinary matters. The process for grade appeals and all disciplinary matters are described in Motlow State Policies 3:02:00:01 Student Conduct. To complete a request for a Grade Appeal, you may find the request form on the Motlow State Just Report It page.


  1. The first step a student should take in resolving a concern or complaint is to directly address the faculty member or staff member in question.
  2. There may be some cases in which a student might feel uncomfortable directly addressing the faculty or staff member. If this is the case, the student shall speak to the appropriate academic dean in the case of a faculty member, or to the supervisor in the case of a staff member.
  3. If there is no resolution at that level, the student may file a formal, written complaint.


  1. Students who have attempted informal resolution to their complaints and need further resolution may file a formal complaint.
  2. Students must fully complete and submit the electronic student complaint form. Once submitted, the form will be reviewed by the appropriate decision-maker for resolution. Academic Affairs will review for academic matters and Student Success will review for student service matters. The head of the Academic Affairs or Student Success divisions or their designee will provide written documentation for record keeping purposes.
  3. An investigation will be conducted within ten (10) working days of receiving the complaint.
  4. A decision as a result of the investigation will be communicated to the student no more than 30 working days of receiving the complaint.
  5. A request for an appeal may be filed within five (5) days of the decision to the appropriate decision-maker over the unit in question. Requests can be submitted through the Student Complaint Appeal form (submitted to the student in their complaint outcome letter).
  6. The Executive Vice President or their designee will communicate their decision on the appeal within ten (10) working days. The decision of the Executive Vice President or their designee is final.
  7. A statement regarding the prohibition of retaliation related to the individual filing the complaint, as well as all others associated with the complaint, will be provided.


  1. Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at Motlow State may submit a Student Complaint Form to the Tennessee Board of Regents at 1 Bridgestone Park, Nashville, Tennessee 37214, or by using the link included in this paragraph.
  2. Under Tennessee’s open records law, all or parts of complaints will generally be available for review upon request from a member of the public.
  3. Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500,
  4. Complaints of fraud, waste or abuse may be made by email at or by calling the Tennessee Comptroller’s Hotline for Fraud, Waste and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454.


  1. Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with Motlow State to seek resolution.
  2. Students who feel their complaints are not satisfied within the outcome of Motlow State’s internal process may appeal to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The appeal must be within two (2) years for any appeals, with the exception of Title VI complaints which must be filed within 180 days of the last incident.
  3. For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards ( have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.
  4. For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website ( Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.



Leadership Council Approved: February 3, 2017

Revised: January 12, 2009; February 3, 2017; June 4, 2019; April 19, 2023

Institutional Oversight Committee Approved: August 14, 2023

President’s Cabinet Approved: August 22, 2023

Effective Date/Approved: February 3, 2017; August 22, 2023

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