It is the philosophy of the TCATs that many complaints can be resolved through open and clear communication, and should be resolved at the lowest level possible. Therefore, the student should first discuss the complaint with the instructor, administrator or student involved in the matter in an attempt to resolve the concern.
If the concern cannot be resolved through informal discussion, the student may file a written complaint with the office of Student Services or office of Allied Health. The Student Services Coordinator or Allied Health Coordinator will meet with the student, investigate the complaint, consult other TCAT personnel or students as needed, determine an appropriate resolution, and notify the student, in writing, of the outcome.
If the student is not satisfied with how the administrators attempted to resolve the issue, the student may appeal to the Director. The Director may discuss the matter with the student and the Coordinator, and any other personnel he/she feels appropriate. The Director will provide a decision to the student within five (5) days of receipt of the appeal.
Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at the institution may submit a Student Complaint Form to the Tennessee Board of Regents at 1 Bridgestone Park, Third Floor, Nashville, TN 37214, or by completing the online form.
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.
Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Council on Occupational Education (COE) at 7840 Roswell Road, Building 300 Suite 325, Atlanta, Georgia 30350.
Fraud, Waste, or Abuse Complaints
Limitations on Scope and Use of Process
Allegations of sexual or racial harassment or discrimination shall be processed in accordance with TBR Guideline P-080, Discrimination & Harassment - Complaint & Investigation Procedure. Grade appeals should comply with the appropriate grade appeal process. Matters regarding student discipline are processed in accordance with the student disciplinary policies and rules found at TBR Policy 3:02:00:01, General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions, Policy 3:02:01:00, Student Due Process Procedures, and Rule 0240-3- 21-.01, et. seq., of the rules published by the Tennessee Secretary of State. Students should also consult the student handbook. Appeals of traffic or parking citations should be processed as specified by each institution.
In order to resolve concerns in a timely manner, complaints must be presented within ten (10) school days after the occurrence of the event claimed to have given rise to the complaint. Any complaint not presented within the time provided will not be considered.
- If a resolution cannot be reached through informal discussion, the student shall have five school days--following the TCAT Director’s recommendation--to request a hearing before the Grievance Committee. The Director or his/her designee shall provide the student grievant with a copy of the hearing procedures. (Attachment to Policy) The request for a formal hearing must be communicated in writing to the Director and include the following information:
- A statement of the grievance and the facts upon which it is based;
- Dates of occurrences;
- Attempts made to resolve the grievance;
- The remedy or corrective action sought;
- Signature of the aggrieved student and the date of the written grievance.
- Upon receipt of the written grievance, the TCAT Director shall request a Grievance Committee to hear the student’s appeal within five days.
- The student grievant shall be allowed to present his/her case and to present witnesses on his/her behalf during the meeting. The person(s) against whom the grievance is filed shall also be allowed to present their views as to the action taken against the student grievant.
- The student grievant may be accompanied by an advisor of his/her choice. However, the advisor cannot actively participate in the hearing, i.e., cross-examine witnesses or present any information on the grievant behalf.
- The Grievance Committee shall, within five school days of the hearing, present its findings of facts and recommendations to the TCAT Director.
- Within five school days of receipt of the Committee’s findings and recommendations, the Director shall render a final decision. This decision shall be presented in writing to the student in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
- If either party involved in the grievance is not satisfied with the final decision of the Director, the student shall be advised of his/her right of appeal to the Vice-Chancellor of VocationalTechnical Education. This appeal must be made within five school days of the TCAT Director’s decision.
If either party involved in the grievance is not satisfied with the decision of the Director, the student shall be advised of his/her right of appeal to the following:
Council on Occupational Education
7840 Roswell, Building 300, Suite 325
Atlanta, GA 30346
(800) 917-2081/ (770) 396-3898