Student Comments

Student Affairs
Campus:  Blountville
Office:  Vice President for Student Affairs
Room:  C2108, General Studies Building
Office Hours:  8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Address:  2425 Highway 75, P.O. Box 246, Blountville, TN 37617
Phone:  423.354.2529
Fax:  423.323.0240
Email:  stucomments@NortheastState.edu
Web:  www.NortheastState.edu/StudentComments



Complaints, Compliments, Suggestions for Improvement, and Final Grade Appeals

Northeast State Community College encourages students to comment on their experiences at the College in a responsible manner. These comments may include complaints, compliments, or suggestions for improving College services. Comments help the College administration improve processes, pinpoint problems, eliminate waste, plan for strategic growth, or recognize outstanding personnel and programs. A final grade appeal is possible when a student believes he or she has received an incorrect final grade.

The following procedures have been established to help students submit their comments:

  1. Students should first seek to resolve complaints informally with the College personnel directly responsible for the area of complaint.
  2. If the above is not possible or does not provide a satisfactory outcome, students should submit written complaints about any area of the College’s operations to the Vice President for Student Affairs by using the Student Complaint Online Submission Form.
  3. Submissions should state the nature of the complaint as well as the resolution sought.
  4. The Student Complaint Online Submission Form must include the contact information of the person submitting the complaint.
  5. The Vice President for Student Affairs will forward the complaint to a designated Vice President or other appropriate office (as determined by the nature of the comments) for review within three (3) business days.
  6. The student will be notified of the outcome within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the Student Complaint Online Submission Form by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  7. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, he or she may appeal in writing to the President of the College. The President’s decision will be final.

  1. Compliments may be submitted using the Student Compliment Online Submission Form.
  2. Compliments will be received by the Vice President for Student Affairs and forwarded to the appropriate Vice President’s office for review and dissemination to the College personnel or program mentioned.
  3. The student may be contacted by the Vice President for Student Affairs if additional information is necessary.

  1. Concerns and/or suggestions for improving College services should first be discussed with the individual or campus office providing the service, including action(s) that can be taken to improve the service.
  2. If the above is not possible or the improvement action(s) require approval by the service provider’s supervisor or the College administration, the student should submit the concern or suggestion in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs by using the Suggestions for Improving College Services: Speak Out Online Submission Form.
  3. The Vice President for Student Affairs will present the concern or suggestion to the College’s Executive Council, which will review the service and make a recommendation to the President.
  4. The President may direct the development and implementation of actions designed to improve the services provided by the College.
  5. The student may be contacted by the Vice President for Student Affairs if additional information is necessary. 

Please reference Chapter 3 of the Northeast State Policies and Procedures Manual for complete policies and procedures concerning student conduct and expectations. The following are specific policies on the reporting of student complaints, compliments and suggestions for improving College services:

  • 03:05:01 - Student Rights and Freedoms
  • 03:05:10 - Student Complaints and Compliments
  • 03:05:11 - Complaints Related to Institutional Accreditation or Violation of State Laws
  • 03:05:12 - Reporting Fraud or Abuse
  • 03:05:13 - Suggestions for Improving College Services: Speak Out
  • 03:07:00 - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • 03:07:01 - Directory Information
  • 06:33:00 - President's Student Advisory Council

Please Note: For concerns or complaints regarding Title IX, civil rights, discrimination, or harassment, please visit the Equity & Compliance web site or contact the Office of Equity & Compliance at 423.354.5255. Questions may also be emailed to Dr. Leigh Hornsby, Equity & Compliance Officer.

Although crimes are not part of the complaint process, for issues involving campus safety, personal security, or to Report Behaviors of Concern, please visit the Safe Northeast web portal or contact the Northeast State Police Department at 423.323.0255 (non-emergency) or 423.677.7927 (emergency cell). Questions may also be emailed to John Edens, Chief of Police.

The Safety Handbook includes emergency contacts and policies related to College-wide programs that focus on campus security, personal safety, and issues related to violence.



Final Grade Appeal Procedures

Statement of Policy: A student at Northeast State Community College has the right to know the reason for grade assignments and the correct answer to examination questions. There may be differences of opinion as to what the correct answer should be. In matters of interpretation, the College accepts the judgment of the faculty member as the professional in the discipline. In instances where a student believes he/she has received an incorrect final grade, the appeals process is possible. The student must follow the Final Grade Appeal Procedure outlined in the College Catalog.

When a student believes there are circumstances that warrant the appeal of the final grade received in a course for other than Academic Misconduct, the student may appeal the grade. The appeal process must begin within 45 days following the last day of the term in which the grade was assigned.

  • Errors of omission. The student contends that a certain test, homework, or class project was submitted but not graded.
  • Errors in averaging. The student contends that an error in the mathematical calculations of graded material occurred.
  • Errors in course practices. The student contends that there was gross disparity between the course syllabus and the manner in which the course was conducted; in particular, the manner in which the individual student was treated.

  1. The student should consult with the instructor of the class to ensure that no calculation or administrative error has occurred. The student will be notified within five (5) business days within receipt of appeal by the instructor.
  2. If no satisfactory agreement is reached with the instructor, the student may submit a written appeal to the appropriate academic dean. The academic dean will investigate the appeal, render a decision and submit a written report of the findings within five (5) business days to the student, instructor and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  3. If the appeal is denied by the academic dean, the student may forward the written appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will review the appeal, render a decision and submit a written report of the findings to the student with ten (10) business days of the receipt from the student.
  4. If the student is not in agreement with the decision of the Vice President, he or she may request a hearing before the Grade Appeal Subcommittee of the Academic Affairs Committee within five (5) business days of receipt from the Vice President for Academic Affairs by submitting a written request to the Vice President for Student Affairs. This subcommittee shall review the appeal to insure that it explains in detail how it is based on one or more of the three allowable grounds. If the subcommittee determines that the appeal has merit for further investigation, a hearing will be scheduled. The subcommittee retains the right to ask questions of each party and to call on such expertise as it deems appropriate to arrive at a decision.
  5. The Grade Appeals Subcommittee will forward a recommendation to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within ten (10) business days within receipt of appeal by student.
  6. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the subcommittee’s recommendation, issue a written report relative to the subcommittee’s report, and forward the report to the President within five (5) business days within receipt of recommendation from the Grade Appeals Subcommittee.
  7. The President’s decision will be final. The President will review the appeal, render a decision and submit a written report of the findings to the student within ten (10) days of receipt from the student. 

Please reference Chapter 2 of the Northeast State Policies and Procedures Manual for complete policies and procedures concerning academics. The following are specific policies concerning grading:

For more information on final grade appeals, please contact Academic Affairs at 423.279.7632.  Dr. Sam Rowell is the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.




Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse

State law requires all public institutions of higher education to provide a means by which students, employees, or others may report suspected or known improper or dishonest acts. Northeast State is strongly committed to preventing fraud, waste, and abuse from occurring within its facilities.  Should you observe an employee engaging in any activity that you consider or suspect to be illegal, improper, or wasteful; you are strongly encouraged to report your concerns.  Several options are available to all Northeast State employees, TBR employees, students, and others for reporting known or suspected fraud, waste, or abuse.  

You may report your concerns:



Complaints Related to Institutional Accreditation 
or Violation of State Laws

Under the Federal Program Integrity rules 34 CFR § 600.9(a)(1)(i)(A), the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system office has been designated as the authority to investigate complaints about TBR institutions related to institutional accreditation or violation of State laws.

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 online submission forms to the Tennessee Board of Regents (1415 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 350, Nashville, TN 37217-2833, telephone: 615.366.4400). 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, telephone: 404.679.4500.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

Students have the right to file a complaint in writing with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The name and address of the DOE Office that administers FERPA is:

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