Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Managing and Monitoring Student "Issues" in Higher Education

Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Managing and Monitoring Student "Issues" in Higher Education

Article excerpt

Introduction

RATIONALE: Org anizations regulating educational programs uniformly require the publication of procedures that inform students on how to submit complaints, grievances, or address other issues. Many regulating bodies, including programmatic accreditors, require programs to apply uniform processes and objectivity in the review and disposition of student grievances. PURPOSE: This article describes a formal system established by a large health professions college within a midsize urban university to manage and monitor trends with "student issues" (i.e., complaints, grievances, and appeals) and to teach students how to interpret academic policy and bring issues forward. BEST PRACTICE: The system includes a) a philosophy for managing student issues; b) the designation of a single academic administrator, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, who works with students throughout the grievance process, including preparing documentation for the dean or provost for final disposition; c) clear, accessible policies describing student issues processes and procedures; and d) an annual summative report of all student issues. RESULTS: This system and annual report informs academic administrators about possible changes needed to policies and procedures and encourages best practices in managing academic and student affairs. Seven years of data are presented. The tracking of grievances and complaints also makes data readily available for site evaluators during accreditation review of health professions programs in a university/college. J Allied Health 2015; 44(3):183-187.

ORGANIZATIONS regulating educational programs uniformly require the publication of procedures that inform students on how to submit complaints, grievances, or address other issues. Many regulating bodies, including programmatic accreditors, require programs to apply uniform processes and objectivity in the review and disposition of student grievances.1-3

This article describes a formal system established by the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, to manage and monitor trends with "student issues" (i.e., complaints, grievances, and appeals) and to teach students how to interpret academic policy and bring issues forward. The system includes: a) a philosophy for managing student issues; b) the designation of a single academic administrator, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, who works with students throughout the grievance process, including preparing documentation for the dean or provost for final disposition; c) clear, accessible policies describing student issues processes and procedures; and d) an annual summative report of all student issues.

This system and annual report informs academic administrators about possible changes needed to policies, procedures, and encourages best practices in managing academic and student affairs. Seven years of data are presented in this article. The tracking of grievances and complaints also makes data readily available for site evaluators during accreditation review of the 12 programs in the College that hold specialized accreditation.

Rationale and Approach to Handling Student Issues

Universities, colleges, and academic programs are governed by a myriad of policies and procedures, standards, and expectations for students that are drawn from a number of authorities such as:

* governmental rules and regulations, i.e., U.S. Department of Education, state department of education, state boards regulating health care programs;

* regional and specialized accrediting bodies;

* university policies and procedures; and

* codes of ethics, and other published standards of a health profession (e.g., American Nurses Association Code of Ethics).

Policies and procedures, standards and expectations of students should also be:

* developed from well thought out rationale;

* stated clearly and succinct, including directions for following procedures;

* accompanied by information on developmental support, i. …

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