Concerns & Complaints

Concerns and Complaints

Lawson State Community College is a Caring Campus and prides itself in handling all complaints seriously to ensure that all students and employees feel safe and comfortable on campus and feel valued and respected as well.  The Complaint Process is 5-pronged and is outlined below.  For more specifics related to the Complaint Process, please view the Student Catalog & Handbook.

If you are an employee, this page will guide you through the process, or you can contact Human Resources directly.

Complaint Form ButtonNOTE: See STEPS below before filing.  Steps 1 and 2 must be completed prior to submitting.

The Complaint Process

Lawson State Community College takes all concerns and complaints seriously and each is fully vetted, including issues related to Academic Freedom.  Follow these steps to resolve all complaints from informal to formal complaints.  Students and employees are strongly encouraged to resolve conflicts under the informal process first before advancing to the formal complaint process level.  Once a complaint has been fully vetted and all steps have been followed and a resolution to the complaint has been issued (by the College), an individual can move beyond the college if displeased with the end result.  All complaints then can move forward to the Chancellor's office within the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).   

**Harassment and Retaliation complaints are viewed as highly serious complaints.  Thus, students or employees with such complaints, can skip Steps 1 and 2 (if they feel uncomfortable addressing the matter personally), and file a formal complaint (at the college) immediately (online) after viewing the terms and conditions.  See below for more information on the Complaint Process at Lawson State.
Distance Learning Complaint Process for Out of State Students - Lawson State Community College desires to resolve student grievances, complaints and concerns in an expeditious, fair and amicable manner. Students residing outside of the State of Alabama while attending LSCC who desire to resolve a complaint follow the same process as residential students and should follow the outlined Complaint Process at the College as outlined in the “Lawson State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook”.  However, if an issue cannot be resolved internally, you may file a complaint with your State. The Student Grievance Contact Information for Individual States provides phone numbers, emails and/or links to state education agencies.  Students should never file a grievance unless they have worked through the College's full complaint process.

Steps 1: Informal Process.  Resolve your complaint one-on-one informally with the person of concern.

If you feel safe and comfortable, first address the complaint or concern with the parties involved (faculty member, staff member, student, etc...) one-on-one.  Your goal is to try to resolve the problem on this level amicably.  Remember, when attempting to resolve a concern or conflict at this level, it is important to address the concern, not attack the person or persons involved.  Just, to the best of your ability, discuss what is concerning you and clarify (to the individual) what you would like to happen to resolve the matter.  Most concerns and conflicts can be resolved on this level, so start here first.  If unsuccessful, move to Step 2. 

Step 2:  Speak with the Department Chairperson or Office Director:

If Step 1 was not successful, speak with the individual's direct supervisor or teacher (if dealing with a complaint against another student). If you do not know the name of the Director search the Employee Portal or email us at  We will be happy to assist you.

NOTE:  If your complaint deals with a Title IX offense (sexual assault, sexual harassment) click on the Title IX icon below (contact our Title IX Coordinators whom are identified within our Title IX website) and skip to Step 3 (on this page) and file a complaint immediately.  Do not delay in filing sexual harassment or sexual assault claims.  Report such claims immediately to the College.

NOTE: If your complaint deals with a Title IX offense (sexual assault, sexual harassment) skip to Step 3 and file an official complaint immediately.  Do not delay in filing sexual harassment or sexual assault claims.  Report such claims immediately to the College.

Step 3:  File a Formal Complaint at the College in Writing

When you move from Step 2 to Step 3, your complaint moves from an informal complaint to a formal complaint (in writing).  If the complaint is not resolved by working with the Department Chair, file an official complaint via Lawson's online complaint system (Advocate).  Official complaints can be filed after clicking on the Current Students menu bar from the main website page or by clicking below.  From there, an investigation into your complaint will be lodged and a Dean's Resolution (aimed to resolve your complaint) will be issued.  For more specifics on the Complaint Process, please view the College's Student Catalog & Handbook.

Click here to file an official complaint at the college. Be sure to check email for a response which should come within 24-hours unless you are filing over the weekend or during a holiday.  In such cases, the College will respond on the next business day.

Step 4: File a Grievance After Receiving the Dean's Resolution

Although extremely rare, if you disagree or want to challenge the Dean's Resolution (to your original complaint filed, you would then file a Grievance.  In doing so, a Grievance Committee will "field" your complaint and any and all challenges you have made of the Dean's Resolution (based on proven facts, not simply disagreement with the Dean's Resolution).  Please keep in mind that simply disagreeing with the Dean's Resolution is not enough to overturn a Dean's Resolution.  You will have to demonstrate that the Dean's Resolution was insufficient in resolving your complaint.  See the Student Handbook for more specifics in filing a Grievance.  There are specific steps and timelines you must follow to file, so please review.  To file a Grievance, click below. 

Click here to file a Grievance.  Please note you must have  Dean's Resolution in order to file.. Be sure to check email for a response which should come within 24-hours unless you are filing over the weekend or during a holiday.  In such cases, the College will respond on the next business day.

Step 5: Participate in the Grievance Hearing

Step 5 is the final step in LSCC's Complaint Process.  After you file an official Grievance at the College, a Grievance Committee will be formed by the one of the Vice Presidents and a Hearing will be conducted either virtually or in person depending on availability of all parties involved.  Grievance Committee Decisions are final and end the complaint process at Lawson State Community College.  Either party, the party who issued a complaint or the party who may have been involved in the complaint, can file a grievance.  Once a final decision has been rendered as it relates to your complaint by a Grievance Committee, the matter is considered resolved at the college level.  If there is disagreement over the Grievance Committee Hearing's decision, a complaint can be filed at the Alabama Community College System Office, not before.

How to File an External Complaint Against the College.  Before filing an external complaint, you must go through Lawson's full Complaint Process (Steps 1-5).

Lawson State takes all complaints seriously and will work diligently to resolve any and all matters.  If an individual, though, is dissatisfied with the outcome of a fully vetted complaint, he or she should report the complaint to the proper external agency that governs the college.

Lawson State, as are all community colleges in the state of Alabama, are governed by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). Thus, if an individual goes through the entire complaint process at Lawson State (including the grievance hearing process) and is still dissatisfied with the handling of their complaint, he or she can file a complaint in the Chancellor's Office with the ACCS.  External complaints should never be sought if the individual has NOT allowed the college to properly investigate and take action against a complaint in order to resolve such a complaint. 

Thus, Step 6 (reporting of an external complaint) should only be sought after the College has vetted the complaint and issued a resolution to the complaint.  The final step to all complaints at Lawson State is a Grievance Hearing.  For matters that are related to specific accrediting issues, individuals can report such matters to SACS.COC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges).  Again, the same stipulation holds in this case as well.  All complaints should first be reported to the College in order for the College to respond and settle all complaints first before reporting matters to an external agency.

How to File a Complaint at the Alabama Community College System or Lawson's Accrediting Agency:  Do not complete this step unless you have completed Lawson's full Complaint Process (Steps 1-5)

Note: Lawson State falls under the Alabama Community College System.  To file a complaint at the System level, be sure you have completed all of Lawson State's internal complaint processes /steps first, including the grievance hearing process.  If still dissatisfied, click here to access the steps to file a complaint with the Alabama Community College System: 

Alabama Community College Complaint Steps: Click here to view steps.  

Note:  Before filing an external complaint, be sure you have completed all of Lawson State's internal complaint processes (to resolve your complaint) before filing an external complaint.  

Click the provided link below for information on how to file a complaint against an institution with its accreditation agency--SACS.COC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges). ComplaintPolicy-1.pdf (