Step 1: Follow the institution’s complaint procedures.
Students, or consumers, who have a complaint they are trying to resolve with a specific community college are encouraged to try to resolve their issue through their institution’s formal grievance procedures. All colleges have specific processes in place to address complaints locally.
You will find information regarding the institutions complaint procedures on the college’s website, in the student handbook, and/or in the course catalog. You may also contact the Dean of Students.
- For issues regarding financial aid or tuition and fees, go directly to the financial aid or business office of the institution you attend.
- For grade disputes, try to resolve it with your professor, the chairperson of the department, the dean of the college where you are enrolled, or the vice president for academic affairs, in that order.
- For concerns related to the behavior of an individual student or professor, you should address this concern with that person first. If this is not feasible, discuss your concern confidentially with the appropriate staff person in the Dean of Student’s office or the office of student services (e.g. Vice President of Student Development).
If your safety or security is threatened, contact the proper authorities (e.g. campus security or local police) immediately.
If you attempted to file a complaint at the institutional level and were not successful you may file a complaint with the Illinois Community College Board. Please see instructions below.
Step 2: Prepare to register a formal grievance with ICCB.
After you have made all attempts to resolve your issue(s) with the institution, ICCB may moderate communication between you and the college.
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) is the state coordinating board for the Illinois Community College System which covers the entire state with 48 colleges and one multi-community college center in 39 community college districts.
Here is a list of Illinois’ community colleges: http://www.iccb.org/colleges.html
All other higher education institutions are not within the authority of ICCB. For example:
Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE)
- Four year colleges and universities
- Private colleges
- Private Business and Vocational Schools
- For-profit universities and colleges
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
- Public and private high schools
Step 3: Gather all the documentation you have collected during your attempt to resolve the matter directly with the institution.
This documentation should include your complaint filed with the Dean of Students office; or the office designated at the college.
Also, you should include all other relevant documents and information which depending on the nature of your case, in particular, you must include:
- A copy of the written complaint you submitted to the college
- Official letters issued by the college regarding your case
- A timeline of events including the name of the department and the name and or title of staff with whom you spoke
Step 4: Register a grievance using ICCB’s Institution Complaint System.
If you wish to remain anonymous, ICCB will not be able to contact you or address your formal complaint. Anonymous complaints will be reviewed, logged, and counted in ICCB reports about institutional complaints.
Complaints can be submitted to ICCB in the following ways:
- Print and complete the Complaint Form. Then mail it and relevant documents to:
Illinois Community College Board
401 E. Capitol Avenue
Springfield, IL 62701
- Scan your completed Complaint Form and relevant documents. Then email to:
- Call for instructions on how to file a complaint:
1-800-573-4604 or (217) 557-2741
Out-of-State Distance Learning Students
Students with complaints who are residents of another state and taking distance learning courses at an Illinois community college are asked to identify their home state as Illinois participates in SARA, an agreement with other states which provides authorization in those states for Illinois institutions and a mechanism for addressing student complaints.
Out-of-State distance learning students may also file a complaint in their home state. Information can be found here.