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grievances, complaints and concerns

iowa lakes community college desires to resolve student grievances, complaints and concerns in an expeditious, fair and amicable manner. 


  1. it is the desire of the college that any difficulties or confusion a student may encounter with the policies or regulations of the college be handled in an informal manner whenever possible. students are encouraged to talk to their advisors, instructors, or the individual involved to resolve issues as they arise.
  2. if the complaint/grievance is not resolved informally, the student may seek a formal resolution.
  3. the executive dean of students will review formal complaints/grievances submitted in writing. 
  4. the executive dean of students will work with relevant parties to resolve the complaint and to document resolution.
  5. a master log of student complaint information is maintained by the executive dean of students.  the log identifies the nature of the complaint and how the complaint was resolved
  6. for cases that cannot be satisfactorily resolved internally, iowa lakes community college provides both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student's resident state: 

filing a student complaint

in order for iowa lakes to initiate an investigation of a student complaint, the following must be true:

  1. the student did not receive a satisfactory resolution when working directly with the appropriate individual(s) or department(s) as outlined in the student handbook;
  2. the complaint must be in legible written or typed format;
  3. the student has submitted the complaint to iowa lakes using iowa lakes’ student complaint form;
  4. the student complaint contains a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times, and full names of all involved, as well as the actions taken by both the student and the institution to resolve the matter;
  5. the student has signed the form attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint;
  6. the student recognizes that iowa lakes will not investigate anonymous complaints and that by signing the form, the student acknowledges that iowa lakes may share information provided with the institution or other relevant organizations or state agencies in order to help resolve the dispute. iowa lakes does not guarantee a resolution resulting from this submission or its investigation into the allegation.

electronically file the complaint or mail the complaint to: 
iowa lakes community college
attn: executive dean of students
         300 south 18th street
         estherville, ia  51334

the student complaint must be received within two (2) years of the occurrence. upon receiving a student complaint, iowa lakes will facilitate an investigation of the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. if preliminary findings indicate a violation of iowa lakes regulations by the institution, iowa lakes shall attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation. all parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation. if the complaint is outside of iowa lakes’ jurisdiction, it may be directed to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns, if appropriate.

iowa lakes may contact the student to submit further details or to submit documented evidence of the allegations against the institution. students should not submit original documents as they may not be returned. student complaints will be examined to determine factual basis.

depending on the nature of the complaint, investigation and facilitation could require several weeks to months to complete.

students may submit a complaint online through the following links, or submit complaints by mail as noted above:

current students (have an iowa lakes login): //

former students (no iowa lakes login): //

iowa lakes community college is a member of the national council for state authorization reciprocity (nc-sara) agreements. 

complaints from students in other sara states should contact iowa's sara portal agency which is the iowa college student aid commission (icsac).

state portal entity contact:

lisa pundt
postsecondary registration - (authorization) compliance officer 

iowa college student aid commission

please note that in general, state agencies ask that you work to resolve your complaint with the college before filing a complaint with the state.

the following procedures/ policies are delineated in the student handbook and catalog(s):

  • non-discrimination policy violations (student handbook
  • academic appeals (iowa lakes catalog
  • affirmative action violations (student handbook
  • academic suspension appeals (iowa lakes catalog
  • student conduct violations (student handbook
  • sexual abuse/harassment (student/consumer information
    a.  students who request a waiver of a particular college policy, application, procedure or regulation as interpreted by a college employee, will be directed to make a formal appeal to the academic review committee.  the academic review committee considers all initial appeals to waive the application of college policies and procedures concerning academic actions, financial aid or residency decisions.  (academic actions include, but are not limited to, academic probation or suspension, procedures, program or degree requirements or grades allegedly given in error by faculty members.)
    b.  students who wish to appeal a financial aid decision will direct their appeal to the financial aid director

complaints alleging sexual harassment or civil rights violations are forwarded to the title ix coordinator who launches the investigation.

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