Community College and Workforce Development

Community College Student Complaint Process

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) formal complaint process is provided for the resolution of consumer protection complaints brought by students attending an Oregon community college.

The Commission investigates and resolves complaints against Oregon community colleges related to discrimination as defined by ORS 659.850, and retaliation as defined by ORS 659.852.

NOTE, January 2018:  The complaint process has changed; new guidelines will be posted in the near future.​

Filing a Complaint

  • If you are an Oregon community college student and would like to pursue filing a formal complaint against your school, please first follow your college’s grievance procedures found on the college website.
  • Once you have exhausted all of the college’s steps in the grievance process, please contact Shannon Ziglinski, Assistant to the Director of the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, Higher Education Coordinating Commission, at 503-373-0003 or email​ to discuss other options.​​​

Background and Rules

The formal student complaint process provides a means for investigating and resolving student complaints involving Oregon community colleges after all college appeal processes have been exhausted.

Oregon law stipulates every community college must have a grievance procedure in place that describes the actions a student may take when they believe they have been adversely impacted by discrimination (race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, gender) or sexual harassment or some other type of campus rule, process, procedure, or individual (i.e., instructor, another student, etc.). Oregon law prohibits any form of retaliation against any student who submits a complaint against an Oregon-based institution. This includes students who have not filed a formal complaint through the Commission, and those filing a complaint directly with the institution.

Student complaints should be clarified at the earliest possible time and first at the ​local level or office closest to the nature of their complaint. Every effort should be made to resolve such matters informally before official grievance procedures are initiated. Community colleges are committed to the concept that students are entitled to pursue their complaints without fear, restraint, interference, discrimination or reprisal.