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College of Nursing

Petition and Grievance Policies

Student Petition Policy


Students who feel they are entitled to relief from or deviation in the academic regulations of the University or the College of Nursing should apply through the petition process of the Student Petitions Committee of the College.

The purview of the Student Petitions Committee is to address student petitions, in accordance with College and University guidelines.  Students will receive an email notification within 24 hours followed by a letter informing them of the Committee’s decision and outlining the required course of action. A copy will be sent to the student’s advisor and Program Director. All matters of academic discipline are acted upon through the Student Petitions Committee of the College of Nursing.

The Student Petitions Committee meets three times a year at the close of the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and as needed, to rule on specific academic problems.

USC Policies and Procedures ManualA student must petition the Committee in writing, describing the situation, and may be asked to present his or her case at the Committee meeting. To begin the process, please contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs at (803) 777-8777 or email  The petition should be submitted to the Executive Director of Student Affairs.

Grievance Policy


For nonacademic issues, see the current USC Student Handbook, USC Policies and Procedures Manual. For academic issues refer to both the current USC Policies and Procedures Manual at the  and the College of Nursing policy below.

 The graduate student academic grievance policy describes the channel of resolution used in the College of Nursing to resolve students’ academic issues or complaints.  The channel requires that the student seek resolution with the faculty member alleged to have caused the problem and, if not resolved, the student should initiate resolution through a defined set of procedures. 

 Students are encouraged to meet with their course faculty if they have academic problems.  Further procedures for resolution of differences are outlined in the Student Grievance Policy-Academic of the current USC Policies and Procedures Manual and this College of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook. Contact the Executive Director of Student Affairs in the College of Nursing for assistance. 




 The purpose of this policy is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities regarding the academic issues cited below.

 1. Protection of freedom of expression.  Students should be free to take reasoned exceptions to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion.  They are responsible, however, for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.

2. Protection against improper academic evaluation. Students should have protection, through orderly procedures, against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation. At the same time, they are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.

3. Protection against improper disclosure. Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which professors acquire in the course of their work as instructors, advisors, and counselors should be considered as confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation.  Judgments about a student’s ability and character may be disclosed under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge and consent of the student.


 If a student perceives that any of the protections described above have been violated, the student should initiate resolution through the following channels and in the sequence indicated.

 1. Discuss the issue with the faculty member involved in the alleged violation. The discussion must take place within 30 calendar days after the end of the semester during which the alleged incident occurred. If the complaint is not resolved with the faculty involved, then go to the next step

 2. Notify the Executive Director of Student Affairs, who will explain the grievance policy and the student’s rights and responsibilities. The Director will assist the student in completing a written narrative describing the alleged violation of the protections described above. The narrative must contain the nature of the problem or complaint, reasonable evidence to support the case, background material, and a description of what has been done to resolve the problem.

 3. Meet with the ADGS and submit the written narrative describing the alleged violation. The ADGS will send to the student a written response within 10 regular working days following the meeting.  If, after receiving the ADGS response, the complaint is not resolved to the aggrieved student’s satisfaction, the student must notify the ADGS within 10 working days of receiving the letter and request a grievance hearing. The ADGS will appoint an Ad Hoc Grievance Committee of four faculty members, one of whom will serve as chair, and three students to conduct the grievance hearing. The grievance hearing will be held within 10 regular working days of the student’s request. The ADGS will distribute the written narrative of the student’s grievance to the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee and the faculty alleged to have caused the violation at the time of appointment to the Ad Hoc Committee.

 4. Attend the grievance hearing and present the alleged violation(s) to the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee and answer questions. The faculty member(s) who is alleged to have caused the grievance has the right to be present during all presentations of evidence to the Committee. The student and the faculty member may call witnesses. However, the Chair of the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee must be notified in writing at least 24 hours before the hearing of the names of all witnesses and the reason each witness has been called.

 It is the responsibility of the student and the faculty member, respectively, to arrange for the appearance of witnesses. The ADGS may not attend the grievance hearing.

 The Ad Hoc Grievance Committee must schedule a hearing; inform the faculty involved in writing and schedule his/her appearances at the hearing; maintain accurate, confidential records of the case; conduct the hearing in a fair and impartial manner; and inform the student and the faculty member(s) of the decision within two regular working days of the hearing.


 Graduate students may file an appeal of the decision of the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee to the Dean of the College of Nursing within ten days of receipt of the finding of the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee. The appeal must be filed on grounds that cite procedural error that results in a bias decision; new evidence; or penalty imposed that is not appropriate to the violation. If the Dean finds merit in any of the above claims, the Dean will appoint a new Ad Hoc Grievance Committee who will conduct a new grievance hearing. If the Dean does not find merit to student claims, the finding of the Ad Hoc Grievance Committee will be upheld.

 Graduate students may appeal decisions to the Graduate School. Appeals accepted by the Graduate School for consideration of reversal or modification of the Departmental decision are those with one or more of the following cited as grounds: inequitable application of regulations, bias, conflict with regulations, or extenuating circumstance. See current Graduate Bulletin for addition information.

 A faculty member who feels aggrieved as a result of student grievance proceedings has the right to appear before the University Faculty Grievance Committee and present his/her case to the Committee. The process is described in the Faculty Manual.

 *Policy may be changed at anytime


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