Communication Proficiency Policy and Complaint Procedure

In accordance with State Board of Higher Education Policy 609 (Communication Proficiency, Dickinson State University has a policy in its Dickinson State University Faculty Handbook (section II.A.2., Communications Proficiency Policy) which provides for the screening of faculty members to determine their proficiency in both written and verbal English at the time of initial employment. This policy is to ensure that students will have instructors whom they can understand both verbally and in writing.

The Dickinson State University policy also provides a procedure for students to register complaints if they cannot understand the English used by an instructor in classroom instruction. The Dickinson State University Faculty Handbook outlines in section II.A.2.D the following procedure.

  1. Students can register a complaint regarding language proficiency (the inability to understand the English used to communicate by the instructor) with the Chairperson of the Department in which the instructor teaches. Complaints can be verbally discussed with the Chair in an informal manner, but must be in writing for formal action to be taken.
  2. The Department Chair in consultation with the College Dean will recommend whatever action (i.e., a communication development program) is deemed necessary to address the complaint.
  3. The College Dean will implement the recommended action.
  4. If the plan of action does not produce the desired result and the complaint is not alleviated within a reasonable period of time, an additional appeal may be made by the student to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost for further action to be taken.

Students may discuss their complaint regarding communication proficiency with the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and secure help with this issue from this office before approaching a department chair with their concern.