The purpose of this policy is to provide students with a clear avenue by which to address complaints against the University.
The University provides multiple avenues through which students may make a complaint against the University and publicizes pertinent contact information to ensure that students have access to the authority relevant to the complaint.
This policy complies with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Verification of Compliance with Accreditation—Relevant Federal Regulations, area 4, and with the Commission’s policy on published information. The University additionally complies with federal regulations 34 CFR §602.16(a)(1)(ix) and 34 CFR §668.43(b).
Pursuant to the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rules, the University provides all prospective and current students with the contact information of the state agency or agencies that handle complaints against postsecondary education institutions offering in-person [classroom] learning, distance learning or correspondence education within that state. Student Handbooks for all campuses contain explanations of Title IX and FERPA policies and contact information for students who wish to file a grievance in those areas. Academic Bulletins provide internal mechanisms for students to raise and resolve academic and non-academic grievances.
In all cases, students should attempt to resolve any grievance through the proper internal channels at the University, which are identified in the Student Handbook and/or current Academic Catalog.
Students who are involved in an academic dispute must attempt to resolve it with the relevant professor first. If that fails, students should take their complaint to the department chair for that subject area. Students who feel they must pursue the matter further should contact the dean for that area. The dean will help the student or suggest another method for resolving the problem.
Students who are concerned with program requirements, graduation requirements, academic standing, or academic suspension should contact their success coach. He or she can outline your program of study and make sure you are fulfilling your requirements.
Students are advised that most external complaint processes require that the student exhaust avenues of complaint internal to the institution before they will consider a grievance.
For a non-academic complaint, students are advised to speak to their academic counselors for guidance on how to resolve the issue. The success coach may direct the student to one of the campus religious leaders, a residence assistant or Residence Director, a faculty member with whom the student is familiar, a counselor at the Center for Healthy Living or Student Affairs. Students may request confidentiality; on occasion, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, except by the Center for Healthy Living, where matters are always confidential unless it threatens a student’s safety.
Student Handbooks for all campuses contain explanations of Title IX and FERPA policies and contact information for students who wish to file a grievance in those areas. Academic Bulletins explain internal mechanisms for students to raise and resolve academic and non-academic grievances.
Current and prospective students who wish to file complaints with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education or with the New York State Department of Education will find appropriate contact information on the Accreditations page of the University website.
Students who wish to make a complaint should follow the policy and procedures found in the Student Handbooks. Students are advised that all complaints must go through the University’s internal procedures for resolving grievances prior to the initiation of any external complaint process.
Members of the University community or prospective students who wish to make a complaint with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education may do so at https://www.msche.org/complaints/.
Members of the University community or prospective students who wish to make a complaint with the NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements) https://nc-sara.org/student-complaints.
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