South University Student Affairs
The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for offering programs and services that augment academic programs by stimulating the personal and professional development of students at South University. The Office of Student Affairs also acts as an point of contact for military and veteran students as well as eligible family members.
As an extension of the philosophy and mission of South University, the student affairs program strives to inform, educate, and encourage students in their endeavors. In order to achieve its goals, the Office of Student Affairs provides the following in particular:
- An orientation that will inform students of university policies, programs, and activities.
- Support and assistance to students in making realistic decisions about academic and nonacademic concerns.
- International student advising.
- Academic accommodations to students with disabilities in the classroom.
- Resolution for student concerns.
- Programs and activities that will encourage student and alumni involvement and participation in campus life.
The student development program is designed to enhance student life by offering programs and services that add to the classroom experience and encourage personal and professional development.
Specifically, the Student Affairs staff is responsible for the following: orientation, counseling services, community referrals, disability support services, organizations and activities, graduation, alumni engagement,and student conduct.
These student services are described in more detail below. Also included in this section are services offered by the University that do not fall under the supervision of the office of student affairs but are considered to be in the category of student services.
Students are responsible for properly completing their academic programs, being familiar with all requirements of the University catalog under which they intend to graduate, maintaining the required grade point average, and meeting all program and course requirements. They are encouraged to seek counsel from faculty advisors or other staff members, but the final responsibility for fulfilling academic requirements remains that of the student.
Students have a right in an academic environment to reserve judgment about matters of opinion and to express their views in a responsible manner. Orderly procedures are provided to allow students the opportunity to question academic evaluations.
Short-term counseling services are available to assist students in resolving academic, career, and personal problems. University personnel can help students plan their educational programs, as well as adjust to the demands of university level studies. Personal advising is provided for any student who seeks aid in solving and understanding individual problems. Advising services are available at all campuses during the day and in the evening by appointment through the dean of student affairs. Students identified as needing additional counseling resources will be referred to external agencies.
Fully online students should contact their Academic Counselor to obtain advising services information.
Declaration of Major
A major is an area of focused study in a degree program approved by the board of trustees. A major curriculum leading to a baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 180 credit hours in specific courses or approved elective courses. A major curriculum leading to an associate's degree requires a minimum of 90 credit hours in specific courses or approved elective courses.
Students are requested to declare their academic majors before initial university enrollment. The appropriate form for this procedure is distributed during the admissions process and must be completed and returned to the academic counselor no later than registration. Students should then follow the requirements of their program of study found in the University catalog. A student changing a major must complete the Program Change form (available through the academic counselor) at the beginning of the term. The decision to change majors should be made as early as possible to avoid taking unnecessary courses and lengthening the time required to complete a program.
Students using veteran benefits must consult with the campus veteran's affairs officer for advisement before changing their majors.
Military and veteran students are encouraged to ask about academic support, financial aid advising, disability services, or career counseling that is made available on campus. Students should contact Student Affairs on campus for further guidance and information. Fully online students should request information from their Graduation Team.
Digital Bookshelf and Digital Textbooks
South University is in the process of enhancing the learning experience by converting traditional textbooks to electronic media. Students are responsible for reading the Digital Bookshelf and eBook User's Manual publication, which describes the media, access to the materials and the student's rights and responsibilities related to Digital Bookshelf. In the event that a digital textbook is not available, students may need to purchase a traditional textbook.
Digital Bookshelf Preferred Requirements:
Preferred Software Specifications:
Mac OSX 10.5 or 10.6
- OR -
Windows 7 or Vista with Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1
Latest version of Safari Browser, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer
Preferred Hardware Specifications:
2.0 GHz INTEL processor
1 GB of RAM
Graphics card capable of 1024 x 768 resolution or larger
Soundcard & speakers
High speed internet access
Digital Bookshelf Minimum Requirements:
Minimum Software Specifications:
Apple Mac OSX 10.4
- OR -
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or higher
with Microsoft .Net 3.5 SP1
Safari browser 3.0.4 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher, Internet Explorer 6 or higher
Minimum Hardware Specifications:
1.0 GHz processor
512 MB of RAM
Graphics card capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
Dial-up internet access is the minimum standard, however, a higher speed is recommended
Digital Bookshelf Recommended Plug-ins or Downloads:
The course instructor may employ technology in the eCollege classroom that requires one of these recommended plug‐ins or downloads in order to function properly. If the instructor uses the ClassLive technology, Java will be required. If your instructor provides PDF files, Adobe Reader may be required to open and view those files. You can download these items at the time that you need them.
Recommendation regarding "Netbooks"
Students often see "Netbooks" (small laptop computers primarily designed for web browsing and emailing) as an affordable option when looking to purchase a computer for classwork. However, it is strongly recommend that students do not purchase a Netbook.
Purchasing a low-price laptop or desktop computer that meets the system requirements outlined above is a much better solution for classwork. While newer Netbooks may meet resolution and screen size requirements for reading your eBooks, much like some older laptops, some older Netbooks may not be able to graphically handle these sites. This means that reading e‐texts and participating in the classroom could become difficult. It may be challenging to scroll through your readings and effectively and efficiently work through the material.
While the primary focus of the Career Services office is to assist students upon graduation, any enrolled student may seek employment information through this office. Although South University does not guarantee employment, it is vitally important to both the graduate and the University that each student obtains appropriate employment. Therefore, as students approach the final year of their programs, specific and personalized assistance is provided in the preparation of professional resumes and cover letters, as well as in job search strategies and interviewing skills. Career services are provided to South University graduates at no additional charge.
Please see the Career Services Advisor or Dean of Student Affairs for assistance or information.
South University publishes an annual security report that contains information concerning policies and programs relating to campus security, crimes and emergencies, the prevention of crimes and sexual offenses, drug and alcohol use, campus law enforcement and access to campus facilities. The annual security report also includes statistics concerning the occurrence of specified types of crimes on campus, at certain off-campus locations, and on the public property surrounding the campus. The annual security report is published each year by October 1 and contains statistics for the three most recent calendar years. The annual security report is provided to all current students and employees. A copy of the most recent annual security report may be obtained from the Student Affairs office during regular business hours. Copies of the Crime Report are available on the University's website in the Student Consumer Information section.
In addition to the annual security report, South University maintains a crime log recording all reported crimes. The crime log is available for public inspection during regular business hours at the Student Affairs office. South University will report to the campus community concerning the occurrence of any crime includable in the annual security report that is reported to campus security or local police and that is considered to be a threat to students or employees.
South University reminds all students that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions regarding their safety and welfare.
||Crime Report Link
|South University, Atlanta Learning Site
|South University, Austin
|South University, Cleveland
|South University, Columbia
|South University, High Point Learning Site
|South University, Montgomery
|South University, Novi
|South University, Online Programs
|South University, Orlando Learning Site
|South University, Richmond
|South University, Savannah
|South University, Tampa
|South University, Virginia Beach
|South University, West Palm Beach
South University provides accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. Disability Services assists qualified students with disabilities in acquiring reasonable and appropriate accommodations and in supporting equal access to services, programs and activities at South University.
Students who seek reasonable accommodations should notify the designated representative at their location of their specific limitations and, if known, their specific requested accommodations. Students will be asked to supply medical documentation of the need for accommodation. Classroom accommodations are not retroactive, but are effective only upon the student sharing approved accommodations with the instructor. Therefore, students are encouraged to request accommodations as early as feasible with The Office of Disability Support Services to allow for time to gather necessary documentation. If you have a concern or complaint in this regard, please contact the Campus Director or President. Complaints will be handled in accordance with the school's Internal Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment.
Please see the Appendix at the end of the catalog for contact information for each South University location.
South University does not provide health services. Referrals will be made upon request.
South University provides a library for its students at each of its campuses. The libraries are easily accessible and house general and reference books, pamphlets, periodicals, multimedia software, online services, and other non-print media to assist students in their studies. Through intercollegiate borrowing agreements, South University libraries are able to expand their patrons' access to resources outside of their own facilities. In addition, Internet access affords students the opportunity to locate and/or retrieve information from libraries, colleges, database services, and various other institutions throughout the world.
A library manual of policies and procedures is available upon request at the circulation desk. This manual informs students how to use the library at their campus, how the books are arranged, the policy for overdue books, and how to check out materials. Library resources are reserved for use by South University students, faculty and administrative staff.
A library orientation is given each quarter to all students enrolled in UVC1000 Strategies for Success classes. Students are informed of the types of books, periodicals, and multimedia available, how to use the online catalog in locating information, and how to use library resources to the greatest advantage.
The individual campuses post specific library hours.
Each student organization must be registered with the office of student affairs, be approved by the dean, and have an approved faculty advisor. The Dean of Student Affairs will assist in obtaining an advisor if necessary. Students who are interested in forming a recognized student organization should see the Dean of Student Affairs for information on how to start a new student organization.
The University provides an orientation program each term. The program acquaints new students with academic life and university services. All new students are required to attend. The Student Handbook and information regarding alcohol and drug abuse and the campus security report are available electronically. Information sheets that contain the exact URL (electronic address on the web) are distributed to all students at orientation. Students may request a paper copy of these documents from the Dean of Student Affairs.
All new fully online students are required to complete an online orientation course before starting classes. This orientation covers the expectations, policies, and procedures associated with online learning at South University and provides students with an opportunity to practice working within the online classroom environment. It is absolutely necessary that students are prepared to begin working within the online classroom environment on the first day of class, as they will not have the time to orient themselves once classes are underway.
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) studies in Aerospace Science (US Air Force) and Military Science (US Army, Navy Marine Corps) are available to South University Tampa students.
Students are responsible for registering for the appropriate courses and maintaining compliance with ROTC regulations.
Veteran and Military Services
A Veterans Affairs (VA) school certifying official is available at each campus to assist students with benefit information. The financial aid office can direct students to the appropriate University personnel.
South University is required to obtain and evaluate all previous post-secondary and military transcripts for students using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) education benefits. For all students receiving VA and DoD education benefits, it is the student's responsibility to provide official transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions and military training and experience. For students attending schools located in the states of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, the VA State Approving Agency in these states require South University to hold certification of enrollment to the VA for students who have failed to provide official transcripts by the completion of the second term.
Inclement Weather Policy
In the event of severe weather conditions, students will be notified of the cancellation or delay of classes via the South University Emergency Alert System. Whenever possible, notification of cancelled or delayed courses will occur at least three (3) hours prior to the course start time. Cancelled courses may require make-up course meeting times, or additional assignments. Faculty will notify students at the next regularly scheduled class meeting how the missed class time will be made up, if warranted.
Students in online courses are expected to meet the weekly attendance requirements. Failure to meet weekly attendance in an online course may result in the student's administrative withdrawal from the course and the University. In the event that a severe weather event prohibits a campus-based student from attending an online class, the student is expected to communicate with the appropriate faculty member(s) as quickly as is reasonable, and should contact the Registrar's office. Students in online programs should contact their faculty member(s) as quickly as is reasonable, and their Academic Counselor. Please review the University Attendance Policy for more information.
If classes are not canceled despite inclement weather, students are responsible for any academic work they miss as a result of the weather.
Students may sign up for their campus Emergency Alert system via the student portal.
The South University shall recognize all state and federal vaccination and immunization requirements and are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable requirements. Information regarding immunization requirements is published on South University website, under the Student Consumer Information pages, and if applicable in the Student Handbook or during enrollment or orientation, where appropriate.
North Carolina Immunization Requirement
All students enrolling in a campus in North Carolina must provide proof of immunization as required by North Carolina law. Students must provide the required immunization records within 10 weeks of their start date. Failure to provide the appropriate documentation may result in student being unable to register for class.
Student Email Communication Policy
South University will provide all applicants and current students a southuniversity.edu email account. This will be considered the student's primary email account while enrolled at South University. All email communication from the University will be sent to the primary email account. Students may add a secondary email account to their record, however, the University will not send official communications to a secondary account. Students have the option of having email forwarded from the primary account to their secondary account.
Code of Conduct
Each student who enters South University commits, by the act of enrolling, to full acceptance of the University Code of Conduct. For ease of reference, the Student Handbook contains the Code of Conduct, disciplinary procedures, and the appeals process.
Professors are not expected to jeopardize the progress of a class by permitting the continued presence of any student whose behavior in any way could adversely affect the class. Inappropriate behavior includes disruptive behavior, or other actions that are not considered proper conduct for a University student. The Code of Conduct also applies to inappropriate actions on campus outside of the actual classroom or while participating in University sponsored activities off campus. The Code of Conduct also applies to online activities that occur on South University websites.
Alleged violations of the conduct code will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs. See the Disciplinary Procedures section of the Student Handbook for specific details. Violations of the code of conduct may result in disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal. A full copy of the code of conduct is available in the South University Student Handbook.
General Complaint Procedures
If you have a complaint or problem you are encouraged to follow this procedure:
- You should discuss complaints with the individual(s) within the appropriate department. Initial discussion should be with the person most knowledgeable of the issues involved or with immediate decision-making responsibility.
- If you feel that the complaint has not been fully addressed, a written account should be submitted to the Dean of Student Affairs if related to non-academic issues or to the Campus Director/Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations for academic issues. The written account should indicate your name, phone number, and ID and discuss the steps you have taken to remedy the situation.
- The appropriate South University staff member or department will be notified of the complaint. A follow-up meeting with you and the Dean of Student Affairs and/or Campus Director/Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations will be held within ten school days of the date of the written complaint in an effort to resolve the issue.
- If you are not satisfied with the results, you may file an appeal with the Campus Director/President's Office. The appeal should be in writing and contain your name and phone number. You should summarize the steps you have taken to remedy the situation and indicate why the results are not satisfactory. You will hear the results of the appeal within ten class days from the date the appeal is received.
- If you follow this complaint procedure and still feel dissatisfied with the results you may send a written copy of the complaint to:
||Brief Description of Complaint Process
||Students may file consumer/student complaints with the Alabama Community College System by following these procedures:
- If, after exhausting all available institutional processes, a student's complaint remains unresolved, the student may appeal to the Alabama Community College System using the System's official Student Complaint Form, which is contained in this document and also available online at the ACCS website ( www.accs.cc). Students may submit completed complaint forms by printing the form, signing it, and then either (1) scanning it and e -mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or (2) mailing it to:
Alabama Community College System
Attention: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Instructional and Student Services
P.O. Box 302130
Montgomery, AL 36130-2130
- The Vice Chancellor for Instructional and Student Services or an appropriate administrator designated by the Vice Chancellor will investigate the complaint within 30 days of receipt.
- The institution which is the subject of complaint has 30 days to provide a written response to questions and/or concerns raised during the investigation. Such response may or may not contain a resolution.
- The Vice Chancellor or designated administrator will adjudicate the matter and write a report or letter to the institution and student detailing corrective action, if any is necessary, or stating that the school has no violation of polices.
- If corrective action is needed the institution will have 30 days to comply or develop a plan to comply with the corrective action.
- The System Office will monitor the institution's compliance to ensure the completion of any required corrective action.
|Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) processes complaints alleging violations of state institutional authorization law relative to postsecondary institutions or programs in Alaska. The complaint investigation process is described in AS 14.48.130 and 20 AAC 17.130-145. A student is encouraged to pursue the complaint/grievance process at their institution prior to contacting ACPE. This process is outlined in the institution's catalog. To request a complaint form please send an email to: EED.ACPE-IA@alaska.gov.
For questions or assistance relative to complaints please contact:
Program Coordinator for Institutional Authorization
Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
PO Box 110505
Juneau, AK 99811-0505
|Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
Tthe complaint procedure is stated as follows:
- If a student has a complaint against a licensed institution or program and exhausts all available grievance procedures established by the institution, the student may file a written complaint with the Board. A complaint must be filed within three years of the student's last date of attendance. (This is not a requirement for non-students)
- The Board's staff shall investigate the complaint if the allegations, if true, violated statute of Board rules. Upon completion of Board staff's investigation, the complaint shall be referred to the Complaint Committee for a review.
Based upon the information provided pursuant to subsection A or B of this section, the Complaint Committee may do any of the following:
- Dismiss the complaint if the committee determines that the complaint is without merit.
- File a Letter of Concern.
- Refer the complaint to the full Board for further review and action.
|Arkansas Department of Higher Education
If you would like to file a grievance about an institution of higher education that you have attended, please complete the form at the link below. It is recommended that you complete your institutions complaint process before submitting this form. Please note that the Arkansas Department of Higher Education is a coordinating board that coordinates state financial aid, state funding to institutions of higher education and academic program review. ADHE does not have authority over the day-to-day operations of institutions of higher education. We may be able to offer guidance for issues you are having with an institution, but in most cases we cannot issue an immediate solution. If you have a grievance about a for-profit institution, this form may help us to provide you with a resolution.
|California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Most consumers receive a quality education and have a generally positive experience from attending an approved private postsecondary educational institution (institution). However, in the event a consumer believes an institution's administrative processes or educational programs are compromised and not up to the required minimum standards, the Bureau should be notified. A complaint may be filed by writing (Complaint Form) or calling the Bureau's Enforcement Section at the following address and telephone number:
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Telephone: (916) 431-6959
FAX: (916) 263-1897
An alternative avenue for filing a Complaint is to utilize the California Department of Consumer Affairs' (DCA) online Complaint Form (Online Complaint Form). The DCA will forward the Online Complaint to the Bureau.
Print and File Complaint Form
Online Complaint Form
WHO MAY FILE A COMPLAINT
Anyone may file a complaint if they believe an approved institution has violated the laws governing the institution's operation. Complaints are most often received from students, their families, other members of the private postsecondary education industry, law enforcement agencies, and other regulatory agencies.
|Colorado Department of Higher Education
To register a complaint pertaining to a postsecondary institution currently operating in the state of Colorado, the student/complainant must complete and submit this form. Once received by the CDHE, department personnel will review the information provided in order to determine whether the complaint is within the parameters of state policies and statutes, and if further investigation and follow-up are necessary. If the student's complaint falls within the jurisdiction of state policies and statutes, staff will pursue the student's complaint. The student/complainant will be kept informed of the progress regarding the complaint. All documentation concerning a student's complaint will be securely maintained by the CDHE.
|Connecticut Office of Higher Education
How Complaints are Handled
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing, and review it to see if it falls within our regulatory authority. If it does not, we will so notify you, and may refer it to another agency. If it does fall within our jurisdiction, we will notify both you and the school/college, and share a copy of your complaint with the institution with a request for a written response within 20 days regarding the situation and whether appropriate institutional policies, and state statutes and regulations, have been followed. Depending on the institution's response, we may request more information from the institution or from you.
Complaints Not Covered
The Office of Higher Education can only act to assure that Connecticut independent colleges and postsecondary career schools, and SARA institutions comply with state statutes and policies that we administer. Complaints regarding other issues should be directed to the entity which specializes in those issues. For example:
- For complaints regarding employer-employee matters, contact the Connecticut Department of Labor at (860)263-6000
- For complaints regarding discrimination, contact the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities at (860)541-3400
- For complaints regarding disabilities violations, contact Disability Rights Connecticut at (860)297-4300 or (800)842-7303
- For complaints regarding higher education institutions located in other states, contact the state agency responsible for authorization
- For complaints from Connecticut students enrolled in out-of-state SARA institutions, contact the SARA Portal Agency in the state where the institution is located once you have exhausted the complaint process at that institution.
|Delaware Department of Education
The Delaware Department of Education will investigate complaints. Such complaints must be in writing and verified by the signature of the person making the complaint. Oral, anonymous or unsigned complaints will not be investigated. Until the web site is functional, please write or call for more information. The Delaware Department of Education; Teacher and Administrator Quality; John W. Collette Resource Center; 35 Commerce Way; Dover, DE 19904. The Delaware Department of Education phone number is 302-857-3388.
|District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission
Pursuant to DC Official Code §38-1306(c)(4) complaints may be filed with the Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC, Commission) against postsecondary educational institutions operating in the District of Columbia. Consumers who have experienced a violation of the HELC statute or regulations should complete this form and submit all supporting documents. This form must be signed and dated by the individual making the complaint and should be mailed:
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Complaints are made available to the institution/alleged violator so that they may file a response to the allegations. The HELC cannot respond to anonymous complaints.
Investigation and resolution of complaints take varying amounts of time. Upon completion of an investigation, the complainant will receive notice of any proposed actions.
Pursuant to DC Official Code §38-1306(c)(4) complaints may be filed with the Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC, Commission) against postsecondary educational institutions operating in the District of Columbia. Consumers who have experienced a violation of the HELC statute or regulations should complete this form and submit all supporting documents. This form must be signed and dated by the individual making the complaint and should be mailed:
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Complaints are made available to the institution/alleged violator so that they may file a response to the allegations. The HELC cannot respond to anonymous complaints.
Investigation and resolution of complaints take varying amounts of time. Upon completion of an investigation, the complainant will receive notice of any proposed actions.
|Florida Department of Education
To file a complaint against a nonpublic postsecondary institution in Florida, please write a letter or send an e-mail containing the following information:
Name of Student (or Complainant)
Name of Institution
Location of the Institution (City)
Dates of Attendance
A full description of the problem and any other documentation that will support your claim such as enrollment agreements, correspondence, etc.
The complaint process of the Commission involves contacting the institution to obtain their response to your complaint. If you do not want the Commission to contact the institution you are attending, you must state so in your complaint; however, doing so will greatly hinder the Commission's ability to assist you with your complaint.
Send Letter To:
Commission for Independent Education 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL. 32399-0400
Or E-mail: email@example.com
Or Fax: 850-245-3238
Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Any student who feels that an institution for which GNPEC is the complaint agent has not adequately addressed a complaint, or who feels that the institution is not in compliance with the Commission's Minimum Standards, may file a formal complaint. In order to be considered, a formal complaint must be submitted in accordance with the Commission's Complaint Procedures by using its online complaint form. The complaint must include documentation of the basis of the complaint and of the final determination from the institution indicating no further institutional review is available. If preliminary findings indicate a violation of GNPEC regulations by the institution or a failure to follow its procedures, the Commission shall attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation. All parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
In order to be reviewed by the Commission, the complaint must be filed within 90 calendar days of the final resolution from the institution, and it must include the following:
Basis for any allegation of noncompliance with GNPEC standards or requirements;
All relevant names and dates and a brief description of the actions forming the basis of the complaint;
Copies of all documents or materials related to the allegations, including institutional responses documentation and/or analysis;
Proof of completion of the institutional complaint or grievance process; and
The Commission will not review a complaint that fails to provide complete information or does not address an issue that can be reviewed. In no instance will a complaint be accepted for review that has not completed the process published by the institution.
|Hawaii Post-secondary Education Authorization Program
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
You may file a complaint with HPEAP after you exhaust all administrative remedies available at the institution. Note, however, if your complaint involves a violation of state or federal criminal law, this requirement does not apply.
Are you a former student? If it is still within two years after you discontinued enrollment at the institution, you may file a complaint. If two years has passed, the time within which you could file a complaint has passed. Note, however, that if your complaint is related to obtaining transcripts, the two-year restriction does not apply.
Complete and submit the HPEAP complaint form. HPEAP may investigate complaints based on possible violations of Act 180, SLH 2013 or any rules promulgated under this Act. HPEAP does not have jurisdiction to consider complaints that infringe on the academic or religious freedom of, or question the curriculum content of an institution.
After you complete the HPEAP complaint form, HPEAP determines whether your complaint was properly filed and whether it warrants investigation. If a complaint warrants investigation, HPEAP forwards the complaint to the institution. The institution has 30 days to respond in writing to the complaint. During the 30-day period, the institution, with HPEAP's assistance, may attempt to resolve the complaint with you. If HPEAP determines at any time that the complaint no longer warrants investigation, HPEAP dismisses the complaint.
If a complaint is not resolved within the 30-day period, HPEAP may: 1) dismiss the complaint based on the response of the institution or 2) investigate and, where appropriate, take disciplinary action in a manner consistent with Hawaii Revised Statutes chapter 91.
|Idaho State Board of Education
This form may be used by a student of a private postsecondary educational institution, distance education, or proprietary school located in Idaho to file a complaint against the institution or proprietary school. Prior to filing a complaint with the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE), the student must have first exhausted the institution or school's internal complaint resolution process. If your complaint involves a claim of a deceptive or unfair business practice, please contact the Office of the Idaho Attorney General.
Legal authority: Idaho Code, Title 33, Chapter 24 and Idaho Administrative Code of Procedures, 08.01.11.
This form may be submitted by mail or fax to the following address:
Attn: State Coordinator for Private Colleges & Proprietary Schools
Office of the State Board of Education
650 W State Street
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0037
Fax number: 208-334-2632.
Please direct questions regarding use of this form to Val Fenske at:
firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 208-332-1587.
|Illinois Board of Higher Education
Step 1: Follow the institution's complaint procedures.
You must first make all attempts to resolve the matter directly with the institution. Check the institution's website, student handbook, and/or course catalog for information regarding the institution's complaint procedures.
In cases of criminal activity, contact the proper authorities (e.g. campus security or local police) immediately.
Step 2: Prepare to register a formal complaint with IBHE.
After you have made all attempts to resolve your issue(s) with the institution, IBHE may intercede with the identified institution depending upon pertinent laws governing agency oversight.
Some institutions are under different oversight statutes, thus limiting IBHE's authority to address complaints.
Board of Higher Education Act 1961
Private College Act 1945
Academic Degree Act 1961
Private Business and Vocational Schools Act of 2012
Gather all the documentation you have collected during your attempt to resolve the matter directly with the institution.
Step 3: Register a complaint using IBHE's Institution Complaint System.
You may register a new complaint or update an existing complaint. Providing personal information is voluntary. However, if you wish to remain anonymous, IBHE will not be able to contact you or address your formal complaint. Anonymous complaints will be reviewed, logged, and counted in IBHE reports about institutional complaints.
|Indiana Commission on Higher Education
If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student's complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to STEP 2.
The student should file a complaint through his/her institution of higher education's established complaint process. Information on the process can usually be found in the institution's academic catalog, student handbook or website. If the student is unable to resolve the complaint in this manner, he/she should proceed to STEP 3.
After receiving a complaint through our complaint form, Commission staff will review the submitted materials and contact the submitter for any required additional information or clarifications. The Commission will then send a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and ask for a response within three weeks. After receiving the college or university's response, Commission staff will determine whether the institution's student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up may be taken. The Commission will inform both parties involved in the complaint.
If you have additional questions about the complaint process, or want to clarify that your individual complaint is reviewable by the Commission, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
|Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Iowa College Aid has created this form to document concerns and complaints related to a school (a postsecondary education institution). Iowa College Aid accepts concerns and complaints from any student attending an Iowa school, regardless of the student's state of residency, and from an Iowa resident attending any school in the United States. Iowa College Aid will review submitted forms and determine the appropriate course of action. Actions may include, but are not limited to: contacting the student, contacting the school in question and/or referral to another agency. In all cases, the student will receive written response to his or her dispute and the dispute from will be retained for Iowa College Aid's records.
|Kansas Board of Regents
Individuals with a complaint about a private or out-of-state school operating in Kansas must use the online submission form provided below and provide the requested information. Failure to do so may result in the Board office being unable to accept or process the complaint.
If the Board office receives the completed complaint form together with any other pertinent written information, Board staff will ordinarily take the following steps:
- Review the submitted information in order to determine if it is sufficient. If insufficient information has been submitted, the complainant will be so informed and given a deadline for submitting additional necessary information.
- Once sufficient information is provided, the Board office will determine if it has jurisdiction and authority over the matter. If it does not, the complainant will be so informed and the file closed.
- If the complaint appears to involve matters over which the Board has legal authority, the Board office will conduct an investigation in the manner that it deems appropriate under the circumstances. In most instances the school will be contacted, provided a copy of the written complaint, and given an opportunity to respond to it in writing. In other situations, the Board office may conduct interviews and speak to witnesses including the involved parties.
- Based upon the results of the investigation, the Board office will determine whether the matter has been resolved or requires further action by the Board.
- The matter may also be referred to other governmental agencies that may have authority over aspects of the complaint such as the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General or a District/County Attorney.
- The complainant will be notified of any proposed resolution or final action by the Board office, if doing so will not compromise any further investigation or adjudicative actions, and will always be informed when their complaint file is being closed.
|Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
To report an issue with a college or university operating in Kentucky, please complete and submit the online form.
|Louisiana Board of Regents
The first step for students who wish to file a complaint against a Louisiana institution is to exhaust all of the institution's student complaint or grievance procedures. An institution's student complaint or grievance procedures are typically available in the academic catalog or student handbook on the institution's website.
Once the institution's procedures have been exhausted, if the matter remains unresolved, a complainant should contact their institution's respective system office. To identify your institution's system office, click here.
After making every reasonable effort to resolve the dispute directly with the institution and system office, if a solution cannot be reached, an individual may submit a written complaint to the Board of Regents. BoR staff will review the facts and facilitate in the resolution of the complaint in a manner consistent with its role as the coordinating board.
|Maine Department of Education
Complaints shall be addressed in writing to the Maine Department of Education, Office of Higher Education, Augusta, Maine, 04333, with specific facts and allegations and signed by the complainant. The school shall be notified of any complaints which are to be investigated. For more information, please contact Harry W. Osgood, Higher Education Specialist, Maine Department of Education, Augusta, Maine 04333, 207-624-6846.
|No link available
|Maryland Higher Education Commission
A student must first exhaust the complaint/grievance procedures established by the institution. Specific types of complaints are handled by different agencies or organizations. A student must submit a complaint to the appropriate agency or organization. Complaints involving alleged violations of the Education Article or the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 13B Maryland Higher Education Commission, or a Private Career School's own written institutional policies, may be submitted to MHEC. A complaint pertaining to matters other than those addressed in the Education Article or COMAR Title 13B, or pertaining to the institution's approved policies, will not be entertained by MHEC, nor will it be referred to another agency or organization.
|Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
After a student submits a complaint to the Board of Higher Education, the complaint is referred to the institution it concerns for explanation, response, and resolution, if possible. The institution generally has 30 days from its receipt of the complaint from the Board to provide a response to the student and the Board. If the forthcoming clarification and response do not satisfy the Board, the matter shall be referred to the Consumer Protection Division and/or the Public Charities Division of the Attorney General's Office.
An institution's own Board of Trustees has the authority and responsibility to establish and enforce policies necessary for the management of the institution. The Board of Higher Education cannot require any institution to take any specific action in a matter and cannot provide students or other complainants with legal advice.
|Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
If the student is unable to resolve the complaint through the institutions complaint process they can file a complaint with CSCL. If a student wishes to complete and submit a complaint, they should complete the CSCL complaint form and attach any pertinent additional documentation.
After CSCL receives a completed complaint form, its staff will review the submitted materials and determine if CSCL has authority to investigate. If CSCL needs additional information or clarifications, CSCL will contact the complainant. If CSCL has authority to investigate the complaint, they will forward a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and ask for a response within three weeks. After receiving the institutions response, CSCL staff will determine whether the institution's student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up may need to be taken. The Department will inform both parties involved in the complaint of the outcome of the investigation.
|Minnesota Office of Higher Education
How to File a Complaint
If you are unsure about whether you should file a complaint:
Consider contacting us first to discuss your complaint. We can explain the complaint procedures and let you know whether the Office of Higher Education, or another agency, can address your problem.
You must fill out the student complaint form in order for us to address your complaint.
- Include as much detail as possible, including the exact nature of the complaint, dates of incidents, names of people at the institution that have been involved, who you have worked with in trying to resolve the complaint internally, and copies of any written documentation. Specificity will be critical to our office's investigation.
- Attach documentation to the student complaint form.
- Keep records that provide evidence of the problem and your efforts to solve it through internal processes. Documentation will help you make your case with the institution and help us learn about the issue and investigate.
- Send the student complaint form to the Office of Higher Education.
Our office needs a "wet" signature as the signature on the back is the privacy release that our office needs to speak to the school about your academic file. The complaint form can be digitized (by scanning or taking a photo with a smart phone) and then emailed, mailed, or faxed it to the contact information below:
Registration & Licensing
Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-259-3975 or 1-800-657-3866
secure fax 651-797-1664
|MIssissippi Commission on College Accreditation
If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by the institution and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student may file a formal complaint with the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation using the MCCA Student Complaint Form within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made.
Upon receiving a student complaint, MCCA will initiate an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. If preliminary findings indicate a violation of MCCA regulations by the institution, MCCA 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 MCCA's jurisdiction, it may be directed to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns, if appropriate.
The student may be contacted during the investigation to submit documented evidence of the allegations against the institution. Students should not submit original documents, as they may not be returned.
|Missouri Department of HIgher Education
If a mutually agreeable resolution cannot be reached at the institutional level, the student or prospective student may proceed with the MDHE's formal complaint process. The complaint must be submitted in writing, using a complaint form provided by the MDHE. It may be mailed or faxed to the department and should include any other supporting documentation. The MDHE will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, either in writing or by email. Such acknowledgment, however, will not constitute a determination that the complaint addresses a law applicable to the institution or otherwise is a complaint covered by the policy. If there is no indication that institutional remedies have been exhausted, the complaint will be returned for that purpose. Prior to initiating this formal process, complainants must first call the MDHE at 573-526-1577 to indicate their desire to file a complaint. At that time, the MDHE will ascertain whether the issue can be resolved through informal means and also determine whether administrative processes available within the institution of concern have been exhausted. If after that screening the complainant still desires to initiate a formal complaint, the MDHE will send the complainant the form to be filled out and returned for that purpose.
|Montana University System, Montana Board of Regents
Individuals with complaints regarding institutions that are operating in Montana, but are not part of the Montana University System, have the following options:
- Utilize the internal complaint processes of the applicable institution.
- Complaints concerning consumer protection violations should be directed to the Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection. https://dojmt.gov/consumer/consumer-complaints/
- Complaints concerning proper licensure under Montana law (see Board of Regents' Policy 221, http://www.mus.edu/borpol/bor200/221.pdf), including, if applicable, complaints related to State
Authorization Reciprocity Agreement standards, may be directed to the Montana University System Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, 560 N. Park Avenue, PO Box 203201, Helena, Montana 59620-3201, 406-449-9124.
- Complaints concerning broad institutional academic practices, such as those that raise issues regarding the institution's ability to meet accreditation standards may be directed to the applicable institution's accrediting agency.
|Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
- Any person claiming damage or loss as a result of any act or practice by a postsecondary institution which is a violation of the Postsecondary Institution Act, of the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, or of standards established pursuant to section 85-2406 may file with the commission a complaint against such institution. The complaint shall set forth the alleged violation and shall contain such other information as may be required by the commission. A complaint may also be filed with the commission by the executive director or the Attorney General.
- If efforts by the commission to resolve the complaint are not successful and if the commission deems it appropriate, the commission may hold a hearing on such complaint after ten days' written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to such institution, giving notice of a time and place for the hearing on such complaint. Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If, upon all evidence at the hearing, the commission finds that a postsecondary institution has engaged in or is engaging in any act or practice which violates the Postsecondary Institution Act, the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, or the standards established pursuant to section 85-2406, the commission shall issue and cause to be served upon such institution an order requiring such institution to cease and desist from such act or practice. The commission may also, as appropriate, based on its own investigation or the evidence adduced at such hearing or both, commence an action:
- To revoke an institution's recurrent authorization to operate; or
- To refer the complaint and all related evidence to the Attorney General.
|Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
Students enrolled in a licensed private postsecondary educational institution have the right to register a legitimate complaint with CPE.
Prior to filing a complaint, the student must attempt to resolve the issue with school officials according to the policies of the school. If a student is unable to reach a solution, the student can contact CPE and we will attempt to resolve the issue.
If a resolution cannot be reached or the student is no longer in attendance, the student can complete a formal complaint form. Formal complaints are investigated by staff with a decision by the Administrator. If either party does not agree with that decision, an appeal to the full Commission may be requested within 10 days of the Administrator decision.
Students must provide CPE with a copy of the student enrollment agreement, receipt of monies paid, all support documentation related to the allegation and a written statement. Failure to provide support documentation can impact the length of time to complete an investigation or impact the final outcome. CPE will not communicate with a student concerning the investigation until the investigation is concluded unless the agency requires additional information from the student.
Investigations may take several months to complete based the complexity of issues, staff resources and documentation review.
|New Hampshire Department of Education
Before students submit a complaint to this Division, they must first contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution they are attending (or attended), and follow the grievance procedures outlined in that institution's catalog and Web site.
Complete the complaint form at bottom of this page if you have:
- A complaint regarding a NH degree-granting private institution.
- A complaint regarding a NH non-degree granting career school (Learn more about the Division's career school policies).
- A complaint regarding Dartmouth College, a NH public community college or a NH public university or college (all complaints against these institutions will be reviewed and referred to the proper authorities). Note: these institutions are typically exempt from regulatory oversight of the Division, and as a result complaints received by the Division regarding these institutions will almost always be referred directly to the governing board of the subject institution. Exceptions include complaints from online, out-of-state students and complaints from students that have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A complaint regarding a distance or online education program offered by a NH-based, degree-granting institution and you are an out-of-state student: Note: These complaints fall under NH's participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
- A complaint regarding a NH-based institution and you have served, or are serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces (Learn more about the Division's Veterans Education Services).
|New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
For all types of complaints concerning colleges and universities in New Jersey, the first course of action must be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the administration of the college or university involved. The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) will not review a complaint until all grievance procedures at the institution have been followed, all avenues of appeal exhausted, and documentation provided that such procedures have been exhausted. OSHE handles only those complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of OSHE, with the exceptions noted below.
|New Mexico Higher Education Department
NMHED has authority to help facilitate resolution to student complaints, only after the student has utilized all internal complaint procedures at the educational institution. After receiving a Student Complaint Form, NMHED staff will review the form and attachments. NMHED may contact the student via email for additional information or clarification. If the initial review falls within the purview of NMHED we shall attempt to facilitate a resolution to the complaint by sending a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been made. All parties will be notified of the outcome of the complaint. If you have additional questions about the complaint process please contact our office via email at: HigherEd.Info@state.nm.us. Once complete, the form and supporting attachments should be emailed to the attention of the New Mexico Higher Education Department at: HigherEd.Info@state.nm.us
|New York State Education Department
For all types of complaints concerning colleges and universities in New York State, the first course of action must be to try to resolve the complaint directly with the administration of the college or university involved. The Office of College and University Evaluation will not review a complaint until all grievance procedures at the institution have been followed and all avenues of appeal exhausted and documentation provided that such procedures have been exhausted. Please note: Every New York State college and the university is required to establish, publish, and enforce explicit policies related to redress of grievances. The Office of College and University Evaluation handles only those complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
|North Carolina Board of Governors
Have you filed a complaint at your institution? If yes, proceed to the next step. If no, please refer to your institution's student complaint process. You must exhaust all opportunities for resolution with the appropriate persons at your institution before filing a complaint with the University of North Carolina General Administration.
Using the student complaint form (available online), submit all relevant information and supporting documentation regarding your complaint to the University of North Carolina General Administration, 910 Raleigh Rd. , Chapel Hill, NC 27515 or email your complaint to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once received by the UNC General Administration office, complaints will be forwarded to the appropriate staff or agency for investigation as follows:
- Complaints against any of the 17 UNC constituent institutions will be forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs at UNC General Administration
- Complaints against any of the 58 state community colleges will be forwarded to the North Carolina Community College System
- Complaints against any of the 36 independent colleges and universities will be forwarded to the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
- Complaints against any licensed North Carolina institution will be forwarded to the Licensure Division of UNC General Administration
- Complaints against out-of-state institutions authorized to operate in the state of North Carolina will be forwarded to the Licensure Division of UNC General Administration
Students will be notified of the investigation results and/or resolution of the complaint.
|North Dakota University System
Complaints to the North Dakota University System (NDUS) office regarding North Dakota degree-granting post-secondary institutions authorized or exempted in NDCC and those participating in the National State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).
The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education has delegated to NDUS college and university officials authority and responsibility to resolve student and other complaints. Absent applicable law or policy establishing another remedy, the first step in resolving student or other complaints or grievances is to attempt to resolve the matter directly with the administration of the involved institution under established institution complaint or grievance procedures. Every North Dakota institution (private, for-profit, and public) is required to establish, publish, and enforce policies related to redress of complaints and grievances. With limited exceptions, a student or other person who contacts the NDUS office regarding complaints regarding exempted or authorized North Dakota institutions or those participating in the SARA will be referred to college or university officials responsible for resolving those matters. In the event that institutional processes do not result in a successful resolution of a complaint, NDUS is responsible for final resolution of any such complaints originating at any authorized, exempted, or SARA participant institution, public or private. Conversely, if you are a North Dakota resident attending a distance education program at a SARA institution in another state, you will need to begin the complaint process at the institution you attend. In the event that institutional processes do not result in a successful resolution of your complaint, the SARA Portal Agency of that state is responsible for final resolution of the complaint.
|Ohio Department of Higher Education
STEP 1 - If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom there has been a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student's complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to STEP 2.
STEP 2 - The student should file a complaint through the institution of higher education's established complaint process. Information on the process can usually be found in the institution's academic catalog, student handbook or website. If the student is unable to resolve the complaint in this manner, the student should contact the Ohio Department of Higher Education using the online complaint form found below. Please note that the complaint must be received within two years of the completion of the institution's complaint process.
STEP 3 - After receiving a complaint through the ODHE complaint form, the Chancellor's staff will review the submitted materials. If needed, the ODHE will contact the person submitting the complaint for any required additional information or clarifications. The Ohio Department of Higher Education will then send a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and ask for a response within three weeks. After receiving the college or university's response, the Chancellor's staff will determine whether the institution's student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up, if any, will be taken. The Chancellor's staff will inform both parties involved in the complaint of the outcome of our review in writing. Depending on the complexity of the complaint, most follow-up contact regarding the complaint will be completed within 4 to 6 weeks.
|Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
This complaint form applies to the following:
- A student who attends a degree-granting institution that has a physical presence in the state of Oklahoma and/or
- A student who attends an institution that 1) has its principal or campus or central administrative unit domiciled in Oklahoma and 2) is participating in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).*
If the student pursues the complaint via the institution's formal procedures for complaints to the highest level possible and still perceives the concerns have not been adequately addressed, the student may file a complaint against a higher education institution in Oklahoma with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE).
Complaints must be submitted on the official student complaint form. OSRHE staff request permission to contact the institution on the student's behalf to identify any possible resolution.
|Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Board
All degree-granting private postsecondary institutions offering academic programs in Oregon, or to Oregon students from outside the state, must be approved by the HECC Office of Academic Policy and Authorization, Office of Degree Authorization (ODA).
If you wish to submit a complaint about a school authorized/regulated by the Office of Degree Authorization
|Pennsylvania Department of Education
If a student believes that the issue was not resolved by the university, the student may file a complaint with the State System's Office of the Chancellor.
- All complaints must be submitted by the student using the System's official complaint form, available at http://www.passhe.edu/StudentComplaints, and as attached.
- The completed form must be signed by the student and mailed or emailed to Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, Academic and Student Affairs Division, Office of the Chancellor, 2986 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 1711O; 717- 720-4200; email@example.com.
- The complaint must identify specific fundamental elements, policies, or procedures that have been allegedly violated. The complainant should identify all steps already taken to resolve the complaint within the process provided for by the university.
- Complaints may be assigned to a staff member for substantive review. The State System recognizes the importance of resolution of complaints as promptly as is feasible, consistent with fairness to the complainant and the university.
|Puerto Rico Council on Education
Please note, the Puerto Rico Council on Education provides all student complaint information in spanish. Please see the link provided to submit a link.
|Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
The United States Department of Education Regulation 34 CFR 600.9, the "Program Integrity Rule," as part of its state authorization provisions, requires states to provide a process for students to file complaints relating to programs offered by postsecondary educational institutions authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The specific types of complaints covered by these regulations are:
Allegations of state consumer protection violations, including, but not limited to fraud and false advertising;
Allegations that state laws or rules addressing the licensure of postsecondary institutions have been violated; and
Allegations regarding the quality of education or other accreditation requirements.
If your complaint regards other matters, you are encouraged to seek resolution from that institution first through the institution's internal complaint procedure. In accordance with the Council on Postsecondary Education's Student Complaint Procedure (S-16, section I), if the institution's internal procedure fails to resolve the complaint, the Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner will then refer the student and/or third-party individuals with complaints related to federal or state laws or regulations to the appropriate federal or state agency. In addition, students or other individuals with complaints involving an allegation of criminal and/or illegal activity will be referred to their campus police department, their local police department, or the Rhode Island State Police. Complaints involving allegations of discrimination will be referred to the institution's Affirmative Action Office and/or Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights (or the applicable federal EEOC office).
If your complaint deals with an online course or program, the Office can help you seek resolution pursuant to the Council on Postsecondary Education's Student Complaint Procedure (S-16, section II).
|South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
Step 1 - If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student's complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint can not be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to Step 2.
Step 2 - The student should file a complaint through the institution's complaint process. Information about the process can usually be found in the institution's academic catalog, student handbook, or website. Many institutions have an ombudsman to mediate on behalf of the student. If the student is still unable to resolve the complaint, the student should proceed to Step 3
Step 3 - Investigate to where assistance may be available from other entities.
Step 4 - If the complaint cannot be resolved through the above channels, the student may file a complaint with the Commission. Complete and submit the Commission's complaint form Mail the complaint and required documentation to:
SC Commission on Higher Education
Attn: Student Complaint
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
|South Dakota Board of Regents
13-48-40. Complaints--Enforcement by attorney general . The Office of Attorney General, Division of Consumer Protection, shall review and act on any complaint, as the term is defined by § 13-48-34, concerning postsecondary institutions providing educational programs at physical locations in the state, including, as necessary, requiring a postsecondary institution to cease its operations in the state. If a complaint relates to a postsecondary institution controlled by the Board of Regents, the attorney general shall refer the matter to the Board of Regents. If a complaint relates to a postsecondary institution with oversight by the South Dakota Board of Technical Education, the attorney general shall refer the matter to the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. In all other cases, the attorney general shall refer the complaint to the institution and provide the institution with no less than thirty days to respond to the matters set forth in the complaint, including an opportunity to demonstrate any actions the institution has taken or plans to take in response to the complaint, and to consider whether the complainant has exhausted all available administrative remedies within the institution's policies and procedures. In administering the requirements of this section, the attorney general may refer a complaint to an institution's accrediting agency for review and investigation, with the accrediting agency providing a report of the agency's investigation to the attorney general for further disposition. In enforcing this chapter, the attorney general has all the enforcement powers, authorities, and remedies provided by chapter 37-24.
Source: SL 2012, ch 100, § 7; SL 2018, ch 9, § 4.
|Tennessee Higher Education Commission
DPSA has the authority to review complaints for purposes of determining whether an institution violated one its internal policies or a DPSA rule or statute. DPSA does not have the authority to review complaints alleging a violation of federal laws or rules (including violations dealing with the administration or disbursement of Federal Student Aid).
If you would like to file a complaint complete the Complaint Review Form.
|Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The first step for current, former, or prospective students who would like to file a formal complaint against a Texas higher education institution is to exhaust all of the institution's student complaint or grievance procedures as required by Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 1.116(b).
After all of the institution's student complaint or grievance procedures have been exhausted, if the matter remains unresolved, a formal complaint may be filed with the THECB.
Before initiating an investigation, the THECB must receive the following:
- Fully completed and signed THECB Student Complaint and Authorization Forms [PDF] - (Complaints from students with disabilities must also include an Authorization to Disclose Medical Record Information Form [PDF] if the complaint in any way involves alleged discriminatory treatment as a result of the disabilities);
- Documentation of the student's completion of the institution's complaint or grievance procedures, including the ultimate outcome of the procedures; and
- Evidence to support the complaint, such as copies of correspondence, enrollment agreements, course catalog information, and any other information believed to be relevant to the matter of the complaint.
The required documentation may be submitted to the THECB in one of the following three ways:
- Completing the online student complaint form and uploading the required supporting documentation in Portable Document Format (PDF). To access the online student complaint form, submit an email to the THECB through the "Inquiries" link with "Student Complaint Against a Higher Education Institution" selected as the Contact Reason. A few moments after the email is submitted, the online student complaint form will be presented for use.
- Submitting the required student complaint forms and documentation by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email attachments should be submitted as PDF documents. or
- Mailing the required student complaint forms and documentation to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Office of General Counsel, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711-2788.
|Utah System of Higher Education
||Please see the complaint form in the link provided.
|Vermont Agency of Education
Complaints are formal expressions of concern regarding an institution's compliance with the Standards for Accreditation . Complaints meeting seven criteria may be accepted by NEASC:
- Focus on general institutional conditions, not individual grievances.
- Cite specific Standards or Criteria that may be violated and provide substantial evidence of such violation. Such evidence should state relevant and provable facts beyond general allegations.
- Demonstrate that a serious effort has been made to pursue grievance or complaint procedures provided within the institution.
- Be submitted through the U.S. Mail or by common carrier on the Commission's Complaint Form, signed, and include permission for the form and related materials to be forwarded to the institution. The Commission does not accept anonymous complaints.
- Include full disclosure about any other external channels the complainant is pursuing to resolve the complaint, including legal action.
- Be submitted in a timely manner and refer to current or recent matters at the institution. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the Commission will not consider complaints if the conditions alleged occurred more than three years prior to the filing of the complaint.
- Include a summary of the resolution the complainant is seeking.
State Council of Higher Education in Virginia
In accordance with § VAC 40-31-100 of the Virginia Administrative Code, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is responsible for investigating all written and signed student complaints against postsecondary educational institutions operating in Virginia.
In order for SCHEV to initiate an investigation, the following must be true:
- The student has exhausted all available grievance procedures established by the institution.
- The student is not satisfied with the resolution provided by the institution and is contacting SCHEV as a last resort in the grievance process.
- The student has submitted the complaint to SCHEV electronically using the "Student Complaint Form" (below). The student's complaint must contain 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 school to resolve the matter.
- The student has electronically signed the form attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint.
- The student recognizes that SCHEV will not investigate anonymous complaints. By signing the form, the student acknowledges that SCHEV may share the information provided with the school or other relevant organizations, in order to help resolve the dispute. SCHEV does not guarantee a resolution resulting from this submission or its investigation into the allegation.
Upon receiving a student complaint, SCHEV will open an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. If preliminary findings indicate a violation of SCHEV regulations by the institution, SCHEV 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 SCHEV's jurisdiction, it may be directed to the institution's Board of Visitors, accrediting body, or to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns, if appropriate.
The student may be contacted during the investigation to submit documented evidence of the allegations against the institution, which may include copies of enrollment agreement, contracts, syllabi, receipts, financial aid notices, promissory notes, or relevant correspondences from the institution related to the complaint. Students should not submit original documents, as they may not be returned.
Students are reminded that they always have the right to seek advice from a private attorney. Students should be aware that submission of a complaint will be recorded and may be used for statistical reporting or other purposes.
|Washington Student Achievement Council
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has the authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC does not have complaint investigation authority over all schools and may not be able to investigate all student complaints.
Before submitting a complaint form, please note the following:
- If a complaint is within WSAC's jurisdiction, a student must provide documentation that he/she has completed the school's complaint process - including any provisions for appeals.
- WSAC cannot investigate complaints regarding grades, disciplinary actions, or conduct unless a student can provide evidence that the school has not followed published procedures or policies.
- WSAC will not accept anonymous complaints or complaints that are currently in litigation.
| West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
In order for Council/Commission to initiate an investigation, the following must be true:
- The student must have exhausted all available grievance procedures established by the institution of higher education.
- The student must complete the "Student Complaint Form" and submit the form to the Council/Commission.
- The student's complaint must contain 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 attempt to resolve the matter.
- The Student Complaint Form must be signed, attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint, and notarized, verifying the identity of the individual filing the complaint.
- The student must sign and submit the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Consent and Release Form
- The student must understand that the Council/Commission will not investigate anonymous complaints.
By signing and submitting the Student Complaint Form, the student acknowledges that the Council/Commission may share the information provided with the school, other relevant organizations, and individuals, in order to help resolve the matter in dispute.
The Council/Commission does not guarantee a student
- acceptable remedy or resolution resulting from this submission or its investigation into the allegation.
- The student understands and agrees that the decision rendered by the Chancellor of the Council/Commission is final.
|Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
Before filing a complaint with the EAP, state law requires students to try to resolve the matter with the school. Every EAP approved school has a process to resolve student complaints. If the matter is not resolved, a complaint may be filed with the EAP using the Student Complaint Form.
Complaints must be filed within one year after the student's last recorded date of attendance. Upon receiving a complaint, it will be investigated by the EAP. If there is a finding of a violation by a school, the EAP will attempt, through mediation, to resolve the complaint. If an agreement cannot be reached with the school, the EAP may dismiss the complaint or conduct a hearing. This student complaint flowchart provides a visual overview of the process.
Please note that under Wisconsin's Open Records Law (Wis. Stats., Ch. 19), complaints will generally be available for review on request from a member of the public after the EAP has acted. Please contact the EAP at (608) 266-1996 with questions about the complaint process.
|Wyoming Department of Education
A student MUST first exhaust the complaint/grievance procedures established by the institution.
- Quality of education pertains to an institution's: 1) courses and programs that require levels of student performance appropriate to a degree or certificate; 2) faculty and staff associated with the degrees and certificates it offers, as well as student services; and 3) the process is designed to promote continuous improvement.
- Complaints related to quality of education should be submitted to the Private School Licensing Program in the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE)
Student Grievance Procedure For Internal Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment
Students who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment (other than sexual harassment) in violation of the Non-Discrimination Policy should follow the procedure outlined below. (Please note that students who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment should follow the reporting process in the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy below.) This complaint procedure is intended to provide a fair, prompt and reliable determination about whether the campus Non-Discrimination Policy has been violated.
- Complainants are encouraged to file a complaint as soon as possible after an alleged incident of discrimination has occurred. Any student who chooses to file a discrimination complaint should do so either with the campus Dean of Student Affairs or with the Campus Director/Dean of Academic Affairs and Operations. Online students should file complaints with SUOStudentAffairs@southuniversity.edu. The complaint should be presented in writing and it should describe the alleged incident(s) and any corrective action sought. The complaint should be signed by the complainant.
- South University will investigate the allegations. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. Both will be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceeding. For this purpose, the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding means only South University's final determination with respect to the alleged offense and any sanction that is imposed against the accused. Both the complainant and the accused will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the allegations with the investigator and may offer any witnesses in support of their position to the investigator during the course of the investigation. A student may be accompanied during investigation meetings and discussions by one person (family member, friend, etc.) who can act as an observer, provide emotional support, and/or assist the student in understanding and cooperating in the investigation. The observer may not be an attorney, unless otherwise required by local law. The investigator may prohibit from attending or remove any person who disrupts the investigation in the investigator's sole discretion.
- The student who made the complaint and the accused shall be informed promptly in writing when the investigation is completed, no later than 45 calendar days from the date the complaint was filed. The student who made the complaint shall be informed if there were findings made that the policy was or was not violated and of actions taken to resolve the complaint, if any, that are directly related to him/her, such as an order that the accused not contact the student who made the complaint. In accordance with school policies protecting individuals' privacy, the student who made the complaint may generally be notified that the matter has been referred for disciplinary action, but shall not be informed of the details of the recommended disciplinary action without the consent of the accused.
- The decision of the Investigator may be appealed by petitioning the Campus Director/President's Office of South University. The written appeal must be made within twenty calendar days of receipt of the determination letter. The Campus Director/President, or his or her designee, will render a written decision on the appeal within 30 calendar days from receipt of the appeal. The Campus Director/President's decision shall be final.
- South University will not retaliate against persons bringing forward allegations of harassment or discrimination.
- Matters involving general student complaints will be addressed according to the Student Complaint Procedures, a copy of which can be found in the Student Handbook or Academic Catalog.
- For more information about your rights under the federal laws prohibiting discrimination, please contact the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education or visit the website at http://www.ed.gov/ocr.
Arizona Residents-If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution's grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The State Board address is 1400 W. Washington Street, Room 260, Phoenix, AZ 85007, phone 602-542-5709, website address: www.ppse.az.gov.
Arkansas Students-Right to Appeal: If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution's complaint procedures, the student may file a complaint with the Arkansas Department of Higher Education 423 Main Street Suite 400, Little Rock, AR 72201; Phone: 501-371-2000, website: www.adhe.edu.
Maryland Residents-If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution's complaint procedures, the student may file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General or the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Complaints should be directed to: Maryland Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-528-8662/888/743/0823 (toll free). South University is subject to investigation of complaints by the Office of the Attorney General of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
New Mexico Residents-If the complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution's grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the New Mexico Higher Education Department, 2048 Galisteo Street, Santa FE, NM 87505-2100, Phone: 505-476-8400 Fax: 505-476-8433, www.hed.state.nm.us.
Utah students may contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at any time to file a complaint. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection does not require Utah students to go through South University's complaint procedure. Utah Division of Consumer Protection (160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, 801-530-6601; email@example.com; http://consumerprotection.utah.gov/complaints/index.html.
Virginia Residents-Complaints, which cannot be resolved by direct negotiation with the school in accordance to its written grievance policy, may be filed with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, 101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA 23219.
South University does not discriminate or harass on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, religion, veteran's status, genetic marker, or any other characteristic protected by state, local or federal law, in our programs and activities. South University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. South University will not retaliate against persons bringing foreword allegations of harassment or discrimination. The campus Dean of Student Affairs has been designated to handle inquiries and coordinate the campus' compliance efforts regarding the Non-Discrimination policy. Please see the Appendix at the end of the catalog for contact information for each South University location.
No Harassment Policy
South University is committed to providing workplaces and learning environments that are free from harassment on the basis of any protected classification including, but not limited to race, sex, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, genetic marker or on any other basis protected by law. Such conduct is unprofessional, unproductive, illegal, and generally considered bad for business.
Consequently, all conduct of this nature is expressly prohibited, regardless of whether it violates any law. (Please note that sexual harassment is more thoroughly addressed in the Sexual Misconduct & Relationships Violence Policy below.)
Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy; Procedures for Handling Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Complaints
Note: Please click here to see the appendix for specific contact lists for each campus and online
South University values civility, dignity, diversity, education, honesty, and safety and is firmly committed to maintaining a campus environment free from all forms of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence, defined more specifically below, are inconsistent with these values, violate institutional policy, and will not be tolerated at South University and are expressly prohibited. Similarly, retaliation for having brought forward a concern or allegation or for participating in an investigation of a report of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence is also expressly prohibited and is grounds for disciplinary action.
This Policy provides information regarding how an individual - whether a student, faculty member, or staff member - can make a report of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence impacting a student and how South University will proceed once it is made aware of any such report.
For faculty and staff members who believe they are the victim of sexual misconduct, please follow our No Harassment policy in the Employee Handbook.
I. Preliminary Issues & Important Definitions
This Policy prohibits "Sexual Misconduct" and "Relationship Violence," broad categories encompassing the conduct defined below. Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence can be committed by anyone, including third parties, and can occur between people of the same sex or different sexes and regardless of one's biological sex or transgendered sex. This policy applies to Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence that is committed against a student when that Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence occurs: (i) on campus; (ii) off-campus if in connection with a University-sponsored program or activity or in student housing; or (iii) off-campus if allegedly perpetrated by a fellow student, faculty member, staff member, or third party when the victim/reporting student reasonably believes that the off-campus conduct has created a hostile educational environment.
A. What is "Sexual Misconduct"?
Sexual Misconduct includes:
- Sexual Assault: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, or fellatio without Consent (as defined below). Sexual intercourse is defined as anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching with any body part or object by any person upon any person without Consent.
- Sexual Exploitation: An act attempted or committed through the abuse or exploitation of another person's sexuality. Examples include, but are not limited to, prostituting another student; inducing a student into sexual intercourse, sexual contact, or other sexual activity by implicit or explicit threat of exposure of personal information or academic consequences; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or Consent of all involved parties; and knowingly transmitting or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection without the person's knowledge.
- Indecent Exposure: the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises when the accused may be readily observed.
- Sexual Harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following: (a) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's academic status; or (b) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting such individual; or (c) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus.
B. What is "Relationship Violence"?
Relationship Violence includes:
- Domestic Violence: Violence, including but not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner or any other person from whom the student is protected under federal or applicable state law.
- Dating Violence: Violence, including but not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim. The existence of such a relationship is generally determined based on a consideration of the length and type of relationship and the frequency of interaction.
- Stalking: A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct means two or more acts in which a person directly, indirectly or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person's property.
The following also constitute violations of this Policy:
- Complicity: Assisting, facilitating, or encouraging the commission of a violation of this Policy.
- Retaliation: Acts or attempted acts for the purpose of interfering with any report, investigation, or proceeding under this Policy, or as retribution or revenge against anyone who has reported Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation, or proceeding under this Policy. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination. To be clear, retaliation against a Complainant for reporting an incident or against any witness who participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited.
C. Who are "Complainants" and "Respondents"?
South University is not a court of law. We also do not engage in victim-blaming or rushes to judgment. Therefore, without judgment, we refer to anyone who reports that s/he has experienced Sexual Misconduct as a "Complainant" and to anyone who reportedly has engaged in Sexual Misconduct as a "Respondent."
D. Defining Consent
In many cases of Sexual Misconduct, the central issue is consent or the ability to give consent. Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity. Past Consent does not imply future Consent, and Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply Consent to engage in a different form of sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent must be knowing and voluntary. To give Consent, a person must be awake, of legal age, and have the capacity to reasonably understand the nature of her/his actions. Individuals who are physically or mentally incapacitated cannot give Consent.
Silence, without actions evidencing permission, does not demonstrate Consent. Where force, threats, or coercion is alleged, the absence of resistance does not demonstrate Consent. Force, threats, or coercion invalidates Consent. The responsibility of obtaining Consent rests with the person initiating sexual activity. Use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one's responsibility to obtain Consent or negate one's intent.
Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by either person at any time. Once withdrawal of Consent has been clearly expressed, the sexual activity must cease.
Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give Consent, because the individual is mentally and/or physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, due to an intellectual or other disability that prevents the student from having the capacity to give Consent, or the individual is unconscious, asleep or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring. In addition, an individual is incapacitated if he or she demonstrates that they are unaware of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual interaction. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Some indicators that an individual is incapacitated may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, unresponsiveness, inability to communicate coherently, inability to dress/undress without assistance, inability to walk without assistance, slurred speech, loss of coordination, lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings, or inability to perform other physical or cognitive tasks without assistance.
E. Title IX Coordinator & Deputy Coordinators
The Title IX Coordinator for South University is: Alisa Krouse, Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for, among other things, coordinating the campus's efforts to comply with and carry out the campus's responsibilities under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, including compliance with this policy. The Title IX Coordinator will help to coordinate any investigations under this Policy.
In addition, the University has other individuals who serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators to help oversee investigations and determination proceedings under this Policy.
II. Reporting & Confidentiality
We encourage victims of Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence to talk to somebody about what happened - so they can get the support they need, and so the University can respond appropriately.
Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain confidentiality:
- CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING: Some individuals are required to maintain near complete confidentiality. The Title IX Coordinators, Alisa Krouse (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Diane Rouda (email@example.com) and the Title IX investigator, Nicole Schell (firstname.lastname@example.org) serve in this role. These individuals can provide resources and generally talk to a victim without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to the School. A victim can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a School investigation.
- NON-CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING. Other than professional counsellors defined above, most other employees and contractors are required to report all the details of an incident to the Title IX coordinator. A report to these employees (called "responsible employees") constitutes a report to the University and generally obligates the University to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation. The following campus employees (or categories of employees) are examples of responsible employees: the Title IX Coordinator, all Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Campus Director/President, Dean of Student Affairs, other Student Affairs staff, Housing staff, Academic Advisors, the Security Team (including contract security personnel), all full-time and adjunct Faculty, Human Resources, and Employee Relations.
The University will seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved in any report of alleged Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to the extent possible and allowed by law. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate any request for confidentiality in the context of the University's responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment to all members of its community.
The University will complete any publicly available record-keeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosure, without the inclusion of identifying information about the alleged victim. It will also maintain as confidential any interim measures or remedies provided to the alleged victim to the extent that maintaining confidentiality will not impair its ability to provide the interim measures or remedies.
In addition to internal reporting, the University strongly encourages anyone who believes they have experienced a sexual assault (or any other crime) to make a report to local law enforcement. Collection and preservation of evidence relating to the reported sexual assault is essential for law enforcement investigations, so prompt reporting of the incident to law enforcement is especially critical. Designated staff will, upon request, assist an individual in making a report to law enforcement as necessary and appropriate.
Although we strongly encourage complainants to report to local law enforcement, such a report is not a prerequisite to the University's review and investigation of any complaint covered by this Policy. The University will honor a Complainant's request not to report the matter to local law enforcement UNLESS we have a reasonable basis to believe that the safety and security of the campus community is at risk. In this event, the University will endeavor to notify a Complainant or Reporter of the institution's intent to report the matter to law enforcement in advance of any such report.
The University does not limit the time frame for reporting under this Policy, although a delay in reporting may impact the University's ability to take certain actions.
Other Code of Conduct Violations: The University encourages students who have been the victim of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to come forward. Students should not be discouraged from reporting such incidents because they fear discipline for their own violations of the Student Code of Conduct, such as use of alcohol in University housing. Therefore, the University has discretion not to pursue other violations of the Student Code of Conduct that occurred in the context of the reported incident of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence.
III. Response Procedure
Students are encouraged to report any incident of Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Student Affairs, or the Campus Ddirector/ President. If a report is made verbally, the University will request a written statement by the student.
Upon receipt of a report, the University will generally proceed as described below.
A. Investigation Commencement
The University will provide a timely and thorough investigation. Barring exigent circumstances, cases of Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence will generally be resolved within a 60 day period once the incident has been reported. An extension of time may be necessary if witnesses are unavailable or uncooperative or due to other extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the investigator.
B. Initial Response
Once the University is put on notice of possible Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence, the Complainant will be offered appropriate confidential support, accommodations, and other resources and will be notified of applicable policies and procedures. Accommodations include the ability to move to different housing, to change work schedules, to alter academic schedules, to withdraw from/retake a class without penalty, and to access academic support. The Respondent also will be offered appropriate resources and notified of applicable policies and procedures.
C. Interim Intervention
Pending a final determination, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Student Affairs staff will take appropriate interim measures. These measures may include, but are not limited to, the imposition of a no-contact order and/or employment, transportation, residence, and academic modifications. Student Affairs staff may limit a student or organization's access to certain University facilities or activities pending resolution of the matter. The University may impose an Interim Suspension on the Respondent pending the resolution of an alleged violation when the University determines, in its sole discretion, that it is necessary in order to protect the safety and well-being of members of the campus community.
D. Decision to Proceed to Investigation
If the Complainant is willing to participate in the review and investigation process, the University will proceed as described below in Section III (E).
If the Complainant requests a confidential investigation, the University will seek to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the Complainant to the extent possible and allowed by law. The Title IX Coordinator will evaluate any request for confidentiality in the context of the University's responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment to all members of its community.
If a confidential investigation is requested and agreed to, the University will investigate without revealing the name of the Complainant in any interview or email and will not ask questions that inadvertently or reasonably could reveal the identity of the Complainant.
If the Complainant asks that the report of sexual misconduct not be pursued, the University will consider the interests of the Complainant, the campus community, law enforcement, and/or other appropriate interests under the circumstances. The University, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will make a final decision on whether and to what extent it will conduct an investigation, and notify the Complainant promptly.
In the event that a campus-wide alert related to the incident is deemed necessary, the campus shall generally attempt to notify the Complainant of the alert and its content before it is circulated. If the campus is unable to contact the Complainant in a timely fashion, or otherwise deems it necessary, the message may be sent without his/her review.
E. Investigation Procedure
Investigators do not function as advocates for either Complainants or Respondents. Investigators can, however, identify advocacy and support resources for either Complainants or Respondents.
The Respondent will receive written notice of the report and the nature of the alleged misconduct. He/She will be advised in writing of the investigation process and opportunity to provide any relevant evidence.
The Investigation will generally be conducted by the Dean of Student Affairs for the campus (or any other individual appointed by the Title IX Coordinator) if the Respondent is a student. If the Respondent is a faculty or staff member, Employee Relations will also participate in the investigation.
The investigator will separately interview both Complainant and Respondent. Both parties will be able to provide evidence and suggest other witnesses to be interviewed. The investigator will interview other relevant witnesses and review any other available relevant evidence. Both the Complainant and Respondent can have another individual present during their own respective interviews. If the Complainant or Respondent elects, they may have an attorney present during their own interview, but said attorney may not advocate during the interview.
- For cases where the Respondent is a student.
The investigator will present all evidence to the Title IX Coordinator (or his/her designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator). In all cases, the Title IX Coordinator or the designated Deputy Title IX Coordinator will be appropriately trained regarding handling and considering sexual misconduct and relationship violence cases.
The Title IX Coordinator will weigh the evidence presented and decide whether additional evidence is necessary for consideration. Ultimately, the Title IX Coordinator will make a determination of whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy or any other policy has occurred.
The University reserves the right to convene a Determination Panel to review the evidence and make the determination in appropriate circumstances.
- For cases where the Respondent is a Faculty or Staff Member.
The investigator will present all evidence to the Ethics Committee of South University. The Ethics Committee will be appropriately trained regarding handling and adjudicating sexual misconduct and relationship violence cases. The Ethics Committee will weigh the evidence presented and make a determination whether a violation of the Sexual Misconduct & Relationship Violence Policy or any other policy has occurred.
G. Standard of Proof
In all cases under the Sexual Misconduct policy, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) or the Ethics Committee will determine if a violation of policy has occurred by the preponderance of evidence standard. Thus, they will determine whether it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred.
H. Potential Sanctions
If a violation of policy has been found, the Title IX Coordinator or the Ethics Committee will impose appropriate sanctions, including but not limited to coaching, training, probation, suspension, or expulsion in the case of students or coaching, training, written warning, demotion, or termination in the case of employees.
I. Outcome Notifications
Both the Complainant and Respondent will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation and of the sanctions imposed, if any.
If the Complainant or Respondent is a student, he or she may appeal the outcome determination by written appeal to the Campus Director/President within 15 days of notification of the outcome. An appeal may be made based only on one or more of the following reasons:
- New and significant evidence appeared that could not have been discovered by a properly diligent charged student or complainant before or during the original investigation and that could have changed the outcome.
- The Finding is Arbitrary and Capricious: Reading all evidence in the favor of the non-appealing party, the finding was not supported by reasonable grounds or adequate consideration of the circumstances. In deciding appeals, the Campus Director/President is allowed to make all logical inferences in benefit of the non-appealing party.
- Disproportionate Sanctions: The sanctions were disproportionate to the findings.
The appeal shall consist of a written statement requesting review of the conduct decision or sanction and explaining in detail the basis for the appeal. The Campus Director/ President, or designated representative, will notify the non-appealing party of the request for an appeal. Within five working days of receipt of the notice, the non-appealing party may submit a written statement to be included in the case file. The appeal may proceed without the non-appealing party's written statement if it is not submitted within the designated time limit.
The Campus President will endeavor to make a determination of the appeal within 15 business days of receipt. The President's decision is final.
The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students and individuals to civil and criminal liabilities. Almost all of the music, movies, television shows, software, games and images found on the Internet are protected by federal copyright law. The owner of the copyright in these works has the right to control their distribution, modification, reproduction, public display and public performance. It is generally illegal therefore to use file sharing networks to download and share copyrighted works without the copyright owner's permission unless "fair use" or another exemption under copyright law applies.
Fair use under the federal Copyright Act allows the use without permission of copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting or teaching under certain limited circumstances. There is no blanket exception from liability for students or employees of educational institutions, however, and whether the use of copyrighted material without permission falls within "fair use" or one of the other exceptions in the Act depends on a very detailed, case-by-case analysis of various factors. Students should be aware that sharing music, videos, software and other copyrighted materials is very likely not to be considered a 'fair use" and therefore may be a violation of the law.
A violation of the institution's policy for use of its information technology system can result in termination of network access for the student and/or other disciplinary action including removal of the student from the institution. Moreover, there are severe civil and criminal penalties for copyright infringement under federal law. A copyright owner is entitled to recover actual damages and profits resulting from an infringement, but also may recover statutory damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work for a non-willful infringement and up to $150,000 for a willful infringement, even if there is no proof of actual damages, in addition to court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. The government also can file criminal charges that can result in fines and imprisonment.
South University's policies in regard to copyright infringement via the Internet prohibit the illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the institution's information technology system. South University's policies prohibit use of the South University computer network to engage in illegal copying or distribution of copyrighted works such as by unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing (i.e., the sharing of copyrighted works, typically in digital or electronic files, without permission.