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 a 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.
VitalSource Digital Bookshelt and Digital Textbooks
A majority of South University courses now include digital textbooks (eBooks) that help to enhance the learning experience by providing instant and convenient access to course materials. Digital textbooks are accessible from within courses, which are then placed in each student's unique VitalSource Bookshelf account. More information on VitalSource Bookshelf-including account-creation help, troubleshooting, and Bookshelf features-is available here: VitalSource Bookshelf. In the event that a digital textbook is not available, students are responsible for independently purchasing hard-copy traditional textbooks that are not digitally accessible in courses.
For details on operating systems and device compatibility with VitalSource, please refer to the VitalSource Support page. The Support site provides information on each system or device by selecting Learn More under each category. Within this area, students can check a device's compatibility as well as directly install updates to the latest version, if needed.
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 Director of Career Services 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.
South University Disability Services ensures students with disabilities equal access to the college's educational programs, opportunities and activities. Qualified students requesting reasonable and appropriate accommodations receive services to eliminate physical, programmatic and attitudinal barriers that may arise with disabilities.
Students who seek reasonable accommodations should notify the Dean of Student Affairs at their campus location. Students will be asked to submit medical documentation of the need for accommodation to the campus Dean of Student Affairs. 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 during the Admissions process to allow for time to gather necessary documentation. If you have further questions, contact the Dean of Student Affairs associated with your campus location. Please see the Appendix at the end of the catalog for contact information for each South University location.
*Complaints will be handled in accordance with the school's Internal Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment included in this section of the Academic Catalog.
Health and Wellness
Health and wellness is an active and lifelong process, involving positive decision making and finding balance between priorities. It is tied to awareness and to making choices that lead to being happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives. As a South University student, you have access to a free resource for counseling called the Student Assistance Program. The Student Assistance Program provides access to both a twenty-four-hour seven day a week telephone number that connects the individual with a professional counselor and an interactive website with a downloadable app to assist students. The services provided include mental health counseling, coaching, medical advocacy, legal/financial resource referrals and family life resource referrals. For additional college and local resources, contact the Dean of Student Affairs.
Please see the Appendix at the end of the catalog for contact information for each South University location.
South University provides library facilities for its students at each of the main campus locations. Virtual support services are provided for all campuses, including branches. The libraries are easily accessible and house print collections consisting of general and reference books, periodicals, and other non-print media to support students in their studies. Campus library facilities offer students group and quiet study spaces. Campus libraries post their operating hours.
Electronic resources are available to all students, faculty, and staff through the Library's web site. Digital resources include e-books, journals, and video content. Electronic resources are available 24 hours a day/365 days a year. Virtual support services include email, text, and chat services. Chat hours are posted on the Library home page.
South University libraries expand their patrons' access to resources outside of their own facilities through inter-library loan services. Students can request articles that are not available in South University Library's collection, and the Library will locate the article(s) and deliver them to the student, usually via email.
Library Directors participate in new student and faculty orientation. A library overview webinar is offered to all students at the start of each academic term. In the webinar, students are informed of the types of materials available, how to locate information, and how to use library resources to the greatest advantage. Additional webinars on Understanding APA 7 and PERRLA are also offered.
Each campus library maintains a policies and procedures manual providing guidance on various topics including checking out materials and overdue books. Campus students may request access to specific policies from the Library Director. Online students can contact Chat services or submit an email to request information about specific policies and/or procedures.
Campus libraries provide a reserve collection for use by students, faculty, and staff. Reserved materials are usually identified by faculty members as resources for specific courses. Reserved materials are for reference purposes and are restricted to the library.
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.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.
The University provides an orientation program for new students each term. The program acquaints new students with academic life and university services. All new students are encouraged to attend. In addition to the online South Catalog, the Student Handbook provides information regarding student policies, procedures, and programs shared in new student orientation. Students may request a paper copy of these documents from the Dean of Student Affairs.
New fully online students are encouraged to complete an online orientation course before starting classes. It is absolutely necessary that students are prepared to begin working within the online classroom environment on the first day of class, as it may be more time consuming to orient after classes have started. 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.
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.
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 My Campus 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 their Academic Counselor. 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 My CampusAlert by following instructions provided via the welcome e-mail from Rave Mobility.
South University recognizes all state and federal vaccination and immunization requirements and is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable requirements. The state specific immunization requirements are listed below.
Institutional Vaccination Requirements:
Some South University programs have additional immunization requirements. Prospective and current students should review the admission requirements for the educational program of their choice for the institutional requirements. In addition, if applicable, the Programmatic Student Handbooks includes information for the maintenance of immunizations during enrollment.
State Vaccination Requirements:
The state in which the institution is located currently does not require students to have any specific vaccination to attend the school.
The information provided below complies with Florida Statute § 1006.69, which requires the following:
- Provide detailed information concerning the risks associated with meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B and the availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of any required or recommended vaccine to every student, or to the student's parent if the student is a minor, who has been accepted for admission.
The information provided below complies with Chapter 12 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia, §31-12-3.2, which requires the following:
- Provide information to each newly matriculated new student or any newly matriculated student residing in school sponsored housing about meningococcal disease and the availability of vaccination,
- Require students to return a form confirming receipt of the information and indicating their choice regarding immunization.
- 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.
The state in which the institution is located currently does not require students to have any specific vaccination to attend the school.
The state in which the institution is located currently does not require students to have any specific vaccination to attend the school.
The state in which the institution is located currently does not require students to have any specific vaccination to attend the school.
Federal Vaccination Recommendations and Requirements:
Vaccination Recommendations for College Students
On February 10, 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted to recommend that all incoming college freshmen living in dormitories be vaccinated against meningococcal disease. The ACIP also recommended vaccination for all adolescents at high school entry and during pre-adolescent health care visits (11 to 12 years old).
The American College Health Association (ACHA) issued similar immunization recommendations for all first-year students living in residence halls. The ACIP and ACHA recommendations further state that other college students under 25 years of age may choose to receive meningococcal vaccination to reduce their risk for the disease.
ACHA and ACIP recommendations, coupled with the availability of a new vaccine that may provide longer duration of protection, will help increase rates of immunization against meningococcal disease and will give college health professionals the guidance needed to help protect college students against meningococcal disease.
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; however, students may also add a secondary email account to their record. Students will also receive official college communications via web alert and text messaging. Students have the preference of opting out of text communication.
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 Dean of Academic Affairs and Retention 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 Dean of Academic Affairs and Retention 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 Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services. 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
|Private School Licensure Division of the Alabama Community College System
The Private School Licensure complaint procedures are designed to address issues of non-compliance with Alabama Private School License rules and regulations. The procedures are not intended to be used in disputes or matters pertaining to a student's admission to or graduation from an institution or academic issues including grades, academic sanctions, transferability of credits, and/or disciplinary/conduct matters unless the student can provide documentation that the institution did not follow its published policies and procedures.
The Private School Licensure Division will not accept a complaint which is anonymous or in which the student has retained legal counsel or began legal action.
Students must submit a complaint to the Private School Licensure Division within one year of exhausting the grievance policy with the institution unless there are mitigating circumstances which prevent the student from doing so.
- The student must submit the complaint in writing by clicking the following link https://psl.asc.edu/External/Complaints.aspx or using the complaint form in the quick link's section. The student complaint must contain a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times, and full names of all involved, as well as a timeline of the actions taken by both the student and the school to resolve the matter.
- The Division will contact the institution regarding the complaint within 30 days of receipt
- The institution will have 30 days to provide a written response that may or may not contain a resolution.
- A report or letter will be provided to the institution and student detailing corrective action, if any is necessary, or stating that the school has no violation of private school licensure polices or procedures if no violations are determined.
- If corrective action is needed the institution will have 30 days to comply or develop a plan to comply with the corrective action.
- If the institution does not comply with the corrective action the institution's Private School License may be suspended or revoked.
|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
The 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
|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.
student complaint form
|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: email@example.com.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 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'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.
|Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Decatur, GA 30033-4097
A formal complaint is one that is (1) submitted in writing using the SACSCOC "Complaint Form" (appended to the end of this document), (2) signed by the person submitting the complaint (complainant), (3) two print copies of the form and any supporting documentation, and (4) sent via ground mail to:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
|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 email@example.com. 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 Division of Consumer Protection
||Please see the complaint form in the link provided. Student can file complaints at any time.
|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 Dean of Academic Affairs and Retention. 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 Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services of South University. The written appeal must be made within twenty calendar days of receipt of the determination letter. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Services, or his or her designee, will render a written decision on the appeal within 30 calendar days from receipt of the appeal. The Assistant vice Chancellor for Student Services'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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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, including at internship/externship/practicum sites 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 Deans of Student Affairs serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators to help oversee investigations and determination proceedings under this Policy.
The parties may select an advisor of their choice who may be, but isn't required to be, an attorney. The advisor may provide support to a party. In a hearing, cross-examination must be done by an advisor, and not by a party. For a hearing, if a party does not have an advisor present, South University must provide one without fee to the party. The advisor provided by South University to conduct cross-examination at a hearing (if the party does not have an advisor of choice) does not have to be an attorney even if the other party has hired an attorney as their advisor of choice. Advisors conducting cross-examination that are not professionals (attorneys or experienced advocates) must at least be adults capable of understanding the purpose and scope of cross-examination.
Any opportunity provided by South University to have an advisor of choice present during any phase of the Title IX process must be given to both parties. South University may limit the extent that an advisor may participate in the proceedings, but the restrictions must apply equally to both parties. The choice of advisor will not be limited with the exception of decorum issues explained in the Hearings section below.
A person who has knowledge related to specific aspects of a case and may have reported such aspects to the institution.
H. Supportive Measures
Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized service offered as appropriate and reasonably available without fee to the Complainant or Respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint is filed. Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party. The measures are designed to protect the safety of all parties or the educational environment or to deter sexual harassment. They may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.
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. These include professional counselors such as those provided by the Student Assistance Program counselling services. These individuals can provide resources and generally talk to a victim without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to the University. A victim can seek assistance and support from these individuals without the University's involvement in the matter.
- NON-CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING. Other than professional counselors defined above, most other employees and contractors are required to report all the details of an incident to the Title IX Deputy or Coordinator. A report to these employees (called "responsible employees") constitutes a report to the University and generally obligates the University to 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, Assistant to the Chancellor, Dean of Student Affairs, other Student Affairs staff, Academic Advisors, the Security Team (including contract security personnel), all full-time and adjunct Faculty, Human Resources, and Employee Relations.
- Electronic and Anonymous Reporting. You may also file a complaint about sexual misconduct using the appropriate links below. While anonymous complaints are accepted, South University's ability to address misconduct reported anonymously is significantly limited. Individuals may use this link on the South University portal to electronically file a report of sexual misconduct with South University by clicking here: www.SUTitleIX@southuniversity.edu
- Local Law Enforcement. At all South University locations, call 9-1-1 to contact local law enforcement, fire, or EMS to report an emergency or crime. Call 9-9-1-1 from a South University phone.
- Prohibition of False Accusations. Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or other conduct prohibited by this policy, as opposed to complaints which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, are serious and will subject the perpetrator of those accusations to appropriate disciplinary action. Good faith means that a report is made based on fact or reasonable beliefs and not solely on personal animus against the person accused.
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.
Please Note: The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators are not confidential sources of support. While they will address your complaint with sensitivity and will keep your information as private as possible, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. See the list below of outside services which may provide confidential counseling.
Please Also Note: Making a report is different from filing a complaint. A report is defined as notification of an incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator/designee. A report may be accompanied by a request for (1) supportive or interim measures; (2) no further action; and/or (3) the filing of a formal complaint. See Process After Report of Sexual Misconduct section below for subsequent steps.
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. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Reports and complaints have different meanings. An individual has a right to make a report of sexual misconduct to South University, which may be accompanied by request for supportive measures. An individual also has a right to make a complaint of sexual misconduct, which is a request to initiate South University in an informal resolution process or a formal disciplinary process, which includes an investigation and may proceed to a formal hearing.
- Prior to the conclusion of a sexual misconduct investigation, the reporting party may request to withdraw the complaint by contacting the Title IX Coordinator or designee in writing. He or she will determine whether to close the case or conclude the investigation without the Complainant's continued participation.
- An individual also has the right to report sexual misconduct to law enforcement, separate and apart from any report or complaint made to South University.
- At the time a report is made, the reporting party does not have to decide whether to file a complaint or make a report of sexual misconduct to law enforcement.
- An affected party has the right to request supportive measures from South University, which may include interim contact restrictions.
- The reporting party has the right to seek medical treatment to address physical and mental health and to preserve evidence.
- A report may become a formal complaint, either initiated by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator. To file a formal complaint, please contact the Title IX Coordinator/designee.
IV. Complaint Response, Supportive Measures and Informal Resolution
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 Assistant to the Chancellor.
Formal Complaint. A formal complaint is a document filed by a Complainant alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that South University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by electronic mail, or using an available online reporting system. A formal complaint filed by a Complainant must have the Complainant's physical or digital signature or otherwise indicate that the Complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
There is no specific form required to file a formal complaint. Moreover, there is no requirement that the formal complaint include a detailed statement of facts or the name of the Respondent if that is not known.
In addition to a Complainant, there are circumstances when the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint. Other third parties cannot. A Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint in the absence of one signed by a Complainant in order to protect the educational community. In deciding whether to sign a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator may consider a variety of factors, including a pattern of alleged misconduct by a particular Respondent; allegations of the use of violence and/or the use of weapons; or similar factors. The Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint only after the Title IX Coordinator has contacted the Complainant (the person alleged to have been victimized by sexual harassment) to discuss the availability of supportive measures, considered the Complainant's wishes with respect to supportive measures, and explained to the Complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.
When the Title IX Coordinator decides to sign a formal complaint that originated with an anonymous complaint, the written notice of the allegations must be sent to both parties and include the identity of the parties, if known.
The signing of a formal complaint by the Title IX Coordinator does not place the Title IX Coordinator in a position adverse to the Respondent. When the Title IX Coordinator initiates an investigation based on allegations of which the Title IX Coordinator has been made aware, the Title IX Coordinator is not prevented from being free from bias or conflict of interest with respect to any party.
An investigation and grievance process cannot proceed pursuant to this Title IX policy in the absence of a signed formal complaint. If the Complainant's identity is unknown, the grievance process may proceed if the Title IX Coordinator determines it is necessary to sign a formal complaint. In that case, the written notice of the allegations would not include the Complainant's identity as it is unknown.
A Complainant's formal complaint must be investigated even if the Complainant does not know the Respondent's identity because an investigation may reveal the Respondent's identity. Once a Respondent's identity is known, South University will send written notice to both parties.
Formal complaints against more than one Respondent or by more than one Complainant may be consolidated if they arise out of the same facts or circumstances. In that instance, there may be a combined grievance process. A consolidation of formal complaints may include counter-complaints by one party against the other party.
Notice After Filing of a Formal Complaint. When a formal complaint is received (whether signed by the Complainant or the Title IX Coordinator), written notice must be sent to the known parties that includes:
- Notice of the grievance process including any informal resolution process
- Notice of the allegations of potential sexual harassment including sufficient details, if known at the time (identities of the parties involved in the incident; conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment; date and location of the alleged incident(s))
- A statement that the Respondent is presumed not responsible and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process
- A statement that the parties may have an advisor of their choice who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney
- A statement that the parties may inspect and review the evidence as permitted by this policy and law after the investigation
- A statement that knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the Title IX grievance process violates South University's code of conduct.
Known parties will be provided notice of additional allegations being investigated not included in the initial notice.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the University will generally proceed as described below.
A. Initial Response
Upon receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will provide resources and support information by contacting the potential Complainant and offering an initial meeting between the reporting party and the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The initial meeting is optional and the reporting party may decline. The purpose of the initial meeting is for the Title IX Coordinator or designee to gain a basic understanding of the nature and circumstances of the report and provide information about resources, supportive measures, and resolution options to the reporting party.
The Respondent also will be offered appropriate resources and notified of applicable policies and procedures.
B. Interim and Supportive Intervention
The Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant to discuss supportive measures and how they are available with or without the filing of a formal complaint, consider the Complainant's wishes with respect to supportive measures, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a formal complaint. The Respondent and other affected parties may also be provided supportive measures. These measures may be to protect, assist, and/or to forestall retaliation. South University may also take interim measures to protect the South University community at large. See the definition of "supportive measures" in the Definitions section.
South University's primary goal is to ensure that the parties and the South University community are safe. Regardless of whether a Complainant chooses to pursue disciplinary action, South University will take interim measures to protect those involved and ensure that all safety, emotional, and physical well-being concerns are met.
Reasonable interim measures to protect the safety of the parties will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In making the determination, South University will consider, at a minimum, the parties' expressed need, the severity or pervasiveness of the allegations, the continuing effects, the likelihood that the parties will come into contact with each other through daily activities, and whether any legal steps have been taken to protect either party.
Student Supportive Measures:
Some examples of supportive measures South University may provide to students include modifying class schedules, workplace schedules, and/or extracurricular activities; assisting in obtaining counseling and academic support services; student financial aid guidance; offering extra time to complete a course if possible; providing escort services on campus from the campus police; and initiating a no contact order. Also see the Emergency Removal of the Respondent section.
Staff Supportive Measures:
Some examples of supportive measures South University may provide to a staff member include modifying work schedule, workplace department or location, or supervisor; assisting in obtaining counseling services; providing escort services on campus and increasing security around the employee; initiating a no-contact order; and issuing a persona non grata order to prevent a person from coming on campus.
Faculty Supportive Measures:
Some examples of supportive measures South University may provide to a faculty member include modifying teaching schedule, workplace schedule, extracurricular schedule, or supervisor; assisting in obtaining counseling services; providing escort services on campus and increasing security around the faculty member; initiating a no-contact order; and issuing a persona non grata order to prevent a person from coming on campus.
Emergency Removal of the Respondent
South University is permitted to remove a Respondent from its education program or activity on an emergency basis if South University undertakes an individualized safety and risk analysis and determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal. In that instance, South University will provide the Respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.
South University may place a non-student employee on administrative leave during the pendency of a grievance process.
C. Informal Resolution
Only after a formal complaint has been filed, the parties may decide to participate in an informal resolution process, however such participation may not be required. South University may facilitate an informal resolution process at any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility. Informal resolution processes do not involve a full investigation and adjudication and may encompass a broad range of conflict resolution strategies, including, but not limited to, arbitration, mediation, or restorative justice.
At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party may withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint. The parties must provide voluntary written consent for an informal resolution process to proceed. In that event, the parties must be provided written notice disclosing the allegations and the requirements of the informal resolution process. No informal resolution process is available regarding allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
D. Decision to Proceed to Investigation
If it is appropriate and the parties choose and complete an informal resolution process there may be no formal investigation. If necessary, a full investigation will be promptly engaged. Such investigations will include interviews with the Complainant, Respondent, and relevant witnesses. In conducting the investigation, the manager of the investigation/resolution process may be assisted by other individuals, including special consultants engaged for the particular investigation. A thorough review of pertinent physical and documentary evidence will also occur. The evidence may include photographs, videos, electronic messages (including emails and text messages), social media postings, and any other relevant resources. The parties should be most scrupulous in preserving all evidence.
The parties are not granted the right to depose parties or witnesses, nor to invoke a court system's subpoena powers to compel parties or witnesses to appear at hearings.
V. Investigation, Hearing and Appeal Procedures
- A Complainant is not required to participate in the Title IX process or to provide any information to the Title IX Coordinator.
- South University may not access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party's records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional's or paraprofessional's capacity or assisting in that capacity and were made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party unless the party provides voluntary written consent to do so for a grievance process.
- Both parties must be given an equal opportunity to present fact and expert witnesses and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
- Neither party should be restricted in the ability to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
- Both parties must have the same opportunities, if any, to have others present during any meeting or grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.
- South University may establish restrictions regarding the extent to which the parties' advisors may participate in the proceedings; such restrictions shall apply equally to both parties.
- Both parties must be given written notice of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings at which they are invited or expected to attend with sufficient time to prepare. Notice must include the date, time, location, participants, and purpose.
- Both parties must be provided with an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained in the investigation of the allegations raised in a formal complaint, including evidence South University does not intend to rely on in reaching a determination regarding responsibility. Such evidence includes inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. It includes evidence obtained from a party or other source.
- Non-participating Complainants must also be given the opportunity to inspect, review, and respond to the evidence.
- Prior to completion of the investigative report, both parties must be sent (including their advisor, if any), the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy and given at least ten days to submit a written response. The investigator must consider such written responses prior to completion of the investigative report. This evidence must be available at any hearing so that it may be referred to or used for cross-examination.
- South University may impose on the parties and each party's advisor restrictions or require a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) not to disseminate any of the evidence subject to inspection and review or use such evidence for any purpose unrelated to the Title IX grievance process, as long as doing so does not violate Title IX regulations or other applicable laws.
A. About the investigation report:
After the investigation and the parties have been given an opportunity to submit a response to the evidence they were able to inspect and review, the investigator will create an investigative report that summarizes the relevant evidence. The report must be sent at least ten days prior to a hearing or other time of determination regarding responsibility to each party and each party's advisor, if any. The report must be sent in an electronic format or a hard copy for their review and written response.
All evidence summarized in the investigative report must be relevant. Evidence is relevant if it is probative of any material fact concerning the allegations, with exceptions. The investigator may redact from the investigative report information that is not relevant and also information protected by a legally recognized privilege, or treatment records for which there is no written consent to use. The investigative report may include facts and interview statements.
The investigator may include recommended findings or conclusions in the investigative report, however the decision-maker is under an independent obligation to objectively evaluate relevant evidence and cannot simply defer to the recommendations made by the investigator in the investigative report.
A single investigative report may be made in the context of a grievance process that involves multiple Complainants, multiple Respondents, or both.
- Formal complaints not dismissed or resolved by informal resolution will proceed to a live hearing. Elements of the live hearing follow.
- Hearings are held live, however at the request of either party, the live hearing may occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decision maker(s) and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.
- Parties' advisors may represent parties during the entire live hearing.
- Parties must inform South University at least seven (7) days prior to a hearing whether the party intends to bring an advisor of choice to the hearing. If the party does not intend to bring an advisor of choice, South University will appoint an advisor for that party for the hearing.
- If a party appears at a hearing without an advisor and South University did not have the seven day advance notice to appoint an advisor for the party, the hearing will stop and may be rescheduled if necessary to permit South University to assign an advisor to that party to conduct cross-examination.
- Parties and advisors must participate respectfully and non-abusively during a hearing; this includes not yelling at the other party or others in the hearing. If a party's advisor refuses to act in a respectful and non-abusive manner, South University may require the party to use a different advisor.
- South University may permit the parties' advisors to make brief opening or closing statements.
- South University may make an opening or closing statement.
- South University may present evidence to the decision-maker which may be used by the decision-maker in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.
- The decision-maker has the right and responsibility to ask questions and elicit information from parties and witnesses on the decision-maker's own initiative to aid the decision-maker in obtaining relevant evidence both inculpatory and exculpatory, and the parties also have an equal right to present evidence in front of the decision-maker so the decision-maker has the benefit of perceiving each party's unique perspective about the evidence.
- At the live hearing, the decision-maker(s) must permit each party's advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses relevant and follow-up questions, including to challenge credibility. Cross-examination must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party's advisor, but never by a party personally.
- Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. Before a question is answered by a party or witness, the decision-maker(s) must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain decisions to exclude a question as not relevant.
- In determining what evidence is relevant, a layperson's determination that a question is not relevant is made by applying logic and common sense, but not against a backdrop of legal expertise.
- At a hearing, a decision-maker may find that a question is irrelevant because it is not probative of any material fact concerning the allegations.
- Where evidence is duplicative of other evidence, the decision-maker may deem the evidence not relevant.
- Information that is not relevant includes information protected by a legally recognized privilege; any party's medical, psychological, and similar records unless the party has given voluntary, written consent; and party or witness statements that have not been subjected to cross examination at a live hearing.
- Questions and evidence about the Complainant's sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant unless such evidence is offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the alleged conduct or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant's prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.
- Relevant evidence will not be excluded solely because such relevant evidence may be unduly prejudicial, concern prior bad acts, or constitute character evidence.
- Written questions may not be submitted for the purpose of ascertaining relevance prior to or during a hearing.
- The advisors may discuss the relevance determination with the decision-maker during the hearing, however there will be no challenging the relevance determination after receiving the decision-maker's explanation during the hearing.
- Parties and witnesses may not waive a question.
- If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the decision-maker(s) must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.
- This includes statements made against a party's interest.
- This includes situations where the party or witness does not appear due to death or post-investigation disability.
- Family or friends of a party cannot recount the statement of the party who does not appear at the hearing; the party must submit to cross-examination.
- A party's statements in a police or SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner) report may not be relied upon unless the party or witness submits to cross-examination.
- Text message and emails, even where parties' statements are intertwined, may not be relied upon unless the makers of the text messages or emails submit to cross-examination.
- The decision-maker(s) cannot draw an inference about responsibility based solely on a party's or witness's absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
- A decision-maker may consider video evidence showing the underlying incident even if a Complainant refuses to answer cross-examination questions.
- Where a grievance process is initiated because the Title IX Coordinator, and not the Complainant, signed the formal complaint, the Complainant who did not wish to initiate a grievance process remains under no obligation to then participate in the grievance process and statements by the Complainant who does not submit to cross-examination at a hearing may not be considered by the decision-maker.
- South University will create an audio or audiovisual recording or transcript of any live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review. South University is not obligated to send the parties a copy of the recording or transcript.
- The decision-maker(s) must issue a written determination regarding responsibility using the standard of evidence adopted, preponderance of the evidence.
- The decision-maker must objectively evaluate all relevant evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, and independently reach a determination regarding responsibility without giving deference to the investigative report.
- Admissible, relevant evidence must be evaluated for weight or credibility by the decision-maker.
- Credibility determinations are not based solely on observing demeanor, but also are based on other factors (e.g., specific details, inherent plausibility, internal consistency, corroborative evidence).
- The degree to which any inaccuracy, inconsistency, or implausibility in a narrative provided by a party or witness should affect a determination regarding responsibility is a matter to be decided by the decision-maker after having the opportunity to ask questions of parties and witnesses and observing how parties and witnesses answer the questions posed by the other party.
C. Possible remedies and disciplinary sanctions
Upon a finding that the Respondent was responsible for the alleged actions constituting prohibited activities under this policy, the potential penalties range from remedies similar to supportive measures to probation, suspension, and dismissal from South University.
D. Decision-Maker's Written Determination
The written determination must include:
- Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment
- A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination. Include notifications to the parties, interviews with the parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held.
- Findings of fact supporting the determination. The decision-maker must lay out the evidentiary basis for conclusions reached in the case.
- There is no requirement that the written determination address evaluation of contradictory facts, exculpatory evidence, "all evidence" presented at a hearing, or how credibility assessments were reached.
- Conclusions regarding the application of South University's code of conduct to the facts
- A statement with the determination regarding responsibility for each allegation and the rationale for each such determination
- Disciplinary sanctions to be imposed on the Respondent
- Whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to South University's education program or activity will be provided to the Complainant, however the nature of the remedies provided to the Complainant should not appear in the written determination. Remedies which do not directly affect the Respondent must not be disclosed to the Respondent. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies.
- Procedures and permissible bases for the Complainant and Respondent to appeal
The written determination must be provided to the parties simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility is final either on the date that the written determination of the result of an appeal is provided to the parties, if an appeal is filed, or on the date when an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
If it is determined that a violation of the Title IX policy did not occur, but the reported behavior would violate a different South University policy such as the student code of conduct, the case may be referred for resolution as appropriate.
E. Right to Appeal
Both parties may appeal from a determination regarding responsibility and from a dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein on these bases:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made that could affect the outcome of the matter
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter
The other party will be notified in writing when a party files an appeal and will be provided the appeal document. The other party may file a written statement in response to the appeal within seven (7) business days of the date the appealing party's appeal was provided.
An appeal must be filed with the Title IX Coordinator within seven (7) business days of the date of the decision-maker's written determination. The appeal must include an explanation of the basis of the appeal. The Title IX Coordinator will forward the appeal, the decision-maker's written determination, and all other materials from the investigation and hearing to the Assistant to the Chancellor of South University for a final decision.
The Assistant to the Chancellor will review the materials provided using a preponderance of the evidence standard and will issue in a reasonably timely manner an Appeal Outcome Letter detailing the final decision and the rationale for the result, which may affirm, reverse or modify the determination of the decision-maker. The decision of the Assistant to the Chancellor is final. The written appeal decision will be simultaneously provided to both parties.
VI. CRIME VICTIM AND OTHER COUNSELING SERVICES
South University students may access confidential counseling services at no cost, 24 hour/day, 7 days/week, by calling South University- Reach Student Assistance Program at 855-691-4941. Students may speak or video chat with a licensed counselor regarding any concern. Students may be referred to up to six in-office counseling sessions with a networked counselor in the local community. A student in crisis should call a Reach counselor or "911".
Additionally, South University- Reach counselors will connect students with no cost legal services, financial advising, ID recovery, medical advocacy, and daily living resources and referrals.
Additional counseling and wellness resources are available through the My Life Expert website and My Life Expert app (company code: southuniv). Students should see the Dean of Student Affairs for log in credentials to access these digital resources.
Local law enforcement information, crime reporting procedures and support services are found in the Student Handbook:
VII. Campus Contact Information
- Atlanta 1-855-758-5662
- Austin 1-512-516-8800
- Columbia 1-803-799-9082
- High Point 1-336-812-7200
- Montgomery 1-334-395-8800
- Online 1-855-758-5662
- Orlando 1-407-393-3100
- Richmond 1-804-727-6800
- Savannah 1-912-201-8000
- Tampa 1-813-393-3800
- Virginia Beach 1-757-493-6900
- West Palm Beach 1-561-273-6500
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.