Student Complaint Process
Any student who has been treated unfairly will have the right to be heard fairly and promptly. The college recognizes that disputes may sometimes arise and requires the parties involved to resolve the conflict informally whenever possible. If resolution cannot be reached, a formal complaint can be submitted to assure impartial and equitable resolution.
This complaint process may not be invoked for matters that have independent appeal processes that are already established. Examples of these include, but are not limited to:
- Student Conduct
- Title IX
- Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Academic Appeals
- Academic Integrity
- Financial Aid
General Student Complaint Information
The process is divided into an informal and formal process. Resolution may be reached at any stage of the process. Please see the information below for further details:
Utica College requires that you first make every effort to informally resolve a complaint or concern. It is important that you talk directly with the staff, faculty or administrator with whom you have a concern in order for them to have an opportunity to hear you and work with you to resolve the issue. As a professional courtesy, you are advised to:
- Contact the college employee by phone to schedule an appointment
- Be sure to identify yourself and provide contact information
- Be clear about what your concern is and how you would like the issue resolved
If your concern has not been resolved, you may consult with the Office of Student Success or the Office of Graduate Studies to assist you in attempting to resolve the matter.
Formal Complaint Process
If you have exhausted the informal process and still have not resolved the issue, you may submit a formal complaint using the Utica College Student Complaint Form. This completed form should be submitted as soon as possible and no more than 60 days after the incident occurs.
Once your formal complaint has been submitted, you will be contacted by college personnel within five (5) business days to discuss your concern further. You will be provided information regarding next steps in the process and may be asked for additional information, if necessary.
If your complaint or concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may appeal the decision. To appeal a decision, you will need to follow the instructions provided in the decision notification.
After your appeal has been submitted, you will be contacted within five (5) business days regarding next steps in the process and be given information as to who will be reaching out to you.
Student Complaints through the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)
NC-SARA is a nonprofit organization recognized by the Federal Government that helps expand students’ access to educational opportunities and ensure more efficient, consistent, and effective regulation of distance education programs. As part of its activities NC-SARA established and maintains provisions for consumer protection and the resolution of student complaints. As an NC SARA member, Utica College is bound to adhere to these provisions.
Please note that, according to NC-SARA regulations:
- Only those complaints resulting from Distance Education (online) courses, activities and operations come under the coverage of SARA.
- Complaints about a SARA Institution’s in-state operations are to be resolved under the State’s normal provisions, not those of SARA
- Student grades and student conduct violations may not be appealed to SARA.
Consistent with NC-SARA regulations, student complaints must first be handled through Utica College’s complaint process for resolution. If the student is unable to get satisfaction through the College’s processes, the student may appeal within two years of the incident to SARA via the SARA State Portal Entity
Complaints about fraud or criminal activity can go to any state Attorney General or the Office of Inspector General or complaint unit of the Department of Education.
Utica College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680, (215) 662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. The Middle States statement of accreditation is provided below.
Statement of Accreditation
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is obligated by federal regulations to review complaints it receives regarding member and candidate institutions. However, the Commission’s complaints policy prevents the Commission from intervening in disputes between individuals and institutions, whether these disputes involve students, faculty, administrators, or members of other groups. Before filing a complaint, it is strongly recommended that you read the Commission’s complaints policy. Individuals can submit at any time a complaint regarding an institution’s compliance with Commission Requirements of Affiliation, standards, or policies or regarding an institution’s compliance with its own policies or procedures.
To contact accrediting agencies for specific Utica College degree programs, see more at: http://www.utica.edu/accreditation/accreditations.cfm
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