Learners' Rights and Grievance Procedure

(Does not apply to appeals of grades, academic probation, or dismissal.)

A grievance is a serious complaint that demonstrates that the student has been or is being adversely affected by: 1) an inappropriate interpretation of university policies or 2) an inappropriate response, lack of response, or decision by any person with administrative control and responsibility. A grievance is directed toward the university, not a specific person, and should be in writing per the grievance procedure published in the University Catalog. Learner grievances are typically items such as administrative issues, financial issues, technical issues, faculty performance, program content, program effectiveness/expectations or library services that were not able to be resolved in an informal manner.

In the event that a learner has a complaint, grievance or dispute with California Southern University regarding university procedures, decisions, or judgments, the learner has a right to seek a satisfactory resolution through the formal avenues of appeal and redress as follows:

Step 1: Notification: The learner must notify the relevant faculty mentor, staff member or administrator in writing, by certified or registered mail postmarked no later than 15 days after the occurrence, stating the basis for the grievance, the details of the matter, and the remedy requested. The individual so notified shall respond with a decision in writing within 15 days of receipt of the grievance.

Step 2: Appeal: If the remedy requested is denied, or if the relevant university administrator does not respond within 15 days after the notification of Step 1 has been mailed, the learner may appeal in writing, sent by certified or registered mail, directly to the dean or higher-level administrator within an additional 15-day period. The recipient of the appeal will review the grievance and render a decision within 15 days of receipt of the Learner’s appeal. However, failure to initiate a Step 2 appeal within the 15-day timeframe indicates that the learner accepts the Step 1 decision as final and that the matter is closed.

Step 3: Rights: A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling 1.888.370.7589, or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau’s website

Certain states require specific language as noted below

While we encourage learners to contact the university with questions or concerns, learners who feel the university is not complying with accreditation standards may contact the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission at 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, by calling 1.510.748.9001, or at

California Southern University is registered with the Maryland Higher Education Commission. In addition to the above process, the State of Maryland provides an additional avenue for students who have exhausted the university complaint/grievance procedures, up to and including being subject to investigation of complaints by the Office of the Attorney General or the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Maryland learner complaints should be directed to:

Maryland Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
T: 1.410.528.8662
Toll Free: 1.888.743.0823

Students residing in Texas:

After exhausting the institution's grievance/complaint process, current, former, and prospective students may initiate a complaint with THECB by sending the required forms either by email to or by mail to:

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
College Readiness and Success Division
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, Texas 78711-2788

Facsimile transmissions of the forms are not accepted.
All submitted complaints must include a student complaint form, a signed Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Consent and Release form, and a THECB Consent and Agreement Form. Submitted complaints regarding students with disabilities shall also include a signed Authorization to Disclose Medical Record Information form. Links to the forms are set forth below:

The following forms are required to start the complaint process:

For rules governing student complaints please click here.

Learners residing outside of California

If a grievance cannot be resolved by following the procedures described above, learners may contact their state agency.
Click here for contact information for each state agency.