A grievance is a serious complaint that demonstrates 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. The grievance procedure does not apply to appeals of grades, academic probation, or dismissal.
Submitting a Grievance
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
When a learner has a concern or complaint, the intervention process requires that learners first discuss and/or attempt to resolve any complaint with the faculty or staff member(s) or other appropriate administrator. If a mutually satisfactory outcome cannot be negotiated between the learner and other party, the Learner may escalate the matter to their Academic Advisor, who will then be responsible to research, investigate, and report the learner’s concern/complaint.
- Step 2: Intervention Request
If the Academic Advisor is unable to resolve the concern/complaint, the Advisor will initiate an Intervention Request Form and escalate the matter to the Chief Student Affairs Officer within the same work day. Within 3 working days, the Chief Student Affairs Officer will review the official learner Intervention Request Form and contact all parties involved to broker a mutually satisfactory outcome.
- Step 3: Appeal
If the learner chooses to appeal the decision of the Chief Student Affairs Officer, the learner must submit the request to appeal the decision within 3 working days. The Appeals Board will be convened within 24 hours of receiving the appeal request. Within 3 working days, the Appeals Board will issue a final and binding decision.
The Appeals Board decision shall be final. However, failure to initiate a Step 3 appeal within the 3 workday period indicates that the Learner accepts the Step 2 decision as final and that the matter is closed.
Learner’s Rights: A learner or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, by calling 888-370-7589, or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau’s website: www.bppe.ca.gov.
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 Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) located at 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, by calling 510.748.9001, or by visiting www.wascsenior.org.
Learners residing outside of California:
If a grievance cannot be resolved by following the procedures described above, and the learner resides outside of the State of California, learners may contact their respective state agency. Click here to access each state agency’s contact information.
Certain states require specific language as noted below:
Filing a Complaint with the Office of Higher Education
Before contacting the Office of Higher Education, you must first exhaust the school’s internal grievance or complaint procedures. These policies are usually published in the institution’s catalog, student handbook, and/or posted on the institution’s website.
Once you have pursued your concerns using the institution’s dispute resolution procedures, and have not reached a mutually agreeable resolution, you may proceed with filing a formal complaint with the Office of Higher Education. To do so, complete an Initial Review Form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to the address at the top of the form.
The Commission requires that students utilize and complete their institution’s grievance procedure in an attempt to resolve any complain or concerns before submitting a complaint to the Commission. If the institution’s resolution is not satisfactory, a student may then appeal to the Commission, but it will not investigate a complaint unless the student has exhausted all available grievance procedures outlined by the institution.
2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084-5305
www.gnpec.georgia.gov | 770.414.3300
California Southern University is registered with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). In addition to the above process, the State of Maryland provides an additional avenue for students who have exhausted 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
Toll Free: 1.888.743.0823
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 are required to establish, publish, and enforce explicit policies related to redress of grievances.
Please do not send a complain to the Office of College and University Evaluation until you have read all of the information below. This will assure that you are sending your complaint to the appropriate agency/office.
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, with the exceptions, noted below.
- The Office does not handle anonymous complaints.
- The Office does not intervene in matters concerning an individual’s grades or examination results, as these are the prerogative of the college’s faculty.
- The Office does not handle complaints concerning actions that have occurred more than five years ago.
- The Office does not intervene in matters that are or have been in litigation.
- Complaints concerning programs in fields leading to professional licensure (e.g., nursing) should be directed to:
Office of the Professions
Professional Education Program Review
Education Building, 2 West
Albany, NY 12234
A complaint of consumer fraud on the part of the institution should be directed to the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Justice Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223.
Complainants should be aware that the Office of College and University Evaluation does not conduct a judicial investigation and has no legal authority to require a college or university to comply with a complainant’s request.
If your complaint does not fall into one of the exceptions notes above, click here for the Office of College and University Evaluation Complaint Form.
After exhausting the institution’s grievance/complaint process, current, former, and prospective students may initiate a complaint with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) by sending the required forms either by email to email@example.com 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:
- Student Complaint and Release Form
- Authorization to Disclose Medical Record Information (required if a disability is alleged)
For rules governing student complaints please click here.
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 appeal.
- 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.
Be advised that copies of complaints will be made available to the school involved and may be made available to other federal, state, or private agencies, and—upon request—to members of the public.