Academic Complaints & Concerns
The purpose of the academic grievance procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to grades and/or professional responsibilities as related to academic policies found in the Policies, Rules and Procedures and the Pilot. This process is not a disciplinary proceeding for any of the involved parties, although the findings may lead to disciplinary investigation or action under a different university policy. Students should read the Academic Grievance Procedure and follow the process outlined in the policy.
Academic integrity refers to the adherence to agreed upon moral and ethical principles when engaging in academic or scholarly pursuits. The university's academic integrity policy is part of an effort to nurture a community where trust, honesty, and personal integrity guide all of our dealings with one another. The following policy sets a standard for all of us to live up to and exceed.
The Commonwealth University official designated to respond to allegations of copyright infringement on the part of individuals at Commonwealth University, in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The act requires the complainant to include certain information in a complaint, and providing that information in the initial contact may help speed resolution of the complaint.
Commonwealth University desires to resolve student complaints and concerns in a timely, fair, and efficient manner in accordance with University policies. If the complaint cannot be resolved through University channels, the student may go to one of Commonwealth University's state approval and licensing entities: Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education; the Pennsylvania Department of Education; or Commonwealth University's accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Unresolved complaints may be filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education once all other avenues have been exhausted. The link above provides information on the Commission's complaint policies and procedures.
To comply with federal regulations, Commonwealth University provides the following information to our prospective and current students:
Commonwealth University participates in Federal student aid programs that are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Participating institutions must be legally authorized to operate with the state in which it is located. Title 34 CFR §600.9 requires states to have a "process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws." Title 34 CFR §668.43(b) requires that institutions "make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)
Academic and Student Affairs Division, Office of the Chancellor
2300 Vartan Way, Suite 207
Harrisburg, PA 17110
PASSHE Complaint Process
Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
Division of Higher & Career Education
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.722.3622
PDE Student Complaint Procedure
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 Telephone: 267-284-5011
Email: email@example.com Spanish: españolinfo@msche.org
General Link: www.msche.org
MSCHE Complaint Process
Commonwealth University strives to provide the highest quality educational programs available but recognizes the importance of providing an opportunity for students to make an appeal if a conflict does arise. As a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) participating institution, CU has agreed to abide by the SARA student complaint process. (Student complaints regarding grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and Pennsylvania laws, not through the SARA State Portal Entity.)
Distance education students who have a grievance, complaint, or concern should attempt to resolve the issue internally in accordance with BL PRP 3592. Students who are unable to resolve the issue through the faculty member, department chair, and/or the dean may submit a complaint using the Academic Grievance Form.
Please note that grievances, complaints, or concerns submitted via this process with regard to a particular course, program, or department may be forwarded and discussed with the faculty member, department, or academic dean for resolution.
Distance education students who are unable to resolve the issue internally may contact the SARA Portal Entity of Pennsylvania within two years of the incident regarding the complaint. The PA Portal Entity will collaborate with the SARA Portal Entity of the state where the student is located to resolve the issue. California is not a SARA-member state at this time. A student participating in distance education while located in this state should appeal to the appropriate agency specified in the "Student Complaint Information by State and Agency" document.
All other current, former, or prospective students who feel that their grievances, complaints, or concerns cannot be resolved by the University in accordance with BU PRP 3592 and the resources provided by the Dean of Students may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (State System) by completing in its entirety the Student Complaint Form.
Information regarding the PASSHE Student Complaint Process may be found at: http://www.passhe.edu/StudentComplaints/Pages/default.aspx
Complaints not resolved at the State System level may be appealed to the University’s accreditor, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) according to the MSCHE Complaint Process.
Please visit the complaints and grievances page for additional student complaint information.