Complaint Process

Higher education institutions delivering courses by distance education are required to provide the contact information for official entities or agencies within each state designated to handle complaint resolution. States are required by the US Department of Education to have complaint processes available to any enrolled or prospective distance education student.

Internal Resolution

Distance education students are encouraged to first attempt internal resolution by following the University’s Academic Grievance Procedure. Case Western Reserve University’s Academic Grievance Procedure (also referred to as Academic Grievance Policy) can be found in the Case Western Reserve University General Bulletin. See “Academic Policies” under the School of Graduate Studies and “Academic Policies and Procedures” under the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

If you need further assistance concerning the University’s academic grievance procedure, please contact the School of Graduate Studies (216.368.4390) or the Office of Undergraduate Studies (216.368.2928).

External Resolution

In the event a resolution cannot be achieved internally via the University’s Academic Grievance Procedure, students have the right to contact the appropriate external agency. Determining which agency to contact depends on whether the student resides in a SARA member state or a non-SARA state.

Please refer to the summaries below to determine which path to follow for Complaint Resolution:
 

IF YOU RESIDE IN A SARA STATE
  • First attempt internal resolution by following the University’s Academic Grievance Procedure
  • If the issue cannot be resolved via the University’s internal process, the student has the right to appeal (within two years of the incident) to the SARA Portal Entity of the University’s home state (Ohio)
  • The University’s home state Portal Entity will notify the Portal Entity where the student is located of receipt of the appeal.


    SARA Portal Entities do not resolve complaints about
    - student grades
    - student conduct violation

    These complaints fall under the jurisdiction of institutional policy and the laws of an institution’s home state

View a graphic of the SARA Student Complaint Process
 

IF YOU RESIDE IN A NON-SARA STATE*
  • First attempt internal resolution by following the University’s Academic Grievance Procedure
  • If the issue cannot be resolved via the University’s internal process, the student has the right to appeal to the appropriate agency within their residence state


    FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS:
    If you live in California and are enrolled in a online program/course, submit your complaint to:
    California Department of Consumer Affairs
    Consumer Information Center

    1625 North Market Blvd.
    Suite N-112
    Sacramento, California 95834

    - submit using the Complaint Form or by phone (833) 942-1120


    If you live in California and are enrolled in a onground program located in California, submit your complaint to:
    California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
    2535 Capitol Oaks Drive
    Suite 400
    Sacramento, CA 95833

    - submit using the Complaint Form or by phone (916) 431-6959


    *California, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are the only non-SARA state and U.S. territories.