Complaint Resolution

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 (34 CFR 668.43(b)) to have a complaint process available to any enrolled or prospective 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 Grievance Resolution:

For Students Residing in SARA States:
  • 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.
For Students Residing in non-SARA States:
  • 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
  • To obtain the Agency Contact information, please refer to the Agency Contact information (in the blue-shaded area) of each state’s section listed above.

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.