Complaint Process for Distance Education Students
Student Concerns and the Complaint Process
Student concerns are best handled when addressed in a timely manner by those who are best able to address and remedy the concern. This is often times the faculty or staff member with whom the concern is about, or the direct supervisor or department chair of the area in which the concern is expressed. Procedures for student academic and non-academic concerns and complaints are outlined below.
Student Academic Concerns Related to Conduct of Classes or Other Course Matters:
- Address the concern(s) with the course instructor.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the instructor, take the concern to your advisor.
- If a resolution is not achieved there you may then bring the matter to the program coordinator.
- If the resolution is not achieved there, your next step would be to address the matter with the director (or designee) of the Distance Learning Center or the director (or designee) of the Office of Continuing Education.
Student Academic Concerns Related to Course Grades:
- Address the concern(s) with the course instructor.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the instructor, take the concern to the program coordinator.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, take the concern to the chair of the department.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, take the concern to the dean of the college.
- If a resolution is not achieved there, you may appeal, in writing, to the Admission and Academic Appeals Committee (AAAC). The committee will hear both sides of the issue, examine the records, and advise the provost and all parties concerned as to a recommended solution. Your appeal must be received no later than six months after completing the course.
- Grievances about course grades which are appealed to the AAAC must address specific complaints related to grading, not concerns regarding conduct of classes or other course matters. In order for the AAAC to hear a formal grade appeal, a student must have a specific example of a major paper, project, lab or exam that was graded or recorded incorrectly that has significantly affected the student’s grade.
Student Non-Academic Concerns:
- Address the concern(s) with the individual involved.
- If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, or if you would be uncomfortable confronting the individual, take the concern to the appropriate department supervisor.
- If resolution is not achieved there, you may then bring the matter to the director (or designee) of the Distance Learning Center or the director (or designee) of the Office of Continuing Education.
Notification of UW System Complaint Process for Program Integrity
Pursuant to the United States Department of Education's Program Integrity Rule, an individual may file a complaint against any of University of Wisconsin System's public institutions alleging a violation of one or more of the following categories with the University of Wisconsin System Administration ("UWSA").
- Complaints that allege a violation of state consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;
- Complaints that allege a violation of state law or rule relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and/or
- Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.
Under the UWSA policies and procedures, an individual should utilize the institution's internal complaint or review policies and procedures through the Office of Student Affairs or Office of the Provost prior to contacting the UWSA. If a resolution is not reached at the institution level, or if you believe that the nature of the complaint or its impact on the system as a whole warrants an immediate review, you may file a formal complaint by completing and submitting the following form at www.wisconsin.edu/student-complaints/complaint-form/.
If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Academic, Faculty and Global Programs (AFGP) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608.262.8778. The UWSA complaint process is described in detail at www.wisconsin.edu/student-complaints/.
SARA and Student Complaints
Pursuant to Wis. Stats. Ch. 39.85, et. al, the State of Wisconsin is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact which regulates the manner in which participating institutions may offer distance learning education to students who reside in other states. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a participating institution in MSARA. The terms and conditions of SARA can be found at http://nc-sara.org/content/sara-policies-and-standards.
If a student has a complaint that involves distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of SARA, the student must file a complaint with the institution first to seek resolution. If no resolution is reached, then the student may file a complaint with the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB) through the following State Authorization Reciprocity Complaint Process at the following link: www.wisconsin.edu/student-complaints/ or by email to email@example.com. For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of this agreement, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policies and Standards have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.
Additional information can be found at http://www.heab.state.wi.us/DLAB/faq.html.
Contact Information for Outside State Complaints Relating to Distance Learning or Correspondence Education
Pursuant to the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rule, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is required to provide all prospective and current students with the contact information of the state agency or agencies that handle complaints against postsecondary education institutions offering distance learning or correspondence education within that state. Students are encouraged to utilize the institution’s internal complaint or review policies and procedures prior to filing a complaint with the state agency or agencies. The SHEEO Survey responses are listed by state at http://sheeo.org/sheeo_surveys/. Consumer protection and student complaint contact information is listed within each survey.