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Complaints

The University of St. Augustine (USA) is committed to providing a learning and working environment in which complaints are addressed fairly and resolved promptly.  All complaints are taken seriously.  The procedure for handling complaints encourages informal conciliation, facilitates early resolution, and maintains individual privacy and confidentiality.

This policy covers three general types of complaints:

  • Student complaints
  • Employee complaints
  • Complaints from individuals or agencies outside the University. 

This policy does not cover complaints about incidents related to harassment.  Complaints of this nature should be directed to the Director of Human Resources.

A.   
Student Complaints

Types of Student Complaints

Students should utilize the following procedure for complaints about service, support, or assistance provided by academic, administrative or support departments of the University. Student complaints include academic issues such as instruction methodology, grading, testing, or assignments, or non-academic matters such as IT support, university services, facilities, policies, financial matters, etc.  The following procedure is not for complaints regarding academic or non-academic appeals policies and procedures.  Please refer to the Student Handbook for appeals processes.

Confidentiality

All information submitted as part of a student complaint will be treated as confidential and will only be available to the appropriate/involved parties. The student should also respect the need for confidentiality throughout the complaint process. A student who submits a complaint should be aware that complete confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed if effective action is to be taken. Where a complaint is in reference to a specific individual, the complaint cannot be investigated if the student does not wish the allegation to be made known to that individual.  Anonymous complaints will not be considered.

Student Complaints Procedures

A student should discuss his/her concerns with the person(s) who is directly responsible (course instructor, staff member, etc.) in order to resolve the issue.  Depending on the severity of the issue, a written record may or may not be drafted and placed in the student’s permanent record. 

  1. If the complaint cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of the student, the student should discuss the issue with his/her Program Director.  The Program Director will consider the complaint and attempt to bring the issue to a satisfactory resolution.   
    1. In certain situations, the Program Director may refer the complaint to an appropriate University committee. The respective Committee will consider the complaint and provide a written recommendation to the Program Director. 
    2. The Program Director will consider the Committee recommendation and notify the student in writing of the decision.
    3. Written documentation regarding the resolution will be placed in the student’s file and maintained for six (6) years past the student’s last date of attendance. 
    4. After following the steps above, the student may submit a formal written complaint to the Grievance Committee. 
      1. The complaint will be investigated by the Grievance Committee and a written response will be provided to the student.
      2. The original written complaint, a copy of the response, and a description of any actions taken as a result of the complaint will be maintained on file for six (6) years past the student’s last date of attendance.

B.    Employee Complaints

This policy is intended to provide fair and prompt consideration to all employee complaints.  The University encourages all employees to use the complaint procedure without fear of prejudice or retaliation and with the assurance that his/her confidences will be respected.

Types of Employee Complaints

It is the policy of the University to provide an effective and timely method for employees to bring forth workplace issues and concerns.  These issues and concerns may include working conditions, performance, policies, procedures or problems with co-workers or supervisors.

Confidentiality

Human resources will keep all expressions of concern, the results of fact-finding and the terms of the resolution confidential.  However, in the course of fact finding and resolving the matter, some dissemination to others may be necessary or appropriate.

Resolution

The University expects that employees will attempt to resolve their conflict directly with the other party.  Unresolved conflicts may be escalated to their supervisor, or to human resources.  If resolution cannot be reached at that level an employee may submit a written complaint to the Grievance Committee.  The Grievance Committee will follow the same procedure listed above under Student Complaints Procedures.

Retaliation of any kind by an employee against another employee, as a result of that employee seeking resolution under these procedures in good faith, cooperating in an investigation, or otherwise participating in the process, is prohibited and may be the basis for disciplinary action, including termination.

Complaints that involve harassment or discrimination of any nature should be brought directly to the attention of human resources.

All complaints, investigation notes and written resolution will be maintained in the human resources department for six years in accordance with the University’s records retention policy.

C.    Complaints from Individuals or Agencies Outside the University

Individuals or agencies from outside the University should address complaints about the University or a University program to the applicable program director, dean or the University President. 

Complaints Procedure

Complaints about a USA employee or student should be resolved by communicating directly with the individual or department head.

1.   If a resolution is not possible at this level, a written complaint may be filed.  Written complaints should be addressed to:

University of St. Augustine
Grievance Committee Chair
St. Augustine Campus
1 University Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32086

2.   All complaints will be fully investigated by the Grievance Committee and a written response will be provided to the complainant.

3.   The original written complaint, a copy of the response, and a description of any actions taken as a result of the complaint will be maintained on file for six (6) years following the date of the resolution.

Unresolved Complaints

If a complaint cannot be resolved after following the procedures above, the following agencies can be contacted directly.  This information will be posted and kept current on the University website.

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission: 
    • Complaints may be filed with the University's institutional body by contacting the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission at http://www.wascsenior.org/comments by reviewing the Policy on Complaints and Third-Party Comments to ascertain the appropriate means to communicate comments and complaints. 
  • Distance Education and Training Council:
  • American Physical Therapy Association:
    • Complaints about the Physical Therapy program can be submitted to CAPTE by requesting the Procedures for Handling Complaints about an Accredited or Developing Physical Therapy Program. This document can be obtained by writing to CAPTE at 1111 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, by telephone 703-706-3245, or visit: www.apta.org.
  • American Occupational Therapy Association:
  • In California:
  • In Florida:
  • In Texas:
    • To make a complaint in Texas to the Texas Workforce Commission go to: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/svcs/propschools/problem-school.html.  The TWC-assigned school number is: S 4051. Information on filing a complaint with TWC can be found on TWC’s Career Schools and Colleges Website at http://csc.twc.state.tx.us/.
      • The school’s programs are approved by TWC, as well as The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, The Commission on Distance Education and Training Council, and the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education.  
      • Students must address their concerns about this school or any of its educational programs by following the complaints process outlined above and in the school’s catalog.
      • Schools are responsible for ensuring and documenting that all students have received a copy of the school’s grievance procedures and for describing these procedures in the school’s published catalog. If, as a student, you were not provided with this information, please inform school management.
      • Students dissatisfied with this school’s response to their complaint or who are not able to file a complaint with the school, can file a formal complaint with TWC, as well as with other relevant agencies or accreditors, if applicable.
    • For more information on making a complaint to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board go to: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.cfm?objectid=051F93F5-03D4-9CCE-40FA9F46F2CD3C9D  Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code, Sections 1.110-1.120 governs the rules for student complaints http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt=1&ch=1&sch=E&rl=Y
    • Additional States:

The University of St. Augustine has taken the necessary steps to apply and/or receive authorization to deliver education, to market and to affiliate with clinical education sites in all fifty states. For information on a specific state, or to file a complaint click here.

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