Legal

Complaints

USAHS 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 from current students encourages informal conciliation, facilitates early resolution, and maintains individual privacy and confidentiality.

Students are encouraged to address concerns or complaints promptly, generally within 5 business days of the date of the incident or occurrence that has given rise to the concern or complaint. USAHS endeavors to resolve all concerns and complaints; however, delayed reports of a concern or complaint may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

Students may utilize the complaint policy below to address concerns that occur within the University including but not limited to the following:

  • seeking clarifications in policies, regulations, and procedures;
  • reporting an incident(s) of discrimination or bias; and
  • notifying the University of technology or facility concerns.

Please note that complaints regarding the sexual misconduct policy should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. Complaints related to grade appeals, academic appeals, academic dismissals, professional misconduct, behavioral intervention decisions, or another policy with an established review or appeal process should follow those procedures as outlined.

Open Door

Students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy and address issues directly with faculty and staff, before filing a formal complaint. Open communication between students, faculty, and staff is strongly encouraged, and students are free to speak directly with all members of the USAHS community regarding any complaints or concerns that they have. Additionally, the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility is available to discuss and assist with any concerns or complaints.

Conflict Resolution Assistance

Students may seek conflict resolution assistance from the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility. Assistance may be a simple clarification of a University policy or information regarding options for resolving the conflict. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility may assist by arranging a face-to-face meeting with the other individual involved in the conflict, if possible and appropriate under the circumstances. In all cases, USAHS will try to secure a mutually agreeable solution to any situation.

Formal Complaint Process

While students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy described above, students may also use USAHS’ Formal Complaint Process, described in this section, to resolve a complaint.

Formal Complaint: The Formal Complaint Process requires students to complete the Student Complaint Form located on the MyUSA portal, which the student submits to the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility at [email protected]. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility directs the complaint to the responsible party to investigate and attempt to resolve the complaint. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written summary of any resolution to the student, generally within 30 days after receipt of the written complaint.

Appeals Process:  Students may appeal the initial decision in writing to the Grievance Committee by completing the Grievance Form located at MyUSA, Student Services, Complaints Policy within seven days after the response was issued to the student. The Grievance Committee investigates the complaint and gives the student an opportunity to discuss the complaint. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written response to the student from the Grievance Committee, generally within 60 days.

The Grievance Form submitted for the appeal must meet one of the following criteria for consideration.

  1. The initial decision failed to comply with the procedural requirements outlined in the University Catalog/Handbook.
  2. There is relevant and material evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or was improperly excluded at the review of the initial decision.

Request for Reconsideration: The student may submit a request for reconsideration of the Grievance Committee’s decision, in writing to [email protected], within seven days after the Appeals Process response is issued to the student. Requests for reconsideration should be addressed to the President and should not be the same letter submitted with the request for appeal.

Requests for reconsideration are forwarded to the President or their designee. For purposes of a request for reconsideration, the President or designee reviews the existing record from the previous investigations. A request for reconsideration is granted only if the student can provide evidence that the Grievance Committee did not follow the procedure as outlined in this policy. Decisions on requests for reconsideration are generally provided within 30 days. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written response to the request for reconsideration to the student at the conclusion of the process.

Last Updated: 6/27/2023

Confidentiality

All information submitted as part of a student complaint will be treated as confidential and will be available only 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. USAHS accepts and endeavors to resolve anonymous complaints; however, anonymous complaints may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

No retaliation

No adverse action will be taken against a student as the result of the submission of a complaint through the USAHS complaint procedure. This protection against retaliation shall apply even if the findings of an investigation do not support the nature of the report, so long as the report was filed in good faith; however, students who knowingly file misleading or false reports or without a reasonable belief as to truth or accuracy, will not be protected by this policy.

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 with the applicable program director, dean, or the University president. Complaints about a USAHS employee or student should be resolved by communicating directly with the individual or department head. If a resolution is not possible at this level, a written complaint may be filed with the University.

Complaints Procedure

Written complaints should be addressed to the Legal department for appropriate review at:

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Attn: Legal Department
5401 LaCrosse Avenue
Austin, Texas 78739

All complaints are reviewed by the Legal department and addressed with the parties involved as appropriate.

The original written complaint, a copy of the response (if applicable), and a description of any actions taken as a result of the complaint are maintained on file for two (2) 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 is posted and kept current on the University website, as well as the University Catalog/Handbook.

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
    • Complaints may be filed with the University’s institutional accrediting body by reviewing WSCUC’s policy on Complaints and Third-Party Comments found at https://www.wscuc.org/ for information regarding specific procedures for filing a complaint against the University.
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
      • Complaints about the Occupational Therapy program that cannot be resolved after following the University’s procedures must be submitted electronically to the ACOTE Chairperson, c/o the AOTA Accreditation Department. The complaint must be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail addressed to [email protected] and must include a signed complaint form, “Complaint Against a Program Subject to ACOTE Accreditation.” This form can be accessed at https://acoteonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/V.B.1.-Complaint-Form-Program.doc.
      • For more information on this process please visit Policies & Procedures – ACOTE (acoteonline.org) and review V.B. Procedure for Complaints.

Additional States

  • In Connecticut contact the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Suite 510, Hartford, CT 06103-1841; 860-947-1800; https://ohe.ct.gov/StudentComplaints.shtml.
  • In District of Columbia contact the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission,1050 First St., NE, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20002; 202-727-6436; https://helc.osse.dc.gov/topic/helcadmin/community-stakeholders/public-complaints.
  • In Georgia contact the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission at 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084, 770-414-3300. Complaint process: https://gnpec.georgia.gov/student-resources/complaints-against-institution.
  • In Iowa contact the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, 475 SW Fifth Street, Suite D, Des Moines, IA, 50309; 877-272-4456. Student Dispute Resolution Form: https://www.iowacollegeaid.gov/StudentComplaintForm.
  • In Kansas, contact the Kansas Board of Regents, 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 520, Topeka, KS  66612-1368; 785-430-4240; https://www.kansasregents.org/academic_affairs/private_out_of_state/complaint_process
  • In Maryland contact the Maryland Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202; 410-528-8662/888-743-0823 (toll-free); or the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
  • In Michigan contact the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, P.O. Box 30018, Lansing, MI 48909; 517-241-7000; https://www.michigan.gov/leo/0,5863,7-336-94422_95539_2739—,00.html.
  • In Minnesota for more information contact the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Attn: Registration/Licensure 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350 St. Paul, MN 55108 Tel: 651-642-0567 or 1-800-657-3866, TTY Relay: 1-800-627-3529, Fax: 651-642-0675; https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=1078.
  • In New Mexico contact the New Mexico Higher Education Department, 2044 Galisteo Street, Suite 4, Santa Fe, NM 87505-2100; https://hed.state.nm.us/students-parents/student-complaints.
  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission requires that all students know of their rights in a grievance situation, including contacting the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville, TN 37243-0830; 615-741-5293, if grievances are not resolved at the institutional level.
  • Students in Oregon: Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with their school first. Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint. Students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to [email protected]. Students may also access the HECC Complaints web page for information at https://www.oregon.gov/highered/about/Pages/complaints.aspx.
  • In Utah contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, 160 East 300 South, 2nd Floor, PO Box 146704, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6704; https://db.dcp.utah.gov/complaints.html. Students can file a complaint at any time with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.
  • The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may not be able to investigate every student complaint. Visit https://www.wsac.wa.gov/student-complaints for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.
  • In Wisconsin contact the Department of Safety and Professional Services – Educational Approval Program, P.O. Box 8366, 4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705; www.dsps.wi.gov; [email protected]; 608-266-1996.

USAHS has taken the necessary steps to apply and/or receive authorization to deliver education, to market, and to affiliate with clinical education sites in most states.

Appeal Process

The student has the right to appeal to the appropriate University committee. Students should refer to the “Professional Misconduct” and “Academic Evaluation and Right of Appeal” policies found in the University Catalog/Handbook for information on appeal processes.