If a student has an academic grievance, such as believing a semester grade is unjustified, she should follow the procedure below:
The student’s semester grade is based on the criteria and standards set forth in the course syllabus. Instructors take these components, which often include exams, papers and class performance, into consideration when determining the student’s final grade. A student who believes a semester grade is unjustified and not aligned with the grading guidelines for the course as indicated in the syllabus, may seek clarification and, where appropriate, attempt to redress it. The student should initially confer with the respective faculty, informing the faculty of her concerns and seeking clarification as to how the faculty determined the grade. The aim of this is to reach a mutual understanding about the grade and to correct errors, if any, in the grade.
If, after consultation with the faculty, the student still believes that the grade is unjustified, she may appeal the grade by submitting an Academic Grievance Form to the Menaheles (Kodesh courses) or the Academic Dean (General Studies courses) who will attempt to resolve the grievance upon consultation with both the faculty and student. Should no agreeable resolution be reached, the case will be referred to the Academic Advisory Board. The student will be informed of the resolution in a timely fashion. Decisions of the Academic Advisory Board are final.
A student who has a non-academic grievance, such as an allegation of physical abuse or lack of accommodations for physical handicaps, may seek clarification, where appropriate, and a resolution to her complaint. The student should initially confer with the immediate party. If she is not comfortable addressing the immediate party, or if after consultation with the immediate party no resolution is reached, the student will file a Non-Academic Grievance Form with the Grievance Committee who will investigate the grievance with all affected persons. A response will be forthcoming within two weeks of the formal request for consideration, unless more time for investigation is needed.
The Grievance Committee consists of the President of the Board, the Menaheles, the Academic Dean, and the Ombudsman. If any of the individuals on the committee is a party to the grievance, he or she will recuse him/herself.
AIJS Complaint Procedure
Complaints can be filed with AIJS using the contact information below:
Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies
500 W. Kennedy Boulevard
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2620
Complaints that are received by AIJS concerning an AIJS accredited institution will be handled according to the following procedures:
Within 10 days of receipt by AIJS, the complaint is screened to see if it has any face validity and if it is relevant to AIJS’ role in accrediting and overseeing the institution. This generally means that the complaint has to address an institutional issue that bears on compliance with AIJS’s Standards for Accreditation.
If AIJS determines that the complaint does not fit into AIJS’s responsibilities, the complaint will be acknowledged and replied to as not being within the purview of AIJS. As a courtesy, a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the institution, and the case will be closed.
If AIJS determines that the complaint is relevant to its accreditation Standards or policies, or if it falls within AIJS’ oversight responsibilities, AIJS will contact the institution and forward the complaint to the institution. AIJS will then allow 30 days for the institution to respond to AIJS that it has reviewed the matter and either resolved the complaint to the complainant’s satisfaction or otherwise dealt with the issue in accordance with the institution’s published Grievance Policy. An explanation of its actions is required, as well as a statement that the institution certifies that it followed its own published Grievance Policy.
AIJS will then review the institution’s response and Grievance Policy.
If the institution informs AIJS in its response that the complainant did not follow the complaint policy of the institution, AIJS will instruct the complainant to follow the complaint policy of the institution.
If the complainant claims to have followed the institution’s published Complaint Policy, and the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, AIJS will make a determination as to whether the complainant did actually follow the institution’s complaint policy. If it is determined by AIJS that the institution did in fact follow its published Complaint Policy, and followed through with a proper disposition, the complainant will be so informed and that case will be closed.
If AIJS determines that the institutions did not in fact follow its own published Complaint Policy, or if the matter involves issues to substantially question the institution’s compliance with AIJS Standards or policies, AIJS will launch an inquiry into the issue within 10 days. AIJS will ask for documentation from the complainant, substantiating the complaint, and an explanation of the disposition from the institution (which should document how the institution followed its own Complaint Policy and procedures).
Within 10 days of the receipt of these above materials, the executive director of AIJS, together with the chairman of the Executive Accrediting Council, will review the complaint file to determine if the institution complied with AIJS standards and policies. AIJS will contact the institution and allow the institution the opportunity (30 days) to review the matter and provide an explanation and/or additional information to AIJS.
If after receipt of the institutional response and a review of any additional documentation, AIJS makes a final determination that the institution is not in compliance with AIJS standards and/or policies, a formal corrective action plan will be required from the institution within 30 days.
If the response is accepted by AIJS, both the complainant and the institution will be so advised and the case will be closed.
If the corrective action plan is not accepted by AIJS, the matter will be placed on the agenda of the EAC to determine if an adverse action, or other sanction should be initiated against the institution for noncompliance with AIJS’ Standards of Accreditation.
AIJS will make a good faith effort to address anonymous complaints against an accredited institution or against AIJS itself and treat it in a similar manner to a regular complaint. Obviously, there is no mechanism to respond directly to an anonymous complainant.
All complaints received by AIJS regarding an accredited institution will be filed and stored in an easy and accessible manner. Site visitors will be given access to the file of an institution that is being reviewed, and any complaints on file in AIJS will be considered in the final decision of the EAC.
Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) Complaint Procedure
For a complaint involving a college or university, a student must first exhaust the complaint/grievance procedures established by the institution.
A student or faculty personnel may submit a complaint in writing to MHEC when it involves an alleged violation of the Education Article, COMAR, or college or university policy, but only after the student or faculty member has first exhausted the complaint/grievance procedures established by the institution.
Should the opinion of the complainant be that the complaint has not been resolved appropriately by the institution, the complainant may submit an official complaint to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) in writing; students should use the College and University Student Complaint Form and faculty personnel should use the College and University Faculty Complaint Form. The Faculty Complaint Form is not used to make a complaint against a professor or faculty personnel.
To file an official complaint, a signed College and University Student Complaint Form or College and University Faculty Complaint Form must be submitted to MHEC with copies of supporting documentation included. The complaint documents are to be submitted to:
Director of Academic Affairs Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Within 10 business days of receipt of an official complaint, MHEC will acknowledge its receipt and begin investigating for evidence of violation of the Education Article, COMAR, or institutional policy.
A copy of the complaint and supporting documents will be provided to the College or university President. MHEC will require the President to look into the matter and provide a written report back to MHEC within 30 business days of receipt of MHEC notification.
MHEC staff may interview the institution employees, students, or the student complainant as part of its investigation.
MHEC may take regulatory action based on its review and in accordance with the Education Article and COMAR Title 13B, and the manner for which the institution is approved to operate.
MHEC will inform the student or faculty complainant and the college or university President in writing of its determination(s).
Specific types of complaints are handled by different agencies or organizations. A student must submit a complaint to the appropriate agency or organization as described below:
A complaint pertaining to occupational licensure requirements is to be submitted to the appropriate licensing board or entity. Licensing board contact information is found in the institution’s catalog.
A complaint concerning compliance with the standards of accreditation is to be submitted to the institution's accrediting body. Accrediting body contact information is found in the institution’s catalog and website.
A complaint pertaining to potential violations of consumer protection is to be submitted to:
Consumer Protection Division Office of the Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
More information is available at: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/complaint.htm
A complaint concerning discrimination is to be submitted to:
Office for Civil Rights, Philadelphia Office U.S. Department of Education
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
More information is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html
Complaints pertaining to matters other than those addressed in the Education Article or COMAR Title 13B, or pertaining to the institution's approved policies, will not be entertained by MHEC, nor will it be referred to another agency or organization.