Student Complaint Process
Student complaints are best addressed by the individuals closest to the situation. As such, Wilkes University provides a process that students should follow if they have a complaint or grievance. Enrolled and prospective students should first address any issues by contacting their instructor, if course related, the program director or supervisor of the involved party. If resolution cannot be achieved, students should follow the institutional process outlined in the Internal Complaint Procedure. This process is outlined in both the Undergraduate Student Handbook and the Graduate Bulletin. All students, current or prospective, distance or on-ground, follow the same process for complaints.
Complaint Process for PA and Other NC-SARA Member States
Federal requirements state that all universities are to provide a clear process for timely resolution of student complaints and provide contact information for any external agencies where complaints may be filed. As a member of NC-SARA, Wilkes University follows the streamlined complaint process they require making it easier for students to know where to start or who to contact. Students are to first follow the internal complaint process and exhaust all institutional options before launching an external complaint. If a resolution cannot be achieved through the Internal Complaint Procedure noted above, students from PA and other NC-SARA member states should submit appropriate complaints to the state portal agent for Pennsylvania. A flowchart of the process can be found here. Contact information is as follows:
Department of Education
Division of Higher and Career Education
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
It is important to understand that not all issues are eligible for complaint resolution through external agencies. Grades and student conduct issues are not able to be appealed to the state portal agency and must be handled through the internal institutional process.
Complaint Process for Non-SARA States
Students from California and any other non-SARA state or territory are not eligible to submit complaints through the NC-SARA process and must follow the process prescribed by their home state or territory. While Wilkes University monitors these agency websites, information may change without our knowledge. Students should attempt to resolve the complaint through the established protocol at Wilkes University before contacting their home state agency.
California is not a member of NC-SARA so student complaints must be handled through their home state. CA just recently identified the following agency to respond to complaints from their residents enrolled in distance learning programs at out-of-state institutions after all Wilkes' complaint processes have been exhausted.
California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N-112
Sacramento, California 95834
Telephone: (833) 942-1120
Other Complaint Options
In addition to the above possibilities, students have the option to file complaints with other agencies when appropriate, based on the student's specific situation.
To file a complaint with the University's accrediting body, Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), please review the information they provide about complaints including the complaint policy.
In addition, out-of-state students may opt to file complaints with their home state agency. A list of those agencies is available here (link document). While Wilkes University periodically reviews this list, information may change without our knowledge.