Benedict College is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NCSARA) and is subject to its student complaint policies and procedures. Student complaints are subject to both the Benedict Complaint Process and SARA Complaint Process, both provided below. The SARA Process for Resolving Complaints can be found in its entirety in the SARA Policy Manual (pp.44-46), available online at:
Student Complaint Submission Form (available on Student Tab of Tiger Portal):
All students, including those participating via distance education, may submit a complaint regarding any Benedict College office or unit by logging into the Tiger Portal and completing the Student Complaint Form available on the Students tab. All others should submit a written statement to the Office of Student Affairs using the process outlined below.
Benedict College Student Complaint Process (from Benedict College Student Handbook, p.107):
A student who expresses a complaint about a personnel matter, policy, procedure, or action of the College and is not able to get the complaint resolved through conference with the applicable unit will be advised to state his/her complaint in writing and submit it to the Office of Student Affairs.
The written complaint must be stated clearly, to include:
❖ Student information
❖ Nature of the complaint
❖ Reason for complaint
❖ Pertinent information to detail name(s), date(s), witness (es), address (es), specifics and dates.
❖ Proposed Resolution
The written complaint must be signed by the student and filed with the Office of Student Affairs as close to the actual incident as possible. Complaints not filed within 90 days will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Complaints will then be assigned to an Administrative Department for resolution. Involved parties will have an opportunity to provide additional information to address the matter. A written resolution (if appropriate) will be prepared by the assigned administrator and forwarded to the complainant. If the student who expressed the complaint still feels the complaint has not been adequately resolved, the student may wish to have the complaint heard by the Student Grievance Committee. Once the Student Grievance Committee determines a resolution, the student has the option to appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs, where the final determination will rest.
SARA Policy Manual • Version 22.1• June 27, 2022
4.5 Process for Resolving Complaints
a. Complaints against an institution operating under SARA policies go first through the institution’s own procedures for resolution of grievances. Allegations of criminal offenses or alleged violations of a state’s general-purpose laws may be made directly to the relevant state agencies.
b. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and the laws of the SARA institution’s home state.
c. If a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the SARA Portal Entity in the home state of the institution against which the complaint has been lodged. That SARA State Portal Entity shall notify the SARA State Portal Entity for the state in which the student is located of receipt of that appealed complaint. The resolution of the complaint by the institution’s home state SARA State Portal Entity, through its SARA complaint resolution process, will be final, except for complaints that fall under the provision “g” below.
d. While the final resolution of the complaint rests with the SARA State Portal Entity in the home state of the institution against which the complaint has been lodged, the SARA State Portal Entity in the complainant’s location state may assist as needed. The final disposition of a complaint resolved by the home state shall be communicated to the SARA State Portal Entity in the state where the student lived at the time of the incident leading to the complaint, if known.
e. While final resolution of complaints (for purposes of adjudication of the complaint and enforcement of any resultant remedies or redress) resides in certain cases with institutions (complaints about grades or student conduct violations), or more generally with the relevant institution’s home state SARA State Portal Entity (all other complaints), the regional compact(s) administering SARA may consider a disputed complaint as a “case file” if concerns are raised against a SARA member state with regard to whether that state is abiding by SARA policies, as promulgated in the SARA Policy Manual. The regional compact may review such institutional concerns in determining whether a state under its SARA purview is abiding by SARA policies. Similarly, a complaint “case file” may also be reviewed by NC-SARA in considering whether a regional compact is ensuring that its SARA member states are abiding by the SARA policies required for their membership in SARA.
f. SARA State Portal Entities shall report quarterly to NC-SARA the number and disposition of appealed complaints that are not resolved at the institutional level. NC-SARA shall make that information publicly available on its website. Such data will create transparency and can be used in determining whether a regional compact is ensuring that its SARA member states and those states’ institutions are abiding by the policies required for state membership and institutional participation in SARA.
g. Nothing in the SARA Policy Manual precludes a state from using its laws of general application to pursue action against an institution that violates those laws.
4.6 Oversight of Complaint investigation.
Investigation of a SARA-related complaint against an institution requires that a state board, agency or entity outside the institution’s immediate management be available to handle complaints that are not resolved within the institution. A system board responsible for more than one separately accredited institution may serve this role under SARA provisions. A board responsible for only one accredited institution, or which lacks enforcement authority over an institution, cannot serve as the SARA external oversight agency for such an institution. In such circumstances, the institution’s home-state SARA State Portal Entity may serve that function.