This Policy addresses formal procedures for resolving problems related to violations of legally prohibited actions, College policies, academic status, records, and disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Criteria and procedures for the decision were not published
- Inconsistent published criteria and procedures
- Published criteria and procedures were not followed
- The decision was substantially influenced by factors other than the published criteria; i.e., the decision was discriminatory based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services
- Ethical behavior standards were violated
- An illegal act was committed
Students are expected and advised to first pursue resolution to problems informally. The recommended informal procedures are as follows:
- The student initiates a good faith effort to resolve the issue through discussion with a faculty or staff member or an administrator in the department where the issue originated.
- If the issue is not resolved, the student may elect to elevate the issue/s into the formal procedure.
If the problem is not resolved informally, the student must file a complaint with documentation of specific facts of the issue.
In this complaint form, the student should request the resolution he/she is seeking. The formal complaint procedures requires written expression by a student requesting resolution of an issue involving misinterpretation, misapplication, discriminatory application, or violation of an ACE policy, procedure, or academic standard, legally prohibited action, or any other issue a student determines to be a concern of which the college should be aware.
Once the complaint is received by the ACE team, the ACE office will review the complaint to determine if it is mandated to be reported. If so, the complaint will be reported. The list below provides the complaints that are mandated to be reported:
Mandated Reportable Complaints
Discrimination – based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, marital status, military status, or other any characteristic protected by law (Reportable)
- Sexual Harassment/Sexual Misconduct (Reportable)
- Criminal Misconduct
- Violations of Federal, State and Local Laws
- College Misconduct
Complaints the college is not (federally/legally/…) mandated to report
- Grade – Please refer to the Grade Appeal Form
- Student Support
- Transfer Credit
- Technical Issues
- Initial Complaint not resolved or not Timely Resolved
All formal complaints will be recorded in a confidential log in Student Services and forwarded to the College Department head for the area in which the issue occurred.
- The confidential log will include the following:
- The date of the complaint
- The nature of the complaint
- The steps taken to resolve the complaint
- The decision
- The information will be made available to regulatory agencies upon request for investigating individual complaints elevated to the agency; or to provide mandated reporting assurances that ACE has procedures in place for timely and fair resolution of complaints.
- Once the complaint is received, the Department head will have ten (10) business days from the time stamp on the complaint form to investigate the formal complaint and render a decision. The decision will be communicated to the student.
- If the student is not satisfied with the complaint decision, they can escalate the concern to the Appeals Committee for review within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the decision.
- The Appeals Committee will have thirty (30) business days upon receipt of the escalated complaint to meet, render a decision, and notify the complainant.
- If the complainant is still unsatisfied with the decision, they can escalate the complaint within ten (10) business days to the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- The Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs will have ten (10) business days to render a decision and notify the student. The Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs' decision is final.
- If a complaint cannot be resolved to the student's satisfaction after exhausting the College's student complaint procedure the student may file a complaint with the relevant state official or agency that would handle a student's complaint, regardless of whether the state regulates the institution.
State Regulatory Agency, NC-SARA and Accreditor Contact Information for Student Complaints
American College of Education provides contact information for filing complaints with the relevant state official or agency that would handle a student’s complaint, regardless of whether the state regulates the institution. The state agencies correspond with the physical location of students while enrolled in ACE degree programs. The state agency corresponds with the student’s state of residence.
Students who have a complaint against the College should first reference the College’s Student Complaint Policy for formal complaints. If the College does not resolve the complaint through the College’s Student Complaint Policy students may
file a complaint with the College’s NC-SARA home state portal agency, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education will only consider complaints that were previously unresolved through the College’s own student complaint policy and may refer a complaint to another agency for investigation.
If you are enrolled in an ACE distance education program, and you are a resident of a state that is a member of the National Council for State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) as listed in the State Authorization to operate section of the Catalog, then the contact information to file a complaint with the College’s NC-SARA home state portal agency is as follows:
Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Attention: Ken Sauer
Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer 101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 550
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1984
AccreditorAny student with an unresolved complaint may refer the complaint to The American College of Education’s accreditor, The Higher Learning Commission.
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411
State Regulatory Agencies
If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the College’s student complaint procedure the student may file a complaint with the relevant state official or agency that would handle a student’s complaint, regardless of whether the state regulates the institution.