Student Complaint Process

On July 1, 2011, the “Program Integrity Rule” amendment of Title IV of the Higher Education Act took effect. One of the requirements of the Program Integrity Rule is that each college or university authorized to offer postsecondary education in one or more States ensure access to a complaint process that will permit student consumers to address alleged violations of State consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising; alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

As an institution authorized to provide postsecondary education in the State of Ohio, Heidelberg University is committed to full compliance with the Program Integrity Rule, and provides the following information about our accreditation and complaint processes to all current and/or prospective students.

The complaint process described in this document is for complaints for which no established, independent appeal processes already exist. Examples of these include, but are not limited to: suspension appeals, grade appeals, Code of Student Conduct violations, and Title IX infractions.

Any student with a complaint who feels they have been treated unfairly will have the right to be heard fairly and promptly. Heidelberg University recognizes that disputes may sometimes arise and requires the parties involved to resolve the conflict informally whenever possible. If resolution cannot be reached, a formal complaint process will be provided in order to assure impartial and equitable resolution for those conflicts.

General Student Complaint Information

The Complaint Process is divided into an informal and formal process. This process is initiated by the student who will receive support and information during each of the four steps that may be involved. A complaint may be resolved at various stages of the process. Complaints should be filed as soon as possible and no more than 90 days after the incident occurs. Please see the information below for further details.

Process for Filing a Complaint

Informal Complaint

Step One: Heidelberg University requires that you first make every effort to informally resolve a complaint or concern. It is important that you talk directly with the staff, faculty or administrator with whom you have a complaint in order for them to have an opportunity to hear your concerns and work with you to resolve the issue. As a professional courtesy, you are advised to:

  • Contact college employees by phone or email to schedule an appointment
  • Be clear about what your concern is and how you would like the issue resolved

If your complaint or concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may move into the Formal Complaint process listed below. If you have questions or would like assistance with this process, please contact studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu.

Formal Complaint

Step Two: You may utilize the formal complaint process after exhausting the informal complaint process directly with the person with whom you have a complaint or concern. To submit a formal complaint, you must use the Heidelberg University Student Complaint Form. This form can be submitted online using the provided link or it can be printed and completed in writing; if you choose to print the form please submit it to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs in the Campus Center. You must submit the form within 5 business days after the informal process has been completed.

After your Student Formal Complaint Form has been submitted, you will receive notification via your Heidelberg University email account that it has been received; this notification will occur within 5 business days. You will be provided information regarding next steps in the process and may be asked for additional information, if necessary.

Within this step of the process, complaints are reviewed by the faculty or staff member’s immediate supervisor.

If your complaint or concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may appeal the decision made by the faculty or staff member’s immediate supervisor by continuing the complaint process into Step Three listed below. Questions can be directed to studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu.

Submit a Complaint

Step Three: To appeal a decision made by the faculty or staff member’s immediate supervisor with whom you worked to resolve your complaint or concern, you need to submit an email to studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu stating your desire to appeal the current decision and providing the following information:

  • Brief outline of steps you have taken toward resolving the issue
  • Decision given by the faculty or staff member’s immediate supervisor
  • Reason for appealing this decision
  • Possible solution(s) you see to the issue
  • Contact information (phone, email, etc.)

This information must be submitted within 5 business days after the Step Two appeal process is completed.

After your email requesting an appeal has been submitted, you will receive notification via your Heidelberg University email account that it has been received; this notification will occur within 5 business days. You will be notified of the next steps in the process and be given information as to who will contact you in the near future.

Within this step of the process, academic complaints are reviewed by the supervisor’s Associate Dean/Dean. If the complaint is not an academic issue, the complaint is referred to the Dean of Student Affairs or the designee of the Dean of Student Affairs. Decisions following referral to the Dean of Students or the designee of the Dean of Student Affairs are final and cannot be appealed.

If your academic complaint or concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may appeal the decision made by the Associate Dean/Dean by continuing the complaint process into Step Four listed below. Questions can be directed to studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu.

Step Four: To appeal a decision made by the Associate Dean/Dean you need to submit an email to studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu stating your desire to appeal the current decision together with the information you furnished in Step Three.

This information must be submitted within 5 business days after the Step Three appeal process is completed.

Within this step of the process, academic complaints are referred to the Provost or the Provost’s designee. Decisions following referral to the Provost or the Provost’s designee are final and cannot be appealed.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with any portion of this process, please contact studentcomplaints@heidelberg.edu.

It is expected that students will fully utilize any or all of Heidelberg’s administrative procedures to address concerns or complaints in as timely a manner as possible. On occasion, however, a student may believe that these administrative procedures have not adequately addressed concerns identified under the Program Integrity Rule. In those select cases, the following independent resources are available to the student:

  • The Office of the Ohio Attorney General receives and reviews consumer complaints.
  • The Ohio Board of Regents’ program approval office reviews academic programming offered in Ohio by independent institutions including Heidelberg University and makes recommendations regarding institutional authorization and program approval to the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.
  • The Higher Learning Commission (“HLC”) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is an independent body responsible for the accreditation of programs offered by Heidelberg University. Each year, the HLC receives a number of complaints from students or other parties. When a complaint raises issues regarding an institution’s ability to meet accreditation criteria, the HLC will forward a copy of the complaint to the institution and request a formal response. Instructions for filing a complaint with the Commission are available on its website.

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