The United Stated Department of Education requires that each accredited institution of higher education maintain a record of student complaints received by the institution (34 CFR 602.16(a)(1)(ix)). As required by federal regulations, this record is made available to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The record will be reviewed by the Commission as part of the institution’s Self Study and Periodic Review Report evaluations. See Sage.edu (Student Complaint Reporting Process)
Student Complaint Policy
Russell Sage College aims to provide an environment that fosters the personal and intellectual growth and development of all students where concerns can be discussed and resolved in a professional manner. The Russell Sage College complaint process encourages informal resolution through direct communication with the individuals directly involved. Formal complaints will be considered if the student has followed and exhausted the informal processes. Russell Sage College makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally, using policies and procedures outlined in the current Catalogs and Student Handbooks. It is expected that students will fully utilize any and all procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in as timely a manner as possible.
This Policy applies to all students (full time or part time, onsite or online) who are enrolled at Russell Sage College at the time that the complaint is filed. Parents, relatives, employers, agents, and other persons acting for or on behalf of a Student are not considered students under this policy.
Informal complaints (concerns or expressions of dissatisfaction or disagreement) should be handled through direct communication (conversation, email, letter) between the student and the individual or office involved. The majority of student complaints can be addressed through communication with the individual(s) involved.
If the issue remains unresolved, the informal complaint should be directed to the appropriate supervisor (see the Student Assistance Directory for guidance and contact information for the most common student concerns). Students may also consult with the Dean of Students on their campus if they are unsure about where or how to address a concern.
A student may file a formal complaint if (a) the issue remains unresolved after attempting an informal resolution or (b) the student has utilized one of the complaint processes described in point 1 above and believes the student has been unfairly treated, or that College/School procedures or policies have not been followed. Formal complaints must be made in writing and submitted via the online Student Complaint Form by a student (not by a parent or other agent). Formal complaints must be filed within one year of the occurrence that prompted the complaint.
Procedures for Filing a Formal Complaint
- Attempt an informal resolution of the matter as noted above.
- Complete the online Student Complaint Form.
- A student should expect a preliminary response from a College representative within five (5) business days (when the College is open) to seek any additional information required to address the concern.
Formal Complaint Review and Resolution Process
Formal complaints submitted via the online form are directed to the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Student Life. These offices do not act as advocates for any party to a dispute, but are facilitators to ensure a fair process. They will then refer the complaints to the appropriate College official to review and resolve. Any individual who is named in a formal complaint will be notified and asked to provide information related to the complaint.
To comply with federal regulations, Russell Sage College will maintain a record of formal complaints and their resolution, including those complaints reported to external agencies. The record will be housed within the Office of Institutional Research and made available to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education evaluators for their review.
Retaliation against a student for filing a complaint is harassment and will be addressed as described in Sage’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy.