Academic Grievance and Student Complaint Process and Policy

Undergraduate Students

Academic Grievances and Student Complaints 

Students who wish to make a complaint or grievance, including regarding any College academic policy should file a petition with the Academic Petitions Committee through the Office of Academic Affairs.

Grievances regarding a grade or other matters in a course should be discussed first with the course instructor. If the student remains dissatisfied, he/she should advance the grievance to the departmental Chair. If the Chair is unable to mediate a resolution, the student should advance the grievance to the Dean of the appropriate school. If the grievance is not resolved after mediation at this level, the student should file a petition with the Academic Petitions Committee in the Office of Academic Affairs.


Graduate Students

If a student wishes a review of a decision for a grade or dismissal from the College, he or she should refer to the processes below.

Grade Disputes and Academic Grievances

Students who believe that they have received an incorrect grade, or have another academic dispute, should first initiate the following informal grievance process within one month of receiving the grade or the dispute event. Students should meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies to discuss the dispute within one month of the incident(s). If the grade or academic issue is not resolved, the formal grievance process will be invoked.

Informal Process

  1. The student should schedule an appointment with the faculty member concerned and discuss the problem.
  2. If this does not resolve the situation, the graduate program director should be consulted.
  3. If this does not result in a satisfactory resolution, the student may appeal to the department chair in which the issue occurred.
  4. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the student may confer with the Dean of the School of Communication or the Dean of the School of the Arts. The School Dean determines if there has been an error in the grading process or if some other valid dispute exists. If other issues are involved, the concern may be brought to the Graduate Grievance Committee.

Formal Process

Students who feel their grievance has not been resolved through the informal process may request a formal hearing by the Graduate Grievance Committee through the formal process. This must be done within 10 days after the informal process has concluded:

  1. The student must file a written statement explaining the alleged grievance with the committee chair. Copies of this statement will be distributed to all involved in the hearing. The student must submit all documentation he or she has regarding the claim within seven days of filing a grievance.
  2. The Graduate Grievance Committee will meet in a timely fashion and examine all relevant material. The committee reserves the right to contact or solicit information from any person whom it feels would be helpful to understanding or resolving the grievance. The committee’s findings will be submitted to the student, faculty members, and other involved parties.

Graduate Grievance Committee

Grievance procedures are intended to support a fair hearing of any student with an unresolved academic grievance issue. When convened to hear a student academic grievance, the Graduate Grievance Committee will consist of four members: the Dean of Graduate Studies, who chairs the committee; a department chair from a non-involved academic department, who is appointed by the Chief Academic Officer of the College; a faculty member, who is also appointed by the Chief Academic Officer; and the Registrar. Students who believe they have been unfairly and/or improperly treated or have any other complaints regarding academic matters should report their issues to the Office of Graduate Studies, which will attempt to resolve the issue or begin the formal grievance process. Students must first follow the informal process for academic grievance.

Non-Academic Complaints

Non-academic complaints should also be first brought to the Dean of Graduate Studies, who will work with the graduate student and any other office such as Enrollment, Financial Aid, Information Technology, to attempt to resolve the matter at the institutional level. Please contact Jan Roberts Breslin at jan_roberts_breslin [at] emerson.edu for assistance.
 


Complaint Policy for Online and Low-Residency Students

Emerson College operates under the approval of “NC-SARA”, National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements External. As required by the NC-SARA student complaint process, students who wish to have a review of a decision for a grade or dismissal from the College should refer to the academic grievance processes above. In addition, students with other non-academic complaints should use this process for institutional resolution. Emerson College will attempt to resolve student complaints within its academic and administrative departments.

After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the College, a student may file an appeal in one of the following ways (dependent on their state residence):

Massachusetts Residents’ (Online or On Ground) Student Complaint Procedure

Students should attempt to resolve complaints with the College using the academic grievance process outlined above. For complaints not resolved at the institutional level, students may file a complaint utilizing the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s (DHE) non-SARA consumer complaint procedure and online form complaint procedure and form

Non-Massachusetts Residents’ (Online) Student Complaint Procedure (for out-of-state students from SARA member states not residing in Massachusetts)

Students should attempt to resolve complaints with the College using the academic grievance process outlined above. For non-Massachusetts residents located in SARA member states with complaints not resolved at the institutional level, they may file a SARA complaint utilizing the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s SARA Complaint Procedure and Form.

Non-SARA Member State Student Complaints Procedure

For residents not located in a SARA member state with complaints not resolved at the institutional level, can contact the appropriate authority in your state of residence or the Massachusetts DHE: https://www.mass.edu/forstufam/complaints/complaintform.asp.

CALIFORNIA
In writing:
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
PO Box 980818
W. Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

The MA DHE will accept student complaints of any nature (academic, discrimination, harassment, etc.) regardless of the subject, where the student resides, or how they are taking classes. Eligibility of complaints for review under the SARA Complaint process will be determined by the DHE.

Support for Online and Low-Residency Students

Student Success & Support

Emerson students have access to Student Success who will support students on various topics on money matters, financial aid, veteran support, student assistance, leave of absence or withdrawal, navigating policies and grievances and/or general questions. The Emerson College Student Success team can be reached at:

Speech@Emerson Student Success Advisors serve as student’s first point of contact for on-going support with program planning, registration, learning management system questions, policy and grievance navigation, and more. Speech@Emerson students can contact their Student Success Advisor at:

  • Phone number: 877-889-7647
  • E-mail: studentsupport [at] speech.emerson.edu
  • Live chat: Click the Student Success box that appears at the bottom of every 2EC page to start a live chat.

Online Technical Support

Emerson students can contact the IT Help Center with technical related questions during business hours, or report a problem to the Help Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

The Speech@Emerson program has a dedicated, 24/7 Student Success team to help troubleshoot any technical issues you encounter in 2EC Learning Management System, such as issues with the videos, course content, and live sessions. The Student Success Team serves as the first tier of any student complaints or concerns, and can be reach at:  

  • Phone number: 877-889-7647
  • E-mail: studentsupport [at] speech.emerson.edu
  • Live chat: Click the Student Success box that appears at the bottom of every 2EC page to start a live chat.