- an out-of-state SARA student with an academic complaint.
- an out-of-state SARA student with a non-academic complaint.
- a Massachusetts resident SARA student with either an academic or a non-academic complaint.
- not a SARA student and I’m looking for the information about the complaint process for my state or territory.
SARA Student Academic Complaint Procedure for Out-of-State Students
The SARA Student Complaint Procedure is for out-of-state students from SARA member states (other than Massachusetts).
- A student must try to resolve his/her complaint by working with the faculty member who is the instructor of the course.
- If the student is unable to resolve his/her complaint with the faculty member, the student is directed to meet with the chair of the division or dean of the school in which the program resides. (When applicable the Program Director should participate in the meeting.)
- If the student is unable to resolve his/her complaint with the chair or the dean of the division or school, the student is directed to meet with the academic dean of the college, Dr. Walter Breau. The dean will determine the most appropriate course of action. The student will be notified of the decision by email within ten days.
- If the student who is a resident of a SARA-participating state outside Massachusetts fails to resolve the complaint within Elms’ institutional channels, the student may appeal the College’s decision to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.
A student must first attempt to resolve an academic complaint internally using the Elms College institutional grievance process outlined above. If an issue cannot be resolved internally, the student may file a SARA complaint with the MA Department of Higher Education at https://www.mass.edu/foradmin/sara/complaints.asp.
The MA DHE will accept 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.
SARA Student Non-Academic Complaint Procedure for Out-of-State Students
Students with general issues not dealing with specific academic policies should complete the Student Form for Academic and Non-Academic Complaints in Online Programs and submit the form to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Non-academic concerns will be handled in consultation with the appropriate offices.
Contact information for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
One Ashburton Place, Rm. 1401
Boston, MA 02108
Massachusetts Residents’ Complaint Procedure
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by Elms College, www.elms.edu, if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form.
Non-SARA Member States and Territories
Non-SARA member states California and Guam residents should use the following links:
- https://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
- https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/gu.html Island of Guam