Complaint Procedures for Distance Learning Students
The BGSP Student Handbook includes an outline of the internal procedures for filing grievances against faculty, the administration, and/or fellow students. Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint at the institutional level using these grievance procedures offered by BGSP.
Massachusetts resident distance learning students and out-of-state distance learning students residing in non-SARA member states (such as California and Guam) who are unable to resolve a complaint at the institutional level may choose to file a complaint at the state level, using Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s non-SARA consumer complaint procedure and online form. More information on filing a grievance with the state can be found on BGSP’s website at: https://bgsp.edu/student-resources/filing-a-complaint-with-the-state/
Out-of-state distance learning students from SARA member states (other than Massachusetts), who are unable to resolve a complaint at the institutional level, may follow the SARA Student Complaint Procedures as listed below.
SARA Student Complaint Procedures
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education – SARA Portal Entity
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, in its capacity as the SARA portal entity for Massachusetts, reviews and evaluates student complaints regarding distance learning programs offered by Massachusetts-based institutions that are members of SARA in accordance with 610 CMR 12.07. Complaints that should be filed as a SARA Complaint are those that pertain to distance (online) education provided by Massachusetts-based SARA institutions to students residing in other states pursuant to SARA only. Complaints about a SARA institution’s operations or activities in Massachusetts can be filed here and will be resolved pursuant to 610 CMR 2.00 or otherwise in accordance with the institution’s policies.
The SARA complaint process is as follows:
- Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
- After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via the URL below:
- The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint;
- Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.
More information about the BHE’s complaint process can be found here.
Within 30 days of the date the Department received the institution’s response, or if the Department receives no response, the Commissioner or his or her designee shall issue a notice to the institution containing the Commissioner’s findings regarding the complaint; any corrective actions that the institution shall take; and that, should the institution fail to take those corrective actions, the complaint shall be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for review and, if the Office of the Attorney General deems it appropriate, enforcement action.