Procedure For Institutional Policy ST-16: Student Complaints

Effective
November 19, 2019
Previous
September 11, 2018

1. Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to administer Institutional Policy ST-16: Student Complaints.

2. Applicability

2.1

This procedure applies to all WVSOM students and any student complaints falling under Institutional Policy ST-16: Student Complaints.

2.2

WVSOM reserves the right to amend this procedure at any time, as necessary or appropriate.

3. General Provisions

3.1 

If the final calendar day of any deadline contained in this procedure falls on a weekend, WVSOM recognized holiday, or other non-business day, the deadline shall extend to the next WVSOM business day.

3.2

If a complaint filed under this procedure is against a WVSOM administrator responsible for receiving, investigating, or making determinations concerning the complaint, the WVSOM President shall designate an alternate administrator to perform the duties set forth in this procedure in place of the administrator against whom the complaint was filed.

4. Student Complaints Regarding Non-compliance with COCA accreditation standards and procedures

4.1

Students may submit a complaint related to accreditation standards and procedures set by the American Osteopathic Association (“AOA”) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (“COCA”) to the Office of Student Affairs. All complaints must be in writing and signed and dated by the student.

4.2

Upon receipt of a complaint meeting the requirements of Section 4.1, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs shall, as soon as possible, forward the complaint to the Vice President for Administration and External Relations (“VP for Administration”) for review and investigation. The Assistant Dean for Student Affairs shall also forward a copy of the complaint to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean (“VP/Dean”).

4.3

The VP for Administration shall review the complaint and investigate the allegations of noncompliance. The VP for Administration shall report the results of the investigation to the VP/Dean in writing within thirty calendar (30) days of receiving the complaint from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. The report shall include a determination of whether non-compliance with COCA accreditation standards and procedures occurred and all relevant facts supporting that determination.

4.4

The VP/Dean shall review the VP for Administration’s report and may seek clarification or additional information, if necessary. Within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the report, the VP/Dean shall:

4.4.1

Make the final decision concerning whether non-compliance with COCA accreditation standards and procedures occurred and document that decision in writing;

4.4.2

Forward a copy of the written decision to the VP for Administration and, if applicable, the appropriate WVSOM administrator(s) to address any non-compliance issues; and

4.4.3

Provide written notification to the student who filed the complaint of the decision and, if applicable, measures taken to address any non-compliance issues.

4.5

If the VP/Dean decides that non-compliance occurred, the appropriate WVSOM administrator(s) shall take immediate steps toward addressing the non-compliance and shall provide written updates as specified by the VP/Dean until the non-compliance issue has been resolved. Once the noncompliance issue has been resolved, the appropriate administrator(s) shall provide written notification of the final resolution to the VP/Dean.

4.6

Records of the receipt, adjudication, and resolution of any complaints related to COCA accreditation standards and procedures shall be forwarded to and kept on file in the Office of the VP/Dean for such time as required by law or accreditation standards.

4.7

COCA accreditation standards can be found on the AOA website at: www.osteopathic.org/insideaoa/accreditation/predoctoral%20accreditation/Pages/default.aspx. The contact information for COCA in the AOA Office of Predoctoral Education is as follows:

Secretary, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
Division of Predoctoral Education 142 East Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2864
1-800-621-1773
predoc@osteopathic.org

5. Student Complaints not covered by a specific policy

5.1 Minor Complaints.

Students may file minor complaints concerning a matter not covered by a specific WVSOM policy directly with the appropriate department or the Office of Student Affairs for review and resolution. Such minor complaints may be handled directly by the appropriate department without following the formal complaint procedure set forth in this Section 5.

5.2 All Other Complaints

For those complaints not considered minor under Section 5.1 above, students may submit a complaint concerning a matter not covered by a specific WVSOM policy to the Office of Student Affairs. All complaints under this Section 5.2 must be in writing and signed and dated by the student.

5.2.1

Upon receipt of a complaint meeting the requirements of Section 5.2, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs shall, as soon as possible, forward the complaint to the appropriate administrator(s), depending on the subject matter involved in the complaint, for review, investigation, and resolution.

5.2.2

The appropriate administrator(s) shall review the complaint, investigate the allegations, and, if warranted, determine any measures necessary to address or resolve the allegations in the complaint. The appropriate administrator(s) shall prepare a written report of the investigation, any determinations made to address or resolve the complaint, and any departmental or procedural changes that should be implemented based on the nature of the complaint. The appropriate administrator(s) shall provide a copy of the written report to the Institutional Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Committee. The Institutional CQI Committee shall assess, as needed, the complaint and written report, including determinations made and any resulting departmental or procedural changes based on the complaint.

5.2.3

Within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the complaint from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, the appropriate administrator(s) shall provide written notification to the student who filed the complaint of the determinations and, if applicable, measures taken to address or resolve the allegations. A copy of the written notification shall be forwarded to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

5.2.4

Records of the receipt, adjudication, and resolution of any complaints received under this Section 5.2 related to academic matters shall be forwarded to and kept on file in the Office of the VP/Dean. Records of all other complaints received under this Section 5.2 shall be forwarded to and kept on file by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. These records shall be kept for seven (7) years from the date of a student's matriculation.

5.3 State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

Students with SARA complaints may, after exhausting WVSOM's internal complaint procedures set forth in Sections 5.1 and 5.2 above, contact the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, which is WVSOM's home state SARA portal entity, for further investigation into the complaint, at http://www.wvhepc.edu/inside-the-commission/special-initiatives/state-authorization-reciprocity-agreement-sara/.