Student Complaint Procedures

Gallaudet University is committed to excellence in teaching and learning. In keeping with the U.S. Department of Education's Program Integrity Rule, Gallaudet University is required to provide all prospective and current students with contact information of the regional accreditation agency, and the state agency or agencies that handle complaints against post-secondary education institutions that have a physical presence (e.g., internships, distance education).  Students are encouraged to utilize the institution's internal complaint or grievance review policies and procedures prior to filing a complaint with the state agency or agencies.

If you are a student and believe you have grounds for a grievance, you should first make an attempt in good faith to resolve the problem through early informal discussion of the matter with the Gallaudet academic, administrative or staff member directly involved. If further recourse is needed, contact the Dean of the College in which you are enrolled.

The university also maintains a website on the Student Grievance Policies and Procedures. This site contains a link to the Student Grievance Guidelines that includes information on the definition of grievable actions and informal and formal grievance procedures. 

In the unlikely event that an issue cannot be resolved by Gallaudet University, students may file a complaint with the District of Columbia's Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) which is the licensing authority in Washington, D.C.

Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
810 First St. NE, Second Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Telephone: 202-727-6436

Unresolved complaints may also be filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the University's regional accrediting agency, once all other avenues have been exhausted.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: 267-284-5000

Additionally, Gallaudet University is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance-education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. Under the SARA agreement, distance education students in SARA states should, after exhausting institutional complaint processes, contact the District of Columbia SARA portal agency, the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission ( if their complaint  hasn't yet been resolved.

SARA states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

There are currently two states (California and Massachusetts) who have yet to join NC-SARA. For students taking distance education from those states, the complaint contact information is provided. 

Student Complaint Contact Information for Non-SARA States
 California California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
 Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

For more information about NC-SARA and student complaint processes go to The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policy and Operations Manual is also available ( 

Complaint resolution contacts for all states is also available.

As per Section 668.43(b) of the Code of Federal Regulations requires institutions of higher education authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to "provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."


Out-of-State Complaint Resolution Contacts

Alabama Commission on Higher Education

Alaska Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Arizona Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education

Arkansas Department of Higher Education

California California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Colorado Colorado Department of Higher Education
Connecticut Connecticut Office of Higher Education
Delaware Delaware Department of Education
Florida Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education
Georgia State of Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Hawaii Hawaii Post
Idaho Idaho State Board of Education
Illinois Illinois Board of Higher Education
Indiana Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education
Iowa Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas Kansas Board of Regents
Kentucky Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Louisiana Louisiana Consumer Affairs Division of the Attorney General
Maine Maine Department of Education, Office of Higher Education Services
Maryland Maryland Higher Education Commission
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Michigan Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,4601,7-154-61343_35395---,00.html
Minnesota Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Mississippi Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
Missouri Missouri Department of Higher Education
Montana Montana University System
Nebraska Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
Nevada Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Education
New Jersey State of New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
New Mexico New Mexico Higher Education Department
New York New York State Education Department, Office of College and University Evaluation
North Carolina Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina General Administration
North Dakota North Dakota University System
Ohio Ohio Department of Higher Education
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Oregon Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, Office of Degree Authorization
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Education-Postsecondary and Adult Education
Rhode Island Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
South Carolina South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
South Dakota South Dakota Office of Attorney General, Division of Consumer Protection
Tennessee State of Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Postsecondary State Authorization
Texas Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Utah Utah Division of Consumer Protection
Vermont Vermont Agency of Education
Virginia State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Washington Washington Student Achievement Council
West Virginia West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
Wisconsin Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Education

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