The Commission for Higher Education is responsible for responding to formal complaints against public, independent non-profit and proprietary institutions of higher education in Indiana. While the Commission has limited authority over colleges and universities, and cannot offer legal advice or initiate civil court cases, Commission staff will review submitted complaints including those dealing with alleged violations of their ADA, and work with student complainants and institutions. Complaints dealing with the following topics should be handled by other state agencies or Commission staff:
- Financial Aid: If a student has been denied state of Indiana financial aid, they may file an appeal or direct any questions to the Student Support Center by calling 1 (888) 528-4719.
- Law Violations: If a student believes that a college or university has violated state or federal law, he/she may wish to contact the Office of the Indiana Attorney General at (317) 232-6201 or by using this comment form.
- Discrimination: If a student believes that an institution has acted in a discriminatory manner, he/she may wish to contact the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) using the ICRC’s complaint form or call them at (800) 628-2909.
- After filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office or ICRC without resolution, the student may still hire an attorney and adjudicate the complaint through the court system.
PROCESS FOR FILING COMPLAINTS
Within two years of the incident about which the student is complaining, he/she must contact the Commission for Higher Education using our complaint form
Please note that the Commission cannot, by law, review complaints related to course grades, academic sanctions or discipline/conduct matters. In other areas, such as transferring credits between public institutions, the Commission has greater statutory authority.
Please follow the steps outlined below to submit a complaint:
If a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student’s complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should proceed to STEP 2.
The student should file a complaint through his/her institution of higher education’s established complaint process. Information on the process can usually be found in the institution’s academic catalog, student handbook or website. If the student is unable to resolve the complaint in this manner, he/she should proceed to STEP 3.
After receiving a complaint through our complaint form, Commission staff will review the submitted materials and contact the submitter for any required additional information or clarifications. The Commission will then send a copy of the complaint to the institution against which the complaint has been filed and ask for a response within three weeks. After receiving the college or university’s response, Commission staff will determine whether the institution’s student complaint process has been followed and exhausted and what additional steps or follow-up may be taken. The Commission will inform both parties involved in the complaint.
If you have additional questions about the complaint process, or want to clarify that your individual complaint is reviewable by the Commission, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ADA/Section 504 Coordinator
The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Commission to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA/504 Coordinator is also responsible for investigating any complaints regarding the ADA and Section 504.
The Commission’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is Joshua Garrison, Associate Commissioner for Legislation and Program Implementation and can be contacted at email@example.com or (317) 234-8232.
Individuals wishing to file an ADA/Section 504 complaint or grievance may use the process above or contact the Coordinator directly.