William James College Student Complaint & Resolution Procedures

The William James College student complaint and resolution procedure is a two-step process. The initial responsibility for the investigation and resolution of student complaints resides with William James College, under the details found in Step 1. If additional resolution becomes necessary, students are directed to follow Step 2.

IMPORTANT NOTE: William James College is currently in pursuit of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) accreditation. Step 2 below will be adjusted upon successful approval of our application. This website will be updated as soon as a status update is available.

Step 1 - Applies to all William James College Students

William James College makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally using policies and procedures outlined in the current Academic and Student Handbooks (see links below). The complaint process is the same for all students, regardless of physical location. It is expected that students will utilize our outlined procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in a timely manner. The following is William James College grievances policy, as outlined in the Student Handbook. While the following is an excerpt, we encourage students to always reference the most up to date Student Handbook, available on our website, in case changes are made in the future.

In matters that are not concerned with the appeal of course grades or any other subject for which a specific grievance policy/procedure is otherwise provided (e.g., discrimination, discriminatory harassment and retaliation), students must first discuss the matters of concern with their advisor, their Department Chair, or with the Dean of Students to determine whether some informal resolution of a problem can be achieved. In those instances when the matter cannot be informally resolved and the student wishes to pursue a complaint, the student must follow the following process.

Within 21 days of the occurrence of the objectionable behavior or establishment of objectionable condition, the student must submit a written complaint to the VPAA. Complaints must (a) clearly and succinctly state the objectionable behavior or condition, describe the remedy being sought and (b) provide any pertinent background information/documentation to support a justification of an investigation.

On the basis of the written presentation of the complaint and upon information gathered through any other initial fact-finding, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, may (a) dismiss the complaint, or (b) engage parties to the complaint as well as any other appropriate personnel in an informal dispute resolution process, and/or convene a special review panel.

If the VPAA decides to convene a formal review panel, membership shall be comprised of the Dean of Students (or his/her designee) who will chair the panel; and three faculty members, one of whom shall be a member of the Academic Policies and Standards Committee. It will be the review panel’s responsibility to consider the complaint, collect and consider evidence, hear testimony, and to provide a recommended remedy to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs carefully weighs the review panel’s recommendations and then makes a determination.

The Student Handbook also includes specific policies and procedures on:

  • Academic Records and Forms
  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Integrity
  • Communication Policies, including IT, computer, phone, printing, etc.
  • Disability Services Accommodations and Procedures
  • Discrimination Policies
  • Financial Aid Policies
  • General Academic Policies
  • Grade Appeals
  • Guidelines on Professional Behavior
  • Library
  • Facilities, parking, room reservations, safety and security
  • Sexual Harassment, Title IX
  • Social Media and Branding
  • Stages of Enrollment
  • Tuition Fees and Payment Policies

Additional student support resources include, but are not limited to:

Step 2 - If your complaint is NOT resolved in Step 1

Massachusetts Residents: Massachusetts residents may refer complaints to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the complaint form located at: www.mass.edu/forstufam/complaints/complaintform.asp

Further information can be obtained through:
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s legal office
Phone: (617) 994-6963
DHE Complain Policy and Procedures: www.mass.edu/forstufam/documents/Final%20DHE%20Complaint%20Policy.pdf

Out-of-State Students: ***William James College is currently seeking to operate under SARA. Once approved, out-of-state students whose complaints have not been resolved in Step 1 will follow the instructions provided below (section B). In the meantime, out-of-state students should contact their home states’ higher education authorization agencies in order to follow the state’s complaint process (section A)***

(A) Instructions prior to WJC SARA approval: If after following Step 1 the issue cannot be resolved internally and the out-of-state student seeks additional resolution, students can refer to the contacts below for the appropriate state agency or accrediting body.

State Agency or Accrediting Body Website
Alabama Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education
Alaska Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Arizona Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education Student Grievance Procedure
Arkansas Arkansas Department of Higher Education - See Appendix J: Student Grievance Procedure
California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Colorado Colorado Department of Higher Education Student Grievance Procedure
Connecticut Office Higher Education - Student Complaints
Delaware Delaware Department of Education
Florida Florida Department of Education Student Grievance Procedure
Idaho Idaho Board of Education Student Grievance Procedure
Indiana Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education
Iowa Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas Board of Regents Student Grievance Procedure
Kentucky Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Student Grievance Procedure
Louisiana Louisiana Board of Regents Student Grievance Procedure
Maine Maine Department of Education
Maryland Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Grievance Procedure
Michigan Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth Student Grievance Procedure
Minnesota Minnesota Office of Higher Education Student Grievance Procedure
Mississippi Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation
Missouri Department of Higher Education Student Grievance Procedure
Montana Montana University System, Montana Board of Regents
Nebraska Nebraska 's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education Student Complaints
Nevada Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education Student Complaints
New Hampshire New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission Student Grievance Procedure
New Jersey New Jersey Commission of Higher Education Student Grievance Procedure
New Mexico New Mexico Higher Education Department Student Grievance Procedure
North Carolina North Carolina Community College System, Office of Proprietary School Services Student Grievance Procedure
North Dakota North Dakota State Board for Career and Technical Education
Ohio Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools Student Grievance Procedure
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Oregon Department of Education - Private and Career Schools Office
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Education Student Grievance Procedure
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education
South Carolina South Carolina Commission on Higher Education Student Grievance Procedure
South Dakota South Dakota Board of Regents Student Grievance Procedure
Tennessee Tennessee Higher Education Commission Complaint Form
Texas Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Student Grievance Procedure
Utah Utah Division of Consumer Protection Student Grievance Procedure
Vermont Vermont State Board of Education Student Grievance Procedure
Virginia Private & Out-of-State Postsecondary Education Student Grievance Procedure
Washington Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
Washington DC Education Licensure Commission
West Virginia West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Student Grievance Procedure
Wisconsin Wisconsin Educational Approval Board Student Grievance Procedure

(B) Instructions once William James College has been approved by SARA: Out-of- state students residing in all SARA states (every US state except California), may submit complaints to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education through the SARA Student Complaint form: www.mass.edu/foradmin/sara/complaints.asp

Should an issue need further support, it will be referred to the Consumer Protection Division of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Division and/or the Public Charities Division of the Attorney General’s Office. The Consumer Hotline for the Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy & Response Division can be reached at 617-727-8400.

State Portal Entity Contacts, provided by. NC-SARA:
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity
3005 Center Green Drive, Suite 130
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Phone: 303-848-3275
Email: info@nc-sara.org
Contact: nc-sara.org/content/contacts

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