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Complaint Procedure Who Can File a Compliant

STUDENT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
WHO CAN FILE A COMPLAINT?
If you are or were a student or an employee of a Licensed Private Career School in
the State of New York and you believe that the School or anyone representing the
School has acted unlawfully you have the right to file a complaint with the New
York State Education Department.
WHAT CAN STUDENT OR EMPLOYEE COMPLAIN ABOUT?
You can make complaints about the conduct of the School, advertising, standard
and methods of instruction, equipment, facilities, qualifications of teaching and
management personnel, enrollment agreement, methods of collecting tuition and
other charges, school license or registration, school and student records, and
private school agents.
In New York State a complaint may be filed by any person with reason to believe
that an institution has acted contrary to its published standards or that conditions
at the institution appear to jeopardize the quality of the institution’s instructional
programs or the general welfare of its students.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT
A. The person should first try to resolve the complaint directly with the institution
by following the internal complaint procedures provided by the institution. An
institution is required to publish its internal complaint procedure in a primary
information document such as the catalog or student handbook. The
Department suggests that the complainant keep copies of all correspondence
with the institution.
B. If a person is unable to resolve the complaint with the institution or believes that
the institution has not properly addressed the concerns, he or she, may send a
letter or telephone the State Education Department to request a complaint form
(212) 643-4760 or write to:
The State Education Department
30
Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision
Investigations & Audit Unit
116 W. 32nd Street, 5
th Floor
New York, New York 10001
C. The complaint form should be completed, signed and sent to the above address.
The completed form should indicate the resolution being sought and any efforts
that have been made to resolve the complaint through the institution’s internal
complaint processes. Copies of all relevant documents should be included.
D. After receiving the completed form, the department will notify the complainant
of its receipt and make any necessary request for further information. When
appropriate, the Department will also advise the institution that a complaint has
been made and when appropriate, the nature of the complaint. The complainant
will also be notified of the name of the investigator assigned to address the
specific complaint. The investigator may contact the complainant for additional
information.
E. The Department will make every effort to address and resolve complaints within
ninety days from receipt of the complaint form.
COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
Some complaints may fall within the jurisdiction of an agency or organization other
than the State Education Department. These complaints will be referred to the
entity with appropriate jurisdiction. When a complaint concerns a matter that falls
solely within the jurisdiction of the institution of higher education the complainant
will be notified and the Department will refer the complaint to the institution in
question and request that the matter receive a review and response.
Upon conclusion of the Department’s complaint review or upon a disposition of the
complaint by referral to another agency or organization, or to the institution of
higher education, the Department will issue a written notice to the complainant
describing the resolution of the complaint. The complainant may contact the
Department evaluator directly for follow-up information or for additional
assistance.
STUDENT COMPLAINT/GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
Schools accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and
Colleges must have a procedure and operational plan for handling student
complaints. If a student does not feel that the school has adequately addressed a
complaint or concern the student may consider contacting the Accrediting
Commission. All complaints considered by the Commission must be in written
form with permission from the complainant(s) for the Commission to forward a
copy of the complaint to the school for a response. The complainant(s) will be kept
informed as to the status of the complaint as well as the final resolution by the
Commission. Please direct all inquiries to:
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302
Arlington, VA. 22001
31
(703) 247-4212
FAX (703) 247-4533
Website: www.accsc.org
A copy of the Commission’s Complaint Form is available at the school and may be
obtained by contacting the Administrative Office or Gail Wechsler, School Director.
SCHOOL GRIEVANCE POLICY
The Charles Stuart School realizes that there may be a time when a student feels a
need to express a grievance, either toward a classmate, a staff member, or the
School in general. In order to provide the student with a formal means of
expressing this grievance the School has established a grievance policy, which
exist in addition to State and Accrediting Commission policies.
The student should first bring the nature of his/her grievance to the attention of the
School’s Grievance Advisor. The Advisor will attempt to resolve the grievance
quickly to the student’s satisfaction.
Should the student still be dissatisfied with the advisor’s resolution of the
grievance, the student may present a formal, written complaint to the School
Director. The School Director will meet with the student to determine what other
means exist for resolving the grievance and will answer the student within seven
days of the meeting. If the Director’s resolution is still not to the student’s
satisfaction, he/she may proceed by following the steps itemized in the pamphlet
titled WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LICENSED TRADE SCHOOLS AND
REGISTERED BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK STATE. This option it should
be noted that this option is always available to the student at any time during the
grievance procedure.
TUITION REIMBURSEMENT FUND
WHAT IS THE TUITION REIMBURSEMENT FUND?
The Tuition Reimbursement Fund is designed to protect the financial interests of
students attending proprietary schools. If a school closes while you are in
attendance prior to the completion of your educational program, you may be
eligible for a refund of all tuition expenses which you have paid. If you drop out of
school prior to completion and you file a complaint against the School with the
State Education Department, you may be eligible to receive a tuition refund if the
State Education Department is able to provide factual support that your complaint
is valid and to determine that there was violation of Education Law or the
Commissioner’s Regulations as specified in Section 126.17 of the Commissioner’s
Regulations. To file a claim to the Tuition Reimbursement Fund, you must first file
a complaint with the State Education Department at the address specified above.
The Staff of the State Education Department will assist you in the preparation of a
tuition reimbursement form (a sample of this form should have been provided to
you upon enrollment).
32
DISCLAIMER
The student should be aware that some information in the Catalog might change.
It is recommended that students considering enrollment check with the School
Director to determine if there is any change from the information provided in the
Catalog. In addition, a Catalog will contain information on the School’s teaching
personnel and courses/curricula offered. Therefore, it is possible that
courses/curricula listed in the School’s Catalog may not be approved at the time
that a student enrolls in the school, or the teaching personnel listed in the Catalog
may have changed. It is again recommended that you check with the School
Director to determine if there are any changes in the courses/curricula offered or
the teaching personnel listed in the catalog.
COMPARABLE PROGRAM INFORMATION RELATED TO TUITION, FEES AND
PROGRAM LENGTH PLEASE CONTACT:
ACCSC
2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302
Arlington, VA. 22001
(703) 247-4212
Website: www.accsc.org
Information for Students’ Rights
What is the purpose of this pamphlet?
All prospective and enrolled students in a non-degree granting proprietary school
are required to receive this pamphlet. This pamphlet provides an overview of
students’ rights and regard to filing a complaint against a school and accessing
the tuition reimbursement fund if they are a victim of certain violations by the
school.
Licensed private career schools which are licensed by the New York State
Education Department are required to meet very specific standards under the
Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations. These standards are designed
to help insure the educational appropriateness of the programs which schools
offer. It is important for you to realize that the New York Stated Education
Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision closely monitors and
regulates all non-degree granting proprietary schools. The schools are required to
have their teachers meet standards in order to be licensed by the Department.
Schools are also required to have their curriculum approved by the New York State
Education Department, at minimum, every four years, thereby helping to insure that
all curriculum offered in the schools are educationally sound.
33
In addition, staff members of the Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision are
often in the school buildings monitoring the educational programs being offered.
The interest of the New York State Education Department is to ensure that the
educational program being offered meets your needs and that your financial
investment is protected.
The New York State Education Department’s Bureau of Proprietary School
Supervision wishes you success in your continued efforts to obtain the necessary
skill training in order to secure meaningful employment. In addition, Bureau staff
will continue to work with all the schools to help insure that a quality educational
program is provided to you.
Who can file a complaint?
If you are or were a student or an employee of a Licensed Private Career School in
the State of New York and you believe that the school or anyone representing the
school has acted unlawfully, you have the right to file a complaint with the New
York State Education Department.
What can a student or employee complain about?
You may make complaints about the conduct of the school, advertising, standards
and methods of instruction, equipment, facilities, qualifications of teaching and
management personnel, enrollment agreement, methods of collecting tuition and
other charges, school license or registration, school and student records, and
private school agents.
How can a complaint be filed by a student or employee?
You should try to resolve your complaint directly with the school unless you
believe that the school would penalize you for your complaint. Us e the school’s
internal grievance procedure or discuss your problems with teachers, department
heads, or the school director. We suggest that you do so in writing and that you
keep copies of all correspondence to the school. However, the school cannot
require you to do this before you file a complaint with the New York State Education
Department. If you do file a complaint with the Department, please advise the
Bureau of any action that you have taken to attempt to resolve you complaint.
The steps you must take to file a complaint with the New York State Education
Department are:
1. Write to the New York State Education at 116 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor, New
York, NY 10001, or telephone the Department at 212 643 4760, requesting an
interview for the purpose of filing a written complaint. Bring all relevant
documents with you to the interview, including an enrollment agreement,
financial aid application, transcripts, etc. An investigator from the
Department will meet with you and go through your complaint in detail.
2. If you cannot come for an interview, send a letter or call the office to request
a complaint form. You must complete and sign this form and mail it to the
34
office. Please include with it copies of all relevant documents. You should
keep the original. You must file a complaint within two years after the alleged
illegal conduct took place. The Bureau cannot investigate any complaint
made more than two years after the date of the occurrence.
3. The investigator will attempt to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible
and my contact you in the future with follow-up questions. You should
provide all information requested as quickly as possible; delay may affect
the investigation of your complaint. When appropriate, the investigator will
try to negotiate with the school informally. If the Department determines that
violations of law have been committed and the school fails to take
satisfactory and appropriate action then the Department may proceed with
formal disciplinary charges.
your complaint is valid and to determine that there was a violation of Education
Law or the Commissioner’s Regulations as specified in Section 126.17 of the
Commissioner’s Regulations. To file a claim to the Tuition Reimbursement
Fund, you must first file a complaint with the State Education Department at the
address included in this pamphlet. The staff of the State Education Department
will assist you in the preparation of a tuition reimbursement form (a sample of
this form should have been provided to you upon enrollment).
What should students know about private school agents?
Private School Agents are employed by schools for the purpose of recruiting or
enrolling students in the school; they are not school counselors. Private school
agents cannot require a student to pay a placement or referral fee. Each school
agent must be licensed by the New York State Education Department, must have
an Agent identification card and must be salaried employee of the school.
School agents who cannot show an Agent Identification Card are breaking the
law if they try to interest students in enrolling in a particular school or group of
schools. The name(s) of the agent(s) who enrolled a student must appear on
that student’s enrollment agreement. Therefore, you should write down the
name of the agent who talked to you. Each student will be required to confirm
the name(s) of the agent(s) when signing the enrollment agreement. A full
refund shall be made to any student recruited by an unlicensed private school
agent or even by a licensed agent if there is evidence that the agent made
fraudulent or improper claims. To find out if you are eligible to receive a refund,
you must follow the complaint procedures included in this page.
What should students know about grants and guaranteed student loans?
A grant is awarded to a student based on income eligibility, and it does not need
to be repaid (for example, Pell grants provided by the federal government).
Direct loans are low interest loans provided under the Federal Direct Loan
Program. The decision to apply for such a loan is yours the school cannot
require that you apply for a loan. You should understand that if you pay school
tuition with money loaned to you from a lender you are responsible for repaying
the loan in full, with interest, in accordance with the terms of the loan
35
agreement. A failure to repay the loan can hurt your credit rating and result in
legal action against you. Even if you fail to complete your educational program,
you are still responsible for repaying all of the money loaned to you.
It is your right to select a lender for a guaranteed student loan. The school
cannot require you to apply to a particular lender or lending institution.
However, the school can recommend a lender, but if it does, the school must
also provide you with a statement about your right and ability to obtain a loan
from another lender and the insurance premiums charged on these loans.
Read and understand all the information and applications for financial aid
grants and loans before signing.
Where can students file a complaint, file a claim to the tuition reimbursement
fund, or get additional information?
Contact the New York State Education Department
116 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10001
Attention: Bureau of Proprietary School
Supervision
212 643 4760
This pamphlet is provided to you by the New York State Education Department
(NYSED). The NYSED regulates the operation of Licensed Private Career
Schools