Complaints & Grievances
Student Complaint/Grievance Policy
A grievance is an educational issue or condition that a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrance to their education. The institute aims to resolve complaints quickly and to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party. With some exceptions, students should first attempt to resolve difficulties informally by bringing those concerns directly to the person responsible for the action, with the student's Advisor, the program Director, or the immediate supervisor of the person responsible for the action. If these options for resolution cannot occur, then student’s may follow CGI’s Complaint Procedure to carry out a complaint and/or grievance against the institution.
The Complaint Policy is printed in all editions of the Cummings Graduate Institute Catalogs. It is also posted on the Cummings Graduate Institute website, located at https://cummingsinstitute.com/complaints_grievances/
Cummings Graduate Institute Complaint Procedure
To pursue a formal complaint, students must adhere to the following:
- The students must first bring their grievance directly and informally to the person or persons with whom they have the grievance.
If this informal effort to resolve a grievance fails, the student must file a written grievance complaint & supporting documentation, using the Grievance Form, with the Director of Operations. The student must file such written complaints within three (3) months of the incident that is the subject of the grievance. The complaint must include a concise statement of the allegations that form the basis of the complaint, including a careful statement of the facts, a summary of the informal attempts at resolution, and a suggested remedy.
- The Director of Operations reviews the grievance complaint, conducts a thorough investigation, and provides a written response to the student within ten (10) business days.
- A student who wishes to appeal the Director of Operations’ response must file a copy of the complaint and the Director of Operations’ response to the Chair of the Cummings Graduate Institute Board of Directors within five (5) business days of receiving the Director of Operations’ response. The most current list of Cummings Graduate Institute’s Board of Directors and contact information can be located here: https://cummingsinstitute.com/who-we-are/
- The Chair of Cummings Graduate Institute's Board conducts an investigation and renders a final written response to the student within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the copy of the complaint and the Director of Operations response.
Note: Privacy rights of students, faculty, and staff will be respected. Access to the summaries for all legitimate purposes will be afforded to all parties until the grievance is resolved. Copies may be retained only by those parties against whom a grievance is alleged. Grievance records will not be made part of any permanent student, faculty, or staff record.
Cummings Graduate Institute Complaint Form
A grievance is an educational or personal issue or condition that a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrance to their education. Students who have a complaint or grievance should complete the Complaint/Grievance Form and submit it to the Director of Operations. The student must file such written complaints within three (3) months of the incident that is the subject of the grievance. The grievance complaint must include a concise statement of the allegations that form the basis of the complaint, including a careful statement of the facts, a summary of the informal attempts at resolution, and a suggested remedy.
Cummings Graduate Institute’s Complaint/Grievance Form can be located at: https://cummingsinstitute.com/complaints_grievances/
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education Complaint Procedure
If a student complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the complaint or grievance procedures as listed above, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. Complaints or grievances must be filed within three (3) years of the student’s last date of attendance. The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education staff shall investigate the complaint of the allegations and if the complaint is true and violates the statue of the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education rules. Upon completion of the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s staff investigation, the complaint shall be referred to the Complaint Committee for review. Based upon the information provided the Complaint Committee can do one of the following:
- Dismiss the complaint if the committee determines that the complaint is without merit;
- File a Letter of Concern;
- Refer the complaint to the full Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education for further review and action.
The student must contact the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education for further details. Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s Complaint/Grievance Form and further information can be found at this website: https://ppse.az.gov/complaint. The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education address is 1740 West Adams Suite 3008, Phoenix, AZ 85007, Phone: 602-542-5709, Fax: (602) 542-1253, http://www.ppse.az.gov
State Agency List
Students also have the right to contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues.
For distance education students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, consumer inquiries may be directed to the following list of consumer protection agencies. The most up to date list of state agencies can be found at this location: State Authorization Agencies.
SARA Complaint Procedure
Cummings Graduate Institute is an Arizona SARA approved institution. The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions in relation to non-instructional complaints. Instructional complaints, such as grade grievances, are not reviewed by the Council and should not be submitted for review. Prior to registering a non-instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA Council, the student/complainant must complete Cummings Graduate Institute’s and the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education’s grievance process, as listed above. Upon completion of the institutional and AZPPSE complaint process, a non-instructional complaint may be submitted to the AZ SARA Council. The Arizona SARA Council Complaint Submission can be found at the link below: Arizona SARA Council Complaint Submission
Distance Education Accrediting Commission Complaint Procedure
Cummings Graduate Institute is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Students may also file a grievance or complaint with the Distance Education Accrediting Commission through their Online Complaint System, which enables individuals to (Rev. 07.08.19 42) file a complaint directly from the DEAC website. The complaint form may be found at www.deac.org/Student-Center/Complaint-Process.aspx. All complaints should be submitted using this form. For those who cannot access the Internet, written complaints will be accepted provided they include the complainant’s name and contact information and a release from the complainant(s) to DEAC. Where circumstances warrant, the complainant may remain anonymous to the institution, but all identifying information must be given to DEAC.
Written complaints must contain the following: the basis of any allegation of noncompliance with DEAC standards and procedures; all relevant names and dates and a brief description of the actions forming the basis of the complaint; copies of any available documents or materials that support the allegations; a release authorizing DEAC to forward a copy of the complaint, including identification of the complaint(s) to the institution. In cases of anonymous complaints or where the complainant requests for his or her name to be kept confidential, DEAC considers how to proceed and whether the anonymous complaint sets forth reasonable and credible information that an institution may be in violation of DEAC’s standards and whether the complainant’s identity is not necessary to investigate.
Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
(Formerly the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC))
1101 17th Street NW,
Washington, D.C. 20036