Student Complaint Process

Explore the procedures for students to address concerns about online courses.

How Students Can Address Concerns About Online Courses

Seattle University desires to provide students with an exceptional educational experience and seeks to resolve student complaints in a timely and efficient manner. The U.S. Department of Education requires Seattle University, under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), to offer students a procedure to address the following concerns:

  1. Complaints that allege violations of State consumer protection laws that include, but are not limited, to fraud and false advertising;
  2. Complaints that allege violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and/or
  3. Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

Students should first contact the appropriate Seattle University administrative office regarding a complaint.

Complaints Regarding Academic Issues

Students with a concern about a grade in a class, or wanting to address a formal grievance regarding a final course grade, should contact their instructor. Please see the Academic Grading Grievance Policy (login required).

For other complaints concerning a student’s academic experience at Seattle University, such as issues about classes, professors, advising, etc., students should contact the department chair and/or associate dean.

Complaints Regarding Academic Support Services

For any academic issues not resolved within the student’s school or college, i.e., after having contacted the appropriate individuals in the school or college or any complaints related to academic student support services (tutoring, writing center, library, etc.), students should contact the most appropriate individual listed below:

Academic Issues, Undergraduate Students
Carly Darcher, Director of Premajor Studies and Student Persistence
(206) 296-5551  |

Academic Issues, Graduate and Professional Students
Trish Henley, Ph.D., Associate Provost, Graduate, Online, and Professional Education
(206) 296-5346  | 

Complaints Regarding Non-Academic Issues

For complaints regarding non-academic issues, students should contact the most appropriate office listed below:

Undergraduate:  |  (206) 220-8040
Graduate:  |  (206) 220-8010

Registrar (Academic Records)
Joyce Allen, University Registrar
(206) 296-5858  |

Financial Aid (loans, scholarships, grants)
(206) 296-2000  |

Student Financial Services (tuition and fees)
(206) 220-8020  |

Office of Institutional Equity (complaints involving students, faculty, staff or a third parties regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or related retaliation, and disability issues including the ADA)
(206) 220-8515  |

To make an anonymous report regarding any of the Office of Institutional Equity issues, contact EthicsPoint or
(888) 393-6824.

Office of the Dean of Students (Student Activities, Student Conduct, CAPS counseling, Health Center, University Housing)
(206) 296-6060  |

Online Education
Rick Fehrenbacher, Director, Center for Digital Learning & Innovation
(206) 220-8269  |

If a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the SARA Portal Entity, which is the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may not be able to investigate every student complaint. Visit WSAC for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
The university is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Online Students Residing Outside of Washington

Seattle University is authorized to offer online courses in all states that have joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Under SARA, member states and institutions agree to abide by a common set of policies and standards. A complete list of SARA participating states can be found at the National Council-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement site. Online students residing outside of Washington may contact the Washington Student Achievement Council for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.