Concerns & Complaints

Overview

A variety of resources are available for students with concerns or complaints, depending on the nature of the issue. The Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services oversees complaint and concern processes for the College, holds weekly office hours, and is also available by appointment to talk in person or by phone or Zoom. The College of Education Student Complaint Process governs the resolution of academic concerns. Resources for non-academic student concerns include Public Safety, the Dean of Students' CARE Team, and the Student Code of Conduct. The Office of Institutional Equity can assist with concerns related to discrimination and harassment. Other university resources are also addressed below.

Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services

Beyond academic advising provided by faculty, the associate dean also supports students. These support areas include academic integrity and student code of conduct processes, grade grievances, registrar functions (including special records requests, course scheduling, student adding, dropping, waitlists, and most matters relating to petitions for exception to policy) and student activities. As the College’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, the associate dean supports the implementation of accommodations within the College by serving as a resource for both students and faculty. Finally, the associate dean also supports the resolution of student concerns or complaints.

Associate Dean Office Hours & Appointments

The Associate Dean hosts office hours each week throughout the academic year. Appointments are not necessary, but for those who do want to make appointments, please click on the link above. The 2019 summer and fall office hours are listed below:

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, September 4

3 – 5 p.m., Monday, September 9

3 – 6 p.m., Monday, September 16

3 – 6 p.m., Monday, September 23

3 – 6 p.m., Monday, September 30

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 9

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 16

3 – 6 p.m., Monday, October 21

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 30

3 – 6 p.m., Monday, November 4

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 13

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 20

3 – 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 26

3 – 6 p.m., Tuesday, December 3

3 – 6 p.m., Wednesday, December 11

3 – 6 p.m., Tuesday, December 17

Photo of Brendon K. Taga, PhD, JD

Brendon K. Taga, PhD, JD

PhD, Learning Sciences & Human Development, University of Washington
JD, Seattle University
MEd, Adult Education & Training, Seattle University
BA, History, University of Pennsylvania

Associate Dean, Academic and Student Services
Assistant Clinical Professor
ADA Coordinator, College of Education
Certification Officer

Phone: (206) 296-2687

Building/Room: Loyola 503

COE Student Complaint Process

Students with concerns regarding academic activities, including instruction or advising, should first attempt to resolve the issue with the other person(s) involved. For example, if a student believes they are being treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member, they should attempt to directly resolve that issue with that person. If the student desires additional support or if the issue is not resolved at that level, the student is encouraged to reach out for additional support, consistent with the policy below. If the concern relates to disability accommodations, please contact Office of Disability Services or the associate dean for academic and student services, who also serves as the ADA coordinator for the College of Education. If the concern relates to grading, please see the Academic Grading Grievance Policy. If the concern relates to academic integrity, please see the Academic Integrity Policy and webpage.

I. Introduction

A. Purpose

The following process governs the College of Education’s response to student academic complaints against other students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

B. Scope

This complaint process does not apply to grievances or appeals that are otherwise addressed by other university policies, including the following: Academic Grading Grievance Policy, Academic Integrity Policy, Academic Probation, Dismissal, and Appeal Policy and Procedures for Graduate Students, Professional Conduct Appeal Procedures, or the Student Code of Conduct. This complaint process does not apply to grievances related to discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, which are governed by processes administered through the Office of Institutional Equity.

C. Administration

The Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services serves as the primary administrator and contact for the College of Education and supports students, faculty, staff, and administrators in following and implementing the process.

II. Process

The complaint process is comprised of informal and formal processes. The process is initiated by the student who may receive support and information by the associate dean or their faculty advisor. A complaint may be resolved at any stage of the process.

III. Informal Processes

A. Informal Meeting with Student, Staff, Faculty, or Administrator

A student begins the complaint process by initiating a meeting with the individual to discuss their concerns, articulate how they would like the issue resolved, and then work towards a resolution.

B. Complaints Against Other Students: Informal Resolution with Instructor or Program Director

If the student’s complaint cannot be resolved directly with the other student, then the student may request informal resolution with the instructor or program director, whichever party is most appropriate. If the complaint is situated in instructional activities, the instructor of record should attempt to resolve the issue as the issue likely falls under general classroom management. If the complaint is not situated in instructional activities, the student may seek informal resolution through the program director. If the complaint cannot be resolved at this level, then the student may request formal resolution with the department chair.

C. Complaints Against Faculty: Informal Resolution with Program Director

If the student’s complaint about a faculty member cannot be resolved through an informal meeting with the faculty member, then the student may request informal resolution with the program director. If the student’s complaint cannot be resolved at this level, then the student may request formal resolution with the department chair. If the faculty member also happens to be the program director, the student may submit a written request for formal resolution with the department chair.

D. Complaints Against Staff Members or Administrators

If the student’s complaint cannot be resolved directly with the staff member or administrator, then the student may submit a formal complaint to the staff or administrator’s direct supervisor.

IV. Formal Process

A. Submitting A Formal Complaint

All formal complaints must be written and include the student’s name, the date, the student’s program affiliation, the student’s faculty advisor name, a brief explanation of the complaint, possible solutions to the issue, and a summary of all measures taken and decisions issued to resolve the issue to date. Formal complaints against other students must be emailed to the complaining student’s department chair. Formal complaints against faculty members must be emailed to the faculty member’s department chair. Formal complaints against staff members or administrators must be emailed to the staff member’s or administrator’s supervisor.

B. Resolution Process

Once the complaint has been submitted, the department chair or supervisor (whichever is appropriate) assumes the function of resolving the complaint. The student will be provided information regarding next steps in the process and may be asked for additional information, if necessary. After reviewing the complaint with the parties involved, the department chair or supervisor will provide, in a timely and reasonable manner, a response to the student.

C. Dean’s Appeal

Once they have exhausted all other processes, students who are dissatisfied with the results of the formal process may submit a formal complaint to the dean, including all elements of the formal complaint listed above. Decisions of the dean are final and cannot be appealed. After reviewing the materials, the dean will provide, in a timely and reasonable manner, a response to the student.

Public Safety Concerns

Emergencies   |   Non-emergencies

Dean of Students' CARE Team (previously SOCC)

The CARE Team responds to concerns regarding students who might benefit from additional resources and support. Concerns of this nature typically include students who may be experiencing short- and long-term illnesses, emotional distress, food or housing insecurity, isolation, or thoughts of suicide.

Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)

OIE responds to complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and related retaliation, provides assistance with academic and work accommodations, housing modifications, and obtaining off-campus assistance. If the concern relates to disability accommodations, please first contact the associate dean for academic and student services, who also serves as the ADA coordinator for the College of Education.

Student Code of Conduct

Students with concerns for other students related to the student code of conduct, which includes respect for self, others, relationships, community, honesty, and property, should report any perceived violations of the code to the Office of the Dean of Students or the Department of Public Safety, depending on the nature and urgency of the complaint.

Other Concerns

Students with non-academic concerns, such as those related to student services like admissions, registration, financial aid and student financial services, student activities, housing, etc., please contact the appropriate department. The Center for Digital Learning and Innovation (CDLI) also lists a variety of office contacts. For additional support, contact the associate dean for academic and student services; contact information is included below.