Student Complaint Policy and Processes | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Student Complaint Policy and Processes

MCAD is committed to a policy of treating all members of the community equitably and transparently in regard to their personal and professional concerns. Nevertheless, students sometimes think they have been treated unjustly and MCAD is committed to listening to and acknowledging their complaints.

The following policy and procedures have been designed to help ensure that students are aware of the way in which their problems with college policies, programs, services, and/or faculty and staff members can be addressed informally or through a more formal conciliation process when needed. Each student must be given adequate opportunity to bring problems to the attention of the faculty or staff member with the assurance that those problems will be given due consideration and treatment. This process also exists to inform the faculty member or staff member of the details of a complaint and gives them an opportunity to respond in a reasonable manner.

Any MCAD student may express or file a complaint. All MCAD faculty and staff will refrain from any reprisal or threat of reprisal against any student registering a complaint.

Sexual Misconduct, Academic Progress, Code of Conduct Violations, and Academic and Grade Appeals

Complaints about sexual misconduct or Tile IX violations must be addressed according to the following policies and procedures: Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Reporting

Concerns and complaints about academic progress policies, academic standing, code of conduct violations, or academic and grade appeals must be addressed according to the following policies and procedures: Academic and Code of Conduct Complaints

All Other Complaints Regarding Faculty, Staff, or Administration of MCAD

Process 1: Informal Complaint

In general, any time a student feels that they have been wronged by a faculty/staff member, the student should follow the informal complaint process.

  • Step 1: The student should first contact the faculty/staff member to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it. If the student is uncomfortable discussing the complaint with the faculty/staff member in question, the student should move to Step 2.
  • Step 2: If no mutually satisfactory solution can be reached with the faculty/staff member, or the student is not comfortable dealing with the faculty/staff member directly, then the student should discuss the problem with the faculty/staff member’s department chair/supervisor to attempt resolution of the problem.
  • Step 3: If the problem cannot be resolved in discussions with the faculty/staff member or department chair/supervisor, or if the faculty/staff member and the department chair/supervisor are the same individual, the student may discuss the complaint with the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Any student needing advice on how to begin an informal complaint should consult their department chair, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, or the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Process 2: Formal Complaint

If a student has a complaint against a faculty/staff member that has not been resolved through the informal complaint process, the student may then seek resolution through the following formal complaint process. Such complaints are made with an expectation that the college will formally investigate and provide a written summary of findings and action steps, if any. Students are normally required to go through the informal process before initiating the formal process.

  • Step 1: The student should complete a formal complaint form.
  • Step 2: The complaint will be routed to the appropriate administrator who will investigate the complaint, which may include interviews with relevant persons, a record review, or other efforts that are necessary to form an accurate and factual basis for the resolution of the complaint. Once the investigation is concluded, the college will prepare a brief written report that summarizes the complaint, the college’s decision regarding the validity of the complaint, and a description of the remedial action, if any, that will be taken.
  • Step 3: The written report will normally be provided to the student complainant and any relevant persons within twenty business days of the filing of the formal complaint.

Unresolved Formal Complaints

Pursuant to the state authorization provision of the Program Integrity Regulations (34 C.F.R. 668.43) established by the Department of Education on October 29, 2010, the following contact information is provided for filing complaints that remain unresolved after working with MCAD staff and/or faculty. Students will have two years to register a complaint with any of these organizations.

Complaint Process for Students Residing in Minnesota

Complaints concerning broad institutional academic practices, such as those that raise issues regarding the College’s ability to meet accreditation standards, may be forwarded to either:

Complaints concerning consumer protection violations may be directed to:

Complaint Process for Distance Education Students Not Residing in Minnesota

MCAD has been approved by the state of Minnesota to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. If you have exhausted the institutional grievance process but are not satisfied with the outcome, you may file a complaint through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement for Minnesota or your local state agency.