Submit a Complaint to DETC About an Institution
Students, faculty, staff and members of the public may submit a complaint about an D ETC-accredited or candidate institution. DETC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions.
The complaint process is designed to identify substantive problems with an institution’s ability to meet the Criteria for Accreditation. DETC’s policy on complaints provides a full description of the type of complaints that DETC will review.
The DETC complaint process:
- Is deliberative and judgment-based.
- Recognizes the value of information provided by the public.
- Helps institutions gain awareness of systemic problems and improve.
- Directs complainants to appropriate processes for grievances if the matter is not a substantive accreditation problem.
Complaints can be submitted using the form below. DETC’s process for reviewing and responding to a complaint is as follows:
DETC will acknowledge a complaint within 30 working days of receipt.
If DETC determines a complaint warrants further consideration, it will forward the complaint to an institution for a response.
The institution has 30 days to respond.
DETC will review the information provided by the institution within 30 days and make a decision regarding the complaint, including what further follow-up may be appropriate.
DETC will notify the complainant whether the matter has been closed or if additional actions will be required.
Note: Once a complainant has been notified that further consideration is warranted, DETC will address the complaint from that point forward according to established policies and procedures as appropriate. In general, a complainant will not directly receive further information from DETC about the status of a complaint.
Complaints DETC Does Not Review
The complaint process is intended to pursue only those matters that suggest substantive noncompliance with the Criteria. DETC expects individuals who have a dispute to use the internal grievance procedures of the institution or other processes if applicable. DETC will not consider a complaint until any applicable institutional grievance processes have been completed. DETC does not review the outcomes of institutional grievance processes to either uphold or overturn those decisions. In no case will the DETC complaint process be used to provide a specific institutional remedy to a complainant.
DETC does not intervene in matters of an individual nature, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Obtaining transcripts
- Financial aid
- Satisfactory academic progress
- Grade/instructor disputes
- Disciplinary action
- Employment disputes
- Interpersonal situations
- Additionally, DETCdoes not:
Accept complaints from third parties (the person submitting the complaint must be a party to the complaint)Provide whistleblower protections (protection against retaliation).
- Review criminal matters
- Provide advice, including regarding legal matters
- Review matters older than five years
- Accept anonymous/confidential complaints
- Additional Resources for Complainants
DETC requires complainants to complete internal institutional grievance processes.
For discrimination matters, complainants should contact the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.