Student Complaint Process

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Comprehensive Standard 3.13.3 requires that each accredited institution maintain a record of student complaints received by the institution.  This record is made available to the Commission. The record will be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution’s decennial evaluation. During the fifth-year interim review, the institution will provide information to the Commission describing how the institution maintains its record, individuals/offices responsible for the maintenance of the record(s), elements of the complaint review that are included in the record, and where the record(s) is located (centralized or decentralized).
Recording Student Complaints
All units that receive and resolve student complaints are required to keep a record of all student complaints and their resolution. For offices/complaints which do not already have a form/procedure in place, the student must file a Student Complaint Form which is available from the Office of Academic Affairs. Recorded complaints must be 1) student-initiated, 2) received from currently-enrolled students, and 3) in written form (paper or electronic). Complaints regarding curriculum, class scheduling, teaching, registration, and faculty are among the complaints that should be recorded. Additionally, specific complaint procedures exist in the areas listed below. These complaints should be recorded according to the policies associated with these areas.

Academic Honor Code
Code of Conduct
Student Grievance Policy
Policy Prohibiting Illegal Harassment and Discrimination
Student Grievance Policy for Students with Disabilities
Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual Assault Policy
Inspection and Release of Student Records
Undergraduate Grade Appeals Process
Suspension Appeals
Residency Appeals
Financial Aid Appeals

The student may also utilize the UNC Pembroke Student Grievance Policy. The objective of this grievance process is to ensure that students have the opportunity to pursue a grievance/complaint if he or she believes a University employee has violated his or her rights.  This grievance/complaint process for students applies to all problems arising out of interactions between a student and a member of the University community that are not governed by other specific grievance/complaint proceedings.

Students should first be encouraged to discuss their complaints directly with the person responsible. If the issue is not or cannot be resolved through discussion with the responsible person, then the student should complete the Student Complaint Form and submit it to department chair or supervisor of the person against whom the complaint is to be made. The Student complaint form allows the student to describe the nature of the complaint, what he/she has done to resolve the complaint, and the desired remedy. All written and electronic communications related to student complaints should also be maintained.

For academic schools or colleges, these guidelines pertain to those complaints received by the department chair, associate dean, dean, or other administrator.  Individual complaints resolved by faculty are not required to be recorded.  The complaint must be recorded once it has been received.  Units responsible for recording complaints under this procedure include but are not limited to the following units:

  • Chancellor’s Office
  • Office of Academic Affairs
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Graduate Studies and Research
  • Office for Student Affairs
  • Office for Finance and Administration

Using the UNCP Student Complaint Log
All units that receive and resolve student complaints received in any of the forms described above are required to record all student complaints and their resolution in the UNCP Student Complaint Log, which is available from the website for the Office of Academic Affairs here.This will be the final record of information obtained from all other forms of recording student complaints. The Log contains the following elements: date complaint received, description of the complaint, steps to resolution, result, date resolved, and location of supporting documentation. A unit’s Log will be considered up-to-date when it reflects that all complaints have been resolved and complaints that are still in the process of resolution are duly noted.

Each unit must identify a designee who will be responsible for maintaining the Complaint Log and any other written or electronic documentation related to student complaints within their unit.  Annually, all designees will be asked to send their up-to-date Complaint Log to the Office of Academic Affairs, where all of the logs will be consolidated into one document and provided to SACSCOC as necessary. A copy of the unit’s Complaint Log and all original documents pertaining to each student complaint in the Logs will be retained in individual offices for five years. The Office of Academic Affairs will maintain the list of departmental designees.


Complaints to External Agencies

If a complaint cannot be resolved through the University’s policies and procedures, students may file a complaint with certain external agencies: 

Complaints about UNC Pembroke may also be filed with the student's home state by referring to the following list of state complaint agencies

Students not residing in North Carolina and enrolled in a North Carolina institution that operates under SARA North Carolina may submit complaints to the organization listed below only after completing the complaint process established by the institution attended by the student. The SARA portal entity in the state where the student is located will be notified that the complaint was received and may assist as needed. Resolution of the complaint by SARA portal entity in the institution's home stat is final.

SARA North Carolina (SARANC)

North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority C/O SARA North Carolina 

P.O. Box 41349
Raleigh, NC 27629 
855-SARA-1-NC (or 855-727-2162)
TTY: 919-549-8614 ext. 4660.
Website: SARANC

For questions related to this process, please contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning and Accreditation at 910-521-6180. For more information about the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement's student complaint procedures, please go to Student Complaints on the Office of Online Learning's webpage.