Student Grievance Process

Sonoran Desert Institute

A student is encouraged to discuss academic progress, suggestions or concerns with Sonoran Desert Institute staff, faculty or administration.

Student Grievance Process

A student is encouraged to discuss academic progress, suggestions or concerns with Sonoran Desert Institute staff, faculty or administration. It is suggested that the student make contact with the staff by email or telephone. In the event of a concern, grievance, or complaint that is not satisfactorily addressed through informal conversation, the student may submit a formal complaint relating to the following unresolved areas:

  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Technical Issues
  • Faculty Performance
  • Program Content
  • This formal complaint must be in writing and delivered to the Institute by first class mail within 30 days of the grievance. The student should use the SDI Student Grievance Form and include information regarding the informal conversations.

    When the Institute receives an SDI Student Grievance Form, the Institute’s Compliance Officer must send an acknowledgment letter within two business days stating that an investigation will begin. The Compliance Officer will contact the staff/faculty members directly involved and attempt to reach a resolution. The Compliance Officer will keep a log of all formal complaints. Within fifteen (15) days after the acknowledgment letter is sent, the Compliance Officer must provide to the student a mailed written response of the Institute’s decision.

    View and print the SDI Student Grievance form HERE.

    When the Institute receives an SDI Student Grievance Form, the Institute’s Compliance Officer must send an acknowledgment letter within two business days stating that an investigation will begin. The Compliance Officer will contact the staff/faculty members directly involved and attempt to reach a resolution. The Compliance Officer will keep a log of all formal complaints. Within fifteen (15) days after the acknowledgment letter is sent, the Compliance Officer must provide to the student a mailed written response of the Institute’s decision.

    The student, if not satisfied with the decision, may appeal that decision, in writing, to the Institute’s President. The President must respond to the student within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the appeal. The decision of the President is final and the Institute will end all investigation regarding the grievance.

    If the student’s complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student must contact the State Board for further details. The State Board mailing address and contact information is listed below.

    Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
    1400 W. Washington, Room 260
    Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2939
    Phone: (602) 542-5709
    Website: www.azppse.gov

    The student may also file a complaint with the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Their contact information is listed below.

    Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
    1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
    Washington, DC 20036
    Phone: 202-234-5100
    Fax: 202-332-1386
    Website: www.deac.org

    SARA Complaint Process
    The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions including NAU in relation to non-instructional complaints. Instructional complaints, such as grade grievances, are not reviewed by the Council and should not be submitted for review. Prior to registering a non-instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA Council, the student/complainant must complete NAU’s and the Arizona Board of Regent’s complaint process, as listed above. Non-instructional complaints may be submitted here.

    Students also have the right to contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues. For online students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, consumer inquiries may be directed to the following: Consumer Protection Agencies

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