Student Complaint Procedure

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) conducted a Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010. This process concluded that institutions offering distance education opportunities must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state.

Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Student Handbook offers Student Complaint Resolution Procedure. Students attending Southwestern in person or online can utilize this procedure to attempt to resolve any issue. There is an informal and formal process. It is always recommended to attempt to resolve the issue first using the informal process. However, if a formal process is required, the Formal Complaint Form must be completed and submitted to the Dean of Students, Dellwood Hall, Room 9.

If a student cannot resolve the issue utilizing Southwestern’s process, s/he can refer to the contacts below for the appropriate state agency or accrediting body.

Southwestern Oregon Community College is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Their complaint process is available online.

Students may also contact the Oregon Department of Education and utilize their Complaint Procedure Form to attempt to resolve an issue.

The Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development is also a fantastic resource for students attending a community college in Oregon. Students can contact Luiz Juarez, Community College Education Specialist, at 503.947.2430.


Complaint Resolution Contacts by State
State Contact Information
Alabama Alabama Community College System
Alaska Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
Arizona Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
Arkansas Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board
California Department of Consumer Affairs – Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Colorado Colorado Department of Higher Education
Connecticut Connecticut Office of Higher Education
Delaware Delaware Department of Education
District of Columbia District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission
Florida Florida Department of Education, Commission for Independent Education
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
Hawaii Hawaii Postsecondary Education Authorization Program
Idaho Idaho State Board of Education
Illinois Illinois Board of Higher Education
Indiana Indiana Commission on Proprietary Education, Office for Career and Technical Schools
Iowa Iowa College Student Aid Commission
Kansas Kansas Board of Regents
Kentucky Kentucky Commission on Proprietary Education
Louisiana Louisiana Board of Regents
Maine Maine Department of Higher Education
Maryland Maryland Higher Education Commission
Massachusetts Office of Private Occupational School Education
Michigan Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Minnesota Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Mississippi Mississippi Commission on Proprietary School Registration
Missouri Missouri Department of Higher Education
Montana Montana University System
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Education
Nevada Nevada Commission of Postsecondary Education
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Education
New Jersey New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education
New Mexico New Mexico Higher Education Department
North Carolina North Carolina Community College System, Proprietary Schools
North Dakota North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education
Ohio Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools
Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Oregon Oregon Department of Education, Private and Career Schools
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Education
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Council on Education
Rhode Island Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education
South Carolina South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
South Dakota South Dakota Secretary of State Postsecondary Education
Tennessee Tennessee Higher Education Commission
Texas Texas Workforce Commission
Utah Utah Division of Consumer Protection
Vermont Vermont State Board of Education
Virginia Virginia State Council of Higher Education
Washington Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
West Virginia West Virginia Community and Technical College System
Wisconsin Wisconsin Educational Approval Board
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Education