This policy outlines the process for investigating and addressing complaints to Chamberlain University from students about any component of their experience at Chamberlain in which the student feels they have been treated unfairly.
Because no policy is one-size-fits-all, though, Chamberlain reserves the right to deviate from this policy if the circumstances of a particular complaint or investigation call for additional flexibility.
Chamberlain wishes to create an environment in which individuals feel free to discuss concerns. Chamberlain understands that students, witnesses and others involved in the investigation process may be concerned about the confidentiality of information they are sharing. In some cases, however, Chamberlain may be obligated to take action when it becomes aware of information relating to a complaint. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible and consistent with Chamberlain’s obligations in investigating complaints.
Once an individual discloses identifying information to Chamberlain through the processes described above, they will be considered to have filed a complaint with Chamberlain. While the confidentiality of information received, the privacy of individuals involved and compliance with the wishes of the student or witnesses cannot be guaranteed, they will be respected to the extent possible and appropriate.
Chamberlain prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports an incident of alleged harassment, discrimination or other unlawful conduct or any person who assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such allegations. Retaliation includes but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. All complaints of retaliation should be reported in accordance with the complaint procedures outlined in the tabs above. If the procedures outlined above would result in the student being required to submit their complaint to the person whom they believe is retaliating against them, the student may submit the retaliation complaint to the online or campus leader, who will determine an appropriate party to address the retaliation complaint.
Submission of a good-faith complaint or report of harassment, discrimination or other unlawful conduct will not adversely affect the student’s future grades, learning or academic environment. Chamberlain will discipline or take appropriate action against anyone who retaliates against any person who reports an incident of alleged harassment, discrimination or other unlawful conduct or who retaliates against any person who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing related to such allegations.
Informal Complaint/Grievance Process
In most cases, students must first attempt to resolve their concerns orally or in writing with the individual(s) most directly connected to the student’s complaint.
If the student is not comfortable discussing the matter with the individual(s) most directly involved, the student may take their informal complaint to a liaison not directly involved, such as the student services manager or the immediate supervisor of the individual(s) the complaint is involving.
Unlike in formal procedures, a student pursuing informal resolution of their complaint usually is not required to submit a written complaint to initiate the process. Under these informal procedures, the student may, at any time, elect to stop further action by withdrawing the complaint, subject to the confidentiality provisions noted below and with the understanding that, depending on the nature of the allegations, Chamberlain may be obligated to investigate the complaint with or without the student’s involvement.
Complaints addressed informally may not be investigated at all or to the same degree as formal complaints. Mediation may be used as a method for resolving the complaint informally but not all complaints are appropriate for mediation; for example, allegations of sexual assault are not appropriate for mediation.
Adopting informal procedures for addressing complaints does not mean that the institution does not take these complaints seriously. Informal procedures simply provide an alternative method for addressing complaints.
The student can also decide to file a formal complaint as described in the formal process procedure at any time.
Formal Complaint/Grievance Process
If the informal procedure or direct conversation is not appropriate or does not yield a successful resolution, the student can file a formal complaint to the complaint administrator. For pre-licensure nursing students, the complaint administrator is typically the dean of academic affairs or their designee. For graduate and post-licensure nursing students, the complaint administrator is the program or specialty track dean. Complaints regarding sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and rape or acquaintance rape, may be reported directly to the Title IX Coordinator.
- When to File a Complaint
Complaints should be filed by the student as soon as possible so that they can be addressed contemporaneously by Chamberlain. In most cases, Chamberlain will expect the student to come forward within 15 business days of the student becoming aware of the concern or the student’s last conversation in the informal process.
- What to File
A formal complaint should be in writing and include the following:
- The student’s name, Student ID (D#) number email address and phone number
- A complete description of the concern/issue – including date, location and all individuals involved, either in the conduct complained of or as witnesses
- A description of what efforts, if any, have been made to resolve the issue informally, including individuals contacted by the student in the resolution attempt
- A statement of the resolution requested
If a student is hesitant or unwilling to put a complaint alleging discrimination, harassment (including sexual misconduct) or other unlawful conduct in writing, the student is encouraged to discuss their concerns with the complaint administrator.
Similarly, if a student feels that changes to academic or other situations are appropriate or necessary to preserve the student’s safety or well-being as a result of the circumstances involved in a complaint, they are encouraged to request assistance from the complaint administrator.
For more information on the complaint process or to receive the complaint administrator’s contact information, the student should contact a student support advisor.
- Where to File Complaint
The complaint should be filed with the complaint administrator at the location the student is attending. The written complaint can be submitted electronically, in-person or by mail. In cases where the complaint administrator is directly involved in the concern, an alternate point of contact will be provided by a student support advisor. If the student does not know who the complaint administrator for their location is, they should contact a student support advisor.
Campus-based students may contact their campus student support advisor for assistance. Online-based students and Graduate Program students may contact a student support advisor by phone at 888.556.8226, option 3 or by email at [email protected].
- Notice of Receipt
Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the complaint administrator will provide the student with a written notice acknowledging its receipt and will review the complaint.
The complaint administrator or their designee will initiate an investigation. The extent and components of the investigation will vary depending on the allegations and circumstances. For purposes of illustration, an investigation may include the following steps, as appropriate:
- Reviewing the student’s written complaint
- Gathering additional information or statements from the student as needed
- Gathering information from any witnesses or other people (e.g., faculty, staff or other students) with potentially relevant information
- Reviewing relevant documentation and policies
- Obtaining a response or written statement and other information from the individual(s) who is/are the subject of the student’s complaint
- Attempting a resolution of the complaint between the student and the individual, if appropriate
- Convening a panel to review as appropriate
- Assessing the information gathered and determining findings and resolution for the student
Complaints initiated through the formal process may be withdrawn by the student, subject to the confidentiality provisions noted below and with the understanding that, depending on the nature of the allegations, Chamberlain may be obligated to investigate the complaint with or without the student’s involvement.
- Findings and Notification
Upon completion of the investigation, the complaint administrator will report the findings of the investigation and resolution to the student. It is Chamberlain’s goal to conduct an appropriate investigation and report back to the student in a timely manner, usually within 15 days of receipt of the complaint. The circumstances in particular cases may make a shorter or longer investigation necessary or appropriate.
Within 10 calendar days of the issuance of the final report, the student may appeal to the online or campus program administrator or their designee. Appeals must be submitted in writing and must state a basis for the appeal. Basis on which a student may appeal are:
- There is new evidence that was unavailable at the time of the original investigation that would affect the outcome of the original decision
- There were procedural irregularities in the complaint process that affected the outcome
- The proposed resolution was not reasonable based on the evidence compiled during the investigation
A copy of the program administrator’s or designee’s written decision on the appeal shall be sent to the student in a timely manner. If the appeal decision requires further action, that action should be described in the appeal decision letter. The decision of the leader or designee on the appeal is final.
Students not satisfied with the final disposition of the complaint process may contact the state licensing authority, the University's accreditors or the state attorney general. A complete listing of contact information for state licensing authorities and the state attorney general offices is located at chamberlain.edu/studentconsumerinfo.
Arizona residents enrolled at a campus:
Students with complaints not resolved by the above procedure may file complaints with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education:
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
1740 W. Adams Street, Suite 3008
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Georgia residents enrolled at a campus:
Students with complaints not resolved by the above procedure may file complaints with the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission:
Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2189 Northlake Pkwy.
Tucker, GA 30084
Florida residents enrolled at a campus:
As a last resort in the complaint process outlined in the academic catalog, students who do not believe they received a satisfactory resolution to their grievance may contact the Commission at fldoe.org/cie, by fax at 850.245.3238 or by mail to:
Commission for Independent Education Florida Department of Education
325 W. Gaines St., Suite 1414
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
toll-free number 888.224.6684
Texas residents enrolled at a campus:
Students with complaints not resolved by the above procedure may file complaints with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, highered.texas.gov/student-complaints; rules governing student complaints in Texas can be found at texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=19&pt=1&ch=1&sch=E&rl=Y
Virginia residents enrolled at a campus:
As a last resort in the complaint process, students who do not believe they received a satisfactory resolution to their grievance may contact the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia:
SCHEV, Attn: Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education
101 N. 14th St., James Monroe Bldg.
Richmond, VA 23219
For Illinois residents and students enrolled in an online program:
Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online complaint system at https://complaints.ibhe.org/ or by mail to:
Illinois Board of Higher Education
1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701-1377.