External Complaint Process
Columbia Southern University (CSU) is dedicated to providing exceptional academic and student support services. Students who wish to file a complaint with Columbia Southern University are encouraged to review the Academic and Non-Academic Complaint and Grievance policies in the Student Handbook and follow the procedures outlined therein. The Office of Student Resolution and Conduct will review the complaint and coordinate resolution as appropriate. For more information, please review the Office of Student Resolution and Conduct page on the website. Students with alleged harassment or discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sex, or veteran’s status should contact the Title IX Coordinator.
If an issue cannot be resolved internally, students may file a complaint with a state agency, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if applicable, or CSU’s accrediting agency, DEAC. Students who wish to file a complaint with an agency, may review the contact information listed below. In many cases, these agencies require the student to exhaust the institution’s internal complaint procedures prior to filing a complaint with the state or accreditor. Therefore, it is recommended that students not contact these agencies until they have proceeded through the university’s process for filing a complaint.
Registering a Complaint with the distance Education Accrediting Commission
Students may file a complaint with DEAC by using the Online Complaint Form or submitting a written complaint to the following address:
1101 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Registering a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Students may file a complaint by following the VA Complaint Policy, which states, “Any complaint against the school should be routed through the VA GI Bill® Feedback System by going to the following link: http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp. The VA will then follow up through the appropriate channels to investigate the complaint and resolve it satisfactorily.”
Complaint Contact Information for State Agencies
Students may file a complaint with the Private School Licensure Division (PSL) of the Alabama Community College System by submitting the online school complaint at https://psl.asc.edu/External/Complaints.aspx. To view the procedures for submitting complaints with PSL, please visit https://www.accs.edu/about-accs/private-school-licensure/complaints/.
CSU is an approved institutional participant in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Students whose complaints are not otherwise resolved through CSU’s internal grievance process, and who reside in a SARA member-state may appeal their complaint to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) which oversees SARA institutions in Alabama for review after exhausting CSU’s internal grievance process. ACHE’s contact information for complaints is as follows:
Alabama Commission on Higher Education
NC-SARA State Portal Agency
P.O. Box 3020000
Montgomery, AL 36130-2000
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.