The Informal Process
- A student who believes that he/she has been aggrieved must first attempt to seek an informal resolution with the other party involved in the dispute, e.g., grade dispute with instructor.
- If the student is unable to resolve the dispute with the primary party of the dispute, then the student is advised to seek the intervention of his or her department chairperson.
- All disputes which are not resolved at the departmental level are then brought to the Dean's Office, whereupon the Dean or his designee will seek to reach an informal resolution through mediation between the parties.
- If the mediation at the Dean's level fails then the student's grievance is consigned to the committee designated by the school/college to address student grievances herein referred to as the Student Grievance Committee.
The Formal Process
- Student grievances which are consigned to the Student Grievance Committee must be specified in writing and given to the Dean or his designee.
- A student's written statement, along with supportive evidence, constitutes a case document, which will be submitted to each member of the committee.
- The second party to the dispute is also requested to provide the Office of the Dean with his or her account of the matter in dispute, which becomes a part of the case document that is forwarded to the committee.
- The Student Grievance Committee is then required to set a date for convening a meeting to hear the case(s) as expeditiously as possible.
- After the date has been set, each party to the dispute is sent a certified letter which informs him or her of the charges, and date of the meeting as well as a statement requesting his or her presence.
- During the hearing, the student presents his/her case; after, the accused party is allowed to present the other side. Each side is permitted to have witnesses.
- Following the hearing, members of the committee after deliberation on their assessment of the case reach a decision as to how the case should be resolved.
- The committee's decision is sent to the Dean of the School/College in the form of a recommendation.
- The Dean then informs the student in writing of the decision, which may be based upon the committee's recommendation or upon a modification of it.
In the unlikely event that an issue cannot be resolved by Howard University, students may file a complaint with the District of Columbia's Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) which is the licensing authority in Washington, D.C.
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
Higher Education Licensure Commission
1050 1st St. NE, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Telephone: (202) 727-6436
Unresolved complaints may also be filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the University's regional accrediting agency, once all other avenues have been exhausted.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284-5000
As an institutional member of NC-SARA, Howard University is authorized to deliver online programs in other NC-SARA member states. More information about NC-SARA and student complaint processes is available online. The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policy and Operations Manual is also available online.
As per Section 668.43(b) of the Code of Federal Regulations requires institutions of higher education authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to "provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."
Out-Of-State Complaint Resolution Contacts