Legal

Complaints

USAHS is committed to providing a learning and working environment in which complaints are addressed fairly and resolved promptly. All complaints are taken seriously. The procedure for handling complaints from current students encourages informal conciliation, facilitates early resolution, and maintains individual privacy and confidentiality.

Students are encouraged to address concerns or complaints promptly, generally within 5 business days of the date of the incident or occurrence that has given rise to the concern or complaint. USAHS endeavors to resolve all concerns and complaints;Ā however, delayed reports of a concern or complaint may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

Students may utilize the complaint policy below to address concerns that occur within the University includingĀ but not limited to the following:

  • seeking clarifications in policies, regulations, and procedures;
  • reporting an incident(s) of discrimination or bias; and
  • notifying the University of technology or facility concerns.

Please note that complaints regarding the sexual misconduct policy should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. Complaints related to grade appeals, academic appeals, academic dismissals, professional misconduct, behavioral intervention decisions, or another policy with an established review or appeal process should follow those procedures as outlined.

Open Door

Students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy and address issues directly with faculty and staff, before filing a formal complaint. Open communication between students, faculty, and staff is strongly encouraged, and students are free to speak directly with all members of the USAHS community regarding any complaints or concerns that they have. Additionally, the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility is available to discuss and assist with any concerns or complaints.

Conflict Resolution Assistance

Students may seek conflict resolution assistance from the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility. Assistance may be a simple clarification of a University policy or information regarding options for resolving the conflict. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility may assist by arranging a face-to-face meeting with the other individual involved in the conflict, if possible and appropriate under the circumstances. In all cases,Ā USAHS will try to secure a mutually agreeable solution to any situation.

Formal Complaint Process

While students are encouraged to use the Open Door policy described above, students may also use USAHSā€™ Formal Complaint Process, described in this section, to resolve a complaint.

Formal Complaint: The Formal Complaint Process requires students to complete the Student Complaint Form located on the MyUSA portal, which the student submits to the Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility at usastudentaffairs@usa.edu. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility directs the complaint to the responsible party to investigate and attempt to resolve the complaint. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written summary of any resolution to the student, generally within 30 days after receipt of the written complaint.

Appeals Process: Ā Students may appeal the initial decisionĀ in writingĀ to the GrievanceĀ Committee by completing the Grievance Form located at MyUSA, Student Services, Complaints PolicyĀ within seven days after the response was issued to the student. The Grievance Committee investigates the complaintĀ and gives the student an opportunity to discuss the complaint. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written response to the student from the Grievance Committee, generally within 60 days.

The Grievance Form submitted for the appeal must meet one of the following criteria for consideration.

  1. The initial decision failed to comply with the procedural requirements outlined in the University Catalog/Handbook.
  2. There is relevant and material evidence that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or was improperly excluded at the review of the initial decision.

Request for Reconsideration:Ā The student may submit a request for reconsideration of the Grievance Committeeā€™s decision,Ā in writingĀ to usastudentaffairs@usa.edu, within seven days after the Appeals Process response is issued to the student.Ā Requests for reconsideration should be addressed to the President and should not be the same letter submitted with the request for appeal.

Requests for reconsideration are forwarded to the President or their designee. For purposes of a request for reconsideration, the President or designee reviewsĀ the existing record from the previous investigations. A request for reconsideration is granted only if the student can provide evidence that the Grievance Committee did not follow the procedure as outlined in this policy. Decisions on requests for reconsideration are generally provided within 30 days. The Office of Student Welfare and Accessibility provides a written response to the request for reconsideration to the student at the conclusion of the process.

Last Updated: 6/27/2023

Confidentiality

All information submitted as part of a student complaint will be treated as confidential and will be available only toĀ the appropriate/involved parties. The student should also respect the need for confidentiality throughout the complaint process. A student who submits a complaint should be aware that complete confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed if effective action is to be taken. USAHS accepts and endeavors to resolve anonymous complaints; however, anonymous complaints may make the matter harder to investigate and resolve.

No retaliation

No adverse action will be taken against a student as the result of the submission of a complaint through the USAHS complaint procedure. This protection against retaliation shall apply even if the findings of an investigation do not support the nature of the report, so long as the report was filed in good faith; however, students who knowingly file misleading or false reportsĀ or without a reasonable belief as to truth or accuracy, will not be protected by this policy.

Complaints From Individuals or Agencies Outside the University

Individuals or agencies from outside the University should address complaints about the University or a University program with the applicable program director, dean, or the University president. Complaints about a USAHS employee or student should be resolved by communicating directly with the individual or department head. If a resolution is not possible at this level, a written complaint may be filed with the University.

Complaints Procedure

Written complaints should be addressed to the Legal department for appropriate review at:

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Attn: Legal Department
5401 LaCrosse Avenue
Austin, Texas 78739

All complaints are reviewed by the Legal department and addressed with the parties involved as appropriate.

The original written complaint, a copy of the response (if applicable), and a description of any actions taken as a result of the complaint are maintained on file for two (2) years following the date of the resolution.

Unresolved Complaints

If a complaint cannot be resolved after following the procedures above, the following agencies can be contacted directly.Ā  This information is posted and kept current on the University website, as well as the University Catalog/Handbook.

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
    • Complaints may be filed with the Universityā€™s institutional accrediting body by reviewing WSCUCā€™s policy on Complaints and Third-Party Comments found at https://www.wscuc.org/ for information regarding specific procedures for filing a complaint against the University.
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
      • Complaints about the Occupational TherapyĀ program that cannot be resolved after following the Universityā€™s procedures must be submitted electronically to the ACOTE Chairperson, c/o the AOTA Accreditation Department. The complaint must be submitted as an attachment to an e-mail addressed to accred@aota.org and must include a signed complaint form, ā€œComplaint Against a Program Subject to ACOTE Accreditation.ā€ This form can be accessed atĀ https://acoteonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/V.B.1.-Complaint-Form-Program.doc.
      • For more information on this process please visit Policies & Procedures ā€“ ACOTE (acoteonline.org)Ā and review V.B. Procedure for Complaints.

Additional States

USAHS has taken the necessary steps to apply and/or receive authorization to deliver education, to market, and to affiliate with clinical education sites in most states.

Appeal Process

The student has the right to appeal to the appropriate University committee. Students should refer to the ā€œProfessional Misconductā€ and ā€œAcademic Evaluation and Right of Appealā€ policies found in the University Catalog/Handbook for information on appeal processes.