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Online Education Complaint Process

In compliance with U.S. Congressional House Rule (HR) 668.43 (b) and U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) rules, an institution offering distance education must “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.” 

In-State Students

Shippensburg University encourages all current, former, and prospective students, regardless of their residency, to first submit any grievances, complaints, or concerns directly to Shippensburg University as follows:

  • For grievances, complaints, or concerns related to particular class students should first contact their faculty member to resolve the matter, in accordance with the procedures and policies outlined in Shippensburg University’s undergraduate and graduate catalogs.  
  • For grievances, complaints, or concerns unrelated to a particular class
    complete the Online Education Complaint Form.

If students feel the issue cannot be solved by the university, a complaint may be filed with Shippensburg University’s state approval and licensing entities, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, or its accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  

Out-of-State Students 

As an approved SARA member institution, Shippensburg University agrees to abide by the SARA student complaint process for distance education student complaints not related to grades or conduct.

Students who are physically located outside of Pennsylvania while attending Shippensburg University should attempt to resolve issues and complaints internally following the same process for in-state students as listed above. If the student is unable to resolve the issue or complaint internally, please contact the Pennsylvania SARA portal agency. The Pennsylvania SARA portal agency will notify and collaborate with the SARA portal agency of the state where the student is located to resolve the issue.

Please note: California is not a SARA-member state at this time. A student participating in online education while located in California should appeal to the appropriate agency specified in the Student Complaint Information by State and Agency listing.

Additional Assistance

If you have any questions or need additional information, contact Shippensburg University’s Office of Workforce Development at or (717) 477-1502.