Student Complaints and Grievances | PCOM HEOA Disclosures
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Student Complaints and Grievances

There are processes for students to use when seeking to resolve a complaint. Because each academic program may have specific steps to resolve grade or course-related concerns, students should consult their academic program handbook for the complaint/grievance processes specific to courses and complaints in their academic program.

For general advice and guidance, students can contact the Chief Student Affairs Officer. For general student grievances, the following process shall be followed for all students. The General Student Grievance process does not apply in cases of complaints related to discrimination, sexual and gender-based harassment. There are specific policies for such complaints, described after the General Student Grievance/Complaint procedure.

General Student Grievance/Complaint Procedures

A student (grievant) shall advise the Chief Student Affairs Officer of his/her grievance within five working days of when the student becomes aware of the alleged violation. If the student fails to do so without good cause, the grievance shall be considered waived.

When the grievance is brought to the attention of the Chief Student Affairs Officer it shall be his/her responsibility to promptly schedule a meeting to take place with the Grievant, within ten working days of being advised of the grievance. The Chief Student Affairs Officer shall listen, analyze and explain applicable policy, investigate the facts and take other actions necessary in an attempt to promptly resolve the grievance.

If this process does not resolve the grievance within seven working days of the meeting, or if the Chief Student Affairs Officer fails to timely schedule a meeting, the student may initiate the formal grievance procedure.

The formal procedure begins when the student presents a request for formal review in writing to the Chief Student Affairs Officer. The request for formal review shall be submitted within five working days after the student has received a proposed resolution from the Chief Student Affairs Officer (or when he/she has failed to schedule a meeting, as described above).

The Office of Student Affairs will advise the student on the Formal Grievance Procedure and will identify the person serving as Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee.

The Chief Student Affairs Officer shall convene an ad-hoc grievance committee, appoint a Chairperson, and submit the complaint for formal review to the Chairperson of the Committee within ten working days of receipt of such request. The ad hoc committee shall conduct an investigation and communicate its decision in writing to the provost, who will convey the decision to the student in writing. The determination of the Ad Hoc Committee is final.

Non-Discrimination Grievance/Complaint Procedures

PCOM policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, color, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, religion, creed, disability, marital status, genetic information or any other legally protected class status in all its programs, activities, and employment practices.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine subscribes to the principles and adheres to the requirements of state and federal law pertaining to civil rights and equal opportunity, in accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

The student grievance procedure assures institutional compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws applicable to institutions receiving federal funding which provide protections to students from discriminatory practices. The procedure to review all grievances arising from a student's complaint related to any adverse action which is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of the law, affecting one’s education, or that a practice or policy has been identified which is discriminatory, is stipulated below.

Evidence of practices inconsistent with this policy should be reported to PCOM’s Equity and Title IX Coordinator Rowland Hall Suite 144, Philadelphia, PA 19131, 215-871-6528) who is the designated coordinator of PCOM's nondiscrimination program. Reports can be made directly (and if desired, anonymously) to Inquiries regarding compliance with the provisions of Title IX may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202. For more information, please visit the Office of Civil Rights website.

Complaints Regarding Non-Compliance with American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Accreditation Standards

PCOM is committed to meeting and exceeding the standards for accreditation of colleges of osteopathic medicine as described by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. A copy of the standards is available upon request from the Office of Student Affairs.  PCOM is also responsible for maintaining records of student complaints and grievances, including those which apply to AOA-COCA accreditation standards.  Therefore, any student who believes that the College may not be in compliance with a standard of accreditation, after pursuing a formal complaint through the general grievance process as described in the previous section, has the right to file a complaint to the following:

Chairperson, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
American Osteopathic Association
142 East Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2864

State Departments of Education Information

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Georgia Nonpublic Education Commission. These state education agencies have a formal process for complaints regarding noncompliance with state regulations.

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the requirements of the state authorities, the following contact information is provided for both agencies:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Fax: 717-772-3622

State of Georgia

The Commission requires that students utilize and complete their institution's grievance procedure in an attempt to resolve any complaint or concern before submitting a complaint to the Commission. If the institution’s resolution is not satisfactory, a student may then appeal to the Commission, but it will not investigate a complaint unless the student has exhausted all available grievance procedures outlined by the institution.

Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
2082 East Exchange Place Suite 220
Tucker, GA 30084-5305
Phone: 770-414-3300
Fax: 770-414-3309