Under National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) rules, students have the right to lodge a complaint or grievance if that student’s experience in a distance education course, activity, or operation is not what they anticipate.
Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) is committed to providing clearly stated, timely, and accessible methods for resolving student grievances. Students who attend PGCC, but reside outside of Maryland should submit the College’s established Student Complaint Form in order to file a grievance. Students are encouraged to utilize the internal complaint procedures published in the College Catalog or Student Handbook before filing a complaint with a state agency.
The following are essential steps in the Student Academic Complaint/Appeal Process:
Step 1: Discuss the issue with your instructor and attempt a resolution. If not resolved, then take Step 2.
Step 2: Request to have a discussion with the instructor’s supervising coordinator. At this point you must present your appeal in writing, including:
a. a copy of the Grade appeal form
b. on a separate sheet, a summary of what you are appealing (clear, succinct description of the problem AND the action(s) you are requesting, the resolution you are seeking
c. evidence to support your appeal (graded work, copy of course syllabus, communications, etc.)
Note: Steps a, b, and c can be listed on the Student Complaint Form
If there is no coordinator or the coordinator cannot resolve the issue, you may move to Step 3.
Step 3: Request a meeting with the department chair accompanied by a copy of your written appeal, including the items requested in Step 2a-c. Follow the recommendations of the department chair, including meeting with the instructor again if needed. If not resolved, you may move to Step 4.
Step 4: Request to have a discussion with the dean. Provide a copy of the written materials submitted to the coordinator and/or department chair.
a. Once your request has been reviewed and the information confirmed, you will be contacted to arrange further action, which may include meeting with the instructor, department chair, and dean.
b. Students will receive written notification of the dean's decision.
If your concerns have not been satisfied at this stage, appeals of decisions in academic matters may be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Curriculum, Programs, and Regulation or the Executive Vice President and Provost.
In the event that the College’s grievance process has been exhausted and the student remains unsatisfied with the outcome, the student should file a complaint with the NC-SARA State Portal Entity for Maryland. The NC-SARA Complaint Process for Maryland can be downloaded from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) website. A complete list of complaint contacts for each state is accessible here. Complaints regarding student grades or conduct violations are governed by the institution and the laws of the institution's home state. The NC-SARA process does not affect grading policies or conduct violations appeals. For more information about NC-SARA, please visit the NC-SARA website.
To file a complaint or make other contact with applicable regulatory agencies, contact the Maryland Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division.
MHEC Contact Information
Students who wish to file a complaint with Maryland Higher Education Commission should refer to MHEC's website for complete information.
Filing Complaints with Your State
Under NC-SARA, students may choose to work through their own state's portal entity for complaint resolution; however, MHEC is responsible for overseeing the investigation and complaint resolution. Each state’s portal entity can be found on NC-SARA's website by clicking on your state. Students who are residents of California, a non-NC-SARA state, and who are engaged in distance education with Prince George's Community College should contact their home state's educational agency for information on how to file a complaint.