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SARA
Complaint Procedure

In order for a complaint to qualify under the FL‐SARA Complaint Review Policy, it must meet the following criteria:

  • File within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made.
  • Complete the institutional complaint process and the applicable State complaint process prior to submission with the Council.
  • The complaint must be a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by SARA, are being violated by a person, institution, state, agency or other organization or entity operating under the terms of SARA.
  • You are a student of a Florida SARA Council‐approved institution.
  • You are not a student, but have a concern about any of the above.
  1. Institutions that apply for participation in FL‐SARA agree to establish, publish and enforce policies related to redress of complaints and grievances, and to follow this process for the resolution of complaints for any and all students residing in SARA states. Complaints covered by this process include any violation of the SARA Policies and Standards.
  2. An individual who files a complaint (“complainant”) against a FL‐SARA member institution must first exhaust the institution’s own procedures for resolution of grievances. The specific process at each institution must be clearly identified and publicly available to individuals via the institution’s website and/or catalog.
  3. Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by institutional policy and the laws of the State of Florida.
  4. If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional complaint process, the student can send the complaint to: Commission for Independent Education 325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL. 32399-0400, or email cieinfo@fldoe.org, or fax 850.245.3238
  5. If a complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the Commission for Independent Education, the complainant may submit the complaint for review to the Council. The Council will review the appellate decision to determine if the complaint was reviewed according to the designated processes, including timeliness and lack of conflicts of interest by reviewers.
  6. Additionally, the Council will determine if the basis for the complaint demonstrates a material lack of compliance by a member institution where a SARA requirement was violated, applied improperly or failed to be applied. If such a finding is made, the Council may recommend specific corrective actions.