October 02, 2015

Midwestern Accreditation Body Endorses Ombuds for Higher Education

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, says that Ombuds are a necessary resource for resolving a wide range student complaints. According to its statement on "How Institutions are Accredited," the Commission said: 

Each year, the Commission receives a number of complaints about institutions from faculty, students, and other parties. The Commission has established a clear distinction between individual grievances and complaints that appear to involve broad institutional practices. ... Complaints relating to disputes between a student and faculty member, a faculty member and an administrator, or students and administrators, over such issues as billing, grading, financial aid, termination of employment or contract interpretation, are considered by the Commission to be individual disputes between the parties. Such disputes are best resolved by the parties through a campus ombudsman or grievance process or, failing such resolution, through a private mediator or the legal system.  [Emphasis added.]
The Higher Learning Commission is the regional accrediting organization for colleges and universities nineteen Midwestern and South-Central states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The statement was updated in the summer of 2014. (Higher Learning Comm.)

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