Policies for Complaints Against the Program

Complaints Against the Program that Fall Outside Due Process

The faculty and staff of the Graduate Occupational Therapy Program strive to demonstrate a high level of ethical values and professionalism in all its activities. In some cases, a situation may generate complaint for which no formal grievance process exists. The complaint should be written, signed, include details about the complaint and documented evidence and mailed to:

Program Director, Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Please include contact information so the Program Director can reach you in order to resolve the complaint.

The following outlines the process for handling a complaint against the Program:

  1. When possible, the Program Director will discuss the complaint directly with the party involved within 14 business days. The expectation is that the complaint can be satisfactorily resolved by this discussion. The Program Director will provide a written description of the resolution to the person complaining.
  2. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the discussion with the Program Director, or if the complaint is against the Program Director, the complainant may submit a written complaint to the Dean, College of Health Professions. The Program Director will provide the Dean with a written summary of previous discussions where applicable. The Dean will discuss the matter with the Program Director and complainant separately and may schedule a joint appointment or conference call with the Program Director and complainant in attempt to reach a solution. The Dean will provide the complainant and the Program Director with a written letter outlining the solution reached through this step.
  3. If the complainant remains dissatisfied after step two, the last line of complaint is to the Provost, who serves as the chief academic officer of Sacred Heart University.
  4. Any letters or documentation associated with the complaint from the complainant, the Program Director, Dean, or Provost will be kept in a folder marked “Complaints against the Occupational Therapy Program kept in the program’s files for a period of five years.

Complaints Against the Program Regarding its Compliance with ACOTE® Accreditation Standards or Adherence to Established ACOTE Policies and Procedures

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) follows established procedures regarding complaints indicating that a Program may not be in compliance with the Accreditation Standards for a Master’s Degree-Level Educational Program or may not be following established accreditation policies or procedures. (See ACOTE’s policies and procedure manual)

ACOTE must receive all complaints in writing as an attachment to an email addressed to accred@aota.org and must include a signed complaint form. See ACOTE’s procedure for complaints, criteria for complaints, and links to complaint forms.

Public Comments or Complaints Against the Program Regarding Regional, NEASC Accreditation

New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) is the regional accrediting body for colleges and universities in New England. CIHE receives both public comments and complaints. Public Comments consist of observations about the quality of the University and its programs based on an individual’s experience. Comments must be substantive but need not include evidence and may be written or emailed. Complaints must be written, signed, and meet CIHE’s criteria for complaints. See CIHE’s complaint criteria, procedures for filing complaints.

Public Comments or Complaints Against the Program to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education Accreditation

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education is responsible for quality review of independent colleges located in Connecticut. If you believe that the University or Graduate Occupational Therapy Program has not fulfilled its promises, you may file a complaint with the Office of Higher Education:

Office of Higher Education
61 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT  06105-2326
Tel: 800-842-0229

Disclosures and Student Complaints

Sacred Heart provides an opportunity for enrolled students and the public in general to submit non-academic complaints. 

See Disclosures and Student Complaints