Complaint Policies

Complaints against the program that fall outside due process 

The faculty and staff of the College of Nursing 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 as well as documented evidence and mailed to: 

Program Director, College of Nursing
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 of the College of Nursing. The Program Director will provide the Dean with a written summary of previous discussions if applicable.
  3. 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.
  4. The Dean will provide the complainant and the Program Director with a written letter outlining the solution reached through this step.
  5. If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the resolution provided, the last line of complaint is to the Provost, who serves as the chief academic officer of Sacred Heart University.
  6. 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 Programs in the College of Nursing program’s file for a period of five years”. 

Potential complaints against the program regarding CCNE accreditation 

All programs within the College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).   A complaint against an accredited program may be submitted by anyone, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, nurses, patients, employee, or the public.  The CCNE Board considers formal requests for implementation of the complaint process provided that the complainant.  Criteria for the complaint are: a) illustration of the full nature of the complaint in writing, describing how CCNE standards or procedures have been violated, and b) willingness of the complaint to allow CCNE to notify the program and the parent institution of the exact nature of the complaint, including the identity of the originator of the complaint.  The Board may take whatever action it deems appropriate regarding verbal complaints, complaints that are submitted anonymously, or complaints in which the complainant has not given consent to being identified.  Complaints may be directed to:  

CCNE Complaints Administrator
655 K Street, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001

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. CIHE’s complaint criteria, procedures for filing complaints, and links may be found here: https://cihe.neasc.org/information-public/comments-and-complaints 

Public comments or complaints against the program regarding 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 College of Nursing 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
(800) 842-0229
http://www.ctohe.org/studentcomplaints.shtml