The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Compact with Texans
The answer to this question has several parts.
1. You should pursue your concerns directly with the institution according to the institution's dispute resolution or complaints policy. Dispute resolution or complaints policies are usually published in the institution's catalog, student handbook, and/or posted on the institution's website.
2. Many colleges and universities have someone called a "Student Ombusdman" whose job is to assist students and run interference when a student has a complaint and does not know where to take it. Check to see whether your institution employs a Student Ombudsman; often, this will be a junior or senior undergraduate whose part-time job is to help resolve complaints and concerns.
3. If you cannot find information about the dispute resolution or complaints policy, contact a librarian at your institution's library for assistance, or someone in the Dean of Students Office.
4. Present your concerns calmly and clearly. Try to assemble documentation, including email messages, comments on returned assignments, official letters from the college or university addressing your concern, and any other material that could help an institutional representative to understand the nature of your concern.
5. Be courteous and patient. Give the institution time to look into the matter and respond to you.
6. If the institution has responded to you and you disagree with the response, you may elect to follow the institution's dispute resolution or complaints policy for taking your concerns to a higher administrative level within the institution. Examine the policy carefully so you will know when you have reached the final level to which you may appeal.
7. If you pursue your concerns via the institution's formal procedures for complaints to the highest level possible and still perceive that your concerns have not been adequately addressed, you could consider contacting the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (CB) staff and submitting a written complaint. The procedures for submission of complaints are explained on the following web page: Student Complaints
Perhaps. The CB's authority are defined and limited by Texas laws and CB rules. If your concerns involve something not covered by CB rules or applicable law, the CB staff has no authority to resolve the matter.
The CB rules may be viewed by clicking on the rules link: Rules
Please submit your inquiry via the following website and a CB staff member will contact you shortly: Comments
I am a current or former faculty member at a Texas institution of higher education and have a dispute with the institution at which I am currently employed or where I was formerly employed. Will the CB staff be able to help me resolve my concerns?
Perhaps, but only if your concerns pertain to the quality of the educational program in which you taught. The CB staff has no authority to inquire into institutional personnel matters or institutional policies or practices.
I am a student at a Texas institution of higher education and have a dispute with the institution regarding my conduct and/or a disciplinary action taken against me. Can I appeal to the CB in this matter?
No. The CB has no authority to intervene in matters related to violations of the student code of conduct as such matters are within the sole purview of the institution.
Perhaps. As with all other matters, the CB's authority is limited to that expressly granted by law and stipulated in CB rules. To file a complaint against a career school or college, follow the complaint procedures in the school's catalog. Once you have exhausted your school's complaint procedures, if the matter is still not resolved, you may file a written complaint with THECB (for issues with degree granting programs) or contact the Texas Workforce Commission's Career School section at 512.936.3100 (for certificate/diploma issues). You may also choose to contact the school's accrediting agency. If the school is not accredited by a recognized accreditor but has degree granting authority, send a written complaint to THECB.
Perhaps. Laws concerning discrimination against a person with a disability or a member of a protected class are federal laws and THECB would usually refer complaints concerning allegations of discrimination to the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Therefore, we recommend that you initiate complaints concerning such matters with OCR directly. Their contact information is as follows:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
(202) 245-6800; 1-800-421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 245-6840
TDD: (877) 521-2172
If you feel you are being discriminated against, you should first file a grievance with the institution. The process to file a grievance procedure is described in the institution's catalog.
Though a financial aid package may include programs funded through federal and state programs, it is created at the institutional level based on the institution's packaging policies and philosophies. For specific questions or clarification concerning the total aid package, students should contact the financial aid office at the institution he/she is or will be attending. THECB staff are happy to assist with any questions concerning the state funded program guidelines and eligibility criteria via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 512-427-6340 (inside Austin) or 800-242-3062 (statewide).
The CB has no legal authority in this area. Please contact the Housing Office at your college or university.
Due to federal laws regarding student privacy (FERPA), we cannot discuss your son or daughter's situation with you. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records if the child is under 18 years of age. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.