Student Complaints & Grievances

Commonwealth University makes every effort to resolve student complaints internally, using policies and procedures outlined in the current University Catalogs, Student Handbook, and Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines Web Page.  This page lists available resources for resolving issues, concerns, and complaints in a timely, fair, and efficient manner.



Complaint Resolution Resources

Complaint Resolution Resources for student complaints are listed in the expandable sections below.

The purpose of the academic grievance procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to grades and/or professional responsibilities as related to academic policies found in the Policies, Rules and Procedures and the Pilot. This process is not a disciplinary proceeding for any of the involved parties, although the findings may lead to disciplinary investigation or action under a different university policy.  Students should read the Academic Grievance Procedure and follow the process outline in the policy.

The purpose of this procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged injustices relating to violation, misinterpretation or discriminatory application of non-academic policies and procedures, and/or the conduct of professional, non-professional and student employees.  Students have both informal and formal channels options within the policy.  

Students, Faculty, staff or other parties wishing to officially register a university grievance under the Americans with Disabilities Act may do so by submitting a statement to the ADA Coordinator in the Human Resource Office. The grievance should be filed within 45 days of the alleged violation and must include the issue(s), the grievant’s name, telephone number, address, date the complaint is submitted to the coordinator, and the date of the alleged violation.

To report an issue or incident regarding a student's conduct, please fill out the online incident report, which will be directed to the Office of Student Conduct.

To file a complaint or concern to our Community Government Association (Student Government), utilize our contact form.

To report any observed or alleged acts of hazing committed by or directed towards any University students, please complete the online hazing report. All reports are received by the Office of Student Conduct. The reporter can remain anonymous or provide contact information if they desire to speak further with a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct.

The Commonwealth University official designated to respond to allegations of copyright infringement on the part of individuals at Commonwealth University, in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The act requires the complainant to include certain information in a complaint, and providing that information in the initial contact may help speed resolution of the complaint.  

The University has established the Harassment and Discrimination Policy to promote an educational and work environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination, whether because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. The University is committed to freedom of thought, discourse, and speech and the attainment of the highest quality of educational and academic pursuits. Nothing in the policy is meant to infringe upon the First Amendment or other constitutional rights of any individual.

Unlawful harassment or discrimination in any context is unacceptable but of particular concern to an academic community in which students, faculty and staff must rely on bonds of intellectual trust and dependence. Therefore, unlawful harassment or discrimination will not be tolerated. Those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of institutional disciplinary actions, up to and including separation from the University, also in addition to any legal action that may accompany such acts.

Students, faculty, staff and third-party vendors are permitted to file complaints under this policy against non-students to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and should contact the Office of DEI for directions regarding filing a formal complaint.

All complaints of discrimination and harassment against students should be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students or the Office of Student Conduct using this online report form. Upon receipt of the report, the appropriate administrator will review the matter and take proper steps to address the concern in accordance with university policies and procedures. Complaints falling within the Sexual Misconduct Policy will be forwarded to the Title IX Office.

Students who feel threatened/intimidated or unfairly treated solely based on race, religion, sexual preference, sexual identity or gender may file an online incident report with the Office of Student Conduct. The information provided will be reviewed and depending on the information may result in investigations by a law enforcement agency and/or the Office of Student Conduct. All reports will be kept on file and reviewed periodically in order to identify any potential patterns or areas/locations of concern. If you feel you need immediate police assistance contact either the Town Police at 570-389-6779 or the University Police at 570-389-2211. You can also report your concern directly to the Office of Student Conduct.

Commonwealth University strongly encourages prompt reporting of sexual misconduct to the police. Commonwealth University also recognizes that individuals who experience sexual misconduct have the right to decide whether to file a criminal report with the police, and whether to file a report with the University (via the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of Student Conduct, or the Office of the Dean of Students), an anonymous report, or no report at all.

To report an incident of sexual misconduct (and Title IX), please fill out the online incident report.

More information regarding Title IX resources and the Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found at:

Complaints involving matters of a criminal nature, such as assault, battery, and theft should be directed to the University Police Department at 570-389-2211 @Bloomsburg, 570-484-2278 @Lock Haven, and 570-662-4900 @Mansfield.

Informal Student Complaint Process

Students who wish to lodge a complaint about a faculty or staff member not covered by the procedures in the above-listed sections, academic catalogs, and/or student handbook are encouraged to address the complaint informally by:  

  • Seeking to resolve the issue with the faculty or staff member directly; if that fails,
  • Seeking to resolve the issue with the help of the department chair or the staff member's direct supervisor; if that fails 
  • Seeking advice from the Dean of the Students about how to resolve the issue informally and, if warranted, information about the formal complaint process.

Formal Student Complaint Process

Formal complaints against an employee, student, contractor, or vendor not covered by the procedures in the above-listed sections, academic catalogs, and/or student handbook may be filed using the Commonwealth University General Student Complaint Form.

Commonwealth University desires to resolve student  complaints and concerns in a timely, fair, and  efficient manner in accordance with University policies. If the complaint cannot be resolved through University channels, the student may go to one of Commonwealth University's state approval and licensing entities: Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education; the Pennsylvania Department of Education; or Commonwealth University's accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Unresolved complaints may be filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education once all other avenues have been exhausted. The link above provides information on the Commission's complaint policies and procedures. 

To comply with federal regulations, Commonwealth University provides the following information to our prospective and current students:

Commonwealth University participates in Federal student aid programs that are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Participating institutions must be legally authorized to operate with the state in which it is located. Title 34 CFR §600.9 requires states to have a "process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable State laws." Title 34 CFR §668.43(b) requires that institutions "make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation and its State, Federal, or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)  
Academic and Student Affairs Division, Office of the Chancellor
2300 Vartan Way, Suite 207
Harrisburg, PA 17110
PASSHE Complaint Process

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)
Division of Higher & Career Education 
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Postsecondary and Adult Education
333 Market Street, 12th Floor | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.8228 | Fax: 717.722.3622
PDE Student Complaint Procedure

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1007 North Orange Street, 4th Floor, MB #166, Wilmington, DE 19801 Telephone: 267-284-5011
Email: Spanish: españ
General Link:
MSCHE Complaint Process


Out-of-state Commonwealth University distance education students, who have filed a complaint against Commonwealth University but feel their complaint was not resolved can file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) information, process, and form can be found here: 

illustration of Carver Hall


If you are unsure of which process applies to a particular issue, contact us.