In order for an investigation to be initiated, the following must be true:
- The student has exhausted all available grievance procedures established by the institution.
- The student did not receive a satisfactory resolution and is contacting MCCA as a last resort in the grievance process.
- The student has submitted the complaint to MCCA using the MCCA Student Complaint Form. The student's complaint must contain a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times, and full names of all involved, as well as the actions taken by both the student and the institution to resolve the matter.
- The student has signed the form attesting to the truth and accuracy of the complaint.
- The student recognizes that MCCA will not investigate anonymous complaints. By signing the form, the student acknowledges that MCCA may share the information provided with the school or other relevant agencies and organizations in order to help resolve the dispute. MCCA does not guarantee a resolution resulting from this submission or its investigation into the allegation.
The complaint process applies to conduct or behavior on the part of a Mississippi institution or any of its agents, representatives or employees that constitutes dishonest or fraudulent behavior, including providing false or misleading information to a student; and operation of programs (including distance education) contrary to practices expected by institutional and/or programmatic/specialized accreditors. This process does not apply to complaints related to student grades or discipline/conduct matters.
If a student has concerns related to academic or administrative actions, the student should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom the student has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the student's complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, or if the complaint cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty or staff member(s), the student should file a complaint through the institution's established complaint process. Information on the institution's complaint process can usually be found in the institution's academic catalog, student handbook, or website. If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by the institution and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student may file a formal complaint with the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation using the MCCA Student Complaint Form within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made.
Upon receiving a student complaint, MCCA will initiate an investigation if the matter being disputed falls within its jurisdiction. If preliminary findings indicate a violation of MCCA regulations by the institution, MCCA shall attempt to resolve the complaint through mediation. All parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the investigation. If the complaint is outside of MCCA's jurisdiction, it may be directed to another agency that is authorized to address the concerns, if appropriate.
The student may be contacted during the investigation to submit documented evidence of the allegations against the institution. Students should not submit original documents, as they may not be returned.
Students are reminded that MCCA cannot offer legal advice. Students should be aware that submission of a complaint will be recorded and may be used for statistical reporting or other purposes.