Student Complaint Resolution Procedures
Virginia Tech seeks to create a positive, productive and inclusive learning community for all students to achieve their educational goals. Since the university is committed to its students and to the application of academic policies and procedures in a fair and consistent manner, it would like to know about student concerns and complaints. The institutional complaint process for distance learning students is the same for all students regardless of physical location. Students may voice concerns in an informal or formal manner. Students can follow the appropriate links for full details of the policies, procedures, informal and formal complaint options, internal and external resources, rights and privacy information, clear timelines, records retention information, and statute of limitations on filing a complaint as outlined below:
Reminders to Students When Filing Complaints
Detailed information on student privacy and confidentiality of academic records as it relates to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) can be found on the Office of the University Registrar's page.
Principles of Community:
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice our Principles of Community as fundamental to our ongoing efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Read the entire Principles of Community statement here.
The Student Conduct system educates students about appropriate behavior and fosters a community in which academic success can occur. Detailed information on student conduct process can be found on the Division of Student Affairs page. It is important for the student filing a complaint to be completely honest throughout the process. Furnishing false information in a university student conduct investigation or hearing, or to a university official who is performing his/her official duties is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Concerns About Possible Harassment or Discrimination
Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender (including pregnancy), genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The Office of Equity and Access provides information on dealing with concerns about possible harassment or discrimination, as well as workshops for members of the Virginia Tech Community.
Emergencies or Reporting A Crime
In the case of an actual emergency or to report a crime, please contact the Virginia Tech Police Department or your local law enforcement agency.
Graduate Student Complaints
Informal and formal complaints and appeals processes for all Virginia Tech graduate students can be found on the Graduate School page, or on page 16 through 21 in the Expectations for Graduate Education guide. A list of resources for student can be found in the Hokie Handbook.
Undergraduate Student Complaints
Informal and formal complaints and appeals processes for all Virginia Tech undergraduate students can be found in the Hokie Handbook. A list of resources for student can also be found in the Hokie Handbook.
Filing a Complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Virginia Tech accepts State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth's coordinating body for higher education, oversight in resolving complaints from students taking distance education under the aegis of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by Virginia Tech and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student can submit a Student Complaint Form to SCHEV. More details on the formal SCHEV student complaints procedure can be found on the SCHEV agency page.
Filing a Complaint in all Other States
If a distance learning student residing out-of-state while enrolled in a Virginia Tech course has exhausted the student complaint avenues provided by Virginia Tech and the complaint has not been resolved internally, the student can submit a complaint about Virginia Tech with the state in which the student resides. The list of contact information for all state agencies with links to complaint process information can be found here in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education State Authorization regulations.
Filing a Complaint with Accreditation Agency
Virginia Tech successfully achieved reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and School-Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) in December 2010. This acknowledgement reflects Virginia Tech's ongoing commitment to excellence in all aspects of its operations - academic as well as administrative - and our dedication to continuous improvement in meeting our institutional mission and strategic initiatives. If a student has exhausted the avenues provided by Virginia Tech and the complaint has not been resolved internally, and if a student has exhausted the avenues provided by their state and the complaint has not been resolved, the student can contact the SACS-COC office.
Student Academic Complaints Policy
Virginia Tech's Policy 6125 Administrative Policy Governing Student Academic Complaints provides a procedure for all students to file a written complaint related to an academic decision.