Complaints & dispute resolution

Student complaints

The Department of Online & Continuing Education at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth attempts to address student concerns and issues in a fair and professional manner. We understand that during the academic year, issues may arise that an online student may want to address. The following list describes different types of concerns and associated resources.

Refund requests Any student wishing to file a formal refund request is encouraged to contact our main office at online@umassd.edu or call 508.999.9202 to receive the Refund Request form.

Find specific details about our refund policy on the Course Withdrawal and Refund Policy page.

Grade appeals Students who have questions about their grades should seek to discuss the matter first with their course instructor. In certain limited circumstances, students may pursue a formal grade appeal. The process for pursuing a grade appeal is described on our Grade Appeal/Grade Amnesty Policy page.

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the University Students who wish to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the university must complete the Student Leave form.

Student Conduct & Dispute Resolution The Office of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution handles complaints for violations of the Student Code of Conduct or other laws and regulations.

Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Outreach The Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity & Outreach deals with equal opportunity and sexual assault/harassment complaints.

UMass Dartmouth Student Rights & Responsibilities The rights and responsibilities of UMass Dartmouth students, including students’ rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), are found on our Student Conduct Policies and Procedures page.

Other complaints

Students with concerns that do not fall within any of the previously described categories should submit a written complaint to onlineresolution@umassd.edu. Your concern will be forwarded to the appropriate department and you will be notified via email that the issue is being reviewed.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has been authorized to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) system. After the conclusion of the University’s resolution process outlined above, students enrolled in online programs and/or courses may appeal the University’s decision to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, which provides SARA complaint forms on its website. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE), as the acting SARA portal entity for Massachusetts, does review and evaluate student complaints regarding online/distance learning programs offered by institutions based in Massachusetts that are SARA members. Note: Complaints about student grades and student conduct violations are specifically excluded from SARA review. Furthermore, students are required to first attempt to resolve their complaint according to the University of Massachusetts Darmouth’s internal complaint and dispute resolution process, outlined above.

Contact the Massachusetts Department of Education at:

One Ashburton Place
Room 1401
Boston, MA  02108
617.994.6950