Student Grievance Policy/Procedure
The Program has adopted the Student Grievance Policy as written by the Graduate Academic Council. The Graduate Student Grievance Committee attends to grievances of an academic nature. This Committee is comprised of all the Graduate Program Coordinators/Directors and a Graduate student representative appointed by the Dean of the School of Graduate and Adult Education. The Chair of the Committee is elected from the members at the start of each academic year and serves as Chair for the duration of that academic year. Members can serve two (2) consecutive terms as Chair. The process for appeal of a course grade or to file a grievance is as follows:
- The student discusses the grade with the course instructor, within 20 calendar days of receipt of the unfavorable grade occurrence/disagreement.
- If no accord is reached, the student has seven (7) calendar days from receipt of the decision of the course instructor to submit an appeal to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Director of the appropriate graduate program.
- A meeting between the student and the Graduate Program Coordinator/Director must be held within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the student’s written appeal. The Coordinator/ Director must notify the student of their decision within seven (7) calendar days of that meeting.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Graduate Program Coordinator/ Director to the Department Chair; or, if the program does not have a department chair, to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Adult Education. The student has seven (7) calendar days to submit this appeal.
- A meeting between the student and the Department Chair (or Dean as specified above) must be held within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the student’s written appeal. The Department Chair (or Dean as specified above) must notify the student of their decision within seven (7) calendar days of that meeting. The decision of the Department Chair or Dean is final as to a course grade.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Department Chair or Dean to the Graduate Student Grievance Committee. The student has seven (7) calendar days to submit this appeal.
- The Graduate Student Grievance Committee will request separate documentation from the student and the course instructors outlining their perspectives on the events leading to the appeal within seven (7) calendar days of the grievance notification. If the grievance pertains to academic dismissal from a program or from the University, the student’s Academic Advisor will also be asked to submit a letter indicating their disposition recommendation. The Graduate Student Grievance Committee reserves the right to request further information/documentation or to meet with the student or course instructor as required to thoroughly review the appeal/ student issue.
- The Graduate Student Grievance Committee issues a written recommendation of a resolution to the Dean of the School of Graduate and Adult Education who reviews the decision and notifies the student of the decision in writing. The Committee maintains a complete file of the grievance and Committee proceedings.
Policy for Handling Grievances Related to the Program
An individual or organization who experiences an unfavorable experience with any student, faculty member, or staff member of the Alvernia University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is able to file a written grievance. This grievance should be filed within 30 days of the offending incident(s) and should be addressed to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director. The written grievance and any corrective action(s) will be kept on file in a locked cabinet in the Program Director’s office for a period of 5 years, after which they will be purged while maintaining confidentiality.
Complaints should be addressed to:
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director
400 Saint Bernardine Street
Reading, PA 19607
Procedure for Handling Grievances Related to the Program
The Program procedure for handling such grievances is as follows:
- The party wishing to file a grievance should submit a detailed written explanation of the grievance to the DPT Program Director. The description of the complaint should be as detailed as possible and should include the names of all involved parties, dates of the incident(s), and any actions taken since the incident(s).
- Upon receiving the written grievance, the Program Director will discuss the complaint directly with the complainant within 7 days from the date that the grievance was filed.
- Based on the discussion with the complainant, the Program Director will develop a written plan to investigate and address the complainant’s concerns. This written action plan will be sent to the complainant.
- If the complainant is satisfied with the written action plan, a letter from the Program Director acknowledging the resolution of the complaint will be filed with the complaint in the Program Director’s office and a copy will be sent to the complainant.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the written action plan developed by the Program Director or if the complaint is related to the Program Director, the complainant will be encouraged to submit a written grievance to the Dean of the College of Professional Programs. The Dean will contact the complainant directly and develop a written corrective action plan, which will be filed with the complaint in the Program Director’s office and a copy will be sent to the complainant. The Dean will meet individually or jointly with all parties involved to seek resolution.
- If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the Dean’s written action plan for resolution, the complainant is encouraged to contact the Provost of the University. A written corrective action plan for resolution will be developed by the Provost and filed with the complaint in the Program Director’s office and a copy will be sent to the complainant. A letter outlining the final resolution of the grievance by the Provost will be filed with the complaint in the Program Director’s office and a copy will be sent to the complainant.
- A copy of the grievance and all written corrective action plans for resolution will be kept on file in the Program Director’s office for a period of up to 5 years from when the complaint was filed.
Submitting a Complaint to CAPTE
CAPTE considers complaints about programs that are accredited, or are seeking accreditation by CAPTE, and complaints about CAPTE itself.
CAPTE has a mechanism to consider formal complaints about physical therapy education programs (PT or PTA) that allege a program is not in compliance with one or more of CAPTE's Evaluative Criteria (for complaints about events occurring before December 31, 2015) or the Standards and Required Elements (for complaints addressing events occurring January 1, 2016 and thereafter) or has violated any of CAPTE's expectations related to academic integrity. CAPTE will consider two types of complaints: those that involve situations subject to formal institution/program due process policies and procedures and those that involve situations not subject to formal due process procedures:
- If the complainant is involved with an institution/program grievance subject to formal due process and procedure, CAPTE requires that the process be completed prior to initiating CAPTE's formal complaint process, unless the complaint includes an allegation that the institution/program process has not been handled in a timely manner as defined in the institution/program policy, in which case CAPTE will consider the complaint prior to completion of the grievance process. Evidence of completion of the institutional process or of the untimely handling of such must be included in the complaint materials.
- If the complaint is related to situations that fall outside of formal due process policies and procedures, the complaint may be filed at any time.
CAPTE will not consider complaints that fall outside its jurisdiction/authority as expressed in the Evaluative Criteria (or Standards and Elements, as appropriate) and the academic integrity statements. When appropriate, complainants will be referred to other organizations to pursue their concern(s).
CAPTE will not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for faculty members or students in matters of admission, retention, appointment, promotion, or dismissal. CAPTE will take action only when it believes practices or conditions indicate the program may not be in compliance with the Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation (or the Standards and Required Elements, as appropriate) or the statements listed above.
In order for CAPTE to consider a formal complaint, several conditions must be met:
- The complaint must be specifically linked to the relevant Evaluative Criteria (or Standards and Elements, as appropriate) (PT or PTA) or to the integrity statements.
- The complainant must have exhausted all remedies available through the institution, if appropriate.
- The complaint must be submitted in writing, using the format prescribed by CAPTE, and must be signed by the complainant.
- The event(s) being complained about must have occurred at least in part within three (3) years of the date the complaint is filed.
In reviewing and acting on a complaint, CAPTE cannot and does not function as an arbiter between the complaint and the institution. Should CAPTE find that a complaint has merit and that the program is out of compliance with the Evaluative Criteria (or the Standards and Elements, as appropriate) or the integrity statement(s), CAPTE can only require the program to come into compliance with the Evaluative Criteria (or the Standards and Elements, as appropriate). CAPTE cannot force a program into any specific resolution of the situation that resulted in the complaint.
To obtain the materials necessary for submitting a complaint, contact the APTA Accreditation Department at 703/706-3245 or at email@example.com.
Complaints will ordinarily be reviewed at the next meeting regularly scheduled CAPTE meeting. In order for the process to be completed in time for considered review by CAPTE, complaints must be received no later than ninety (90) days prior to a meeting. At its discretion, CAPTE may choose to consider complaints between its regularly scheduled meetings. Ordinarily, such consideration will occur only when delay in consideration of the complaint could have a serious adverse effect on either the complainant or the institution.
For more information contact http://www.capteonline.org/Complaints/
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Alvernia University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 610-568-1546 or email email@example.com.
For more information regarding the process of accreditation, please contact the:
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314