Online Student Consumer Information – College of Online Education
State Licensure for Online Programs
Johnson & Wales University was recently approved as a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a national initiative to provide more access to online courses while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies. SARA allows institutions to provide online courses outside of their own state borders by seeking and maintaining state approvals via a streamlined process. To learn more about SARA, please visit: www.nc-sara.org
SARA Approval of JWU
On November 9, 2015, the New England Board of Higher Education approved the state of Rhode Island to join SARA. On May 3, 2016, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved institutional participation for Johnson & Wales University. The State of Rhode Island approved Johnson & Wales University to participate in NC-SARA on April 14, 2016. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. As a SARA member in the state of Rhode Island authorized by the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, Johnson & Wales University is authorized to provide distance education to students in all of the other SARA states (listed below).
Current SARA Member States
Current authorized SARA member states include all states and the District of Columbia, with the exception of Massachusetts (expected to join SARA in 2018) and California (as a nonprofit accredited institution, JWU is exempt from registration in California).
NC-SARA Complaint information can be found at www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-and-students
Online Student Complaint Process
Information on Student Complaint Processes for students enrolled in the College of Online Education is below. For additional Consumer Information related to all other aspects of Johnson & Wales University, please click here.
If you are enrolled as an online student and you have a complaint or grievance that cannot be resolved through Johnson & Wales University’s complaint and grievance process as set forth in the JWU Online Catalog at http://catalog.jwu.edu/studentservices/complaintsandgrievances/ you may file a complaint with the Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education (RI-CPE).
The Rhode Island Council on Postsecondary Education (RI-CPE) has promulgated a Policy entitled “Student Complaint Procedure.” That policy is posted on the RI-CPE website and is available at http://www.riopc.edu/page/RI-SARA/. As specified in that policy, JWU students may file the following types of complaints with the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissions:
- Allegations of Consumer Protection Violations, including Fraud and False Advertising
- Allegations of Violations of State laws, Rules or Licensing Requirements
- Allegations of Violations of Accreditation Standards
- Allegations of Violations of Standards Established by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA)
- Complaints About Education Program Quality, or
- Other Complaints as specific in the RI-CPE Student Complaint Policy
As specified in the RI-CPE Policy, such student complaints shall be delivered or mailed to the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner (OPC) at the following address:
Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner
560 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02886-1304
The phone number for the OPC is (401) 736-1100. The website for the OPC is http://www.ribghe.org.
Initial Complaints to be Filed with JWU
Before filing a complaint with the Rhode Island OPC, online students are expected to first file an internal complaint with JWU, by following the process outlined at http://catalog.jwu.edu/studentservices/complaintsandgrievances/. The complaint will be reviewed, evaluated, and whenever possible, resolved, by the relevant JWU personnel. If the person bringing the complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal JWU complaint process, the complainant may file his/her complaint, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, with the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner as described above. The resolution of the complaint by the RI-OPC will be final.
Student Complaint Process for Online Students in Non-SARA States: If you are enrolled as an online student living in a state that is not a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement and you have a complaint or grievance that cannot be resolved through Johnson & Wales University’s complaint and grievance process, you may file a complaint with the state in which you reside by referring to the following list of State Agencies.
Notice Regarding Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC) Student Complaint Process
Any person or student who is a legal resident of Georgia claiming damage or loss against Johnson & Wales University may file a verified complaint with the executive director of NPEC after going through the university complaints and grievances process. The complaint must contain a detailed description of the claim, including dates, times and full names of all involved. Verification means that the complaint must be signed by the student or person filing the complaint and notarized, and state that the matters set forth in the complaint are true and correct. The complaint shall be investigated by the appropriate Standards Administrator (SA) of NPEC. The SA shall attempt to resolve the complaint between the university and the student. If the complaint cannot be resolved, the SA will issue a decision and inform each party that either has a right to request a hearing in writing before the executive director of NPEC within 10 days of receipt of the SA’s decision. The executive director may set a date and time for a hearing which shall be delivered to both parties by certified mail. The Georgia NPEC may be contacted at Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA, 30084, (770) 414-3330 or online.