Oklahoma State System of Higher Education
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (“OSRHE”) is the coordinating board for all institutions which comprise the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. As coordinating board, OSRHE does not act as an appeal board nor does it have authority over or responsibility to review the day-to-day operations of any particular institution – that authority and responsibility lies exclusively within the purview of the institution and its governing board.
State institutions are responsible for resolving student complaints, and students are responsible for following the institution’s established complaint procedures through the highest administrative level available within the institution. (“Any student may file a complaint of violation of [the Oklahoma Higher Education Code] with the office of president of any publicly support college or university in the State of Oklahoma…” 70 O.S. § 3225).
OSRHE has authority to review and address, as appropriate, student complaints related only to the specific types of complaints listed below. Any/all complaints that fall outside the three specific types below must be addressed to the administration of the student’s institution and/or that institution’s governing board. If a student has attempted to address a complaint through the institution’s highest administrative level available and feels that the complaint has not been appropriately addressed, the final level to which the student might appeal the complaint is that institution’s governing board.
A list of the governing boards for Oklahoma state system institutions can be found at https://okhighered.org/state-system/overview-part1.
Free Speech Complaints
Students who believe their free speech rights have been violated by the actions of the institution they are attending may file a complaint with the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee. While not required, students are strongly encouraged to first take advantage of the internal grievance process of the institution they are attending before filing any complaint with the Oklahoma Free Speech Committee.
State Law Compliance Student Complaints
Students who believe that the institution they are attending is operating out of compliance with “applicable State laws,” as provided in 34 C.F.R. §600.9 State Authorization , who have followed the institution’s established complaint process through the highest administrative level available and believe the concern has not been adequately addressed, may submit a request for a review of the complaint to OSRHE through the State Law Compliance Student Complaint Form . Such complaints must be submitted within one year of the institution’s final decision to be eligible for OSRHE review.
SARA Student Complaints
Out-of-state students who are attending an Oklahoma SARA-participating institution , by distance education under the provisions of the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement (“SARA”), who believe the institution they are attending is operating out of compliance with SARA policy , who have followed the institution’s established complaint process through the highest administrative level available and believe the institution has not appropriately addressed the complaint, may submit a request for a review of the complaint with OSRHE. See SARA Student Complaints for more information.
For other types of educational institutions operating in Oklahoma, listed below are possible options for students or parents who believe their complaint has been inadequately addressed through the institution’s established complaint resolution process. Any of these agencies or boards may or may not find addressing the complaint within its scope.
Private, Vocational Schools
Request a review or appeal of a complaint against a private, vocational school: Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools .
Career Technology Centers
Submit a comment or complaint relating to a career technology center: Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education .
Public Primary and Secondary (K-12) Schools
Report a complaint against a public kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school: Oklahoma State Department of Education .
Private K-12 Schools and Degree-Granting Institutions
To request a review or appeal of a complaint against a nonprofit, private school or institution, the institution’s principal or president’s office or board of trustees can be found listed on the institution’s website. For private, for-profit institutions, many of them have corporate owners who can usually be found with a Google search. Failing that, a student can contact the institution’s accreditor, the name of which will be on the institution’s website.