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Complaint Process

The U.S. Department of Education regulations to improve the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended (the “Program Integrity Rule”), took effect on July 1, 2011.  Based on those regulations, schools need to clarify and disclose information on their accreditation and state approval status.

Clarke University, as an institution authorized to provide postsecondary education in the state of Iowa, is committed to full compliance with the Program Integrity Rule. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Clarke University.

Complaint Process

Clarke University seeks to resolve all student concerns in a timely and effective manner. To that end, this complaint process serves as an ongoing means for students to discuss or register complaints that pertain to alleged violations of state consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising, alleged violations of state laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions, and complaints relating to the quality of education or other state or accreditation requirements.

Resolution Process

Any student who believes he or she has been subject to unjust actions or denied his or her rights is expected to make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter before seeking formal resolution. To that effect, Clarke University recommends the student request a meeting with the parties directly involved. During the meeting, students should describe the nature of the complaint and a desirable resolution.  Both parties are encouraged to try to find a fair and satisfactory resolution.

The Offices of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dean of Adult & Graduate Studies, Student Life, Admissions, Student Accounts, Registrar, Financial Aid, and Human Resources all provide specific administrative means to address and resolve most, if not all, of the questions and concerns you may have. The contact information for each of these Offices is provided below:

Student Complaint Assistance Form

Click Here to Complete

If the parties involved in complaint are unable to find a satisfactory resolution and further action is deemed appropriate, students must follow the procedures outlined in the following documents:

It is expected that students will fully utilize Clarke University’s administrative procedures to address complaints in as timely a manner as possible and with the appropriate individual or office.  If a student has a complaint and is unsure with whom to address it, he or she may complete the Student Complaint Assistance Form.

Complaints Addressed to External Agencies

If on occasion students believe that these administrative procedures outlined above have not adequately addressed the concerns identified under the Program Integrity Rule, the following independent procedures are provided. It should be noted that external agencies rarely review or act on complaints that have not been processed through all appropriate channels at the University.

The Higher Learning Commission (“HLC”) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is an independent body responsible for the accreditation of programs offered by Clarke University. HLC relies on constant contact with the University to ensure quality higher learning. Accredited institutions are required to submit progress reports, monitoring reports, contingency reports, and annual reports, as well as to participate in focus visits. Each year, HLC receives a number of complaints from students or other parties. When a complaint raises issues regarding an institution’s ability to meet accreditation criteria, HLC will forward a copy of the complaint to the institution and request a formal response. Complaints may be filed with Higher Learning Commission.

A variety of other state agencies or state boards, which are involved in the evaluation and approval of institutional programs, or in the granting of professional certification or licensure, may also be contacted. These agencies include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • The Iowa Board of Nursing approves the university’s nursing programs.  The description, process, and forms for filing a complaint with the Iowa Board of Nursing may be found on the IBON website.
  • The Iowa Department of Education, Division of Learning and Results, processes accreditation of undergraduate teacher preparation programs.  Complaints may be sent to: State of Iowa, Department of Education, Division of Learning and Results, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E 14th St, Des Moines IA 50319-0146; Telephone: (515)281-5294:
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education provides guidelines and directions and guidelines for submitting formal complaints.  The information is found in the CAATE Policy and Procedure Manual, section XXIV. Complaints Regarding CAATE Accredited Program, p. 37. This document may be accessed on the CAATE website.
  • The National Association of Schools of Music governs the accreditation of the music unit at Clarke University.  Directions and guidelines for expressing a concern about a member institution may be found on the association’s website.
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education is the division of the American Physical Therapy Association responsible for review of formal complaints in physical therapy programs. Section 11 of the Rules of Practice and Procedures provides guidelines for addressing complaints.
  • The Council on Social Work Education is responsible for accreditation of the University’s social work program.  Guidelines for formal complaints to the Commission on Accreditation may be found on the CSWE website.
  • The State of Iowa protects its citizens against consumer fraud. You may file a written complaint online or download the file, print it, complete it and mail it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
  • Iowa College Aid accepts concerns and complaints from any student attending an Iowa school, regardless of the student’s state of residency, and from an Iowa resident attending any school in the United States. Call 877-272-4456 or visit
  • The Iowa Civil Rights Commission enforces laws against discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability in any program or activity. You may find directions for filing a complaint online, or contact the organization at: Iowa Civil Rights Commission 400 East 14th Street Des Moines, IA 50319-1004, (515)281-4121 or 1(800)457-4416.
  • The Office for Civil Rights investigates complaints of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in programs that receive funding from the Department of Education, including most schools and colleges. Further information is available online.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
  • How To File:
  • Complaint Form:
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

If you are currently enrolled, or anticipate enrollment, in an educational program that requires state agency or board authorization and/or licensure and do not see it listed here, please contact the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs at: (563)588-6406.