Student Complaints & Concerns

Enrolled students can submit non-academic complaints. The complaints can be submitted electronically using the Concerns and Feedback form. Dakota State University seeks to resolve student concerns and complaint in a fair and prompt manner. Submissions will be processed and reviewed.

Notification of Complaint Process for Program Integrity

Complaints must first be processed through the institution’s own procedures for resolution of complaints. Individual complaints can be submitted electronically using DSU Concerns and Feedback form. The submission will be processed and reviewed.

Any person may file a complaint with the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Regents to obtain a review and appropriate action on allegations that an institution governed by the Board:

  • Violated South Dakota consumer protection laws;
  • Engaged in fraud or false advertising;
  • Violated South Dakota laws relating to the licensure of post-secondary institutions or programs;
  • Failed to provide an educational program meeting contemporary standards for content and rigor;
  • Failed to assign qualified instructors; or
  • Violated one or more accreditation requirements.

Where the institution has not already considered and acted upon the complaint, the Executive Director will refer the matter to the institutional president for review and action. If the complainant challenges an institutional disposition of the complaint. The Executive Director will provide for an independent review and disposition of the allegations.

The Office of the Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota, 57501-2545
Phone: 605-773-345


SARA Complaint Procedures for Out-of-State Students

Complaints must first be processed through DSU’s procedures for resolution of complaints. The SD-SARA administrator will verify that all complaints have been received and processed by the institution and will not consider complaints that have not gone through the institutional complaint process. Complainants who processed their complaints through institutional complaint procedures but remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the institutional process may request that the SARA administrator review the institutional resolution of the complaint.

The complaint procedures for SD-SARA can be found in Section 7 of SDBOR SARA Policy 1:29.

Complaints to the SD-SARA administrator must specify:

  1. The basis for believing that the institutional action is inconsistent with the accreditation or SARA requirements.
  2. The harm caused to the complainant by virtue of the inconsistency, and the corrective action that the complainant seeks.
  3. If the complainant alleges that institutional documents were misleading, the request should contain the portions of the catalog, letters or email exchanged between the complainant and the institution and should identify with specific statements that the complainant found to be misleading and what the complainant understood the statements to mean.

SARA Complaint Procedures Flow Chart

SARA Complaint Resolution Form


Contact Information for Out-of-State Students

Students residing in other states while enrolled in a course offered by DSU will utilize the institution’s internal complaint or review policies and procedures prior to filing a complaint with the state agency or agencies. However, if the complaint is not resolved through these processes, a student may use the following list to identify the office(s) in the state in which the student resides to which the complaint against any public institution in South Dakota may be filed. the appropriate state agency for the individual resident state. State Agencies and forms are found below. The contact information for each state is subject to change.

Student Complaint Information by State and Agency (PDF)


California Contact for Complaint: 

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

An alternative avenue for filing a Complaint is to utilize the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) online Complaint Form (Online Complaint Form). The DCA will forward the Online Complaint to the Bureau.


Accreditor Complaint Procedure

Institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools provides assurance to prospective students, parents, and others that an institution of higher education meets the agency’s clearly stated requirements and criteria. Dakota State University accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Institutional accreditation is the standard against which colleges and universities are evaluated for the quality of their education activities. The HLC is an independent organization founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The complaint process is designed to identify substantive problems with an institution’s ability to meet the Criteria for Accreditation. HLC’s policy on complaints provides a full description of the type of complaints that HLC will review.

Instructions for filing a complaint.