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Online Education Disclosures and Complaints

Please review the below disclosures for important general and state-specific information relating to St. Francis College’s online programs before choosing to enroll from a state outside of New York.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

St. Francis College seeks to deliver all of our online programs to persons in every state. New York is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and St. Francis College will soon apply to become an approved SARA institution.  SARA is a voluntary agreement that allows states and institutions to offer distance education in other participating states so long as the institution adheres to certain quality and consumer protection standards. More information on SARA and New York State can be found here

Student Complaints

Out-of-state students who are enrolled in a St. Francis College online course or program, and who have a complaint about an online course or program, should follow the St. Francis College student grievance policy, as outlined in THE CORD, which serves as the College’s student manual.

At St. Francis College, our mission is to provide the best educational experience possible. In most cases, state complaint procedures require the student to exhaust all complaint avenues internal to the institution before a complaint can be filed at the state or accrediting agency level. Institutions must provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in a student’s resident state, which is available in the student manual.

As a first step, a student should contact the Chair or Director of their program to seek resolution of a complaint. Should the issue not be able to be resolved by the Chair or Director, the next step is to contact the Academic Dean. If the Academic Dean is unable to resolve the matter, a formal grievance should be filed.

Contact Information

St. Francis College:
180 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Student complaints about online courses or programs should be directed to the Office of the Academic Dean, who will refer them to the appropriate Department Chair:
Dr. Jennifer Lancaster,
VPAA and Academic Dean
Email:  jlancaster@sfc.edu
Phone:  718.489.5323

Students may also file a complaint with St. Francis College’s regional accrediting agency, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
MSCHE
University City Science Center
3624 Market St #2w, Philadelphia, PA 19104
267-284-5000 

Re-authorization of the Higher Education Act includes regulations regarding the delivery of distance education to out-of-state residents. The United States Department of Education requires that institutions comply with any applicable state approval or licensure requirements in each state to which distance education instruction is delivered. Students have the right to file a complaint against an institution when these requirements are not followed, or regarding the loss of tuition and fees as a result of unfair business practices.

SARA and Future St. Francis Membership

St. Francis College’s membership in SARA is pending approval. If a student located in a SARA state has a future complaint about St. Francis College, complaints must first go through the grievance process stated above. If a student is not satisfied with the outcome of that process, a complaint involving allegations of fraudulent activity, including the provision of false or misleading information, may be brought to the New York State SARA Board. The SARA portal entity in the state where the student is located will be notified that the complaint was received and may assist as needed. Resolution of the complaint by the SARA portal entity in the institution’s home state is final.

Individual State Student Complaint Information

Students who have followed the steps outlined above but without resolution are invited to contact the higher education authority for the state in which they reside. A directory of contact information can be found on the US Department of Education’s website.