Department of Education Compliance
Recent amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 include changes in regulation for State Authorization that may impact online, distance, and correspondence education providers. The relevant language includes:
If an institution is offering post-secondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering post-secondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 and 1002)
LSC-O does not have any physical presence outside of Texas as of now. LSC-O is working ahead in order to be in compliance with these new regulations, if such a need arises in future.
In compliance with the language passed in the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) conducted a Negotiated Rule Making Process in 2010, institutions offering distance education must provide enrolled and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accrediting agency and with the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the student's state.
Complaint Resolution Process
Students desiring to file initial complaints about services, faculty and staff or activities should bring the complaints to the attention of the appropriate department head for resolution. If an acceptable resolution is not reached with five working days, the student can then file a formal written complaint. In the event that a student wishes to file a formal written complaint, a Complaint Intake Form is available in the office of the vice-president for student services or on the Lamar State College-Orange web site. After the formal complaint is received, the form will be referred to the appropriate department, complaint will be resolved within ten (10) workings days and the complainant notified in writing. Procedures for specific types of grievances can be found in the Texas State University, Rules and Regulations, the LSC-O Faculty Handbook, LSC-O Student Handbook and the LSC-O Catalog.
If the issue is unable to be resolved internally, a student may file a complaint with the regulatory agency in the state.
Students Enrolled in Distance Education Courses
Complaints should be filed in the state where the student is receiving instruction, not in the state in which the student resides. For example, a student residing in Oklahoma but taking courses in Arkansas should file his/her compliant with the state contact for Arkansas.
Below is a state-by-state list of the agencies in each state responsible for complaints regarding out-of-state distance education programs
Complaint resolution contacts by state
Arkansas - File a complaint in writing to ICAC Coordinator, Arkansas Department of Higher Education, 114 East Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201.
Delaware - Write to The Delaware Department of Education; Teacher and Administrator Quality; John W. Collette Resource Center; 35 Commerce Way; Dover, DE 19904. The Delaware Department of Education phone number is 302‐857‐3388
District of Columbia
Maine - In writing to The Maine Department of Education, Office of Higher Education, Augusta, Maine, 04333
Michigan - Complaints to be directed to: Office of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan; Consumer Protection Division; P.O. Box 30213; Lansing, MI 48909‐7713