The Department of Education’s Program Integrity rules (34 CFR 600.9(a)(1)) require each state to have a process for receiving, reviewing, and responding to complaints regarding the program integrity of postsecondary educational institutions delivering educational services in that state.

Complaints regarding program integrity may include one or more of the following categories:

  • Complaints that allege a violation of state consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;
  • Complaints that allege a violation of state law or rule relating to the licensure of postsecondary universities; and/or
  • Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.

Each institution must inform students how to initiate complaints in the state where the student receives instruction.

Montana state law  (Mont. Code Ann. § 20-25-201 and Title 20, Chapter 15 Mont. Code Ann.) designates and authorizes the Montana University System colleges and universities together with the  named community college districts to provide postsecondary education in the State of Montana under the authority and control of the Board of Regents of the Montana University System. Those institutions are as follows:

  • Montana State University – Bozeman
  • Montana State University – Billings
  • City College at Montana State University - Billings
  • Montana State University – Northern
  • Great Falls College – Montana State University
  • The University of Montana – Missoula
  • Missoula College – University of Montana
  • Helena College – University of Montana
  • Montana Technological University
  • Highlands College of Montana Tech
  • The University of Montana – Western
  • Dawson Community College
  • Flathead Valley Community College
  • Miles Community College

These institutions are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100, Redmond, Washington 98052, (425) 558-4224, http://www.nwccu.org/. Evidence of each institution’s accreditation can be found at http://www.nwccu.org/member-institutions/directory/

 

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT:

Montana University System Institutions and Montana community colleges

Students and prospective students of the Montana University System and Montana community colleges are required to initially address program integrity complaints, including, if applicable, complaints related to State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement standards, through the applicable institution’s internal complaint or review procedures. Campus specific information can be found by clicking on the following links:

 

Program integrity complaints that remain unresolved at the college or university level may be further pursued in the following manners:

  • An unresolved program integrity complaint may be directed to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for review and referral to the appropriate agency, or for resolution (Board of Regents’ Policy 221).
  • Complaints concerning broad institutional academic practices, such as those that raise issues regarding an institution’s ability to meet accreditation standards, may be filed with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. http://www.nwccu.org/
  • Complaints concerning consumer protection violations should be directed to the Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection. https://dojmt.gov/consumer/consumer-complaints/
  • Individuals enrolled in an online or distance course with the Montana University System and residing outside of the State of Montana may also have an opportunity to utilize the complaint processes in their state of residence. A list of information regarding the complaint processes of other states can be found here: http://www.mus.edu/OnlineStudents-StateContactInfo.asp

 

Institutions Outside the Montana University System and Montana Community Colleges

Individuals with complaints regarding institutions that are operating in Montana, but are not part of the Montana University System or duly organized community colleges, have the following options:

  • Use the internal complaint processes of the applicable institution.
  • Complaints concerning consumer protection violations should be directed to the Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection. https://dojmt.gov/consumer/consumer-complaints/
  • Complaints concerning proper licensure under Montana law (see Board of Regents’ Policy 221, http://www.mus.edu/borpol/bor200/221.pdf), including, if applicable, complaints related to State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement standards, may be directed to the Montana University System Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, 560 N. Park Avenue, PO Box 203201, Helena, Montana 59620-3201, 406-449-9124.
  • Complaints concerning broad institutional academic practices, such as those that raise issues regarding the institution’s ability to meet accreditation standards may be directed to the applicable institution’s accrediting agency.

 

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Updated 11/20/20