Program Integrity Rule
Beginning July 1, 2011, 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”), take effect. The Program Integrity Rule requires, among other things, that each college or university authorized to offer postsecondary education in one or more States ensure access to a complaint process that will permit student consumers to address the following:
1. Alleged violations of State consumer protection laws that include but are not limited to fraud and false advertising;
2. Alleged violations of State laws or rules relating to the licensure of postsecondary institutions; and
3. Complaints relating to the quality of education or other State or accreditation requirements.
Carthage College, as an institution authorized to provide postsecondary education in the State of Wisconsin, is committed to full compliance with the Program Integrity Rule, and provides the following confirmation to all current and/or prospective students:
The Higher Learning Commission accredits Carthage College. You may review the College’s accreditation documents here.
Carthage College 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 concerns or register formal 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.
The Offices of the Provost, Dean of Students, Admissions, Business Services, Registrar, and Student Financial Planning 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:
Office of the Provost (academic programs, accreditation)
Office of Student Life (student and campus life)
Admissions (admissions eligibility)
Office of the Registrar (academic records)
Office of Student Financial Planning (loans, scholarships, grants)
In addition to contacting any of the offices above directly, students have the option of contacting the confidential campus conduct hotline toll-free at 866-943-5787.
It is expected that students will fully utilize any/all of the College’s administrative procedures to address concerns and/or complaints in as timely a manner as possible. On occasion, however, a student may believe that these administrative procedures have not adequately addressed concerns identified under the Program Integrity Rule. In those select cases, the following independent procedures are provided:
1. The Division of Trade and Consumer Protection of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (the “Division”) is prepared to receive and review student consumer complaints regarding alleged fraudulent or abusive practices by a college or university in the delivery of postsecondary academic programs and activities, including, for example, fraud or false advertising. Complaints may be filed with the Division in written or electronic form by accessing the following link: http://datcp.wi.gov/Consumer/Consumer_Complaints/index.aspx.
2. The Office of the Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin is authorized to investigate and prosecute violations of State consumer laws, including laws relating to deceptive advertising, credit, charitable solicitations, telecommunications, telemarketing and sales. The Office cooperates with other States, the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies in addressing national consumer protection issues. Further, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Consumer protection litigates cases that are referred to the Department by other States agencies. Complaints may be filed with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection at the following link: http://www.doj.state.wi.us/dls/consumer-protection/consumer-protection
3. The Higher Learning Commission is an independent body responsible for the accreditation of programs offered by Carthage College. HLC relies on constant contact with the College 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 at the following link:
4. 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:
Accounting Examining Board:
Department of Public Instruction (teacher preparation programs):
Physical Therapists Affiliated Credentialing Board:
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 Provost at (262) 551-5850.