DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURE NOTICE*
The institution prides itself in maintaining good relations with its student. It is our goal that you, our current or former student, be completely satisfied with our institution, but we recognize that good faith differences of opinion can occur. Recognizing that each student is a unique individual with different needs, concerns, and perceptions, it is the policy of this institution to attempt to meet students’ needs and concerns if the institution is reasonably able to do so. To resolve disputes quickly, fairly, and in good faith the institution has developed this Dispute Resolution Procedure. By enrolling, students agree to follow each step in good faith. If you have any questions about these procedures contact the Campus President.
A. DISPUTE- If a dispute or concern arises, we suggest that you, the student, and institution’s instructor or the official involved, should both attempt to settle the matter informally between the two of you. That’s really the best resolution to any kind of dispute.
B. GRIEVANCE- If the dispute is not informally resolved at Step A above, you must file a written complaint using the term “Grievance” with the Campus President describing the dispute in detail and the requested solution. A written response and proposed resolution will be provided to you by the institution.
C. MEDIATION- If you are not satisfied with the institution’s response at Step B above, you must make a written request for “mediation”. If you fail to file a written request for mediation within one (1) year of the institution’s response and proposed resolution and you will be legally barred from filing a lawsuit. The institution will pay any administrative fees and mediator fees and shall select a Mediator/Mediation organization, which may include, but not limited to: (a) an American Arbitration Association member; (b) a retired state judge; or (c) an attorney with mediation experience and/or State Bar sponsored training in mediation. The institution may waive mediation, in which case either party may request arbitration.
D. ARBITRATION- If you are still not satisfied, you are required to arbitrate the dispute. See the institution arbitration agreement immediately following this notice for details on your obligation to arbitrate.
Agreement to Arbitrate Disputes in Lieu of a Court Trial,
Jury Trial and/or Class/Mass Action Lawsuit*
Please note: Except as noted below, to resolve disputes quickly, fairly, and in good faith without using the court system both you, the current or former student, and the Institution agree that any and all disputes between us will be settled through final and binding arbitration, under the Federal Arbitration Act using the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules as set forth below. (If the AAA cannot or will not arbitrate for any reason, the Institution will apply to the local court to appoint an arbitrator who is an attorney with at least 10 years’ experience as an attorney 5 years’ experience as an arbitrator.)
Note- Arbitration is the last step in the campus “Dispute Resolution Procedure”. The entire procedure can be reviewed in the admissions section of the campus catalog, on the consumer information page of the campus website, or in the enrollment agreement. If you have any questions, contact the Campus President.
- I understand this agreement to arbitrate includes any type of dispute* (except as noted below) with the Institution or any of its agents, related to and including but not limited to, disputes arising from my education/academics, career success, advertisements or other inducements to enroll, the enrollment process, job placement or other services, financial aid, student loans, etc., and regardless of whether the dispute is based on breach of contract, any representation made by the school or its agents, or any law, regulation tort or equity claim or otherwise. I also agree that the obligation for both parties to arbitrate shall be irrevocable and cannot be waived by either party, and shall apply whether or not I am still in school.
- I understand that I may review the American Arbitration Association rules at http://www.adr.org or if I do not have Internet access, the Institution will provide me a copy of the rules upon my request.
- I also agree that each party has the right to have his/her/its case presented individually and ruled upon individually by the arbitrator. As such, I agree that the arbitration shall be conducted and resolved on an individual basis only. I will not combine my claim with any other person’s claim nor will I participate in or allow my claim to be part of any class action, mass action, private attorney general action or multiple plaintiff arbitrations of any kind no matter how described. (If for any reason the arbitration provisions of this agreement are invalidated, the agreement for individual consideration of my claim shall apply to all court proceedings.)
- I understand that to initiate arbitration of a dispute I am obligated to pay $150.00 or the cost of civil court filing fees that would be required as if I were filing a civil lawsuit, whichever is less, toward the AAA fees. I further understand that that the Institution will pay the balance of any AAA fees and the fee of the arbitrator, but the arbitrator shall have the right to assess the costs of arbitration against either party to the same extent as a court of law. Each party shall pay their attorney’s fees and arbitration costs to the extent allowed by law.
- I agree my obligation to arbitrate shall be interpreted as broadly as the law allows and shall include but not be limited to all disputes relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability or formation of this Agreement (including, but not limited to, any claim that all or part of this agreement to arbitrate is void or voidable for any reason) and I agree that the arbitrator shall have the exclusive authority to resolve any such issues related to my obligation to arbitrate under this Agreement.
- I agree that I must file a request for arbitration of any claim I may have within five years of the date I discontinue enrollment under this enrollment agreement and if I fail to do so, any claim I have is legally barred and cannot be pursued through arbitration, in court, through administrative agencies or otherwise, except as noted below.
- In the event that any part of this Agreement becomes legally unenforceable, that part shall be severed and the remainder shall be fully enforceable. If for any reason this Agreement is invalidated, then I and the Institution both agree to utilize the Dispute Resolution Procedure described in this agreement and the catalog (excluding the binding arbitration requirement) and if that doesn’t resolve the dispute, to engage in non-binding arbitration under this agreement as if the arbitration provision was fully enforceable, prior to any lawsuit or other court action. THE INSTITUTION AND I ALSO AGREE THAT ANY TRIAL WILL BE BEFORE A JUDGE ONLY AND WITHOUT A JURY, AND WE BOTH IRREVOCABLY WAIVE OUR RIGHT TO A TRIAL BY JURY. I also agree that I will not combine or join my claim with anyone else’s claim in any sort of multiple plaintiff, mass action or class action lawsuit and will not allow any claim I have to become part of any type of class or collective action in which anyone proposes to act in a representative capacity on behalf of others. This agreement is subject to the law of the local jurisdiction. It is void where/if prohibited under controlling law.
- All arbitration procedures shall take place in the county where the campus is located.
- I understand that I may seek legal counsel before signing this agreement.
*Exceptions to the obligations listed above/Alternate Process For Dispute Regulations-
*Students may also file complaints with the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, 6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 730, North Bethesda, MD 20852, phone (301) 291-7550, https://abhes.org/complaint-process/ and, or
*Students may also file complaints with the West Virginia Community and Technical College Systems (WVCTCS), 1018 Kanawha Blvd, East, Suite 700, Charleston, WV 25301, (304) 558-0265 www.wvctcs.org, or other government agencies.
*Students taking online courses have the right to file a complaint with the distance educational national oversight body known as the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), https://nc-sara.org/student-complaints.
*The school cannot require the borrower to participate in arbitration or any internal dispute resolution process offered by the institution prior to filing borrower defense to repayment application with the Department pursuant to §685.206(e); the school cannot, in any way, require students to limit, relinquish, or waive their ability to pursue filing a borrower defense claim, pursuant to §685.206(e) at any time; and any arbitration, required by a pre-dispute arbitration agreement, tolls the limitations period for filing a borrower defense to repayment application pursuant to §685.206(e)(6)(ii) (emphasis added).
*To the extent required by the American Arbitration Association, students may file a claim in small claims (magistrate) court.
*These procedures are subject to local controlling law (and for students receiving Title IV federal financial aid, USDOE regulation) and are not enforceable to the extent limited/prohibited by applicable law and do not include sexual harassment claims. Also, in regard to Direct Loans and Direct Consolidation Loans this agreement only applies to loans first dispersed on or after July 1, 2020.
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