General Feedback or Concerns

In the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, we welcome your feedback on any number of issues, from your experience in the classroom, to course offerings, to this website. Your constructive comments help us to improve the student experience. You can communicate to us in many ways, such as:

  • Having a conversation with a staff or faculty member
  • Sending an email to your academic adviser in Student Services
  • Meeting with the Director of Academic & Student Services or the Associate Chair
  • Talking with our Undergraduate or Graduate Program Coordinators
  • Working with a student organization (DSA, SAA, MSA, or NSSLHA)
  • Completing course evaluations and exit surveys

Students are encouraged to see the Director of Academic & Student Services, or the Undergraduate or Graduate Program Coordinators at any time if concerns arise about any aspect of their degree program. These faculty members are here to assist students in any way possible. Pertinent issues and concerns students can bring forward include, but are not limited to, faculty, Graduate School, College, or departmental policies affecting individual student academic prerogatives; procedural irregularities in stated grading practices (but not complaints restricted to individual grade changes); fair treatment; work environment; and similar issues.

Formal Concerns & Grievances

The University and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences are committed to promoting respect for all members of our campus community. The University encourages the prompt resolution of issues of concern or complaints. Systems are in place to protect students, faculty, and staff from discriminatory or inappropriate situations. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation. It is also a violation of University policy to display behavior that creates an offensive working or educational environment due to unwelcome comments, touching, or conduct. 

We have specific procedures in place to address most kinds of formal concerns and grievances. Below you will find information to help you understand some of those procedures. If you would like to discuss any of these procedures, or if you have a concern that is not listed here, please contact the Associate Chair of the Department. You are also welcome to discuss concerns on an informal basis, but it is important to understand that in almost all cases we cannot take formal action without documentation and without following the procedures described here.

Grades or Academic Evaluation

A student who believes that the instructor erred in the assignment of a grade, or who believes a grade recording error or omission has occurred must pursue resolution no later than the end of the following quarter (not including summer quarter). The process involves up to two steps; first a discussion with the instructor, and second, failing resolution there, a written appeal within 10 days to the Chair or his/her designee. Learn more about grade changes and grade appeals here.

Discriminatory or Harassing Behavior by UW Employees

The University specifically prohibits discriminatory or harassing behavior against any member of the University community. Students who believe they have been discriminated against by an employee on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or military status should refer to the procedures for Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees

Misconduct or Discriminatory/Harassing Behavior By Other Students

Students who are aware of, or victims of, misconduct on the part of other students - both behavior misconduct and academic misconduct (plagiarism and cheating) - should contact the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct. Such misconduct will be investigated according to procedures established in the UW Student Conduct Code.

Academic Grievances

Formal Grievance Procedures for Academic Student Employees Belonging to the Union

The UAW/UW contact supports “the resolution of problems at the lowest possible level and . . . encourage[s] informal discussions to resolve problems without the grievance procedure. Prior to initiating a grievance, the aggrieved party is encouraged to discuss the matter with his/her immediate supervisor. If requested, a Union representative may be involved in the discussion.” (Article 8:3) The deadline for filing a formal grievance is 21 days from the incident. Other specific deadlines apply. The official procedure to file a grievance with the Union is here.

Informal Departmental Procedures for Non-Union Student Employees or Students

The Department has an informal grievance resolution policy for students and non-union student employees. The process must be initiated within 3 months of the incident involved. The student is allowed to skip any of the steps mentioned and appeal to the next level, but we recommend students follow the process as able.

  1. The student should first try to resolve the issue with the faculty or staff member directly concerned, seeking out guidance beforehand from his/her Academic Advisor as needed. 
  2. If the issue is still unresolved, the student may take the issue to any of the following individuals: the Director of Academic & Student Services, the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, the Graduate Program Coordinator or Associate Chair. These individuals,after discussing the issue with both the student and the faculty/staff member involved, will attempt informal conciliation. 
  3. Should the issue not be resolved through the above steps, the student may take the issue to the Department Chair. If the student chooses to pursue the issue, she/he must contact the Department Chair within 3 months of the incident.

Informal & Formal University Procedures for Students 

For issues unresolved within the department, students may contact the following University entities.

UW Office of the Ombudsman 
The Ombudsman is a neutral third party, working within existing University policies and procedures to address and resolve disagreements informally. The goal is to achieve a fair and reasonable resolution of the complaint that is satisfactory to all parties involved. The person raising the complaint is actively involved in the process. The Ombudsman may facilitate mediation or conciliation between the parties. 

Community Standards & Student Conduct Office (CSSC)
The CSSC provides support and guidance to the campus community, and promotes and advances the values and expectations of the University of Washington and its code of conduct. This office is for situations involving other students.

University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office 
The UCIRO Office conducts full and fair, factual investigations concerning student allegations of a complaint and, where possible, (UCIRO). Their goal is to conduct a full and fair, factual investigation concerning the allegations of the complaint and, where possible, to facilitate the resolution within 60 days. This office is for situations involving faculty or staff.

UW Graduate School
Graduate students who believe they have been subjected to unfair treatment in the administration of academic policies may seek resolution of their complaints under the Academic Grievance Procedure. Graduate School Memorandum No. 33 applies to, but is not limited to, the application of departmental, college or Graduate School policies, deviations from stated grading practices (but not individual grade challenges), unfair treatment, and related issues.

Complaints Against the Department's CAA-Accredited Graduate Programs or the CAA

ASHA’s Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology (CAA) is obligated by federal regulations to review complaints it receives about any accredited program or program in candidacy status. A complaint process is also in place for considering complaints filed against the CAA. Below please find an overview of the options available to students with concerns.  Please visit the CAA website for detailed information and instructions regarding filing a complaint.

Complaints Against the Department's Graduate Education Programs

If students have major concerns or complaints about any of the SPHSC Department's accredited programs in audiology or speech-language pathology, they may file them with the CAA. Complaints must  relate to the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology or Speech-Language Pathology in effect at the time the conduct for the complaint occurred. The CAA does not accept complaints over the phone, so all complaints must be submitted in writing using the CAA’s official Complaint Form [DOC], and mailed to the following address:

Chair, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850

Complaints Against the CAA

The CAA also has a process in place for complaints to be filed against the CAA. Before filing a complaint, it is strongly recommended that you read Chapter XIII: Complaints in the Accreditation Handbook.  Complaints against the CAA must be filed within 1 year of the date the conduct being complained about occurred, and must relate to the content or the application of the Standards for Accreditation of Entry-Level Graduate Education Programs in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology [PDF], or the policies, procedures, and operations that were in use by the CAA at the time the conduct being complained about occurred.  There is no formal complaint form for filing complaints against the CAA. However, the complaint must address all the required criteria and be submitted in writing to:

Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs (“Vice Presidents”)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
2200 Research Boulevard, #310
Rockville, MD 20850