In an effort to meet its compliance obligations, specifically pertaining to online student complaints, American International College has provided the following legal notices. Please select a notice from the table below.
For more information regarding these notices, please contact AIC’s Office of Human Resources at 413.205.3246.
This page was last updated on April 15, 2020.
Student Complaint Process – Online Education
American International College strives to ensure that each student’s experience in distance education courses at the College is of the highest quality. Should it be necessary, the College encourages students and prospective students to complete the linked form to file a grievance about online learning. Your request will be forwarded to the Chief Academic Officer and the appropriate school Dean who will work with you to find a resolution.
What to do if AIC cannot resolve your complaint
If you are a resident of an NC-SARA participant state, you may be entitled to additional complaint resolution services. Grading and student conduct violations are governed entirely by AIC’s institutional policy and the laws of Massachusetts. NC-SARA does not provide any additional support for these concerns. For all other types of student complaints and concerns, the student may appeal to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s NC-SARA Portal Entity and/or NC-SARA within two years of the incident if they have exhausted all other avenues for corrective actions.
To file an appeal with Massachusetts NC-SARA Portal Entity, please visit: https://www.mass.edu/foradmin/sara/complaints.asp
For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by American International College at file a grievance about online learning, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territories. This includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.
Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below:
The SARA complaint process is as follows:
More information about DHE’s complaint processes can be found here.
After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by American International College at file a grievance about online learning, if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form. The AGO consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in non-SARA member states or territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.).
There are several different forms of discrimination. Accordingly, the College prohibits discriminatory conduct of any kind, including unequal treatment, harassment (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct), and retaliation.
The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:
Senior Vice President for Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator
American International College, Box HR
Springfield, MA 01109
Brian J. O’Shaughnessy
Vice President for Student Affairs
American International College, Box 3A
Schwartz Campus Center
Springfield, MA 01109
Inquiries concerning the application of non-discrimination policies may be also be addressed to the Regional Director, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, POCH Building, 5 Post Office Square, 9th Floor, Room 24, Boston, MA 02110. Telephone: 617.289.0100 Fax: 617.289.0151
Please see Section 5 of the Student Handbook for more policy information.
Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. “Education record” is defined as those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational institution or party acting for the institution. These rights include:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, FERPA regulations require the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of such disclosures.
In compliance with FERPA regulations, the College may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
For currently enrolled students, directory information includes the student’s name; addresses; telephone numbers; college, curriculum, and major field of study; class level; date of birth; dates of attendance; eligibility for membership in registered College honoraries; degrees; honors; certificates received or anticipated; weight and height if she/ he is an athletic team member; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, institutions previously attended.
NOTE: A student may restrict the disclosure of “directory information” by filing a request to limit the release with the Esther F. Hansen Registrar’s Office on or before October 1 of each academic year.
FERPA – Health and Safety Exemption
The Disclosure of Student Information Related to Emergencies and Disasters
The purpose of this statement is to indicate that in situations related to a disaster or other health or safety emergencies, American International College will disclose non-directory information to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The guidelines set forth by the exception to FERPA’s general consent requirement will be followed. The release of health and safety information is only temporary and lasts the duration of the incident that necessitated the waiver. A copy of this policy may be obtained in the Course Catalog.
American International College maintains the right to enforce all rules of conduct and to immediately dispatch Campus Police or request outside law enforcement assistance to respond to any criminal or violent acts. Please see Section 13 of the Student Handbook for more policy information.
American International College is committed to assisting all members of the AIC community in providing for their own safety and security. The College’s annual security compliance document is available on the American International College Website at on our Campus Safety page. Please see the Student Handbook for more policy information.
Number of Students
|Class entering fall of:||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006|
|Received Federal Pell Grant||139||190||177||NA||155||103|
|Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell)||57||113||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan||60||64||NA||NA||NA||NA|
Four-Year Graduation Rate
|Class entering fall of:||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006|
|Received Federal Pell Grant||NA||23%||16%||NA||NA||NA|
|Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell)||NA||31%||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan||NA||42%||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Overall Four-Year Graduation Rate||26%||26%||24%||28%||28%||29%|
Six-Year Graduation Rate
|Class entering fall of:||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006|
|Received Federal Pell Grant||34%||39%||28%||NA||30%||43%|
|Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell)||46%||41%||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan||55%||61%||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Overall Six-Year Graduation Rate||41%||44%||36%||38%||45%||39%|
Sex Offenders Registry Board
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
P.O. Box 4547
Salem, MA 01970
Massachusetts Law requires that certain information be issued to students, student groups, teams, and organizations. This information is provided in the College’s Hazing Policy, Section 9 of the Student Handbook.
American International College, in accordance with federal legislation and College policy, is committed to providing a drug-free, healthy and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff. The unlawful use, possession, manufacturing, distribution or dispensation of a controlled substance and the illegal use or possession of alcoholic beverages on campus or at College-sponsored activities is prohibited. If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, disciplinary action up to and including the dismissal of students and referral for prosecution may result. Applicable legal sanctions for the unlawful use, possession or distribution of alcohol and other drugs are summarized in the following section. This information appears here to meet the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. In addition to this policy, other College policies remain in effect.
Please see the separate document titled, “Statement on Drugs and Alcohol.”
I. Summary of Alcohol and Other Drug Laws
The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 years of age. A person over 21 years of age may not buy alcohol for a person under 21 years of age, unless their relationship is that of parent and child or husband and wife, and even in those situations, liquor must be bought at a package liquor store, not a restaurant or tavern. Whoever furnishes any such beverage or alcohol for a person under 21 years of age shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both. Alcohol may not be purchased or attempted to be purchased by a person under 21 years of age. A person may not lie about his/her age to purchase alcohol, present false identification, or make arrangements with someone older to buy alcohol for him/her. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement as to the age of a person who is under 21 years of age in order to procure a sale or delivery of such beverages or alcohol to such person under 21 years of age, either for the use of the person under 21 years of age or for the use of some other person, and whoever induces a person under 21 years of age to make a false statement as to his age in order to procure a sale or delivery of such beverages or alcohol to such a person under twenty-one years of age, shall be punished by a fine of $300. Any person without a license to serve alcohol may not serve someone under 21 years of age, unless their relationship is that of parent and child or husband and wife. Any person who furnishes any such beverage or alcohol for a person under 21 years of age shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.
Any person who transfers, alters, or defaces an identification card, or who makes, uses, carries, sells, or distributes a false identification card, or furnishes false information in obtaining such a card, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200 or by imprisonment for not more than three months.
It is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age knowingly to drive a car with alcohol in it unless accompanied by a parent. To do so may result in a fine of up to $50 or suspension of the driver’s license for three months, or both. Persons may not drive while drinking from an open container of an alcoholic beverage. Violators shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. Persons may not drive while under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. Violators shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5000 or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment. If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe a person is driving under the influence, a breathalyzer test may be given. If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis, after having been informed that his license or permit to operate motor vehicles or right to operate motor vehicles in the Commonwealth shall be suspended for a period of at least 180 days and up to a lifetime loss, for such refusal, no such test or analysis shall be made and he shall have his license or right to operate suspended in accordance with this paragraph for a period of 180 days. Conviction for a first offense be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than two years, or both, and for a second offense by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a house of correction for not less than 30 days nor more than two and one half years, or by a fine of not more than $1000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Massachusetts has criminal penalties for use of controlled substances, or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug. In general, narcotic, addictive, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties. Possession of drugs is illegal without valid authorization. While penalties for possession are generally not as great as for manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both State and Federal laws penalties for possession, manufacture and distribution are much greater for second and subsequent convictions. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and the full minimum term must be served. Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be “in the company” of a person known to possess heroin. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a private party or dormitory suite risks a serious drug conviction. Sale and possession of “drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Massachusetts. Under Federal law, distribution of drugs to persons under the age of 21 is punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory one to three years in prison depending on the class of drugs; a third conviction is punishable by mandatory life imprisonment. These penalties apply to the distribution of drugs within 1,000 feet of a college or school. Federal law sets greatly heightened prison sentences for manufacture and distribution of drugs if death or serious injury results from the use of the substance.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid. For more information contact AIC’s Financial Aid Office or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FED.AID (1.800.433.3243).
Please see the separate document titled “Statement on Drugs and Alcohol” and Section 8.
II. Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations
A student who has been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs while receiving federal Title IV financial aid loses eligibility for federal and state government financial aid (including Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance) for a period of time specified in the law (HEA Sec. 484(r)(1)); (20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)). The period of ineligibility depends on whether the conviction was for possession or sale of (including conspiring to sell) illegal drugs. For further information, please visit the College’s Financial Aid Office.
III. Delivery of Services
American International College assumes no liability for the delay or failure in providing educational or other services or facilities due to causes beyond its reasonable control. Causes include, but are not limited to power failure, fire, strikes by College employees or others, damage by natural elements, and acts of public authorities. The College will, however, exert reasonable efforts, when it judges them to be appropriate, to provide comparable services, facilities, or performance; but its inability or failure to do so shall not subject the College to liability.
American International College will endeavor to make available to its students a fine education and a stimulating and congenial environment. However, the quality and rate of progress of an individual’s academic career and professional advancement upon completion of a degree or program are largely dependent on his or her own abilities, commitment, and effort. In many professions and occupations, there are requirements imposed by federal and state statutes and regulatory agencies for certification or entry into a particular field. These requirements may change while a student is enrolled in a program and may vary from state to state or country to country. Although the College stands ready to help its students learn about requirements and changes in them, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the inquiry.
© 2020 American International College