• Read about CIA's student complaint process and policy for all campuses.
  • Student Complaint Process

    The Culinary Institute of America, in compliance with federal law, relevant state regulations, and accreditation requirements, provides currently enrolled and former students a fair and consistent process for the filing, tracking, and resolution of student complaints where said individual believes that an action by The Culinary Institute of America is in violation of one of the college’s formal policies or procedures.


    Any currently enrolled or former student of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) who believes that an action by the college is in violation of one of its formal policies or procedures may file a complaint in accordance with this policy. The CIA’s Student Complaint Policy provides a process for the fair and reliable filing, tracking, and review of a student complaint.


    Complaint: A written statement from a currently enrolled or former student alleging that the CIA has violated a formal written policy and/or procedure that has directly affected the educational experience of said student.

    Complainant: A currently enrolled or former student who is filing a complaint.

    Degree Programs Operating Council (DPOC): A cross-functional body charged with the coordination and operational management of the student experience at the CIA.

    Policy: Organization-wide directives that mandate requirements of, or provisions for, members of the CIA community, including procedures to assist with their implementation that are created and adopted in accordance with the CIA Policy on Policies, current Student Handbook and Academic Catalog.

    Policy Owner: The cabinet member who has direct responsibility for oversight of the CIA policy.

    Procedure: A series of action steps related to a policy that specifies how a particular process should be completed. Procedures include information on who, what, when, and where of the policy.

    Student: An individual who is registered in a credit or degree program at The Culinary Institute of America.


    A currently enrolled or former student must seek an informal resolution to his or her concern first by speaking with the policy owner or the appropriate CIA administrator before filing a formal complaint.

    Filing of Complaint:

    1. A currently enrolled or former student wishing to submit a complaint about an alleged violation of a CIA policy and/or procedure must file his/her initial submission through the CIA hotline.
    2. All submissions must include:
      1. A written description of the specific problem, issue, or situation that led to the complaint;
      2. Identified CIA policy and/or procedure allegedly violated;
      3. Steps taken towards resolution of the matter with the appropriate college administrator; and
      4. Additional supporting documentation if applicable.
    3. The director of compliance will review all submissions for completeness and accuracy. The director of compliance at his/her discretion may meet with the complainant and/or relevant department heads/policy owner to address any questions regarding the submitted documentation by the complainant.
    4. All submissions that are accurate and complete will be presented by the director of compliance to the provost of the CIA, and the chair of the DPOC, who will determine if there was a violation of the stated CIA policy and/or procedure.
      • If it is determined that the submission was complete and valid, the director of compliance will notify the complainant in writing that the complaint is under review.
      • If it is determined that the submission is incomplete or that the complainant has failed to contact the appropriate CIA administrator to resolve the matter, the director of compliance will formally advise the complainant as to appropriate steps to follow to either resolve the matter or move the complaint forward.
    5. If upon review the provost and the chair of the DPOC determine that the CIA did not violate a formal written policy and/or procedure, the complaint will be closed and the complainant will be notified in writing by the director of compliance.
      • The provost and/or the chair of the DPOC may convene a working group to review and recommend necessary and appropriate changes to the identified CIA policy and/or procedure.
      • The DPOC and/or any identified working group is not authorized to overturn, adjudicate, or alter the findings and/or alter any outcome of another hearing board, dean, associate dean, director, or cabinet member.
    6. Any changes to a CIA policy must go through the identified process found within the CIA Policy on Policies.
    7. The director of compliance will enter the appropriate resolution of the matter within the CIA Hot Line and will close the case.
    8. The director of compliance will attempt to notify the complainant of the results of the Complaint in writing within 60 business days of initial receipt of the complaint.

    Please note: The provost at his/her sole discretion may overturn the outcome and/or sanction if it is deemed that the conclusion may have been altered by the findings identified by the DPOC and/or the working group charged with researching the alleged violation of the CIA policy and/or procedure identified by the complainant.

    Students must address concerns about an educational program by following the CIA’s Student Complaint Policy. Students dissatisfied with this school’s response to their complaint or who are not able to file a complaint with the school, may file a complaint with the appropriate state agency.

    Student Complaint Processes for Online MPS Students

    Students in the online Master’s of Professional Studies program, except those living in California, wishing to pursue a complaint about the online MPS program must first follow the usual CIA Student Complaint Policy. In the event that the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, a complaint (excluding those about grades or student conduct matters) may be appealed within two years of the incident to the SARA Portal Entity in the CIA’s home state of New York at the following:

    Supervisor, Higher Education Programs
    New York State Education Department
    89 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12234

    Students of the online MPS program residing in California should follow the usual Student Complaint policy as set forth above.

  • Contact Us

    The Culinary Institute of America
    1946 Campus Drive
    Hyde Park, NY 12538-1499
    Phone: 845-452-9600