State Authorization

Lenoir-Rhyne University is committed to the success and satisfaction of all prospective and enrolled students.

If you have a concern or grievance, as a first step we encourage you to utilize our internal process by following our procedures outlined in the Lenoir-Rhyne Student Handbook, pages 52-57.

If you have questions regarding our Student Grievance Policy & Procedures or if you would like to request a Student Grievance Form, please contact:

Becky Sharpe, Division of Student Life
LR Box 7484
Cromer Center, Room 205
Hickory, NC 28603

N.C. Post-Secondary Education Grievance Process

The Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina System Office serves as the official state entity to receive complaints concerning post-secondary institutions that are authorized to operate in North Carolina. If students are unable to resolve a complaint through the institution's grievance procedures, they can review the Student Complaint Policy and complete the online Student Complaint Form.

North Carolina Post-Secondary Education Complaints
c/o Student Complaints
University of North Carolina System Office
910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688
For more information, send an email to

N.C. Independent Colleges & Universities Grievance Process

Should our internal grievance process fail to provide a satisfactory resolution, students may continue the grievance process with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Grievances can be submitted electronically or by mail:
Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General’s Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
NC Residents: 877.566.7226
Outside of NC: 919.716.6000
En Español: 919.716.0058
NC Attorney General's Office General Consumer Complaint Form

SACSCOC Student Grievance Process

Lenoir-Rhyne is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). If for some reason the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the next step would be to file a complaint with Lenoir-Rhyne University’s accrediting agency. Students who file a grievance with the accrediting agency should follow the SACSCOC Complaint Procedure.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
SACSCOC General Complaint Form

SARA-NC & NC-SARA Grievance Process

On November 2, 2016, Lenoir-Rhyne University was approved by SARA-NC to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. A “State authorization reciprocity agreement,” SARA is an agreement between two or more States that authorizes an institution located and legally authorized in a State covered by the agreement to provide postsecondary education through distance education or correspondence courses to students in other States covered by the agreement.

Supervised Field Experience

Courses and programs incorporating a “supervised field experience” are covered by the provisions of SARA. Under SARA a “supervised field experience” means a student learning experience under the oversight of a supervisor, mentor, faculty member or other qualified professional, located in the host state, who has a direct or indirect reporting responsibility to the institution where the student is enrolled, whether or not credit is granted. Examples include practicum, student teaching, or internships. However, see below regarding programs for licensed professions.

As a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – North Carolina (SARA-NC), students may also file a grievance through SARA-NC by following their Complaint Process. SARA-NC does not resolve complaints about student grades and student conduct violation. These complaints fall under the jurisdiction of institutional policy. The Student Complaint Form may be submitted by mail to:

SARA North Carolina
North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority
P.O. Box 14103
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
855.SARA.1.NC (727-2162)
919.549.8614, ext. 4667

Professional Licensure & Certification Disclosure

In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations, all higher education institutions are required to advise students as to whether their curriculum provides them with the eligibility to apply for a professional license and/or certification in the state for which they plan to practice.

NC-SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for any courses or programs leading to professional licensure. If you are not a resident of North or South Carolina, and you are taking an online course or program leading to professional licensure, Lenoir-Rhyne University cannot guarantee whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in your state.

Lenoir-Rhyne recommends that you consult with our program contact, the appropriate national licensing bodies and/or review Lenoir-Rhyne’s status by state for your intended program below:

Athletic Training

Dr. Michael McGee
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7356
Hickory, NC 28601

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Dr. Neal Gray
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7409
Hickory, NC 28601

Dietetic Internship

Dr. Julie Covington
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7453
Hickory, NC 28601


Dr. Hank Weddington
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7539
Hickory, NC 28601


Dr. Kerry Thompson
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7282
Hickory, NC 28601

Occupational Therapy

Dr. Toni Oakes
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7547
Hickory, NC 28601

Physician Assistant

Dr. Wesley Reid
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7475
Hickory, NC 28601

School Counseling

Dr. Neal Gray
625 7th Avenue NE, LR Box 7409
Hickory, NC 28601

If a student wishes to contact the state portal entities for his or her home state, contact information for state authorization liaisons in each SARA state can be found on the NC-SARA website. State by state contact information for agencies responsible for receiving student consumer complaints is available online.

Normal inquiries or concerns such as those involving admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc. should be addressed directly to the appropriate office at Lenoir-Rhyne University.