Complaints and Grievances

Student Grievance Procedure

Massachusetts Maritime Academy strives to offer all students a campus environment that fosters a positive and successful academic experience, which promotes learning and achievement throughout a student’s degree program. The intent of the student complaint policy is to provide students with a clearly articulated means for addressing and resolving any concerns that may arise during their time of enrollment.  The Academy recognizes three basic categories of complaints, including 1) discrimination and harassment, 2) final grade appeals, and 3) general complaints about courses, programs and individuals.  Students are required to follow the established procedures for registering concerns and complaints. The policy and procedures are published on the Academy website, and in the Academic Standards, College Catalog, and Faculty Handbook. Please click on the links below for more information.

We strive to create an environment that is free from discrimination and sexual harassment. The Academy’s strategic vision staunchly commits each of us to welcome all races, ethnicities, genders and ages to our campus.  Indeed, it is our collective duty to support this critical goal and avoid any intentional or unintentional act that adversely affects another person’s opportunity due to membership in a protected class, or association with a protected class (i.e. color, religion, race, national origin, age, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic info, marital status, or veteran’s status.) Any student who is a victim of discrimination or harassment is encouraged to consult with MMA Title IX officer or Human Resources view our Title IX resources.

File a Complaint

Any student believing that an unfair final course grade has been awarded may initiate a grade appeal.  First, the student should contact the professor to discuss the matter informally as soon as possible, but no later than the first two weeks of the semester following the grade in question. If the student’s concerns are not resolved at the professor level, the student may appeal to the Department Chair of the program area.  In appealing to the Department Chair, the student shall submit a written description of the grievance, the course syllabus, the assignment(s) in question, published grading rubrics and other applicable materials. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Department Chair shall notify the faculty member of the appeal, after which the faculty member has two weeks to respond in writing to the Department Chair, who will then evaluate all documentation received from the student and faculty and make a recommendation on next steps within two weeks.  While this process is often helpful in attaining resolution to grade appeals, students are reminded that final grade determination remain the sole prerogative of the faculty member. Cadets may access other information about academic policies within the online catalogs.


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Students should first attempt to resolve complaints through their chain of command at the lowest level, as it is the most effective way to address nearly all matters.  Cadets may access the Regimental Manual.  If a cadet is not satisfied with the outcome after attempting resolution through the chain of command or is uncomfortable engaging the issue or individual direction, the cadet may work with the following individuals to resolve the complaint.

For those with unresolved academic complaints, the student should contact the Office of Academic Affairs, Ms. Pamela Cerrud-Ahern at

For those with unresolved residential life complaints, the student should contact the Office of the Commandant, Ms. Kate Jones at

For those with unresolved financial services complaints, the student should contact Student Financial Services, Brienne Klaassen at

For all other unresolved complaints, the student should contact the Office of Human Resources, Elizabeth Benway at