As regulatory compliance consultants who often guide client schools through state authorization in various states throughout the country, Tri-Logos consulting team members frequently receive inquiries regarding SARA: State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. The truth is that regulations in this area are changing so rapidly, that the best source of current information is the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements website: http://nc-sara.org/.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with SARA, here’s the definition as presented by the organization itself:
“The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.”
Another very useful resource for owners and administrators of distance learning institutions is the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) State Authorization Survey, an online directory that lists state authorization requirements state-by-state: http://sheeo.org/sheeo_surveys/
Be sure to check these sites frequently for updates, as the state authorization regulatory environment is highly dynamic.
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