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The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)

04/01/2014 Published by: Suzanne

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Categories: Student 2 Student Programs Worldwide, Transition to College

In the past there have been many challenges when it comes to online learning at the collegiate level, especially when it came to transferring credits between institutions and/or earning them from a school based in a state different from your own.

NC-SARA is a new initiative (membership began in late 2013/early 2014) with start-up funding provided by the Lumina Foundation.  Once underway, user fees from participating institutions will cover operating costs.

SARA (The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements):

  • Is a voluntary agreement among participating states, districts and territories.  (Institutions operate under SARA but they don’t become actual SARA members.  Participating institutions must already have degree-granting authority from the government.)
  • Establishes comparable national standards for the interstate offering of postsecondary distance education
  • Makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions in another state
  • Is overseen by a National Council
  • Is administered by four regional education compacts:
  1. MHEC – Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  2. NEBHE – New England  Board of Higher Education
  3. SREB – Southern Regional Education Board
  4. WICHE – Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Institutions (colleges/universities) in a SARA state only have to secure approval from their home state in order to offer distance learning to another SARA member state.

Visit the National Council Website for more information on SARA including a FAQs link for more details on U.S. Department of Education recognition, the state application process, “home state” determination, and more.

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