ADEA State Update

Twenty-eight States Join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement as Federal Rules Take Effect

(State Policy, Education) Permanent link   All Posts

Thus far, 28 states have joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) initiative. On July 31, Illinois was approved by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) to join the Midwestern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA); on June 1, Iowa was approved by MHEC. To date, Illinois is the largest state to join SARA. Additionally, on June 29, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma were approved by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) to join the Southern State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (S-SARA). 

Those states join 23 others (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and West Virginia) as members of SARA. SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that aims to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines and to make it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.[1] 

The federal requirements for state authorization and student complaints became effective on July 1. However, the department has not resumed the negotiated rulemaking process for the distance education piece. 

[1] The SARA agreements are overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and are being implemented by the four regional higher education interstate compacts. Once a state joins SARA, accredited degree-granting institutions in the state that offer distance education courses can seek approval from their state to participate in SARA. When approved, these institutions will be able to operate in other participating SARA states without seeking independent authorization from those states. Participating in SARA is entirely voluntary for institutions, as it is for states.

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