The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement between Member States, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for intergovernmental offerings of remote post-secondary programmes and programmes. It is intended to facilitate online courses offered by post-secondary institutions established in another state. Sara is overseen by a national council and managed by four regional pacts for education. For more information on SARA and the current list of participating States and institutions, see www.nc-sara.org. “Now is the time for states to step on the plate and make sure their students are protected,” Shireman said. “I think California probably won`t give up that authority in the near future.” Any institution with a degree established in the United States and accredited by Congress, a state, or a state-recognized Indian tribe, accredited by an accreditation association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education, is eligible to apply to their home country to participate in SARA if that state is a member of SARA. To be eligible for exploitation under SARA, distance learning must originate in the United States or a U.S. territory. Peter McPherson, President of APLU, was Vice-President of the National Council for SARA (NC-SARA) and Paul Lingenfelter, former Chairman of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), was Chairman of the Board of Directors of NC-SARA and played a central role in the development of the Regulatory Commission for Distance Post-Union Education, which provided the framework for the current reciprocity system.

The Commission, headed by former Americans. Education Minister Richard Riley has brought together a large number of university and state chiefs, accreditors and regulators to address the challenge institutions face in complying with the maze of state laws and regulations. For more information on SARA, a map of SARA Member States and participating schools is available at www.nc-sara.org. Visit our directory to find all SARA accredited institutions as well as all regional and government contact information. Asked how he responded to concerns that SARA facilitates the expansion of for-profit institutions with bad practices and attracts more students, Hill said that in the quarterly reports he receives, “there is no evidence of widespread misconduct.”