Explore Participation in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) for Distance Education Offerings

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Online Education Committee
Consultation with the California Community College Chancellor's Office
In Progress
Status Report

More of an online education committee issue: CCCCO is pursuing SARA, as it has been adopted by 46 of the 50 states as of 31 December 2016. 2017 - 18: The committee should discuss how to address this resolution and a timeline.

Whereas, Colleges and districts that enroll students living in other states in distance education courses may be required by those states to enter into state authorization agreements in order to enroll those students, which can be burdensome to institutions and can result in thousands of dollars in fees to a state, even for a single student;

Whereas, The proposed 34 CFR §600.9(c) states:

“If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering distance or correspondence education in that State.An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request.”

and that if enacted will become an accreditation requirement as colleges are expected to comply with all federal regulations; and

Whereas, Participation by the State of California in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)[1], which provides for “an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs,” could relieve colleges and districts of having to directly negotiate agreements with states and territories, as that would be done by the State of California on behalf of colleges and districts, and could also ensure compliance with the proposed 34 CFR §600.9(c);

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge the Chancellor’s Office and other state entities to analyze without delay the potential benefits and risks of participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, and report the results of the analysis to the field as soon as possible.


[1] For more information, please go to http://nc-sara.org.  To review the policies and standards for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, please go to http://nc-sara.org/files/docs/SARA-General-Policies.pdf.