The Council of State Governments (CSG) has adopted a Resolution in support of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and encourages its member jurisdictions to consider the new interstate agreements as an innovative policy solution that will increase degree attainment and reduce costs for students, states, and institutions.
The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. States and institutions that choose to participate agree to operate under common standards and procedures, providing a more uniform and less costly regulatory environment for institutions, more focused oversight responsibilities for states and better resolution of student complaints.
SARA was developed as a joint effort between the Presidents’ Forum, The Council of State Governments, the Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, and the four regional higher education compacts which implement the initiative – the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The effort is funded by a $3 million grant from Lumina Foundation.
In the Resolution, CSG commits to continue promoting efforts by NC-SARA and the four regional higher education compacts to raise awareness about SARA. CSG refers to the following facts to support their endorsement of SARA: online education is the fastest growing segment of the higher education field; more than 6.7 million students enrolled in at least one online course during the 2011-12 school year according to the Sloan Consortium (representing approximately 32 percent of the higher education community’s total enrollment); and 62.4 percent of colleges and universities surveyed by the Sloan Consortium now offer fully online degree programs.
The Resolution was adopted on August 13, 2014, at The Council of State Governments National Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.