General Information

General Information Blog

NC-SARA Board Meeting: May 11, 2017

The NC-SARA Board met in Atlanta on May 11, 2017. Eighteen of the 22 members attended in person; three participated by phone.

 

This was the first meeting for four new members: Kathleen Curry Santora, CEO of the National Association of College and University Attorneys; Peter Smith, Orkand Chair and Professor of Innovative Practices in Higher Education, University of Maryland University College; Larry Tremblay, Deputy Commissioner for Planning, Research and Academic Affairs, Louisiana Board of Regents; and Michael C. Zola, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy Analysis, American Association of State Colleges and Universities. All four attended the meeting.

 

Spring 2017 NC-SARA Enrollment Data Reporting Guide and Data Sharing Agreement

The NC-SARA 2017 Enrollment Data Reporting period will run from May 22 - June 14, 2017.  All SARA institutions are required to participate in enrollment reporting.  A link will to an institution-specific web form will be sent to all active institution contacts on or around May 22nd.  We encourage you to decide which person will be responsible for reporting and submitting your institution's information.  

 

SARA and ACICS-accredited Institutions

ACICS (the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools) is a national accrediting body that has been in the news for the well-publicized failures of some of the institutions it has accredited and accusations of lax accrediting practices. The US Department of Education has removed ACICS from its list of "recognized" accreditors, but a lawsuit over that action is pending in the courts. In the meantime, ACICS-accredited schools have 18 months to obtain accreditation by another recognized accreditor in order to maintain the eligibility of their students to participate in federal financial aid programs.

 

Confusion about U.S. Department of Education State Authorization Rules

As many of you know, the Department recently released new rules on the state authorization of distance education. Those rules contain what we and many others have viewed as a troubling definition of a "state authorization reciprocity agreement."
 

Recent conversations that our friend and colleague Russ Poulin of WCET has had with Department staff indicate that we're misinterpreting what they intended with that definition.
 

Announcing the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policy and Operations Manual

The NC-SARA staff, with input and review from the NC-SARA National Council, the Regional Compacts, the State Portal Entities, and other appropriate parties, would like to announce the finalization of the first SARA Manual.  This new document incorporates, updates, and replaces previous versions of SARA Policies and Standards and FAQs (retitled as “Explanatory Notes”). The new SARA Manual, now arranged by policy issue, includes procedures for use by states and institutions for SARA applications, renewals, payment of fees, and data collection.  We encourage everyone to review it.

 

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