General Information

General Information Blog

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.

 

Welcome KY and PA to SARA

NC-SARA is proud to announce the addition of two more states; Kentucky and Pennsylvania.    On November 1, 2016, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) voted to welcome these two states into SARA bringing the national total to 44 states plus the District of Columbia. These newest additions attest to the success of the SARA initiative to provide Higher Education a better way for states to oversee the delivery of postsecondary distance education.  

 

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