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.
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.
The enrollment data posted on the NC-SARA website on September 26, 2016 was reported to NC-SARA in May, 2016 in the first of what will be an annual reporting cycle. As expected, this first attempt was challenging for all of us – institutions and NC-SARA alike.
Boulder, CO - On August 26th, 2016, the state of Utah was approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to join as the latest SARA state bringing the national total to 42 states plus the District of Columbia. This newest addition attests to the success of the SARA initiative to provide Higher Education a better way for states to oversee the delivery of postsecondary distance education.
NC-SARA has issued provisions affecting SARA institutions’ submission of their enrollment data for this spring. Institutions will report during the period May 9-20, using a secure link that will be sent to each SARA institution. There is no substantive change to the earlier draft release of the two documents relating to enrollment data submission (NC-SARA Data Reporting Guide and NC-SARA Data Sharing Agreement). To facilitate submission, however, rather than having institutions separately submit a signed data sharing agreement, institutional approval of the agreement has been incorporated by reference into the institution’s submission of its data.
A special committee on SARA policy regarding methods of including multi-institutional consortia in SARA has begun work. It will recommend policies to SARA Regional Steering Committees and the NC-SARA Board in fall, 2016. The Committee will be chaired by
SARA recently received attention from the NY Times, which reported on consumer groups’ appeal to NY’s Commissioner of Education, urging that NY not join SARA. In response, Paul Lingenfelter, chair of NC-SARA’s Board, wrote letters to the editor of the NY Times (see below ) and the Commissioner.
If an institution participates in SARA, does that mean it must accept transfer credits from other SARA institutions?
No. SARA has no impact on an institution’s policies and decisions about the acceptance of transfer credit. Those remain at the discretion of the institution, subject only to relevant state laws or requirements.