State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

State Authorization for Distance Education


Nevada has been accepted as part of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).

What is SARA: The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and administered by four regional education compacts.

How can my institution join SARA? Any degree-granting institution based in the United States, holding proper authorization from Congress, a U.S. state or a federally recognized Indian tribe and holding accreditation from an accrediting association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education is eligible to apply to its home state to participate in SARA if that state is a SARA member. For more information click here.

States and Institutions participating in SARA: NC-SARA maintains a list of states and institutions nationally participating in SARA. For more information, click here.

Nevada Institutions: Institutions that meet the qualifications and whose home state is Nevada may apply to join SARA through the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), the designated portal agency by WICHE-SARA. Nevada institutions may submit completed applications via email to Crystal Abba, NSHE Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at Crystal_Abba@nshe.nevada.edu

Application for Nevada Institutions:
For a copy of the application form, click here.

Nevada Institutions approved to participate in SARA:
(As of May 2014, no institutions have applied.)

Complaints regarding Nevada degree-granting post-secondary institutions participating in the National State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA):

As the designated portal agency, NSHE has the responsibility for managing and resolving student complaints arising under SARA. Absent applicable law or policy establishing another remedy, the first step in resolving student or other complaints or grievances is to attempt to resolve the matter directly with the administration of the involved institution under established institution complaint or grievance procedures.

With limited exceptions, a student or other person who contacts the NSHE office regarding complaints involving Nevada institutions participating in the National State Authorization Agreement (SARA) will be referred to college or university officials responsible for resolving those matters. In the event that institutional processes do not result in a successful resolution of a SARA complaint, two Nevada entities are responsible for final resolution of any such complaints originating at a SARA participating institution:

Conversely, if you are a Nevada resident attending a distance education program at a SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) institution in another state, you will need to begin the complaint process at the institution you attend. In the event that institutional processes do not result in a successful resolution of your complaint, the SARA Portal Agency of that state is responsible for final resolution of the complaint.

With limited exceptions, NSHE does not review anonymous complaints or matters that are or have been in litigation. Further, matters concerning an individual's grades or examination results are the prerogative of the college/university faculty. Absent specific statutory authority for not allowing access or disclosure, all documents relating to public business in possession of Nevada employees, including complaints or grievances, responses to complaints or grievances and related documents are open to the public upon request. However, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), student information and records that contain personally identifiable information regarding students, including student complaints or grievances and related documents, are confidential, subject to limited exceptions.

The following contact information has been provided to assist you with directing your complaint to the appropriate agency/office.

Crystal Abba, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
Tel: (775) 784-4901
Fax: (775) 784-1127
Crystal_Abba@nshe.nevada.edu